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injury to him whom he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes the very existence of society ? Can this familiarity with robbing and robbers be without its influence on a rising generation? We say it cannot; and if suffered to go on for twenty years more, we venture to pronounce the most mischievous effects to all classes of society. Talk of jockey-club regulations! As well might Madame Vestris sit in judgment on short petticoats, or Lord Grey on the sin of nepotism,
a jockey club attempt then to pass censure on offences which they must have suffered to grow before their faces,-if indeed they should have been so fortunate as all along to steer quite clear of them themselves.
But let us look a little into these practices. In the first place, what is it that guides the leading men in their betting? Is it a knowledge of the horse they back either to win or to lose? and is it his public running that directs their operations? We fear not; three parts of them know no more of a horse than a horse kyows of them, but it is from private information, purchased at a high price-at a price which ordinary virtue cannot withstand—that their books are made up. Again ; how do the second class of bettors act? We reply-they bet upon men and not upon horses, for so soon as they can positively ascertain that certain persons stand heavy against any one horse, that horse has no chance to win, unless, as it sometimes happens, he is too strong for his jockey, or the nauseating ball has not had the desired effect. He runs in front it is true, for he can run to win; but what is his fate? Why, like the hindmost wheel of the chariot, he is
· Curs'd Still to be near, but ne'er to reach the first.' Unfortunately for speculators on the turf, the present enormous amount of a few of our principal sweepstakes renders it impossible to restrict the owners of race-horses from starting more than one animal in the same race. The nominations for the Derby, Oaks, &c., take place when the colts are but one year old, consequently many of them die before the day of running, or, what is worse, prove good for nothing on trial. Thus, the aspirant to the honour of winning them, enters several horses for the same stakes, and perhaps two of the number come to the post, as was the case with Mameluke and Glenartney for the Derby of 1897—an occasion when the race was not to the swift, but to the horse which stood best in the book ; the losing horse, it is not disputed, could have won, lad he been permitted to do so. By the laws of racing this practice is allowable, but it gives great cause for complaint, and opens a door for fraud. One of the heaviest bettors of the present day, who had backed
Mameluke to a large amount, observed, that he should not have lamented his loss, had it not been clear that Mameluke could have won. A similar occurrence took place last year for the same great race. Messrs. Gulley and Ridsdale (confederates, and as such, we believe, allowed to do so) compromised to give the race to St. Giles, although doubtless Margrave could have won it. All outside bettors, as they are called—those not in the secret, as well as those not in the ring—are of course put hors du combat by such proceedings; their opinion of horses, formed from their public running-the only honourable criterion-being sacrificed by this compromise. But we will go one point further. It is proceedings such as these that are too often the cause of gentlemen on the turf swerving from the straight-forward course: men—true as the sun in all private transactions -allow themselves to deviate from the right path on a race-course, in revenge for what they deem to have been injustice. We could name several honourable and highly-minded gentlemen who have openly avowed this. Our money has been taken from us,' they have declared, without our having a chance to keep it, and we will recover it in any way we can.' In truth, we are too much inclined to believe, that a modern Aristides has fearful odds against him on the English turf at the present time. Look, for example, at the sums paid for race-horses, which we think must open our eyes to the fact. Three thousand guineas are now given for a promising colt for the Derby stakes!! But how stands this favourite? There are upwards of a hundred horses besides himself named for the stake; more than twenty will start for it; and if he wins it, it does not amount to much above his cost price. But the purchaser will back him to win it. Indeed! back him against such a field, several of which he knows have been running forward, and others of which have not appeared at all, and may be better than his own! No; these three thousand guinea horses are not bought to win the Derby ;-but the price makes them favourites—and then thousands are won by their losing it.
Then there is another system which cannot be too severely reprobated—namely, making a horse a favourite in the betting, and then selling him on the eve of a great play or pay race. We confess we could by no means understand the white-washing,' as it was termed by Lord Uxbridge, that a certain person obtained by bis explanation of an affair last year at Doncaster. The act of selling a horse under such circumstances to a duke would have been a culpable one; but what must be thought of the merry sport' of placing him in the hands of a hell-keeper ? *
* The racing world remember Mr. Watt's honourable conduct on this point, when offered a large price for Belzoni, a great favourite for the St. Leger. No,' said he, 'my horse is at present the property of the public.'
One of the principal evils is the betting of trainers and jockies. We may be asked, is there any harm in a trainer betting a few pounds on a horse he has in his stable, and which he thinks has a fair chance to win? Certainly not; and the old, and the only proper, way of doing this was, to ask the owner of the horse to let him stand some part of his engagements,-a request that was never known to be refused. But then no trainer had a person betting for him by commission, and, perhaps, against the very horses he himself was bringing to the post-reducing such bets to a certainty! The evil of trainers becoming bettors has no bounds, for when once they enter upon it, it is in vain to say to what extent the pursuit may lead them. Look to the case of Lord Exeter's trainer, examined a short time since before the Jockey Club. He admitted having betted 300l. against one of his master's horses. Was there any harm in that individual act? None : because he had previously betted largely that the horse would win, and he had recourse to the usual, indeed to the only, means of securing himself from loss, on finding that he was going wrong. But we maintain, that he had no right, as Lord Exeter's trainer and servant, to bet to an amount requiring such steps to be taken. Again ; who betted the 300l. hedging money for him ? Let those who inquired into the affair answer that! Now what security had Lord Exeter that all the money had not been laid out against his horse, and then, we may ask, where was his chance to win? Moreover, if trainers subject themselves to such heavy losses-for this man, it seems, had a large sum depending on this event—there is too much reason to fear they may be recovered at their master's expense.
The heavy betting of jockeys is still more fatal to the best interests of the turf, and generally, we may add, to themselves. Why did the late king dismiss Robinson, the second best, if not, as in some people's opinions, the best — in every one's opinion the most succesful-jockey in England ? Not because he had done wrong by the king's horses, but solely because his majesty heard he was worth a large sum of money. What has the great jockey of the north got by his heavy betting ? Money, no doubt; but dismissal from the principal stud of the north. In fact, no gentleman can feel himself secure in the hands of either a trainer or a jockey who bets; but of the two, the system may be most destructive with the jockey, as no one besides himself need be in the secret. If he bet against his horse, the event is of course under his control; and such is the superiority of modern jockeyship, that a race can almost always be thrown away without detection. On the other hand, if he back his horse heavily to win, he becomes, from nervous trepidaVOL. XLIX. NO, XCVIII.
tion, unfit to ride him, as has frequently been witnessed at Doncaster-we need not mentiou names.
The first admission we have on record of a jockey betting against himself, is in Genius Genuine,' page 106, where the author, the late Samuel Chifuey, (1784,) rides Lord Grosvenor's Fortitude at York, against Faith and Recovery, backing Faith against Recovery, one win, or no bet, and Faith won. He adds, that he did not think he was acting improperly in making this het, be
says, he knew Fortitude was untit to run. Now, as he has given his opinion on the case, we will give our's. suppose that Lord Grosvenor-thinking, perhaps, that his horse was fit to run-had backed him heavily to win, and that his jockey had backed (as he admits he did) Faith to win. Fortitude and Faith come to a neck and neck race; and what, may we ask, would be the result? Why we really have not faith enough to believe that Fortitude would have won. Indeed, we can fancy we hear the jockey’s conversation with the inner man. • The money is nothing to my Lord,' he might say, but a great deal to me,' so one pull nakes it safe; and a few pricks of the spur, after he has past the winning post, serve to lull suspicion. To speak seriously—a jockey's betting at all is bad enough, but his betting on any other horse in the race save his own, is contrary to every principle, and fatal to the honour of the turf.
We have already alluded to one system of turf plunder, that of getting up fuvourites, as the term is, by false trials and lies, for the sake of having them backed to win in the market, well knowing that all the money betted upon them must be lost. This is villainous ; but what can be said to the poisoning system—the nauseating ball-we have reason to fear an every-day occurrence, when a horse is placed under the master-key? This is a practice of some standing on the turf, (see Chifney's account of Creeper and Walnut, 1791,) and was successfully carried on in the stables of the late Lord Foley, very early in the present century, when one of the party was hanged for the offence. But people know better now, and the disgrace of the halter is avoided; no post mortem examination—no solution of arsenic. A little opiate ball given over-night, is all that is necessary—to retard a horse in his race, but not prevent his starting. Winners of races are now not in request. A good favourite is the horse wanting, and there are many ways to prevent his winning—this among the rest. There is one point more that we must touch on :
• Disce, puer, virtutem ex me, verumque laborem,
Fortunam ex aliis,' says Æneas to his son, when he advises him not to trust to her wanton smiles for achievement and success. It is quite certain that luck has very little to do with rucing, and the man who trusts to it will find he is leaning on a broken staff. To the owner of a racing stud, who means to act uprightly, nothing but good management can ensure success, and even with this he has fearful odds against him, so many striving for the same prize. His horses must be well-bred, well-reared, well-engaged, well-trained, wellweighted, and well-ridden—nothing else will succeed in the long run. Still less has luck to do with betting. The speculator on other people's horses can only succeed by the help of one or the other of these expedients---namely, great knowledge of horseflesh and astute observation of public running-deep calculation or secret fraud : and that the last-mentioned resource is the base upon which many large fortunes have in our day been built, no man will be bold enough to deny. How many fine domains have been shared amongst those hosts of rapacious sharks, during the last two hundred years ! and-unless the system be altered-how many more are doomed to fall into the same gulph! For, we lament to say, the evil increases; all heretofore, indeed, has been ‘tarts and cheese-cakes,' to the villainous proceedings of the last twenty years, on the English turf. "Strange! But how is it that exposures are not oftener made ? This question is very easily answered. It is the value of the prize that tempts the pirate ; and the extent of the plunder is now so great, that secrecy is
purchased at any price.
But shutting our eyes to this ill-featured picture, and imagining everything to be honourably conducted, let us just take a glance at the present system of betting, and setting aside mathematical demonstrations applicable only where chances are equal, state the general method of what is called 'making a book. The first object of the betting man is to purchase cheaply, and to sell dearly; and, next, to secure himself by hedging, so that he cannot lose, if he do not win. This, however, it is evident, will not satisfy him, and he seeks for an opportunity of making himself a winner, without the chance of being a loser. This is done by what is called betting round. For example: if twenty horses start in a race, and A bets 10 to 1 against each, he must win 9, as he receives 19, and only pays 10; namely—10 to 1 to the winning horse. This, of course, can rarely be done, because it might not occur in a hundred years that all the horses were at such equal odds. Nevertheless, it is quite evident, that if, when a certain number of horses start, A bets against all, taking care that he does not bet a higher sum against any one horse that may win, than would be covered by his winnings by the others which lose, he must win. Let us, then, suppose A beginning to make biş Derby book, at the commencement of the new year. B bets 2 h 2