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When Gay drew Lockit and Peachem, he did but daguerreotype the shadows of coming events. How passing true is the old saw, "there is nothing new under the sun"!
A very brief notice must serve to set out the morale of the intermediate week between the olympics on the banks of the Mersey and those celebrated on the Sussex Downs. There were half a dozen legitimate provincial trysts; and pre-eminent among these was Stamford. Merely local position must be a tower of turf-strength here. With the Burghley stable for an aid-de-camp, it would be strange if a race-meeting did not make a success. Such undoubtedly was the latest anniversary of Stamford. There, “ all was gentle and aristocratic”-as well as especially popular. Also, there was another feature...“ The muster of speculators,” remarked a sporting paper, in alluding to it, “ was greater than is usually to be seen ; business, however, both on the events of the day and those to come, was exceedingly limited.” Surely this is no legitimate cause for regret, but rather for rejoicing. I could not help smiling the other day, when a paragraph on a subject always of interest to me caught my observation, accidentally, in a number of Mr. Charles Dickens's admirable weekly miscellany. It ran in this wise...
“The horrid passion for gambling seems spread over the whole continent; and it is proved by experience that, of all the different forms of gambling, lotteries" [in modern flash English," sweeps"_“lists''] “are the most fearful instruments by which a people can be made to scourge itself with its own vices. Long may we be before our papers can show paragraphs like these : "LOTTERY OF THE GOLD INGOTS.-To the particulars furnished yesterday we are now able to add some others. A grocer living on the Boulevard-du-Temple has gained a prize of twenty-five thousand francs (one thousand pounds). He was on the point of re. tiring from business, after receiving his little fortune. A commissionaire (light porter) of the Rue-St.-Honoré gained five thousand francs; a young seamstress living in the Rue-Neuve-Breda, one thousand francs. Two or three years since, a dealer in river-sand, living on the Quai. Jemappes, died, leaving a wife and children, and his affairs somewhat embarrassed. A brave woman, who had been their servant, unhesitatingly assisted her mistress with her savings. To this worthy woman has fallen the prize of four hundred thousand francs. There is a report of a young servant-girl, who had drawn fifteen hundred francs-the amount of her hoardings—from the savings'.bank, in order to buy fifteen hundred lottery-tickets with that money, but who got nothing. It is rumoured that another young servant-girl, of the Rue-St.-Denis, on finding that she had lost her savings-four hundred francs - which she had put into the lottery, became insane. It is asserted that, up to the present moment, there have been already presented to the pay-office of the Lottery nine tickets bearing the number wbich gained the grand prize, and seven bearing the number which gained the prize of two hundred thou. sand francs. It is said, in explanation of these facts, which may give rise to so much controversy, that clever hands forged the winning numbers.'”..
Upon this morceau-worthy of being an excript from a note addressed by Strephon to Phyllis—the essayist thus moralizes...
“We have only to follow mentally the train of thought which these few sen. tences suggest, to appreciate the consequences of a national system of lotteries'' (sweeps or lists). “French literature is full of examples in which girls and women, of low and high birth, have been dragged through every possible defilement, to utter starvation, in order to gratify an insatiable craving after gambling by lottery. The cheap price of the tickets tempts the victims to pawn the last rag, and abstain from the last morsel, in the delusive hope of at last gaining a fortune. The Journal de l'Arrondissement du Havre, May 4th, 1852, advertizes
five lotteries. The tickets are one franc for each share; but tickets are also to be bought which comprise a chance in each lottery of the five. It is cruel to hold out to poor wretches the temptation of twenty thousand, ten thousand, five thousand, or two thousand francs for one franc.'.. The or' reads as if the miserable being had only to choose his fortune."
Premising that, in lieu of their dernier resort being “to pawn the last rag, and abstain from the last morsel,” the custom of the British Lists' victims is to help themselves to their wasters' silver spoons and Betts' Patent Smithfield Cognac at the houses of the sporting licensed victuallers, I venture to suggest to the inimitable author of the article on French Provincial Nerus, quoted above, that he is somewhat premature in his national congratulation when he exclaims “ Long may we be before our papers can show paragraphs like this !” .... In a Sunday paper of the 25th ult. he may meet with a few bits quite as stunning as his Gallic extract. What, for instance, does he think of these passages, taken at random from its commercial columns? . . .
“ PROPHECY! PROPHECY! PROPHECY EXTRAORDINARY !- Edward Messer's extraordinary snccess this week sent Retail for the Burghley Stakes; only one horse sent! Nottingham Handicap, sent Lindrick and Lady Amyott; came in first and second."
“GOODWOOD STAKES AND Cup! GOODWOOD STAKES AND CUP!! - A great number of winners guaranteed by NONPAREIL for the Goodwood Meeting. An immense sum of money is to be made by having N.'s Goodwood list. Week after week I keep adding fresh laurels to my fame. I advise all my subscribers to go for a good stake at Goodwood ; they are certain. I don't spring up and put puffing advertisements forth, trying to rob the public. Don't be deceived by the would-be prophets. I tell you, my friends, you are sure to win by becoming a subscriber. I am well assured that no enterprise is more remunerative than well. directed turf investments. Don't forget Goodwood. You are sure to win : go for a good stake. Lose no time. A list, ten shillings !”
“ MESSRS HOWARD AND CLINTON TO THE PUBLIC. — Gentlemen of the sporting world, a gold mine has been found in England! But, when will honour. able competition be the study and pursuit of gentlemen, instead of petty, contemptible scheming? Goldfinder was our 'tip' for the Nottingham Handicap : sent out at 6 to 1, three weeks before the race, saw hedging at evens and ought to have won.".
“John Cullen has to thank his numerous subscribers, and informs them that if they have backed the horses sent out for the Goodwood Stakes and Cup, they may make certain of coming off' winners. J. C. has this week received the most important information relating to the Cesarewitch and Cambridgeshire Stakes, and it will be sent out to his subscribers immediately after the Goodwood Races. If each subscriber does not make at least a couple of hundred pounds by it, it will Lot be J. C.'s fault.”
"A certainty for the Ham Stakes : odds good : also Goodwood Cup.-Mr. J. Cooper guarantees his marked list to be the best ever sent out. Any sum paid for stable information really good. Strict secresy observed.”
Patrick Kelby has only time to say that the winner of Goodwood Stakes has arrived, and in splendid form : the winner of the Cup, Lavant, and Ham Stakes-all the above certain. Gentlemen who make !arge bets should send a guinea for some private information on four events, by which vast sums may be won."
“Y. Z. Johnson begs to announce that he intends stationing men at the principal stables in the kingdom, to watch the horses and report them to him. Owing to this he will have to raise his fare from 15 stamps to 30 stamps per race!!!”
What “ the Dickens ” does he say to that? What becomes of the
comparison between “a people made to scourge itself with its own vices,” and “ perfidious Albion," where announcements such as these are put forward in the recognised organs of public intelligence, and circulate among the “nation of shopkeepers" faniiliar in their mouths as household words."
Among the “fasliionables''returned as visitors to the course at Stamford was Sir Frederick Thesiger-There is balm in Gilead still. The ideal of a public prosecuter is not sufficient to secure a due administration of the law-as malheureusement shown by two recent antecedents. Why will not the patrons of the turf see to its wholesome conduct ? What pretence can there be for its being committed to hands which deal with it as a staple of sporting commerce-wholesale and retail? The Olympic average was but a moderate one. Retail beat his field for the Burghiley Stakes in a canter, with 8st. 7ibs. on him; Ilex, 5st. 10lb nowhere; and Ilex, 6st. 41b-., beat him for the Gold Cup, carrying 9st. 4lb., in a very resolute finish. The meeting had a calalogue of eleven events, whereof five went to thie creditor account of the Burghley stable, in winnings and walks over. This brings us to the 21st of July-lhe 22nd saw the lists prepared at Nottingham. Our local aspirant to chivalrous honours is certainly endeavouring to deserve thein. It was put on the scene with every regard to fair and gracious order. Still provincial actors are but provincial actors, and although the play and the plot may be diversified, the dramatis personæ go their circuits with a pertinacity whose moral belongs to the toujours pridrix family. Your leather-plating is to the right sporting ta-le as cold porridge to the palate that feeds with a view to relish. The Nottinghamshire Handicap was the feature of the tryst-won, as we have already been advised, by the “Extraordinary Prophecy" of Edward Messer, by Lindrick - Lady Amyoit second. The favourite was Guldfinder, who ought to have won it, as we are assured by Messrs. Howard and Clinton. This philosophy furnishes its panacea for all mortal ills, and the stoic reserved for inmortality by Josepb Miller, was enabled to give thanks when he had the gout that it was not the stone, aud vice versâ when visited by the stone, that it was not the gout. Also there was a popular Handicap, hight The Chesterfield. For it a lot of 29 entered, and a party of half-a-dozen“ weni." The ring picked out Candlewick, and did not burn iis fingers. The favourite won in a canter. Her Majesty's Plate fell to the prowess of Shropshire Witch, beating “another couple of cripples"-a pretty pbraze whereby to designate the performances of a Royal trio....
While these things were being enacted at Nottingham, there was racing afloat in Surrey. Guildford races was races, this time-four of them, one in three heats. It remains to be seen, will such an offering propitiate the powers who rule the destinies of Royal Plates. The winner of the issue of that ilk, relating to these presents, was Lamartine--beating Butterfly and four others. The list wound up with a handicap Sweepstakes of forty shillings-that is to say of “two sovereigns each :" won by- Hambletonian.......
Moreover, contemporary with the foregoing twain, was Abingdon Meering, and eke that of Knutsford. Anent the latler I am silent, lest I enact towards it both the accusing spirit and recording angel of my Uncle Toby's oath.......
"Is this a weakness which our reason scorns ?
Abingdon, it must be said, reads like unmistakable leather platery. If anr local interests be served, and no proper prejudice is offended by that character of racing, why-vogue la galère. That it bears any consanguinuity with the legitimate purposes of the turf is of course beside the question. Turn we to metal more attractive. Like the Byronic hour—" when storms are done ”—was the advent of GoodFood dawning upon the troubled passions of political strife and struggle. And passing fair and fitting, both in time and place, was that model of an English “meeting ”--the vernacular of her national sport. The anni. versary of the Sussex chivalric tryst for '52 commenced on the 27 ch ult. The weather was the ideal of summer-sunny, breezy, fragrant as the Tempé of poets. The occasion was not one wherein business occupied the ascendant ; even the profession found temptation “dississipere in loco”- that is to say at Bognor, Southsea, and even extreme Ryde. The coupany in quality and quantity perhaps exceeded all former antecedents; all, at least, of recent experience. The racing was ultra profuse, Leaving the holyday details unsung, at least in this untuneful retrospect, we will pass in review such of the issues as point the moral of the especial matter on the scene, and dissolve, in some sort, the shadows of coming events.
The Craven, with a field of nine, opened the proceedings : Lamartine, first in the ring at 8 to 1 against him, was first in the throng...a muster, it must be confessed, of but small account. The rich four-year-old Sweepstakes of 300 sovereigns each, with its quartet at the post, worth £1,950, was won by Newminster, 3 to l on him-Harpsichord, Phlegethon, and little Midas, were his adversaries ; of course it was but a canter for the northern champion ; how it came to a race--that is to say to a run-- at all, seems a difficult riddle to solve. A round dozen having contended for a Fifty Pound Plate, with a chicken sweepstakes - another victory for the favourite-Gold Dustthe Lavaut drew forth its youthful array. These were eight in number, the betting being 6 to 4 only against the Sister to Mountain Deer, 5 to 2 Hybla, and long odds against any other. It was not at any point the pretence of a race, the Sister to Mountain Deer winning in a canter, and looking as if she would keep the word of promise to the good old sporting Squire, which, by fair means or foul, her brother has broken to his hope.... The Gratwicke was another guess affair ; the talents had selected Father Thames as the pick of the basket, with the following policy and fortune : odds, 7 to 4 against Sir Robert Pigot's colt, 3 to 1 Longbow, the same about King Pepin, and long figures offered about the others. Seven ran, and after a most difficult launch, Red Hind following the suit of so many of her fractious stable-fellows, they got under way. The first and second in the odds quotations, however, had it between them, in the quality of a match ; while Butler won on Longbow, and the post, by a head. Alfred Day rode Father Thames; so that it was the horse that won, and the horse that lost, and not the jockey. The Ham, one of the most sporting two-year-old stakes of the calendar, brought out eleven. The betting, which was spirited, made favourites of Defiance and Belgravia—7 to 2 against either, 4 to 1 against the colt by Touchstone out of Refraction--one of the domestic team-and 6 to 1 against either Talfourd or Vanderdecken. This was another excitement--Defiance and the Refraction colt racing together stride for stride from the distance home, the latter having the best of the fight by a head. The 50 sovereigns Sweepstakes for three-year-olds, one mile and a-half, was a match for Stockwell and Harbinger, which the former won rather cleverly--either for choice-and thus the list was run out... Thus good begins, and great remains behind, as the sequel will show. The results, so far as they have progressed, serve to prove that public running will, barring casualties, be served—as the rule ; and that, at meetings such as this, it is a safe criterion. It is unnecessary to say that all the details at Goodwood are the perfection of sporting mise en scene : offensive punctilio there is none-all is “gentle," and the largest moiety is “ aristocratic.”
Wednesday was a repetition of the skiey influences of its predecessor, upon an improved average ; the attendance, seeing that an eye to business has ever its influence in this land of shop-keeping philosophy, was better-to gauge by numbers-but below the accustomed crowd. The list looked more attractive than it turned out—but is not this the order of life? There were nine events on the cards, but as two of them paid, only seven races. The first of these was The Dining Room Stakes, with 12 nominations, and seven runners. The favourite was Filius, at 5 to 2 against him, and after a sort of a set-to with Ilex, Sackcloth was the winner. Sir Robert Pigot's horses do not turn out according to expectation, at least as relates to the Ring. A Sweepstakes of 300 sovereigns each, h. ft., for three-year-old fillies, was a match wherein Common Sense, with 7 to 4 on her, was defeated by Hirsuta, very cleverly. Anon, a similar Sweepstakes for colts being walked over for, and off with, by Lord Exeter's Stockwell, The Cowdray Stakes helped us to another match, in which the champions were Toga and Herniione
the former the fancy, at 6 to 4, and the winner by sundry lengths. Then came the essential feature of the afternoon—The Goodwood Stakes, with a field of twenty-one. Business was very extensive, the best at the close of the market being Surprise, at 5 to 1 against her, Haricot 6 to 1, Musician 8 to 1, Bushranger the same, 10 to 1 Chief Justice, Cariboo the same, 12 to 1 Don Pedro, 15 to 1 Weathergage, and 20 to 1 about anything else. How they changed and chanced going out, matters not; but as they hove in sight on the top of the hill for home, the favourite was in front. Shortly afterwards Sackbut came down, and broke the arm of Garvey, the boy who rode him, and Champion broke his (Champion's) leg ; Backbiter, later in the race, broke down, so that General Anson's sorrow came not as a single spy. As they descended the hill for the straight run in, Weathergage and Haricot had cleared themselves of the rack, the latter leading till they neared the Stand; then Weathergage came out in earnest, went on in the van, and won with ease by