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"There he sat, and, as I thought, expounding the law and the prophets, until on drawing a little nearer, I found he was only expatiating on the merits of a brown horse."-BRACEBRIDGE HALL,
The late Mr. H. Combe-Stud Mems-The Flying Dutchman-Twos and Threes Sporting Prints and Books-" Hawthorn" on Grouse Protection-Coursing of the Month-Mr. Rarey's Lapland Tour-Ralph Holding, the Horse TamerDeath of Young Leedham-Sundry Hound Books-Mr. Ferneley's Melton Studio-The Quorn, The Belvoir, and The Tedworth.
The last November has been a very dreary one, the hunting bad as a general thing, owing to the absence of wet; and the race-meetings devoid of any great interest; the afternoons chill, dark, and foggy, and the judge hardly able at last to tell which colours won. The Turf has
lost a staunch supporter in a small way with Mr. H. Combe. He will be best remembered by The Nob and Cobham, whose eccentric running caused him to make that still more eccentric descent with a trained band, on to John Scott's stables, at a time when the law considered that a trainer had a lien for training expenses, and take him bodily out of his stall. In the hunting world, he will be remembered as the purchaser of Mr. Osbaldeston's pack (a bargain, which, by the bye, produced a very memorable action), and hunting the Old Berkeley with Will Todd and the Furrier bitches. Latterly his fame rested more on his Shorthorn herd, and he bought the oldest bull at Mr. Marjoribank's great Bushey sale for 500 guineas. Newmarket and Ascot were his favourite meetings; but he never entered into either racing or hunting with very great zest; and his name was attached to but very few entries. The entries, bar Goodwood, have been good, Newmarket especially so, and with plenty of new names on the list. Any one who can back Promised Land at 10 to 1 after seeing what he has grown into, must have strange notions of what is required in a Derby horse; and Electric's weak fetlocks keep him back, as few believe that he can be prepared.
The removal of Surplice and the other Clifden mares from Doncaster to Danebury, and the installation of Lord Glasgow's in their place, is the great stud event of the month, The Earl has prospered as a matcher in Alick Taylor's hands, and there is now less reason in that celebrated sketch by an amateur of "The Meet at Devil's Dyke," in which Admiral Rous is huntsman, and his Lordship is the fox coming out of the ditch, with Lord Derby as the leading hound just snapping at his brush, which is composed of bank-notes. His connection with Middleham, where Croft first made his red-and-white sleeves a thing of dread, is severed at last. Barbatus and the colt by Melbourne out of Clarissa are his two sires; and the former he might as well have left behind for the suppers of the Bedale, as a parting present. It is said that the shareholders in The Dutchman cannot agree about the horse. Seven were for accepting a £4000 offer, which was made for him about last Goodwood races; but two held out, and as it was agreed that no change was to be made without the consent of all, the horse, we believe, still remains at Rawcliffe, on his own hook. The two consider that his yea rings are finer this season than they have ever been be
fore, and that the horse will come again. In the first part of this opinion we concur, albeit we have consistently stated our dislike to the horse from the moment he was first sent to the stud. As it is, he has done very poorly this season, and it is surely quite enough for one stud to give a horse seven scasons' trial. The French Government are at present negotiating for him, and there seems a probability of his departing at last The company, it is said, lost £500 by him last year, and paid £5,900 for him in all. We trust, as we said before, that we shall hear no more of shareholders contracting with shareholders, as, if anything goes wrong, there is always such bitter dissatisfaction. The general rule that Guardians may not contract with the Board, nor M.P.'s with the Government, is a very salutary one, and ought to be adhered to. We hear that they have a very promising lot of yearlings, and like their mares better since the Doncaster draft, though there was one mare they ought to have put a much higher reserve Newminster has had some sixteen more mares offered him than he could take; but for our parts, we prefer Fandango to him, and expect a more wear-and-tear stock. Footstool has been bought by Captain Barlow, of Hasketon, near Woodbridge; and Autocrat (who came to Tattersall's with a cut tail) has gone back to the late Mr. Cooper's place, as the nucleus of a new stud. His weak fetlocks, which are observable in his stock, operated against him. The sale was a good one, and Bay Rosalind and Miss Tennyson touched William Day's cheque-book for 300 gs. between them. Two two-year-old Dutchwomen were sold the same day and averaged 21 gs. each; one of them, a sister to Amsterdam, who fetched 210 gs. as a yearling at Rawcliffe! The Bay Rosalind colt foal went for 110 gs., the best price which has been given for a long time. Lord Lincoln has purchased Indifference, who still remains with Mr. Parr; but there is no truth in the report that his lordship purchased Gaspard. Yorkshire says that Sir Tatton will ride up to London once more, if there is any chance of his having to lead this son of Daniel back to the Derby scale. Old Fisherman is thrown up in a large loose box for the winter, and is so fresh that he may not improbably add ten more Queen's Plates to his list next season. Already has won 26. Lord Londesboro' has been staying at Lord Stradbroke's with a distinguished party of four; and 684 pheasants, 311 hares, 265 rabbits, 27 partridges, and 16 woodcocks fell to the six guns. Lord Londesboro' bought Boarding-school Miss, heavy in foal to Orlando, during the visit at a stiff price; and we hear that Admiral Rous asks £400 for Habena. Several blood sires are in the market, but one of the principal of them is said to be suffering from incipient cataract.
At Admiral Rous's suggestion, a change has been made in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, wherein a winner of 400 sovs, for the future is to carry 5lbs. extra. There really seems nothing wanting, to make the list almost perfection, but a Derby, St. Leger, and Oaks penalty in the Don Stakes Admiral Rous still maintains that the Eglinton Stakes change is wrong, and that at the present weights, 7 st. and 8st. 12 lbs., the three-year-olds must always win. He says, "Look at Newmarket, far later in the year, they make the three-year-olds give 30 lbs., as you used to do." That argument, however, proves nothing, as it is merely an attempt to fortify the opinion of Admiral Rous by appealing to a code of weights as settled by Rous (Admiral). The trainers take the Doncaster view of the subject; and, in fact, they think that the
two-year-olds have so much the best of it, even at 26 lbs., that in this very stake only a fourth of the entries were three-year-olds. And, as if to show still more that they were right, and the Admiral wrong, when the race did come off this year, and we were assured up to the eve of it, that the three-year-olds must win, a brace of two-year-olds ran first and second, and another finished fourth!
There is little new in sporting books or prints. Harry Hall's Beadsman print has come out; and we hear that this eminent artist has just completed a very beautiful picture of Longbow and his groom Forshaw, for the Premier. The picture had gone home; but the simple study of the horse, which was painted in the open air, for the sake of the lights, which are especially brilliant, was the leading feature of his studio during the Houghton meeting. There were also several French horsesMonarque, Madame de Chantilly, and Ventre St. Gris-whom he crossed the channel specially to paint. Messrs. Fores have published a portrait, by Pearce, of the late Master of the Southdown, Mr. Freeman Thomas; and a capital one of General Scarlett, on David (and dedicated, by permission, to the Duke of Cambridge), which must be dear to every English heart, now that from those deep Crimean ravines all living traces of the allied armies have disappeared. We have also met with the engraving of Mr. Grant's picture of Mr. G. L. Fox, and his grey horse Courtier, which does only scanty justice to this great artist's canvas. The outline is hard, and the whole effect very Madame Tussaud-ish. Sams's window has a capital sketch of the Duke of Cleveland in scarlet. Apropos of books, we are informed that " Guy Livingstone" is not by Mr. Whyte Melville, but the maiden work of Mr. Lawrence, an officer in the Northamptonshire militia; and that "Silk and Scarlet," by "The Druid," will not be published until early in February. Coursing has at last got a capital little shilling chronicle in The Coursing Record (Jordan, 169, Strand), which is brought out monthly by Mr. Langley, the editor of The Life. To show the admirable arrangement and the immense labour bestowed on it, we need only say that the index from September 28th to October 30th contains the names of more than 1,200 greyhounds, and that the pedigree is always given except in the very few instances where it is not known; added to this, we have the coursing fixtures in advance, and the leading greyhound and stallion advertisements. The next number will be out in a day or two. The Review v. Field great dog-dealing duel is ended, and after an hour's reply from Mr. Edwin James, the former gets a shilling damages!
"Jesse's Anecdotes of Dogs" (H. G. Bohn and Co., Covent Garden) have just appeared in a very attractive shape, with abundance of wood and steel engravings; and if fathers want their lads kept quiet in the evenings during the Christmas holidays, they can get no better tongue. strap. We cannot speak in such terms of " Gleanings from a Life's Harvest" (Willis and Sotheran, 136, Strand), by Mr. Brown, the prietor of the Cambridge Billiard Rooms. If he had begun at page 390, and given us four or five hundred pages of the life of the fast undergraduates, of which no man knows more, and no man can write better, instead of giving us memoirs which have nothing to do with Cambridge, he might have produced a great book. Why should he not yet do for the fast men what the late Esquire Bedell, Mr. Gunning, did for the graver sons of Alma Mater? Let him write of other grand
strokes at billiards nearly as good as Tom Egan's; of the boats, of raquets, of the races at Six Mile Bottom, of Newmarket tandems, of gates," of the fun at elections, of the days with Tom Sebright and John Ward, and other larks, of all of which he must have been cognizant, and we will be bound he will produce a book which every old Cantab, fast or slow, will be delighted to buy.
Our friend "Hawthorn" sends the following note, and promises us faithfully to be idle no more, and to send us an article for the new year, detailing some rare sport on the Grampians: "I see that there has been a great deal written on the decrease of grouse' in The Field and other newspapers, and many odd remedies recommended. The only remedy, in my humble way of thinking, is to alter the Act of Parliament as regards the shooting of grouse; and as regards the North of Scotland-I mean north side of the Forthlet the grouse season begin on the 1st of September and end the 31st December. In nine seasons out of ten, a fellow with a good stick and a good dog, in the first week of the season, could make a good bag; and as all mercantile people are shooters' now-a-days, and rent moors generally for one season, down they come, to the moors, and in the first two weeks of the season kill every bird. Indeed, as I say, the young birds in most seasons can be killed with a dog and stick; but let an Act of Parliament be got, and grouse-shooting begin on the 1st of September, and then the feathery-footed bird of the moors will have a fair chance to take care of himself. This Act should not relate to the Yorkshire moors and South of Scotland, where the birds are some six weeks' earlier, in most seasons, than they are with us in the far north." A blue grouse fell on Dufton Fell, Westmoreland, to the first barrel fired by Admiral Elliott. Its wings were of a light blue, like the common wood-pigeon, while the back and tail in colour resembled the dotterel.
The coursing season opened brilliantly at Biggar; and out of 118 subscribers, 80 came to the slips. Mr. Borron got 9 out of his 14 through their first course. After the first ties, he had four standing; after the second, three; after the third, two; and he finally, thanks to Black Knight, by Beacon, divided the £190 with Mr. Jardine's Clive by Judge. Mr. Jardine had only one more dog, Jeffrey, in the stake. Another son of Judge's, to wit Captain Spencer's Seneca, won four courses, and was beaten by Black Knight in his fifth; so that this stock quite redeemed the distrust which was felt of them last year. Sunbeam, after a nearish thing with Stephano, won all his courses cleverly in the Douglas Cup, and wound up by polishing off his two Cumberland neighbours, Truth and Thankerton, in succession. Seagull was not in form, and never won a course. Solon, from the same kennel, ran up to Conquering Hero for the Bective Cup, at Bendrigg; and Mr. Peacock, with Pugilist and Playfair, and Mr. Hornby with the Junta blood, had all the best of it at Southport. Black Adder, a Sackcloth dog, and Butterfly, a Judge bitch, divided the St. Leger Stakes at Dirleton, and Beauty by Judge won the Puppy Stakes. Seventy-three out of 102 puppies showed for the Great Yorkshire at Market Weighton. In the sixth course Betsy by Barrator was put out by Highwayman, a disputed son of Black Cap and Wellington, to whom the bye dog Platt by Judge had to bow in the decider. Bess by Bedlamite won an Open Stakes at