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ENGRAVED BY J. B. HUNT, FROM A PAINTING BY HARRY HALL.
He was born, bred, and
Rogers is essentially a Newmarket man. educated there; while his fame and career are as closely identified with the place. Few South-country jockeys of his position travel so little out of their own circuit. A special retainer may occasionally take him to Doncaster; but, as a rule, the Epsom, Ascot, and Goodwood round see the best of him, when away from home. He is, to be sure, like one or two others, fond of a little plating when within easy reach. Stamford is, perhaps, a class above this; but Ipswich, Yarmouth, and Beccles all have him on their records. The locals, indeed, dearly love to talk of their friend Sam Rogers, and what he has done amongst them. Their love of the horse is not quite confined to mighty Suffolks or trotting Phenomena.
It is just nine-and-thirty years ago, this very twenty-third of June, since the boy Samuel first saw the light; so that he is now within an ace of the conventional prime of life. His father, familiarly known as "old Joe Rogers," was private trainer to the then Lord Lowther, and now Lord Lonsdale-one of the keenest turfites that ever engaged a horse. Of course, the young one was brought up in the family stables; and "my Lord" was the first master he ever touched his cap to. His first appearance, however, in public, was not in the yellow-and-white livery. So early as the autumn of 'twenty-eight, and when only nine years old, he rode Careful in a feather Plate for Mr. Simonds. Marlow, as we have already written it, made his débût in the same race. But it was still two or three seasons after this that Sam took to anything like regular riding; and one of his first winning races was in the Craven Meeting of 'thirty-two, when he landed a plate, on Scuffle, for Lord Lowther. Even after this, the opening came but slowly. There were three famous light weights in those days-Pavis, Chapple, and Nat-who monopolized nearly all the riding; and a lad must be clever indeed that made any stand against them. Still, young Rogers surely fought his way on. In 1836 he had some decided success, for the Duke of Grafton, on Calmuck and Alumnus. Lord Chesterfield, too, gave him a turn; and in the same season he won the Somersetshire Stakes, at Bath-a race of some interest in those times-on Felix, for Mr. Houldsworth, with any odds against him. "The Somersetshire" has since been rather a favourite race with Rogers; and we should, perhaps, have included Bath in his tour. He won it again in 'fortyone, on the Currier, for the Duke of Richmond; and for the Saddlers in 'forty-three, with Bellissima. The Duke first appears as one of his employers in 'thirty-seven, when he was fast getting into riding,
with the two Dukes and Mr. Wilson, and Pussy, Sepoy, Mus, Quicksilver, and so on, to handle. The following season, he carried off the Hopeful, for the Goodwood stable, with Reel, and worked on with Mus, Confusionèe, and the same useful stamp of horse. Bloomsbury was confided to him after the unexpected coup at Epsom; and about the year 'forty he may be said to be fairly under weigh. Mr. Worrall, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Coombe, with The Nob, Rosalind, and co., had found more yet for him to do. The crowning compliment to his ability came in his engagement to Lord George Bentinck; and, in our mind's eye, he never looked to more advantage than in that neatest of colours, the light-blue and white cap. In his opening season-as we think it was with Lord George, Rogers secured the Thousand Guineas Stakes with Firebrand, the Criterion with Gaper, and some other good things with Misdeal and Discord. Although not placed, he coaxed the much-fancied Gaper up to third in the Derby; and began well for another new master, in securing both the Hopeful and Prendergast, with Antler, for Mr. Sidney Herbert. Then there was the Port with Lothario; Refraction for the Ham; Croton Oil and the Drawing-room Stakes, All-round-my-Hat and the Nassau, and some such a series of successes, for the Napoleon of the Turf. Our jockey was in great force just now, and many the high-bred one he had to show off on.
But his grand master finds a new love, and soon pores over a Blue-book, or Malt-tax petition with all the ardour he once studied a list or a sheet-calendar. In two or three years' time, Sam Rogers has entered on another era in his history. Another good judge, no less a one than Sir Joseph Hawley, has offered him the listing shilling, and he dons the red coat in many a smart action. Mr. Crawfurd gives him a leg up to the lofty Cur; and the Cesarewitch, the Brighton Stakes, and the Chesterfield Handicap fall before them. An old friend, Mr. Harvey Coombe, has Tomboy and Trouncer ready to his hand; while two yet more staunch patrons are Mr. Lowther and Lord William Powlett. It is in the pink-and-black jacket of this noble lord that he has selected to be taken. Those two great commanders General Anson and General Peel, both well knew his worth on a horse, and he won the Chesterfield for the former on Bay Rosalind. Mr. Shaftoe, again, associated him with Westow and Abdallah, while his father had him on Harp, Kissaway, or something that could generally run a bit." By 'fifty-two Rogers was once more in full feather, and he now began to threaten rather seriously for the great races. He finished second this year for the Oaks on Bird on the Wing; and in the very next was second for both Derby and Oaks-for the one on Sittingbourne, and in the other on Dove for Lord Exeter. He had for some time had the second horse and offer in the Bedford stable, and upon poor Frank Butler's decline, received his well-merited promotion. The purple-and-yellow is now his every-day wear, and Tyre, Nathan, Para, Pugnator, Habena, Walmer, Pampa, Sittingbourne, and others, speak to what he has done in his working clothes. Amongst the best of these may be instanced the Thousand Guinea Stakes, and the Column on Habena in 1855; and the Column again, and Grand Duke Michael on the shifty Walmer in 1856. We are getting near home now. In 'fifty-seven he lost his Derby mount from the very promising Glenmasson
going amiss just at the last, and Mr. Wyndham must not be forgotten in the list of his patrons. This year John Scott found him one with Longrange, and it is not unlikely that a connection may be established between them. It would promise to be a formidable alliance.
It will be seen that, after all, Rogers' career has not been a very brilliant one. It is, certainly, by no means a criterion of his real merits. Without in any way writing up to our theme, we may safely record him as one of very finest horsemen of this or any other time. With us he has always been an especial favourite. No man unites so much power with so much elegance; and his set-to is of itself quite a treat to see. The combined resolution and "finish" with which he goes to work at his horse has nothing to surpass it in the way of accomplished jockeyship. Then Rogers looks as if he really enjoyed a race. There is a cheerfulness and "corky" style about him, so different from the grim taciturnity of Butler, or the mechanical matter-of-course proceedings of Mr. Flatman. His very canter up, when he likes his horse, is admirable as a bit of show-off, and many the fancy "fiver" that has followed it. The public, indeed, have always their eye on him; and, as Nimrod wrote of Sam Chifney, "when it is known what he is going to ride, his horse generally springs a point or two in the market." His fine hand and judgment are quite equal to his courage and power. Famous is he at nursing a faint-hearted one, and coaxing the last effort out of a jade. But greater still, perhaps, is he with a savage; and the manner in which he used to tackle a wilful brute of his own, called Vasa, will long be remembered.
On the death of his father in 1854, Rogers succeeded him as a trainer, and he has now the horses of Lord William Powlett, General Peel, Mr. Lowther, and Mr. Swan in his charge. His own son, again, is working on as a clever light weight, and within this year or so we almost fancied was going to supersede his father in the list of jockeys. Sam begins to get very stout, and at Ascot last year, as he walked up to saddle Polestar for the Cup, had quite a jolly yeoman look. He still, however, "declares" to eight stone four, and often again do we hope to see him ride it. There are few better studies for the rising generation of jockeys than Sam Rogers on a race-horse that is worthy of
ENGRAVED BY E. HACKER, FROM A PAINTING BY HARRY HALL.
Beadsman, bred by Sir Joseph Hawley in 1855, is by Weatherbit, out of Mendicant, by Touchstone, her dam Lady Moore Carew, by Tramp-Kite, by Bustard.
Weatherbit, bred by Mr. Gully in 1842, is by Sheet Anchor, out of Miss Letty, by Priam. He was a strong favourite for the Derby of his year, and a good but not lucky race-horse. He was sold by Mr. Gully to the Duke of Bedford at four years old, and soon transferred to the