« VorigeDoorgaan »
his confidence. He looked far bigger than he did in the spring, and in fact quite the black of yore. Anton was also on the same line of duty, in anticipation of his match in the autumn. His front legs were in bandages, and his hind off has been fired, but he is coming quietly round, and whiled away his time by leading Acteon in his canter for the Molecomb. This son of Newminster is a lengthy little fellow, but there is not enough of him, and we should fear that there never will be. Bonita was a little bay pony, who did nothing but neigh and play antics, and ended appropriately by bolting at the post.
Merryman does not bear the most earthly resemblance to his flash-looking sire Hobbie Noble. He is, if we remember, quite a whole colour, with a short and wonderfully well-knit good barrel, very light neck, plainish head and quarters, and rather long creeping thighs; the workman all over, but nothing for improvement next year. There were but three Hobbies in the stud-book in his maiden year, and one of them is dead. Cynricus is a gay upstanding-looking horse, and those fine limbs of his will develope wonderfully in a season. It is to Lord of the Manor's somewhat loaded quarters that we quarters that we take exception, and tire be must, wherever he is. Then came the wild rush along the Q.P. course, to see the Frenchman, who was supported by four fine specimens of his country's pride, with the most approved noble lord hats. Fine catching horse he is, at first sight, with a sweet forehand, and, but that he has better loins, a sort of mixture of Barbatus and that odd Lamb colt which ran against Dervish here in '54. His condition was all that man could wish; but he is long on the leg, and does not escape criticism in the barrel and loins, and he has a great puffy lump on the off hind fetlock, and stands in the most suspicious way on the near front leg. They said it "would take three horses to tire him," but certainly every canon of shape was against him on that head.
Prioress was not to be seen, and America confided in Charleston, who looked like a fair class coacher brood mare, with bandaged legs, and did not improve matters by having a martingale, the greater part of which seemed made of a sheep-skin! Ruination was a very fine bay huntress, who made Nat appear like Tom Thumb on her back. Mr. Parr has ceased to take off old Fisherman's flesh, and run him in his bones; and in the eight weeks since Ascot, he has become comparatively quite plump and handsome. Let him but do the same with The Kelpie, for the St Leger, and he will take a mint of beating. There was nothing else we cared much to look at. The little goose on the Frenchman's back fairly scrambled him on to his legs before the first fifty yards were over, and never did we see a horse so overset. No doubt he rode to orders, but why begin quite so soon, and run the race as if it was important to dispose of Sedbury, and never think of the dangerous ones behind. Going up to the clump, it was France first, All England in the middle, and America a magnificent last, by a good distance. Sedbury fairly raced "Grease" to death, and no wonder he not only came back," but with his bellows in such a state that he was positively gasping for nearly ten minutes after. Poor Schiedam's break-down in the near hind fetlock was one of the worst we have seen, as the limb seemed completely dislocated. Fisherman is the first horse
within our memory, that ever tried the Goodwood Cup with 10st., though Priam won it carrying within a pound of that hamper. Mr. Merry's 2,000 guineas have returned four-fold at last, as it is said that he drew a noble Marquis, who got such a stake out of Ditto on the Derby, of an 8,000 to 300 bet, and that the layer not content with that, laid him an even pony that the horse was not within 100 yards of the first horses. The black has often given the world glimpses, in the Cesarewitch and Ascot Cup for instance, of what "Todgers could do when they liked," over a distance of ground, but who could have believed this of him?
People had hardly recovered their presence of mind when the Findon Stakes field came out. There was North Lincoln, as imposing as ever; Rosabel quite plump in her points since Ascot-in short, a pretty, playful chesnut mare, with a perpetual tail whisk. Flitch is small and melancholy, bearing signs of a heavy blister on the throat; and Nat was on a goodish young Stockwell of Mr. Des Voeux's. Promised Land caught every one's eye as he went up. He was, to our mind, an improvement on Arsenal in his two-year old days, and we all know how good that was. We should say that he and Musjid are quite the bestlooking Derby colts we have seen out this year. If Promised Land does not keep up the memory of Jericho, who died far too young, by staying as well as racing, we shall believe in looks no more. His speed is undeniable, and he turns his toes out, which is so often a sign of it. The crack was not touched with the spurs, and really as Rosabel and Rainbow were both behind him, as at Ascot and Epsom, it looks as if the running was right, and that the forms this year have been poor. A 5 lbs. extra should not have stopped the Baron's horse that way, if he is what the public thought him. Jericho's yearlings at this moment hardly number seven, and there are no foals of 1858. He is quite a Kirk White among sires. Wilton's absence from the Racing Stakes made that race no avant courier for the Leger; but it showed East Langton to be pretty game. After the dead heat he seemed much more distressed than Fadladeen, who is the biggest of the two. Even this event excited nobody, as they were all wild to see Blink Bonny. A serried mass rushed to the bend, and looked over each other's shoulders at the inside of a square, as they thought, which had nothing in it. So they harked back, and in a few minutes they got once more round some white sheets, as bees round their queen, and this was the mare in truth. The sheets had better have stayed on, as there were sad shakings of heads when they came off. The poor thing had not shed her coat; she is not an inch bigger or thicker since last year, and from being a moderate looking hack, she has sunk into a twenty-pounder to the eye. Still there seemed some life in her; she came bounding in her canter with her quarters sideways, and there was the same old corky, disdainful spring in her gallop for the first mile. The rarely-built Zuyder Zee, who will make a grand country stallion, was in a bath before he began, with a huge bucket muzzle on his head, which was thrust on again the instant he was past the post, and the long odd-loined South Western toiled after him in vain. When they reached the top of the hill, there was at least twenty lengths between the three, but nature could do no more for the poor mare, as they re-appeared from their weary travel round it, and Charlton pulled her up at once. The last
peep we had of Goodwood was Zuyder Zee neighing a most defiant triumph challenge, with his ears back, as he was led from scale, and the pretty white blaze of Blink in the distance, wending her long weary way, at some three miles an hour, across the heather and brackens, to get into the bottom of the course. She wants many a week of nursing and rest before she can race again. And so, with these very opposite tableaux in our eye, we bade adieu to the Sussex hills.
The remainder of the week, as far as we know it, presents but little for comment, except that as regards the St. Leger it told nothing beyond the fear of Scott's stable that Toxophilite's infirm joints will barely serve him till then. The party will have it that Nat went right out at Tattenham Corner in the Derby, and raced home with everything; in short, just played Beadsman's game, and the engagement of Ashmall no doubt arose out of this. The Hadji is still spoken of confidently by north-countrymen, and he must be dangerous. Clydesdale's Goodwood display forbids hopes of his coming round again; and when we have noted Mr. Wyndham's luck with his small stable, Happy Land's sudden resolution to beat the winner of the Great Metropolitan at a mile and a-half, Teddington's stud prowess in getting the Ham his first year with Mayonaise, and the fact of the Gratwicke Stakes bringing out but two runners, we have pretty well taken the pith out of Goodwood.
Hunting is rather out of place at present, and in fact there is but little to tell. The principal huntsmen keep moving about to see the new entries, which are, in many instances, sadly thinned by distemper. There will be no hounds in Lord Portsmouth's country, but with some trouble Mr. Portman has got together a lot of 26 couple or so, to hunt his Dorsetshire slice. The Farquharson change has been a lucky thing for Dinnicombe, who gets back as huntsman to his old quarters. He has been through a good many countries latterly, Vale of White Horse, Puckeridge, New Forest, and Blackmore Vale, to wit. We fear that the chances of finding Dorsetshire foxes have become sadly meagre, as rabbit-trapping has increased to the most fearful degree of late years, and Mr. Farquharson might well say he would hunt every fox they could show him. Treadwell's chase book only too truly bears out the remark, and yet it extends over the Cattistock country, into which one or both of these two packs will be fain to go, out of pure despair. This last season they hunted 140 days, killed 98 foxes, ran 18 to ground, and had nine blank days. In 1853-4 they killed 156 foxes, and ran 36 to ground, and yet they hunted only six days more. Jem Treadwell seems to have no anxiety to go into commission, but we still trust that an eligible opening may come shortly for him, as no better huntsman ever cheered a hound. We cannot spare him at fifty-eight, in these days of crude promotions. He has had, by-the-bye, the magnanimous offer to go and whip-in to a master of harriers; but we fancy that the offer could not have emanated from the master himself, but the thoughtless zeal of some London proxy. Charles Roberts now whips-in to Lord Southampton, being the third who has held that post within four months. Nimrod Long, true to his name and breed, is, we hear, looking out for a first whip's place. Sir Maurice Berkeley has reduced his hunting establishment not a little, and there are at present 55 couple of hounds in the kennels, and 24 hunters in the stables. Time was when the late Earl had nearly 80 couple, and would take a posse
comitatus of 66 hunters to Cheltenham. Sir Velters Cornwall, who is ably supported in Herefordshire by Mr. Arkwright, has got 14 couple of the old hounds, and 3 of the young ones, but distemper has reduced the latter to a solitary couple. The Cheltenham country has also got 14 couples of his young hounds, Sir John Trollope 4 couple, and the Warwickshire, we believe, the same. We leave it to Cecil to tell of the merits of the new entry, which counts 14 couple, three and a-half couple by the Belvoir Comus, and the same by Morell's Fleecer.
Only one is credited to late Sir R. Sutton's Glider, and one to Cromwell, who seems a very uncertain getter. We have seldom seen a pack in which there were so many hounds with such high "quality" and determination in them; and to see Harry Ayris take them into the paddock, is a treat which we walked, and would walk again, many a hot dusty mile to see. The new yellow-plush coats are ordered, and that prettiest of all hunt uniforms, the red with the black collar, and the embossed silver fox running up hill, is laid aside. We trust, however, that some other crack hunt will adopt it. Their present country extends nearly all the way to Cheltenham, along the beautiful plateau of woods which greet one's eyes from the rail. In fact, we believe there is only one cover they do not hunt. Opening the Forest of Dean is quite an era in foxhunting, as nothing but the deer-hounds have been there for generations. To Harry Ayris, it is quite an unknown land, and in fact he has only been there once, or twice at most. It extends over some 24,000 acres, and one cover alone comprises some 990 acres of fern and oak. Gamekeepers say that they are at times there for a fortnight together, and scarcely see a human face, except a stray miner's. As to the supply of foxes, nothing is really known. Litters have been found there season after season, and one was transferred to the Duke of Beaufort's country, before anything was known of these arrangements. If it answers, a new feature will be given to English hunting, and the Berkeley have its own "New Forest. At present there is no kennel, but one will be probably built in the course of 1859, near Peach House-the lone public house in that forest wilderness. Owing to the difficulty of getting across the Severn, the hounds will have some thirteen miles to go round. Their cub hunting begins soon, and four days are promised them in the Beaufort country, and if they only have such days as they once had in the Lower Woods, with some 45 couple of hounds, dividing the scalp with the Duke at last, they will do well. We believe that they will hunt three days, and have a bye-day, and never was the country so full of foxes. There are two litters of eight, two of nine, and, still better, one of ten, nine vixens and a dog in the boundary hedge of the two countries, but on Sir Maurice's side. They were close to the railway, but luckily no one touched them, and they have all got safe out among the corn. The Duke has restored the country he held of the Berkeley hunt, but it only consists of a few covers, and none of them beyond
The Essex and Suffolk mastership is vacant by the lamented death of Mr. Nunn, and unless some one will come forward, it has been decided to carry on matters by a committee of seven, four in Essex, and three in Suffolk. So matters stand now, and it is the best pro. tem. arrangement that could be made. Lord Portsmouth's country bids fair not to be hunted at all. All young men's money, now-a-days, is spent in Pall Mall and Picadilly, or such things wouldn't be.
Apropos of hunting, an unhappy farmer, of the odd name of Mr. Skinner Philippo, sends us his "Thoughts upon Foxhunting." He seems to have been driven to despair on hearing of Mr. Villebois' new pack, and will have it that Norfolk is once more hunting mad. Out of pity to this pamphleteer, who complains that the newspapers will not notice him, we give a small extract wherein he details the chief evils of the chase. Speaking of working men, he says: "For days, and even for weeks after, it makes them restless and unhappy, and unfits them to pursue their quiet and industrial occupations. Under this unnatural excitement they talk to their fellow-labourers during their working hours, unsettling their minds, and causing the waste of much valuable time, which would otherwise be beneficially employed. It produces in them. also what hunting generally does in the upper classes, namely, laziness, cruelty, cowardice, profaneness, and immorality." We fear that Mr. Skinner Philippo's neighbours amuse themselves with cramming him, or else we should hardly have this story, which is an appendix to one of a bishop's son who got lost in the fog, and "practised cruelty in getting his horse home." It runs thus-" I could tell, again, of another old clergyman, who, when the hounds met at Barney Wood, and one of the whips came to inform the Master that Old Wonder' (a leading hound) was off after the fox, and received his orders to whip the other dogs into the scent, was seen (as was currently reported) to ride to a corner of the wood, get off his horse, and fall down on his knees in prayer that he might not break any of his bones, nor get a fall from his horse that day, as Wonder' was off with the fox, and they were likely to have a long chase."
And now, if Mr. Skinner Philippo does not write to us and thank us for this excellent notice of his work, we trust that season after season hunting magistrates may be obliged to "catch hold of me by the arm, and beg of me to keep cool," when "the gay dogs" run a fox from Guist Bridge over his land. As to his story of caging a lot of hunting men in his yard for twenty minutes, through the fear of his two cowmen, who had orders" to give them a thrust with a fork" if they tried to get out, we don't believe a word of it. Norfolk men are made of better stuff than that. Such fables must proceed from his old habit of not "keeping cool" when he gets a pen in his hand. From the hot ravings of the above we naturally turn for real coolness to Mr. Francis Francis's" Angler's Register, and List of the Come-at-able Fisheries" --an ounce burden of capital information, which no fisher's pocket should lack. He seems a perfect Ulysses of the rod, as he has wandered everywhere, and noted men and manners as well as streams. The hoggish spirit" of the millers near High Wycombe, Bucks, is duly delineated; and he knows well where the best hostel and the longestheaded boatman is to be found. Then, next to this little green fellow, lies a "Treatise on Sprained Ankle,"* in which the author undertakes to put a sportsman sound in four days, by remedies to be found in any Highland bothy, where leeches are a name unknown.
From Cumberland and Yorkshire the grouse accounts are favourable, and our old friend "Hawthorne" writes us very cheeringly from his Northern eyrie, whence the Derby even did not tempt him this year.
*By P. Hood, Surgeon, Churchill, New Burlington-street.