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Full text of "Chapters from turf history"

CHAPTERS FROM 
TURF HISTORY 

"By 

U^EW MARKET 







2- 



7 







JOHNA.SEAVERNS 



TUFTS UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES 



3 9090 014 540 286 



Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine 

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at 

Tufts University 

200 Westboro Road 

North Grafton. MA 01535 



CHAPTERS 

FROM 

TURF HISTORY 



The Two 


Thousand. 


The One 


Thousand. 


Pindarrie 


. ... 1820 


Catgut 


. ... 1819 


Reginald .. 


. ... 1821 


Rowena . 


. ... 1820 


Pastille .. 


. ... 1822 


Zeal ... , 


. ... 1821 


Dervise . . 


. ... 1826 


Whizgig . 


. ... 1822 


Turcoman 


... 1827 


Zinc ... 


. ... 1823 






Tontine . 


. ... 1825 






Problem . 


. ... 1826 






Arab... 


1827 






The 


Oaks. 




Music 


1813 


Zinc... 




Medora . 


1814 


Turquoise 




Minuet 


1815 


(T^xygen 




Pastille . 


1822 





The Derby. 
Whisker 1815 



1823 
1828 



CHAPTERS 

FROM 

TURF HISTORY 



BY 

NEWMARKET 



LONDON 
"THE NATIONAL REVIEW" OFFICE 

43 DUKE STREET, ST. JAMES'S. S.W.I 
1922 






'"^1"- 6 



5f 



\^n 



The author desires to make due acknowledgment 
to Mr. Maxse, Editor of the National Review, 
for permission to reprint the chapters of this 
book which first appeared under his auspices. 



CONTENTS 

PAGK 

I. PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES II 

II. A GREAT MATCH (VOLTIGEUR AND THE 

FLYING DUTCHMAN) . . . -44 

III. DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK . 6l 

IV. THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

(MR. GULLY, M.P.) . . . .86 

V. DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE . . IO3 

VI. THE FRAUD OF A DERBY .... I26 

VII. THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS . . I44 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



THE 4TH DUKE OF GRAFTON .... Frontispiece 

TO FACE PAGE 

THE 3RD DUKE OF GRAFTON, FROM AN OLD PRINT . . 22 

THE DEFEAT OF CANEZOU IN THE ST. LEGER ... 35 

BLUE BONNET, WINNER OF THE ST. LEGER, 1842 . . 45 
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, WINNER OF THE DERBY AND 

THE ST. LEGER, 1849 .48 

VOLTIGEUR, WINNER OF THE DERBY AND THE ST. LEGER, 

1850 50 

THE DONCASTER CUP, 1850. VOLTIGEUR BEATING THE 

FLYING DUTCHMAN 54 

trainer's COTTAGE AT DANEBURY IN THE TIME OF OLD 

JOHN DAY 62 

THE STOCKBRIDGE STANDS 62 

LORD GEORGE BENTINCK, AFTER THE DRAWING BY COUNT 

d'orsay 64 

TRAINER WITH HORSES ON STOCKBRIDGE RACE-COURSE . 66 

THE EARL OF CHESTERFIELD 69 

CRUCIFIX, WINNER OF THE OAKS, 184O .... 72 

THE CARAVAN, FROM A PAINTING BY A. D. COOPER . . 77 

THE GRAVEYARD AT DANEBURY 85 

MR. J. GULLY, M.P., ADDRESSING HIS CONSTITUENTS AT 

PONTEFRACT 96 

MR. C. GREVILLE, CLERK OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL . . 98 

PHOSPHORUS, WINNER OF THE DERBY OF 1837 . . I08 

A TOUT WATCHING A TRIAL I28 

RUNNING REIN, WINNER OF THE DERBY, 1844, DISQUALI- 
FIED SUBSEQUENTLY I32 

THE RUN IN OVER THE ROUND COURSE, NEWMARKET, 

FROM AN OLD PRINT I43 

THE HOOF OF ECLIPSE ON A PIECE OF PLATE, PRESENTED TO 

THE JOCKEY CLUB BY H.M. KING WILLIAM IV, 1832 159 

9 



Die mihi . . . ; animalia muta 

Quis generosa putet nisi fortia ? nempe volucrcm 

Sic laudamus equum, facili cui plurima palma 

Fervet et exultat rauco victoria circo ; 

Nobilis hie, quocunque venit de gramine, cujus 

Clara fiiga ante alios, et primus in aequo; e pulvis. 



I 



PRIME MINISTERS 
AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

We justly boast 
At least superior jockeyship, and claim 
The honour of the Turf as all our own. 

COWPER. 

The recreations and tastes of statesmen have 
always engaged the interest of the pubHc. Indeed^ 
it would often seem that it is their desire not so 
much to serve their country as to amuse it by 
their pastimes. Temple is more remembered for 
raising melons at his villa at Sheen than for his 
embassy to Holland ; and the rash and impetuous 
Carteret for the Burgundy which flowed so abund- 
antly at his table than for his consummate know- 
ledge of Continental politics. Fox is a more 
familiar figure as the slovenly card-player at 
Brooks's, and as a gambler at Newmarket, than as 
a politician who, without principles, was a master 
of Parliamentary eloquence. Walpole and Glad- 
stone took a delight in trees, though the latter did 
not echo the other's appreciation of them — " My 
flatterers are all mutes." The Gladstone legend 
will probably survive in an amateur's classical 
scholarship and some passing exploits in religious 
controversy rather than in the recollection of any 
enduring work of statesmanship. Brief, indeed, 

II 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

is the glory of the Chief Minister. Even mild 
and tentative excursions into the arid fields of 
theology and philosophy will have a place in the 
memory of a posterity which will wholly forget the 
dialectical triumphs of debate and the charm of 
a temperament unequal to the task of leadership. 

The varying ventures of politicians in a sphere 
which they do not officially control are often 
salutary lessons of their own insignificance. Ihe 
higher men rise above the average mass of mankind 
the more clearly they should recognize the limita- 
tion of their powers and their incapacity to act 
the part of Providence. Although an Empire is 
governed from Whitehall, yet a Minister's horizon is 
frequently little more than the country squire's 
with its boundary of visibility from the church 
tower. When fashion compels the flattery of 
conspicuous men and the heaping-up of super- 
latives upon their passing deeds, it is well that 
they should realize that their achievements are 
merely the events which accidentally surround 
their names ; that, in the main, they owe their 
situation in the political orbit to the iron rules of 
caste ; and that they are honoured largely at the 
expense of the silent labourers of their Departments. 

To minds uplifted by the political atmosphere 
the Turf supplies an admirable corrective. The 
vivid passion and the varied action inseparable 
from the sport, the fluctuating fortunes and the 
miscarriage of high hopes, the equality of all 
owners at the fall of the flag — as " when Careless 
beat His Grace's Atlas ^ that never was beat 

^ Atlas was the horse who was shown to Dr. Johnson on the 
occasion of his visit to Chatsworth. Dr. Johnson said he was the 

12 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RAGE-HORSES 

before " — these are the constituent elements of 
a most wholesome tonic, and impart a moral so 
often wanting in the mentality of public men. 
The philosophy of racing might be written in many 
volumes. It is a living comment on the uncer- 
tainty of human expectation, a living disproof of 
finality, a living reminder that there is an authority 
higher than the highest. The victory of an outsider 
by a short head is the killing frost that nips the 
very root of exultation. 

It is, however, useless to develop this theme. 
Ministers of to-day have no taste for the Turf. 
Is it because their dispositions are superior to its 
reputed morality ? Assuredly not. With a zest 
equal to the distempered passions of the eighteenth 
century they contrive all the secret intricacies of 
Parliamentary management and political intrigue. 
They still extract full value from unquestioning 
service and the seductive hints of the Patronage 
Secretary. Without the sordid leaven of rewards 
and punishments individual genius and a soaring 
spirit are in vain. The struggle for ofBce and 
honours is stubborn and tenacious, and the success- 
ful are duly paid in the current coin of cozenage. 
The thought of a coronet 

Dissolves them into ecstacies. 

And brings all heaven before their eyes. 

Indeed, a levee of placemen is a less worthy 
assembly than the Turf Senate in council, and 
the Garter is often gained by arts which com- 
pare unfavourably with the sportsman's plans for 
winning the Blue Riband of Epsom Downs. 

only one of the Duke of Devonshire's possessions which he coveted — a 
remark which would have been greatly appreciated by the late Duke. 

13 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

The association of politicians with the Turt 
dates far back in the history of the sport. In the 
annals of Newmarket it is related that Ministers 
in the train of Charles II were engaged for weeks 
together in the pursuit of horse-racing. King 
James's interest in it was somewhat languid ; but 
on the accession of his son-in-law, who had served 
a good apprenticeship in all the graceless junketings 
of the licentious Court during his racing visits to the 
Merry Monarch, the Turf became more prominent 
than ever among popular pursuits. On a brilliant 
page the Whig historian ^ describes the joyous 
pilgrimage when William III escorted the French 
Ambassador to Newmarket for the Spring Meet- 
ing. The principal Ministers of State and the 
leaders of the Opposition were all members of that 
distinguished company. Montague deserted the 
Treasury and Orford the Admiralty. Sidney 
Godolphin, the Lord High Treasurer, was as usual 
busy with his horses and absorbed in his bets. 
Garters, stars and collars shone in the crowd. The 
King ran his horse. Stiff Dick, against Lord Whar- 
ton's Careless over a five-mile course for ;f500, and 
with 7 to 4 betted against him, the Royal steed 
won.3 Careless, of course, is the horse that is 
honoured in a passage now classical, and of whom 
it is told that the profligate and corrupt owner 

I Macaulay, History of England, vol. viii. p. 109. This volume 
was not published till after the author's death, and was uncorrected, 
which accounts for the date being erroneously given. It was the 
Spring Meeting of i6g8, not that of the following year (Hore, 
History of Newmarket, vol. iii. p. 209). 

* The Postman, April 12/14, No. 446. The Postman and the 
Post Boy were two of the best conducted papers which appeared 
in 1695 after the expiry of the Press Censorship. They were 
w^retchedly printed on scraps of dingy paper. 

14 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

would take him down to some distant country 
meeting in order to defeat the horse of a High 
Church Tory squire, and thus gratify a violent 
poHtical animosity. Wharton was " the truest of 
Whigs," wrote Macaulay. " He was the most 
universal villain that I ever knew," was the verdict 
of Swift. Vicious as the owner undoubtedly was, 
his stud was beyond reproach. When Louis XIV 
endeavoured to institute horse-racing in France, 
he gave a plate worth i,ooo pistoles to be run 
for at Echere, near St.-Germains, for which the 
best animals in Europe were entered. The horse 
selected to do battle for England was one of 
Wharton's, on which the Duke of Monmouth rode 
and won. Louis offered its weight in gold for the 
horse ; but as the Englishman was too proud to 
sell and the Frenchman would not stoop to the 
gift, no property passed. ^ 

Since the institution of the capital races of the 
Turf, five Prime Ministers have devoted them- 
selves to the pursuit of winning them. 



The Marquis of Rockingham. — The outcome 
of a violent struggle by George HI in 1765 to rid 
himself of the Grenville Ministry and the yoke 
of the Bedfords was that, after seven weeks of 
administrative anarchy, the main body of the 
Whigs returned to office under a new leader in the 
person of the Marquis of Rockingham, then thirty- 

I Memoirs of the Life of Thomas, late Marquis of Wharton, London, 
1 7 15. There is another version of this story which makes Louis 
purchase the horse (Echard, History of England, vol. ii. p. 1204). 

15 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

five years of age. Charles Watson-Wentworth 
was the second of the title. His father had de- 
manded the Garter and had been appeased with a 
Marquisate.^ Of this young nobleman there is 
little to be said. His fortune was splendid ; his 
character unblemished. His political fame depended 
upon his resignation of a Bedchamber appointment 
and his dismissal from the Lieutenancy of his 
County. He appears to have possessed conciliatory 
manners and some ability in the management of 
men ; but he was absolutely destitute of any power 
to express himself in debate, and he was without 
intellect or knowledge. Few Ministries have been 
more feeble than the first which he directed, 
although it carried some measures of importance 
during its brief existence of a year and twenty days. 
It was a Government of great families, distinguished 
only for their wealth and position, and it perished 
by a combination of many enemies. Townshend 
described it as "a lute-string Administration fit 
only for pretty summer wear which would never 
do in the winter." Rockingham rarely opened 
his mouth in the House of Lords, although he 
enjoyed the assistance of Burke, who was his 
Private Secretary, and who, through his influence, 
was brought into Parliament. But the inspiration 
of Burke could not save his master, and the 
Administration came to an end in July 1766. After 
an interval of sixteen years, Rockingham fluttered 
once more into office — this time in succession to 
Lord North. He died within the year. 2 

» Walpole, referring to his wealth and luxury, calls him Marquis 
Sardanapalus. 

^ The inscription on the mausoleum at "Wentworth erected by 

16 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

Rockingham, hopeless as a Minister, and, in his 
relations to the King, impar congressus Achilli, 
was remarkable as a patron of the Turf. His 
signature is appended to the first public document 
issued by the Jockey Club. " The Whigs are 
much given to horse-racing," wrote a respectable 
divine to the King's chaplain some years before 
this date, and Rockingham was certainly loyal 
to the tradition. So were his colleagues and the 
leaders of his political connection. Burke, the 
Arch- Whig trumpeter, could not induce the Duke 
of Richmond to put off his party for Goodwood 
races when an important division was imminent, 
nor the Chancellor of the Exchequer his fox- 
hunting at a moment of political crisis. New- 
market races kept many adherents from attendance 
at Westminster. 

Rockingham's appointment to the Treasury had 
been negotiated by the Duke of Cumberland, the 
breeder of Eclipse. The Duke and Rockingham 
frequently opposed each other at Newmarket. 
The young nobleman in 1757 defeated the Duke's 
horse, Cullen Arabian, in a match for 1,000 guineas 
over the Beacon Course. The Duke again lost a 
match to Rockingham when his horse failed to give 
18 lb. to his opponent's colt, Prospero. However, 
the hero of Culloden had his revenge at Ascot 
in the following year, when he ran the famous 
Herod to victory in a four mile match. The North 
was Rockingham's favourite battleground. In a 
match for 2,000 guineas his horse, Whistle-jacket, 
defeated Brutus over a long distance at York, and 

Lord Fitzwilliam in honour of his uncle is from the pen of Burke. 
Of his Chief Burke wrote, " his virtues were his arts." 

17 B 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

the achievements of the winner are commemorated 
in a suite of rooms at Wentworth ^ which to this 
day bears his name. Rockingham bred a great 
horse called Bay Malton. With him he defeated 
the game little grey Gimcrack, who endeavoured 
to give the other 71b. over a severe course at 
Newmarket. This event is referred to in one of 
Lady Sarah Lennox's charming gossiping letters 
to Lady Susan Fox-Strangways. " There was," 
writes the famous beauty, " a meeting of two 
days at Newmarket at this time of year to see 
the sweetest little horse run that ever was. His 
name is Gimcrack ;2 he is delightful." Then, 
with a touch of sentiment which would find a 
ready response in the hearts of many people to-day, 
she adds : " Lord Rockingham kissed hands the 
day Gimcrack ran. I must say I was more anxious 
about the horse than about the Ministry ! " 

This fascinating woman was the second daughter 
of the Duke of Richmond and was aunt of Charles 
James Fox. Her grandfather was the first Duke, 
son of Charles II by Louisa de la Querouaille, 
Duchess of Portsmouth. Her first husband was 
Sir Charles Bunbury, " Father of the Turf/' who 

I At Rockingham's death his fine property in Yorkshire passed 
to Lord FitzwilUam, whose father had married Rocldngham's 
sister. The Rockingham racing colours, green jacket and black 
cap, also descended to the owner of Catton and Mulatto, the pro- 
genitors of some of the most distinguished families in the Stud 
Book. For a description of Wentworth Woodhouse at this date 
see Walpole, Letters, vol. iii. p. 28. The Rockingham colours on 
Torlinda were victorious at the recent Ascot Races. 

* This little horse was a wonder — he was just over 14 hands — and 
was raced for no less than eleven years and won twenty-five races. 
It was to perpetuate his fame that the Gimcrack Club was formed 
in York in 1767. The race for the Gimcrack Stakes was established 
in 1846. 

18 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

won the first Derby in 1780. It was alleged against 
Fox when Paymaster that he presumed to think 
it possible that his lovely kinswoman, Lady Sarah, 
might ascend the throne. A few months before 
his marriage George III was remarkable for his 
attentions to the young lady, and it is said that 
only the influence of his mother, the Princess 
Dowager, prevented an alliance.^ 

Lady Sarah's philosophy of existence is always 
admirably expressed. She writes in 1762 to her 
friend, " Pray now, who the devil would not be 
happy with a pretty place, a good house, good 
horses, greyhounds and fox-hunting, so near New- 
market, what company we please in the house, 
and £2,000 a year to spend ? " How reminiscent 
this is of Thackeray's immortal heroine ! But 
to return to Rockingham. His horse. Bay Malton, 
was idolized in Yorkshire. In a sweepstakes of 
500 guineas he vanquished the renowned King 
Herod, at even weights, and two others. This 
race, it was said, brought together a larger 
number of people of all ranks than had ever 
been seen at Newmarket. 

That stern struggle ended well. 

When strong of heart the Wentworth bay 

From staggering * Herod strode away. 

But, perhaps, Rockingham's fame on the Turf 
rests chiefly on the victory of Allabaculia, who 
in 1776 carried the green jacket and black cap 
to victory in the first race for the St. Leger. The 
mare was a bay daughter of Rockingham's great 

' Massey, History of England, vol. i. p. 97 ; Walpole, Memoirs 
of George III , vol. i. p. 64 ; Albemarle, Life of Rockingham, vol. i. 
p. 72. 

» King Herod broke a bloodvessel in the crisis of the contest. 

19 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

horse, Samson. The race was at that time a Sweep- 
stakes over a two-mile course, and was the first 
race ever run for three-year-olds at Doncaster. 
On that occasion Rockingham, Mr. Wentworth, 
Mr. Foljambe, and Mr. St. Leger were responsible 
for the six entries and the five starters. Two 
years later Rockingham named the race after 
Mr. St. Leger, with whom it had originated.^ 

Rockingham in his official business appears to 
have had an excellent counsellor in Sir George 
Savile.* This Yorkshire worthy thus WTites to 
the Prime Minister : " You advertize that George 
Grenville should have continued Minister, if you 
ride the heat as he did. He waited and lay in a 
good place till he came to the ending post. I 
beseech you make the p\a.y if you are stout." 
Sounder advice was never given to a Minister. 
Even the serious Burke could defend his chief 
against the unctuous critics of that date who 
*' charged him with jockeyship, as they were pleased 
to style it, as though any diversion could become 
noblemen in general better than that by which 
the breed of one of the noblest and most useful 
animals is much improved." 

Rockingham's training quarters were on Langton 
Wold, close by the stables of White wall, where 
John Scott in later days made his great name as 
a master of the trainer's art. On those breezy 

I Eclipse and O'Kelly, by Sir Theodore Cook, p. 57. 

» Sir George Savile was Member for Yorkshire 1759-83. He was 
invited to take part in Rockingham's Administration, but with a 
candour habitual to him, he declined the offer, alleging that as an 
independent Member of Parliament he could better serve his friends. 
Faction has spared his name. He died in 1781 (Nichol's Recollec- 
iions, vol. i. p. 41 ; Albemarle, Life of Rockingham, vol. i. p. 227). 

20 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

downs the Minister watched the gallops of his 
horses with an interest he never felt in the per- 
formances of his divided and mutinous following 
at Westminster. 

II 

The Duke of Grafton. — In the long gallery of 
Prime Ministers there is surely no more unlovely 
picture than that which historians have drawn of 
the third Duke of Grafton. Upon the accession 
to power of Chatham, in 1766, after Rockingham's 
death, Grafton held the uneasy position of nominal 
Chief of the Government as First Lord of the 
Treasury. His vicarious responsibility was soon 
terminated. Chatham fell ill, and the supreme 
direction of affairs passed to the Duke, who con- 
tinued in office until his resignation in 1770. It 
was a troubled period. It saw the taxation of 
American imports, the disturbances caused by 
Wilkes's election for Middlesex, and the appearance 
of the letters of " Junius." Grafton owed his 
election partly to accident, but mainly to his 
high rank and great fortune — qualifications of 
the utmost weight with the Whig connection. 
Irregular in life, capricious and indolent, he had 
few of the qualities of a statesman, and he presumed 
greatly on his position. Such reputation as he 
had was mangled by " Junius," who derided his 
descent from a Royal Mistress and jested with him 
over the infidelity of his wife. Grafton was indeed 
a fair mark for the measured malignity of anony- 
mous attack, and, certainly, the libeller did not 
spare either the matrimonial infelicities or the ama- 
tory vagaries of the peccant Minister. The Duke 

21 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

seems to have delighted in outraging the decencies 
and conventions of society. He used to appear at 
the Opera, at Ascot and at Newmarket with a 
notorious Phryne/ who, according to Walpole, 
had lost not only her character but also the charms 
of youth. 

Although Grafton thus walked according to the 
flesh, he enjoyed a considerable popularity in the 
world of sport, for he was generous and profuse 
in his expenditure, both on the race-course and in 
the hunting-field. He usually rode a fiery thorough- 
bred horse, which he sat with ease and dignity, 
and on the race-course he is described as an elderly 
gentleman of spare form, middle stature, straight 
silver hair and a countenance of much severity. 
In a picture he appears dressed in a light, tight- 
fitting coat, long black boots and a small three- 
cornered hat. To most people " Junius Duke of 
Grafton " ^ was a formidable personage. He was a 
good judge of breeding and training ; his horses 
were v/ell and honestly ridden ; and the Turf owes 
much to the blood which he took great pains to 
improve. He was an enthusiastic sportsman. 
Indeed, it was said of him when Prime Minister 
that, like an apprentice, he thought the world 
should be postponed to a horse-race, which was 
true — at least, so far as an epigram need be true. 
If he squandered his reputation, at all events 

' This person was the well-known Nancy Parsons, who assumed 
the name of Mrs. Horton. Her hand was sought by many suitors 
of distinction, and she ultimately married Lord Maynard. After 
his death she established herself at the Court of Naples. See 
Walpole 's Letters, vol. iv. p. 70 ; vol. vii. p. 184 ; Grenville Papers, 
vol. iv. p. 275. 

» On the Turf he was spoken of as the " old Duke of Grafton." 

22 



The Derby, 

Tyrant 1802 

Tope 1809 

Whalebone ... 18 10 



Tht Oaks. 




Pelisse 


1804 


Morel 


1808 




THE OLD DUKE OF GRAFTON 

I'lime Minister, I 766-1770. 

/•>."« «'/ 0!d Print. 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

he bequeathed to his son ^ a stud of unrivalled 
value, which shone conspicuously in the great 
classic races of the period. 

Ten years before the Duke was called to office, 
Mr. Panton of Newmarket had bred a mare named 
Julia. Her pedigree could be traced not only to 
the Byerley Turk, but beyond the Lord Protector 
Cromwell's White Turk to the Taffolat Barb. She 
was introduced into the Grafton stud and foaled 
a filly called Promise. A daughter of Promise — 
Penelope, foaled in 1798 — was the dam of eleven 
first-rate race-horses, including two Derby winners, 
and the family brought little short of £100,000 
to the house of Grafton. Penelope herself won no 
less than eighteen races for the Duke, and twice 
beat Eleanor, the first mare to carry off the Blue 
Riband. 

Needless to say, the Duke's name is of frequent 
mention in the Match Book. Like other owners, 
he challenged for large sums with his horses the 
best animals of the day. Twice he raced his grey 
horse, Chigger, against Eclipse — once for the King's 
Purse of 100 guineas — four-mile heats, for six-year- 
olds — when he received a sound beating ; and again 
at Newmarket over the Round Course, two heats 
of 3|- miles, when his horse and the rest of the 
field were, as usual, " nowhere " to the champion, 
who was never beaten, never had a whip flourished 
over him or felt the tickling of a spur, or was ever 
for a moment distressed ; outfooting, outstriding and 
outlasting every horse which started against him.* 

I See frontispiece. 

» 'La.wTence's History and Delineation of the Horse, i8og. Lawrence 
saw Eclipse. See also Eclipse and O' Kelly, by Sir Theodore Cook. 

23 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

In 1802 the Duke won the Derby with a horse of 
his own breeding called Tyrant from a field of nine 
runners. I Tyrant was by Pot-8-os, and his success 
led His Grace to spare neither money nor trouble 
to secure the best specimens of this strain of blood. 
Tyrant is said to have been a very moderate animal, 
and owed his victory to the riding and fine judgment 
of Frank Buckle, the most accomplished rider of 
the day. In the race the running was made at a 
fast pace by an Eclipse colt, with Sir Charles Bun- 
bury's Orlando in close attendance. Buckle was 
sure they would come back to him, and they did so, 
with the result that he snatched the verdict with 
Grafton's colt. Another son of Pot-8-os was the 
renowned Waxy, who won the Derby of 1793. 
Grafton acquired this fine horse for his stud, and 
by him bred Pope — known also as Waxy Pope — 
from Prunella, the granddaughter of Julia of the 
long lineage. With Pope Grafton won the Derby 
of 1809. But the Duke's greatest horse was 
undoubtedly the mottled brown Whalebone, with 
whom he won the Blue Riband in the following 
year. He, too, was a son of Waxy from the famous 
Penelope. This horse's performances on the Turf 
were the greatest of that date. He made all the 
running in the Derby. He won the most important 
King's Plates and Cups. Grafton challenged Pan, 
the Derby winner of 1808, to a match over the 
Beacon Course, and Whalebone prevailed. This 
stout little horse — he was only 15 hands and half 
an inch — found no course too long. But insig- 
nificant in size and with bad feet, it was thought 

I There were 30 subscribers to the Derby in 1802. In 1914 
they numbered 372. 

24 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

he would make no success as a sire, and accordingly, 
at the age of seven, he was sold for 510 guineas. 
Frail is the judgment of the breeder ! Whalebone 
became the sire of three winners of the Derby, 
and of the Oaks winner, Caroline. His line is 
handed down by some of the most illustrious 
names in the Stud Book. The Duke never won 
the St. Leger, but he twice won the Oaks : in 
1804 with Pelisse, a daughter of Prunella, and in 
1808 with Morel, whom he bred from Sorcerer and 
Hornby Lass. The year after Whalebone's Derby,, 
the Duke of Grafton's racing career was ended 
by his death. 

Ill 

Viscount Palmerston. — Lord Palmerston was 
a Minister whose political life opened in 1808 
and ceased only with his death in 1865. During 
this long period he was rarely unemployed. His 
disposition was pleasant, his principles easy, and 
in his day he eminently suited the average man, 
both inside and outside the House of Commons. 
To Parliament he was devoted, and he gave his 
life to it. In Palmerston's time the success of a 
leader depended upon the closest attendance in 
the House ; an occupation that has always en- 
couraged the illusion that the dust and din of 
debate, the worry of the Lobby, and the boredom 
of the Committee-room are the main cause of the 
great social movement. As a Minister he made 
much stir in the outer world by interference in the 
affairs of foreign nations and by bluster concern- 
ing the rights of Englishmen abroad. He enjoyed 
frequent triumphs in vindicating his conduct, and 

25 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

his confidence and flippancy often helped a situa- 
tion. Palmerston began his career as a Tory. He 
occasionally amused himself at the expense of the 
Whigs, and was once told for his pains by a Whig 
Leader that he resembled a favourite footman on 
easy terms with his mistress. He left the Duke 
of Wellington in 1828, and was forthwith accepted 
seriously by Brooks's Club and the Reformers. 
Thereafter, his official and political position was 
assured. He dreaded the enlargement of the 
electorate, and the long respite from 1832 to 
1867 was mainly due to his influence. He was 
sustained in office by the Tories because he was 
known to stand between them and the growing 
demands of a democracy which claimed that the 
Constitution should be so developed as to give a 
wider scope to the play of social forces. While 
he had a considerable familiarity with the com- 
plicated labyrinth of foreign Chanceries, his 
hterary attainments were extremely slender. When 
Monckton Milnes was asked how Palmerston got 
on at the dinner of the Royal Literary Fund, 
he replied : " For a man who never read a book 
in his life, I think he did very well." Although 
he never acquired the art of fluent or perspicuous 
speech, he had a Parliamentary authority out of 
all proportion to his political and official abilities. 
The truth was that he represented the fundamental 
tastes of his countrymen, at a time, moreover, 
when the Throne was under the unpopular and 
unbounded influence of an alien Prince and his 
German tutor. Palmerston became Prime Minister 
in 1855 at the age of seventy-one, and with one brief 
interval continued in that position until his death. 

26 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

He was devoted to racing, giving constant 
attention, even in official hours, to business con- 
nected with the health and training of his horses. 
An entry on the tablet of his office diary for a 
Monday in May i860 reads thus : " John Day 
and Professor Spooner about Mainstone. Shaftes- 
bury about Church appointments. Powell to ask 
about Mainstone. Bernstorff to read me a dis- 
patch." ^ He would leave a debate at any moment 
to meet and talk with his trainer in the 
lobby. 

In 18 16 Palmerston had horses with old Day 
at Oughton Downs and owned a mare named 
Mignonette. The following year he won his 
maiden race with a Sorcerer filly — Enchantress — 
and with her and Luxborough he had much success 
in the West Country. Day moved his training 
quarters to Danebury, and soon afterwards Palmer- 
ston picked up for £65, at a sale of a draft from 
Lord George Bentinck's stable, a daughter of the 
Derby winner, Priam, who was neatly named 
Iliona, and with whom as a four-year-old he won the 
Cesarewitch in 1841 — the third year of the institution 
of the great handicap. The mare had been relegated 
to the paddocks at Broadlands, but Day persuaded 
his patron to train her, and in addition to the 
Cesarewitch she won the Southampton Stakes and 
the Chesterfield Cup. An amusing controversy 
arose over the correct pronunciation of the name, 
and the quantity of the third syllable was the 
subject of many bets. For the benefit of the 
illiterati, the problem was referred to the Master 

' Life of Palmerston, Evelyn Ashley, vol. ii. p. 199. 
27 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

of Trinity College, Cambridge, who pointed to the 
lines 

Praeterea sceptrum, Ilione quod gesserat olim. 
Maxima natarum Priami. 

It was quite characteristic of the owner to say 
" they might call the mare what they — pleased 
as long as she had won the Cesarewitch." Palmer- 
ston also owned a nice Venison colt in Buckthorn^ 
with whom he won the Ascot Stakes in 1853. 
It was a surprising victory : the horse started 
at 100 to I, but Alfred Day rode a clever waiting 
race and prevailed by half a length. 

Palmerston had set his heart on winning the 
Derby while he was First Minister, and in i860 
it looked as if his ambition would be gratified. 
His horse Mainstone at one time was third favourite 
and was genuinely fancied. He failed, however,, 
in the final stages of his preparation, and starting 
at the long odds of 40 to i, he ran inconspicuously 
in the race. In those halcyon days the House 
of Commons adjourned over the Derby, and on 
this occasion Palmerston took the unusual course 
of proposing the resolution himself from the 
Treasury Bench, saying that " to adjourn over 
that day is part of the unwritten law of Parliament, 
and that Her Majesty's Government do not wish 
to depart from so wholesome a custom." ^ 

Although he knew that the Olympian prize 
was not for him, the next morning the gay old 
Minister mounted his familiar grey hack and 
trotted briskly down to Epsom, his whiskers dyed,^^ 

I Hansard, May 15, i860. 

* For a description of Palraerston's appearance five years earlier,, 
see a letter from Disraeli to Lady Londonderry [Life of Disraeli, 
vol. iii. p. 567). 

28 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

his hair an example of the art of the friseur, his 
trousers strapped, his whole appearance significant 
of the senile dandyism which he always affected. 
At that date the sporting world went to the Derby 
in green veiled hats stuck round with dolls — 
tot circa tmum caput tumultuantes deos — and 
Palmerston's attire was in harmony with the 
fashion. He saw Mr. Merry's Thormanby win 
the race, and his only consolation was that the 
leader of the Opposition, with Cape Flyaway, 
shared in the same decisive defeat. 

In the week following the Derby the House of 
Lords rejected the Paper Duties Bill. Lady 
Palmerston in the gallery applauded their Lordships, 
knowing well that her own Lord was of the same 
mind. Gladstone met Palmerston in the street. 
It was no whispered invective : the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer's bosom blazed against the sinning 
Senate. The ruse old cynic replied, " Of course, 
you are mortified and disappointed, but your 
disappointment is nothing to mine, who had a horse 
with whom I hoped to win the Derby and he 
went amiss at the last moment." ^ The calculated 
irreverence of his leader must have stirred the 
younger man to the depths. To the earnest mind 
of the pietist the analogy was sheer profanity. 

There is no doubt that the collapse of Mainstone 
was a bitter disappointment to Palmerston. It was 
said that he suspected foul play. At all events, 
he yielded to the advice of his old pad groom, 
whom he much indulged, and removed his horses 
from Day's stable and transferred them to Goater. 
He gained nothing by the change, and his colours 

* Greville Memoirs, vol. viii. p. 317. 
29 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

were never afterwards prominent on the race- 
course. 

During his career of fifty years as an owner of 
race-horses Palmerston seldom made a bet. He 
raced from a natural love of the sport, breeding his 
own horses and often naming them after his farms. 
Twice during the year preceding his death he started 
at nine o'clock in the morning from Broadlands 
and rode over to his training stables, and thence to 
see his horses gallop on Winchester race-course.^ 
But, as often happens with men of exceptional 
vitality, the end came swiftly. He died within 
two days of completing his eighty-first year, and 
was buried with public honours in Westminster 
Abbey. 

IV 

The Earl of Derby. — The fourteenth Earl of 
Derby was nearly half a century in public life. 
He inherited a taste for the Turf. His grand- 
father founded the Oaks ^ in 1779 and the great 
race to which he gave his name in the following 
year. More fortunate than his grandson, he won 
the Derby in 1787 with Sir Peter Teazle, the best 
of Highflyer's sons. Sir Peter commemorated the 
romance of his owner's life and the play in which 
Miss Farren, the celebrated actress, won her 
admirer's heart. Ten years after Sir Peter's victory 

>■ Life of Palmerston, Evelyn Ashley. 

^ The Oaks derived its name from an alehouse called " The 
Oaks " which at one time stood upon part of Banstead Downs, 
in the parish of Woodmansterne. It was afterwards purchased by 
General Burgoyne, who added to the building and fitted it up for 
a hunting-seat. Subsequently, the General sold it to Lord Derby, 
who further enlarged the house and enclosed a considerable part 
of the adjoining fields (History of Horse-Racing, pub. 1863, p. 214). 

30 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

Derby married Miss Farren ; and it was said that 
from his step-grandmother young Stanley caught 
the grace and force of style which were the orna- 
ments of his oratory in later years. The boy 
acquired his first taste for racing from his grand- 
father, as by his side he strolled through the 
paddocks and studied the stock of Sir Peter. 

Derby spent thirteen years in high office and 
four years as Prime Minister. He had been bred 
to the orthodox school of Whiggism. Goldsmith 
told Boswell that he took his religion from the 
priest as he took his coat from the tailor, and 
young Stanley received his political principles from 
his party in much the same fashion. It was the 
creed which registered the experience of certain 
noble families and claimed Holland House as the 
centre of political wisdom and the Edinburgh Review 
as its prophet. In these days it is difficult to 
appreciate the schemes of an aristocratic junto 
for ever engaged in framing a comfortable middle- 
class creed and in turning the prejudices of dissenters 
and tradesmen to the best political account. Their 
belief was in compromise, and in their ability to 
conciliate democracy. The school has perished, 
and Liberalism, its successor, with its pompous 
dullness and affectation of high principle, is now 
gasping in articulo mortis. Stanley, as Chief 
Secretary for Ireland, left the Whig Government 
in 1834 01^ the question of the Irish Church, and, 
thereafter, laid a heavy hand on his old friends. 
Perhaps they felt they were well rid of him, for 
the indiscretions of his speeches created a host of 
enemies. The type of Member produced by the 
Reform Act loathed his aristocratic insolence and 

31 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

reproached him for his haughtiness. As a man of 
rank and fashion he moved in a world unknown to 
the new men of the middle class, who were shocked 
at language which was current at White's and 
at metaphors which recalled Newmarket Heath. 
In the House of Commons, one day,^ he alluded 
in a formal Motion to the Clerk of the Course, 
instead of the Clerk of the House, In a debate 
on a Tithe Bill, he put his legs on the table and 
then rose to scandalize the respectable mediocrities 
by comparing the conduct of the Government to 
the thimble-rigging tricks of the juggler on the race- 
course. Again, after Stanley had joined Sir Robert 
Peel, he thought that his leader had unduly delayed 
his resignation when defeated in the House of 
Commons. He described the situation by saying 
that his colleague should have died in the open like 
a gallant fox, instead of turning up his toes in a 
ditch. Peel, the leader of the Conservative Party 
of 1841 — the hero of so many hopes and prayers — 
ruined his followers. The broken remnant turned 
to Stanley, and from 1846 until his resignation in 
1868 they served under his banner. The direction 
of the party in the Commons devolved upon Lord 
George Bentinck, and so it was that the political 
fortunes of Conservative gentlemen were entrusted 
to the two most prominent members of the Jockey 
Club. In the midst of the crisis of 1846, when the 
chief office of the State was vacant, Stanley and 
Bentinck were to be seen at Newmarket laughing 
together as if the issue of the hour counted less 

' When Lord Stanley he sat for the racing borough of Stock- 
bridge, where, according to Gay, " cobblers used to feast three 
years upon one vote ! " 

32 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

than a race across the Flat. Disraeli deplored 
his Chief's indifference. In a letter to a corres- 
pondent, he wrote of him as " a confederate always 
at Newmarket and Doncaster when Europe — nay 
the world — is in the throes of immense changes, 
and all the elements of power at home in a state 
of dissolution." ^ On occasions, nevertheless, Derby 
fiercely arraigned the foreign policy of Palmerston, 
alleging, in the language of his taste, that he liked 
" to give the Lords a gallop when they had been 
on the easy list for some time." Whether in office 
or in Opposition, Derby rarely allowed public 
business to interfere with the claims of the race- 
course. In the Session of 1854 it became necessary 
to pass the Universities Bill through the Upper 
House in one night because the Chancellor of 
Oxford University was engaged to attend the races 
at Liverpool. 

Derby was at Newmarket at the date of the 
Vienna Conference. The famous four points had 
been rejected by Russia. On his return to London, 
Malmesbury met him in much agitation and told 
him that the British proposals had failed. " What 
proposals ? " said Derby. On the occasion of the 
great debate on the seizure of the Arrow by the 
Chinese and the bombardment of Canton, which 
led to the defeat of Lord Palmerston's Government, 
Derby made one of his finest speeches, showing 
himself master of a complicated subject and speak- 
ing with an air of complete absorption in the 
issue involved. The debate over, he stroUed out 
of the House of Lords arm-in-arm with a friend, 
and was overheard in earnest conversation on the 

' Life of Disraeli, Buckle, vol. iii. p. 547. 

33 c 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

prospect of Lord Zetland winning the Two Thousand 
with Vedette. 

In the days of his health, Derby was the life 
and soul of a great race-meeting. He loved his 
dinner at the Rooms at Newmarket. There his wit 
and his anecdote had full play, and he ruled his 
kingdom of the long dining-room without a rival. 
So, too, at Epsom in Derby week. The rather 
tall, slack-backed figure in curled-up hat, surtout 
and large black stock was the life and soul of 
the Stewards' Stand. " It was curious," writes 
Greville, " to see Stanley. Who would believe 
they saw the orator and statesman on whom the 
destiny of the country perhaps depends ? There 
he was, as if he had no thoughts but for the Turf, 
eager, blunt, noisy, good-humoured. Thus can 
a man relax whose existence is devoted to great 
objects and serious thoughts."^ Whether the 
stakes were high or low, Derby was equally keen 
to win. He availed himself of every legitimate 
advantage ; and if his information was better 
than another's, so much the worse for the loser. 
After all, it was the game. 

Derby trained his horses with John Scott at 
Whitewall, and with fifty-four of them he won 
upwards of £94,000 in stakes. There was no 
more familiar figure on the greater race-courses 
than Scott in his broad-brimmed hat, black coat, 
drab knee-breeches and ample white neckcloth. 
His knowledge of his business was complete, his 
experience unequalled, and during his long life he 
had known all the notables of the Worshipful 
Company of the Turf. He died in his seventy- 

» Greville Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 383. 

34 



^JKutiwF^" 







_£ a; 



U 



The St. Leger of 1848. 

Lord Stanley's Canezou (winner of the One Thousand) beaten by Surplice 
(winner of the Derby) after an exciting race. 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

eighth year, and left a considerable fortune. It 
was on his advice that Derby bought perhaps the 
best animal he ever owned — Canezou — a brown 
daughter of Melbourne and Madame Pelerine by 
Velocipede — who herself and her sons, Paletot, 
Fazzoletto and Cape Flyaway, gained him many 
valuable races. Canezou won the One Thousand, 
and in the St. Leger she was only just beaten by 
Surplice. 

The great race of 1848 at Doncaster was long 
remembered. Canezou, who a fortnight earlier had 
won the Ebor St. Leger at York, was a sound 
favourite at 7 to 4 ; the Derby winner and Flat- 
catcher being supported at slightly more liberal 
prices. Nine came to the post. Flatcatcher made 
the running at a great pace with Surplice lying third 
until the turn for home. Then Surplice and Canezou 
raced up to the leader, and the three swept round 
the rails at the Red House in close order. As they 
reached the distance post Canezou asserted her- 
self, and went rapidly to the front, while Flat- 
catcher, beaten by the pace, gave way to Surplice, 
who then joined issue with the mare. Locked 
together they came abreast the stands, the dark 
bay colt just winning by a head in a scene of popular 
delirium. For the first time since Champion's 
victory in 1800, a Derby winner had prevailed 
in the St. Leger, and thus had dissolved the charm 
which seemed to forbid the same animal to win 
buch races. On the Friday, none the worse for 
her severe race, Canezou was pulled out to run in the 
Park Hill Stakes, and, with 4 to i betted on her, 
she won easily in precisely the same time as the 
St. Leger had taken. 

35 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

Three years later, Iris won the Oaks. This 
mare was by Derby's horse Ithuriel, who in his 
year had been much fancied for the St. Leger, 
but fell lame just before the race. In 1854 Derby 
was unlucky to lose the Oaks. His filly Meteora 
started a hot favourite, but her jocke}^ failed to 
do her justice, and she only filled the second place. 
In 1856 he won the Two Thousand with Fazzoletto, 
who, however, was only fourth to Ellington in 
the Derby of that year ; and four years later 
he won the One Thousand with Sagitta, a 
daughter of his horse Longbow, a winner of much 
distinction. 

It was, of course, Derby's ambition to emulate 
the success of his grandfather and to win the 
Derby. His opportunity, apparently, had arrived 
in 1858, when he was Prime Minister for the second 
time, and when, to use his own words, he hoped 
" to pull off the double event." He had a bay 
horse by Longbow from Legerdemain,^ named 
Toxophilite, and with him had won a good race 
at Goodwood, beating, among others, Sir Joseph 
Hawley's Beadsman, to whom he gave 8 lb. It 
was this performance that caused Toxophilite to 
be fancied and well supported for the Epsom 
race. The racing public were greatly interested in 
a contest with which the First Minister of the 
Crown was so immediately concerned, and Toxo- 
philite became a popular favourite, his name 
— generally abbreviated to Tox — being on the 
lips of people who had never seen a race in their 
lives. But, alas ! it was not to be. Beadsman 

' Legerdemain as a three-year-old with 5 st. 7 lb. won the 
Cesarewitch in 1849, and a day after the race slipped a filly foal. 

36 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

was backward as a two-year-old, and though he 
had fine action, his general appearance was un- 
attractive. He greatly improved during the 
winter, and, sent to the post in brilliant con- 
dition, he defeated the Prime Minister's horse by 
a length. Toxophilite was soft-hearted, and he 
lost through refusing to struggle when he was 
challenged. 

In 1863 Derby sold his stud and retired from 
the Turf. He had enjoyed his racing career to 
the full. In the Session he rejoiced to escape 
from London to his Yorkshire training grounds. 
After a debate in the House of Lords, he would 
hurry off by the night mail, arriving in the hours 
of dawn to see his horses do their early gallop. 
He would dine with his trainer, and sit up with 
him all night gossiping over the past deeds of great 
horses in classic races, until it was time to turn 
out to see the morning work. Owner and trainer 
maintained an unbroken intimacy of twenty-two 
years. When it was all over, and the black jacket 
and white cap were laid aside, Derby still found 
delight in the home paddocks. There he would 
show his guests his favourite, Canezou, for whom, 
with her groom, he provided in his will. The 
old mare survived her master. 



The Earl of Rosebery. — Born in 1847, Lord 
Rosebery succeeded to the peerage in 1868. His 
education had been at Eton and Oxford, but 
coming into collision with the authorities of Christ 
Church, he left that seminary of learning without 

37 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

submitting to a degree. Forty years later his 
eminence in public life justified his candidature 
for the high office of Chancellor of the University. 
He took his seat in the House of Lords, and there- 
after assisted both at the councils of the nation 
and of his party. The deciding epoch in his career 
was in 1878. In that year he married the heiress 
of the house of Rothschild, who was led to the altar 
by a Prime Minister of her own race before an 
assembly of brilliant society. In the political field 
he made steady progress. He became a finished 
speaker and an accomplished writer. He was 
responsible for the invitation to Mr. Gladstone to 
contest Midlothian, and at the election played the 
host to the great protean actor, who on the hustings 
only anticipated the imaginative performance, a 
generation later, of Chinese Slavery. Lord Rose- 
bery, henceforth, was under the spell of his hero. 
He obliged him by accepting a subordinate post 
in the Home Department and the appointment of 
First Commissioner of Works. In 1886 and 1892 
he filled the important office of Foreign Secretary 
with fair distinction. Mr. Gladstone retired in 
1894, and went down to Windsor intent on pressing 
the Queen to send for Lord Spencer, but the 
experienced and adroit Sovereign allowed her old 
servant no opportunity of recommendation, and, 
greatly mortified, he departed from the presence. 
To the disastrous heritage Lord Rosebery succeeded. 
There was no unity and little zeal in his party, 
and disappointment bred a contemptuous disloyalty 
in his chief colleague. The Administration tottered 
to its fall in the following year, and in 1896 Lord 
Rosebery resigned the titular leadership of the 

38 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

Liberal Party, stating that Mr. Gladstone had 
given the coup de grace to his successor.^ Thus 
ended Lord Rosebery's political career. Occasion- 
ally, he tried to stir his friends to the realization 
of the British Empire, and he hoped at one time 
that something would come of Liberal Imperialism. 
But, though Liberal Imperialists dined hand- 
somely in Berkeley Square and sat long over 
the wine, the arrival of Campbell- Bannerman, 
with all the powers of patronage in his hands, 
settled the pretensions of the coterie, and Lord 
Rosebery was left an interested spectator of 
their desertion and promotion. 

The Turf attracted Lord Rosebery from his 
youth. While at Oxford he had a racing stud, 
and in consequence incurred the censure of the 
reverend authorities of Christ Church. At this 
period of youthful effervescence he avowed his 
intention of winning the Derby. He bought for 
a considerable sum from a north-country breeder 
a colt, whom he named Ladas, and sent him to 
Dover at Ilsley to be trained. The horse, however, 
ran ignominiously * in the stirring encounter of 
1869, in which Pretender defeated Pero Gomez 
by a very doubtful head. The year following, 
Lord Rosebery was elected a member of the 
Jockey Club ; and in 1873 he won five races, 
including the Gimcrack Stakes. This historic 
race he gained with Padoroskna, whom he bought 

» speech at Edinburgh, October 9, 1896. 

* According to the Sporting Magazine (1869, p. 398), Ladas ran 
last in the field of twenty-two. The horse apparently grew but 
little between two and three years of age, and the sporting writer 
observes that 8 st. 10 lb. (the weight then carried) looked too much 
for him. 

39 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

the morning before the event. In 1874 he won 
the City and Suburban with Aldrich, after a very 
exciting finish. In that year he went very near 
the object of his racing ambition. Two months 
before the Derby he bought out of Matthew 
Dawson's stable a horse called Couronne de Fer, 
and with him he ran second to George Frederick. 
Crossing the road, Lord Rosebery's horse seemed 
well placed for success : but George Frederick, 
drawing out wide on the right and at the Stands, 
coming rapidly away, won in a canter by two 
lengths. From this date until the year 1885 
Lord Rosebery's successes in important races 
were frequent. He gained his first classic honours 
in the Oaks in 1883 with a beautifully bred filly, 
named Bonny Jean, by Macaroni from an Agnes 
mare by Blair Athol. About this time Lord 
Rosebery's association with the Turf was tempor- 
arily suspended, and he transferred his activities 
to official service. He sold his horses, retired 
from racing, and became the subject of an amusing 
cartoon. 

But the determination to win the Derby was 
still strong within his breast. In 1891 he bred 
from a Rosicrucian mare, Illuminata, a brown 
colt, and, greatly daring, he repeated the name 
Ladas. The horse was of exceptional size and 
quality, and his action perhaps the most fluent 
ever seen. As a two-year-old he swept the board 
and never knew defeat. In 1894 he won the Two 
Thousand. In that race Ladas dashed to the 
front in the Abingdon Mile bottom, and won 
easily by a length and a half in a style that recalled 
the incomparable performance of Macgregor in 

40 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

1870. The colt won the Newmarket Stakes, and 
then awaited the Epsom race. At this date Lord 
Rosebery was Prime Minister of England, and 
every sportsman in the country hoped that at 
last " the double event " would be won. But, in 
reality, there was little doubt of his success when, 
on the chill morning that ushered in the Derby, 
Ladas at six o'clock, in the presence of his owner, 
did a six-furlong gallop in brilliant style. As 
the day drew on, the crowds were immense. The 
superstitious were persuaded of victory, for did 
not Primrose Way win the race immediately 
before the Derby Stakes ? The actual wagering 
was small, for few could afiford to lay the almost 
prohibitive odds. Nothing looked so well as 
Ladas. From the start he allowed his opponents 
to lead until they were in line for home, and then 
coming right away he won at his ease. The scene 
of triumph was without parallel. The crowd 
swept the police off their feet, while Lord Rosebery 
struggled through the cheering masses to lead in 
the second Ladas. The spell had been broken, and 
at last the First Minister of the Crown during his 
term of office had won the Blue Riband of the 
Turf. 

Although Ladas never gained another race, Lord 
Rosebery was consoled by taking the Derby in the 
following year with Sir Visto after an exciting 
contest, and then won the St. Leger with him. 
Ten years later the elegant Cicero, enjoying some 
luck and with long odds betted on him, won Lord 
Rosebery his third Derby. Three more classic 
victories have to be mentioned. In 1910 Lord 
Rosebery won the Two Thousand with Neil Gow, 

41 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

and in 1897 with Chelandry ; in 1915 with 
Vaucluse, he won the One Thousand. 

It is, indeed, a fine racing record, but at times 
the fortunate owner had to bear resounding buffets 
from some of his poHtical adherents. He was, 
however, equal to the occasion. When they com- 
plained of his Epsom victory, he reminded them 
that Cromwell kept race-horses : ^ and when the 
Nonconformist conscience was agitated, he replied 
that so long as he was unsuccessful that interesting 
and sensitive organ was silent, but when he won, 
he became at once the torture of pious souls. 

Lord Rosebery's horses are still seen on the race- 
course, but of late their owner has not witnessed 
their achievements. At the recent Carnival of 
Epsom there were many who thought of him, 
resting at his favourite Tusculum, almost within 
earshot of those crowds on the Downs who had 
thrice acclaimed him winner of the paramount 
prize. It is hardly in human nature to be so 
circumstanced without a secret pang. Relief from 
public cares may be desirable, and yet even the 
greatest man, 

Though his best part long since was done, 
Still on the stage desires to tarry. 

Lord Rosebery has known high fortune in the 
State and on the Turf. The measure of his natural 

I "While there is no proof that Cromwell ever attended a race- 
meeting or ran any of his horses, there is ample evidence of his 
having owned and bred race-horses. He loved " to look upon 
his Barbary steeds." He obtained some of the best animals at 
the Royal Stud in 1650, and at the Restoration his horses, " said 
to be the best in England," reverted to the Royal paddocks {Par- 
liamentary Intelligencer, May 21, 1660). 

42 



PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR RACE-HORSES 

talents and ambitions has been filled to the brim- 
Now, as the glories of the past recede, may it be 
his to have that unclouded serenity and calmness 
of mind which are the greatest of all human 
blessings. 



43 



II 

A GREAT MATCH 

A young racehorse of old pedigree 
Match'd for the Spring, whom several went to see. 

Byron, Don Juan. 

The Scottish peer whose famiUar reputation rests 
upon the romantic tournament which bears his 
name, and whose popularity was proverbial in 
Scotland as a princely host, and in Ireland as 
genial Viceroy in two of Lord Derby's administra- 
tions, figures prominently in the annals of the 
Turf at a most interesting period. A sketch, 
masterly but fanciful, is given of him in a classic 
work of political romance, in which reference is 
made to " his horses that were entered for all the 
great races of the kingdom." The thirteenth 
Earl of Eglinton at the age of nineteen won the 
Ayr Plate with his grey mare Bathsheba. En- 
couraged by this success, three years later he had 
ten horses in training under the care of old George 
Dawson. Among them was St. Benet, who 
achieved a notable victory in the Liverpool Cup 
of 1838. Irishmen in numbers had crossed the 
Channel to witness the success of their invincible 
Harkaway ; but, great horse as he was, he failed 
to give 15 lb. to St. Benet, who v/on a desperate 
race for Lord Eglinton by a neck. 

Three years after the celebration of the historic 

44 






m 



-7; ° 



Blue Bonxkt. 

Winner of the St. Leger, 1842. 



A GREAT MATCH 

tournament at Eglinton Castle his lordship won 
his first classical race. He owned a mare named 
Blue Bonnet, a daughter of Touchstone and Maid 
of Melrose. As a two-year-old she had broken 
down more than once. Engagements at Goodwood, 
Liverpool, and other places had all been sacrificed. 
She had travelled hundreds of miles, but had 
never been saddled for a race, and her owner had 
long lost any faith in her. It was the Saturday 
before the races when Lord Eglinton arrived at 
Doncaster. In the course of the afternoon he 
and a friend looked in at Dawson's stables, when 
the trainer proudly led the way to a box where 
stood a fine lengthy bay mare in brilliant condition. 
He introduced this maiden three-year-old to his 
visitors as the winner of the forthcoming St. 
Leger. It was then explained to Lord Eglinton 
that the mare was his despised Blue Bonnet, and 
that she had been so tried as to make the great 
race a certainty for her. Her trial had been 
remarkable, although in these days the argument 
drawn from it would perhaps be not so confident. 
The trainer reported that he had twice tried the 
mare with the six-year-old Charles XII, winner 
of the St. Leger of 1839, ^^^ ^t that time one 
of the best horses in England. In receipt of 2 st., 
she had beaten the horse on each occasion, and 
the trainer declared that no other three-year-old 
in the country was capable of such a performance. 
Lord Eglinton was so impressed with this account 
that he repaired to the betting-rooms after dinner 
to back his St. Leger candidate. From the 
notorious Crockford he took £10,000 to £150, 
and before he left the rooms he booked another 

45 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

wager of £10,000 to £200. His confidence in the 
filly's prospects increased, and the following day- 
he took another bet of £10,000 to £300. The 
turf market was strong in those times, for, 
despite these large wagers made openly by the 
owner, the mare started at the remunerative price 
of 8 to I. The Derby winner of that year, Attila — 
the hero of a famous midnight trial — was favourite, 
but Blue Bonnet beat him out of a place, and won 
cleverly by a length from Seahorse. She was 
cruelly and unnecessarily punished by her jockey. 
Lye, who had backed her heavily, and after this 
treatment she was useless on the race-course. Lye 
was never again employed by Dawson. 

In 1844 Lord Eglinton removed his horses from 
Dawson and entrusted their training to Fobert. 
Fortune continued to smile on the tartan colours, 
and at this date Lord Eglinton's career on the 
Turf was made by an extraordinarily lucky accident. 
A mare named Barbelle had bred to the famous 
Lanercost a brown colt. When a yearling Lord 
Eglinton took it on trust, leaving its value to be 
settled subsequently by Colonel Anson and Mr. 
Charles Greville. These eminent stable authorities 
of Whitewall and Danebury valued the colt at 
£300, with a proviso that the purhaser should 
pay £500 in addition if it won the Derby. Lord 
Eglinton called his purchase Van Tromp. The 
colt soon became a celebrity. He was an idle 
horse requiring much work, but he had a fine 
turn of speed. As a two-year-old he won valuable 
races at Liverpool, Goodwood, and Doncaster. 
In the Derby of 1847 — the last run over the old 
course — for which he was heavily supported by 

46 



A GREAT MATCH 

Lord George Bentinck, who stood upwards of 
£20,000 at flag fall, he was third to Cossack and 
War Eagle. After the race it was considered that 
Job Marson, a jockey of experience and repute, 
had not done his best for his mount, and both 
Bentinck and Grev^ille declared that fairly ridden 
the horse must have won. Another version on 
record is that early in the race Van Tromp was 
struck into, and, swerving in consequence, lost 
several lengths. Be this as it may, Marson at 
the end of the season was dismissed from Lord 
Eghnton's service, though he lived to have signal 
success in the colours of a rival stable. It is 
indeed more than likely that if he had remained 
in Lord Eghnton's employment he would have 
spared his master his greatest disappointment 
on the Turf. The jockey always protested his 
innocence, and with some justice in the opinion 
of persons less interested than those who had much 
at stake, for Van Tromp was not nearly so well 
adapted to the Epsom gradients as Cossack, who 
moved freely and easily down the hill. 

In the St. Leger, Van Tromp, well suited by the 
Doncaster course, achieved an easy victory over 
his Derby conqueror, and in the following year 
beat him by a hundred yards at Goodwood. In 
1849 ^^^ Tromp again beat Cossack in the Emperor's 
Plate at Ascot in the style of a great horse, and 
with this race to his credit he quitted the Turf. 
During his last year in training he developed a 
very bad temper, and was ridden in a muzzle. 
Subsequently he was bought by the Tsar's agent. 
Colonel Schreider, and was exported to Russia, 
where he became a great favourite. 

47 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

But Van Tromp's dam, Barbelle, was to breed 
a yet better son. The mare rather lacked power, 
but she was neat, short-legged, and lengthy, stand- 
ing not more than 15-2. Her stud value having 
been established by the early successes of Van 
Tromp, Lord Eglinton made a bargain with her 
owner, Colonel Vansittart, to pay a thousand 
guineas for every foal she should produce. It 
was a very fortunate contract, for in 1846 the 
mare foaled the Flying Dutchman, one of the best 
horses that ever ran on an English race-course, 
and destined to confer on Lord Eglinton a higher 
title to fame than he ever gained from tournament 
in Scotland or from political service in Ireland. 
The Flying Dutchman was a brown colt by Bay 
Middleton, winner of the Derby in 1836, a sire 
held in the highest esteem by all good judges 
of the thoroughbred. The pedigree of the Flying 
Dutchman shows the excellent judgment of the 
breeder, who, in common with the best stud masters 
of the time, believed in close in-breeding to Eclipse 
Herod, and Matchem. The colt was of a very 
irritable temperament and a hard puller. He 
required very little work, and in his gallops was 
generally unaccompanied. The first time he was 
mounted by a jockey, his rider on dismounting 
exclaimed, " I have never been on such a one 
before." As a two-year-old he won the July 
Stakes with 7 to 4 betted on him, and the Cham- 
pagne at Doncaster without being extended. In all 
he won five races in his first year. The next year 
he won the Derby, beating Nunnykirk, the winner 
of the Two Thousand Guineas. It was a desperate 
race, for the downs at Epsom were very sticky, 

48 



The Flying Dutchman. 

Winner of the Derby ; the St. Leger, 1849 ; and the Emperor's Plate, 
Ascot, 1850. 



A GREAT MATCH 

owing to recent rains, and the horse did not show 
to advantage in heavy going. He easily mastered 
his conspicuous opponents, but an outsider. Hotspur, 
stuck to him with desperate tenacity, and at one 
moment it appeared as if the unbeaten champion 
would at last have to own defeat. Marlow 
struck him twice, and in the last few strides he 
shook off his game antagonist and won by a bare 
half length. The St. Leger he won easily, and at 
Ascot in the following year he carried off the 
Emperor of Russia's Plate by no less than eight 
lengths. At the Royal meeting he was the cynosure 
of all eyes. His condition was absolutely dazzling. 
An admiring trainer from Newmarket was heard 
to say, " He looks like a picture of a race-horse, 
coloured and varnished." But the sensational 
period of his career was now approaching. His 
title to pre-eminence was to be challenged by a 
younger rival, who had become the idol of all 
Yorkshire, and whose history is one of the most 
interesting in the records of the Turf. 

In 1847 a mare by Mulatto foaled a dark brown 
colt with a white hind foot. He was a grandson 
of Blacklock from the union of his sire Voltaire 
with Martha Lynn, her dam Leda by Filho-da- 
Puta. The pedigree of this colt shows the name 
of Eclipse in no less than fifteen of its thirty-two 
quarterings, the name of Herod in eighteen, and 
Matchem in eleven, thus exhibiting more close in- 
breeding to these distinguished old sires than any 
animal of his date. Curiously enough, the Voltaire 
colts were not highly valued. They were generally 
heavy necked and fleshy, and when Hill, Lord Zet- 
land's trainer, marked the yearling at the Doncaster 

49 D 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

sales, his lordship would have none of him. He 
was quickly passed out of the sale ring as no one 
would bid a hundred for him, and he was returned 
to his breeder, Mr. Stephenson of Hart. But 
the trainer adhered to his favourable opinion of 
the unpopular yearling with his too massive fore- 
hand, and at last Lord Zetland reluctantly gave 
permission for him to be sent to Aske. To the 
amazement of the Aske stable the brown colt won 
two trials with consummate ease, and in a third, 
in which Ellen Middleton and Castenette ^ were 
engaged, he came in alone. Lord Zetland was 
now only too anxious to buy the animal he had 
once so contemptuously declined, and gladly gave 
£1,500 for him, with a /500 contingency on every 
classic race he should win. The horse was named 
Voltigeur. He brought imperishable lustre to his 
owner, and inspired the love and adoration of 
every sportsman in the Northern shire. 

Voltigeur only ran once as a two-year-old, 
winning a small race at Richmond. The colt 
carried 8 st. 9 lb. and with 6 to 4 betted on him he 
won by a length. For the Derby he underwent 
the careful and old-fashioned preparation of those 
days, and the thickset three-year-old, with legs 
and feet like iron, throve under the heavy sweats 
which were then in vogue. In due course he was 
sent to Epson ; but through some mischance of 
the journey he was delayed in his box for many 
hours, and he had evidently suffered greatly by 
the prolonged confinement. The cognoscenti in 

» Both these mares became famous at the stud. Ellen Middleton 
bred Wild Dayrell, who won the Derby in 1855, and Castenette 
the renowned Cup horse. Fandango. 

50 



VoLTiGEUK. 
Winner of the Dc-ihy, the St. Leger, and the Doncaster Cup, 1850. 




o ^ 



A GREAT MATCH 

the paddock passed an unfavourable judgment on 
him, and he started at the long odds of i6 to i. 
Davis the bookmaker perambulated the ring or'ier- 
ing any odds against him. Over this Derby and 
the two following, when Teddington and Daniel 
O'Rourke won, the Leviathan operator was said 
to have lost more than a quarter of a million. 
Ridden by Job Marson, Voltigeur, although in 
running he nearly gave himself an overreach, won 
the race easily by a length from Pitsford, the 
winner of the Two Thousand Guineas, a victory 
of no little satisfaction to the jockey, who thus 
handsomely justified the confidence of a new master. 
The horse was then reserved for the St. Leger, 
and for the Doncaster race he was a hot favourite, 
13 to 8 being laid on his chance. His victory was 
regarded as so certain that only eight horses came 
to the post to oppose him. But the crack had a 
very different task to that set him on Epsom 
Downs. In the race, when he had apparently 
settled all his English opponents, a despised out- 
sider, against whom 20 to i had been laid at the 
start, was seen to be gaining on him yard by yard, 
and sticking gallantly to him refused to be shaken 
off. Head to head they came thundering on amid 
the roar of the multitude, and head to head the 
brown and the chestnut passed the judge's chair. 
The suspense was breathless, the anxiety over- 
whelming. At length the verdict was given. 
The judge had been unable to separate the two 
horses : it was a dead heat. An Irish horse, Russ- 
borough, the property of Mr. Mangan, who had 
been backed by the Irish division to win a great 
stake, and who was a grandson of Voltigeur's 

51 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

sire, had had — with the brilUant assistance of 
Robinson, his jockey — the presumption to assert 
equaUty with the hero of the North Country. 
Before the excitement had died down it was decided 
to take issue again. The dead heat was to be 
run off. Hill, the trainer of the favourite, was 
by this time quite unnerved. He allowed Voltigeur 
to be led towards his stable, there to be rubbed 
down and to rest before renewing the contest with 
his doughty Irish rival, who, of the two, was the 
better trained. Fortunately, some shrewd sports- 
men interested in the fortunes of the Zetland stable 
realized that if suffered to stand still for two hours 
the horse would then be unable to raise a gallop ; 
but the trainer would not heed their remonstrances. 
At that critical moment John Scott was seen 
talking to Sir William Milner. At once an appeal 
was addressed to the oracle of Whitewall. " If," 
said he, " you put Voltigeur into a stable and 
allow him to get stiff you might as well shoot 
him through the head. You must keep him walk- 
ing the whole time till he runs for the deciding 
heat. That is what I did with Charles XII." * 
Such authority could not be questioned. Roma 
locuta est. After these words of sagacity and 
ripe experience, Voltigeur was led about until 
the supreme moment arrived for the deciding 
encounter. 

Soon after five o'clock, when the other races 
on the card were over, the two heroes of the day 
were seen approaching the enclosure. A whisper 
went round that Russborough would set a severe 

' Charles XII ran a dead heat for the St. Lager with Euclid in 
2839, and won the deciding heat. 

53 



A GREAT MATCH 

pace to the Zetland horse. Voltigeur was mounted 
on the course. The canter followed the parade. 
When the flag fell the Irish horse was first away, 
making strong running. Up the hill the pace 
quickened, and two lengths separated the horses 
at the Red House. Into the straight Russborough 
came, still keeping the lead, his jockey glancing 
over his shoulder at Marson, who rode with hands 
well down on Voltigeur's withers. The vast crowd, 
as the horses passed, closed in upon them. Half- 
way within the distance Marson gave his horse a 
sharp reminder with the spurs. In the next 
three strides he was alongside the other, and ran 
home a clever winner by a length. Spotted 
handkerchiefs — the Zetland colours — flew in the 
air, the police went down like thistledown before 
a hurricane, and the winner was mobbed by his 
frantic admirers. 

But the climax of the week's excitement was 
yet to come. Voltigeur on the Friday threw 
down the gauntlet to the mighty Dutchman in 
the Cup. Never had there been such a Cup day 
on the historic Town Moor. It was a battle d 
outrance between North and South. The four- 
year-old was a hot favourite — ii to 2 and 6 to i 
being betted on him — and by the talent he was 
fully expected to beat his younger rival, who, 
it was thought, would be feeling the effect of his 
two severe races only two days before. Voltigeur, 
however, was in reality all the better for his exer- 
tions. On the Wednesday he was undoubtedly 
short of a gallop : but the following day, when he 
walked over for the Scarborough Stakes, he seemed 
as if he had never run a race the day before, and 

53 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

when he came to the post for the Cup he showed 
a significant improvement on his form in the 
St. Leger. In the race Marlow rode the Dutchman 
and Nat (Flatman) displaced Job Marson as the 
Zetland jockey. Lord Eglinton's horse had been 
rather upset by his journey to Doncaster, and was 
more fretful than usual. Marlow had strict in- 
junctions to wait on the three-year-old, who was 
in receipt of 19 Ib.^ from his horse (there were no 
other runners), until they were round the Red 
House corner — some six furlongs from the winning- 
post ; but to the consternation of owner and 
trainer the Dutchman, on passing the stand for 
the first time, was seen to be making the running 
at a rate without parallel in a long-distance race. 
Round the turn and up the hill the pace was 
maintained, the Dutchman still leading, and as 
they descended the hill the tartan jacket was 
ten lengths in front. At the Red House Voltigeur 
drew up within two lengths of the other, and 
Nat challenged just before the distance was reached. 
Then, to his horror, Marlow on the Dutchman 
found that he had driven his great horse to a stand- 
still, and that there was not an ounce of extra 
power left in him for a final effort. Voltigeur, 
ridden with fine judgment throughout, passed 
the post with an advantage of half a length, and 
the Yorkshiremen roared themselves hoarse with 
delight. 2 

« The Flying Dutchman carried 8 st. 12 lb. and Voltigeur 
7 St. 7 lb. 

« The writer had the account of this race, as also that of 
the match at York in the following spring, from a relative, a 
Yorkshire squire, who was an eyewitness of both races. This 
authority stated that it was evident that when Marlow got up 

54 



The Doncaster Cup, 1850. 

\'oltigeur beating the Flying Dutchman. 




o 5 
lo jr. 



U 



>< ■'El 



A GREAT MATCH 

A contemporary writer relates that the vast 
crowd seemed quite stunned by the result, and were 
hardly able to realize that such a giant as the 
Flying Dutchman had fallen at last. His backers 
moved about pale and silent, and the unhappy 
jockey stood by the weighing-room in a flood of 
tears, while Lord Eglinton endeavoured to soothe 
his disappointment with some kindly words. On 
the other hand, the Voltigeur idolaters were 
absolutely demoralized by the wonder of their 
champion's victory. That night it was high revel 
at the Salutation and at every crammed hostelry 
in the old town. Yorkshire ale foamed in the 
glasses. Farmers, graziers, and clothiers ate, drank, 
and danced with the inn servants. To an inquiry 
whether he was going to bed, a stout Yorkshireman 
shouted back indignantly in the rich vernacular, 
"Go to bed, indeed ! Who'd go to bed when 
Voltigeur 's won the Leger and the Cup ? " 

" After Calais," as a wise wit once said, " nothing 
surprises." The racing world that autumn and 
winter talked of little but the Doncaster battle 
of the giants, and of their respective merits. It 
had been so even a contest that sporting opinion 
was keenly divided. At length Lord Zetland and 
Lord Eglinton agreed to a match. The venue 
was to be York, for a thousand guineas a side, two 
miles over the old course, at the Spring Meeting 
on May 13th. The handicapping was entrusted 
to Captain Rous. This was the gallant sailor's 
first notable handicap. He had been in 1841 

on the Flying Dutchman for the Doncaster Cup he was not sober, 
and that his riding of the horse was flagrantly contrary to the 
orders he had received 

55 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

elected Member for Westminster, but, doubtless 
regarding Sir Robert Peel as a shifty performer, 
had wisely retired from pohtics. Thenceforward 
he devoted himself to the stewardship of the Jockey 
Club, and to the extrication of that institution 
from its financial embarrassment — a task which 
he accomplished with complete success. In 1850 
he published his work on the Laws and Practice 
of Horse-Racing, and was with universal approval 
appointed the first official handicapper by the 
Jockey Club in 1855. Captain Rous (he became 
Rear-Admiral of the Blue in 1852), after infinite 
consideration, allotted the Flying Dutchman 8 st. 
8-J- lb. and Voltigeur 8 st. The result of the race, 
as will be seen, was a fine compliment to the handi- 
capper. 

No better theatre for the contest could have 
been chosen. York as a race-course has always 
been beloved of Yorkshiremen. Its racing history 
goes back to a remote past. In Camden's Brita^mia 
horse-racing is spoken of as being practised on the 
east side of the City of York in the year 1590, 
at which a gold or silver bell » was the winning 
prize, and large sums were wagered upon the horses. 
Sylvanus writes that in his days there were many 
retail shops in York wherein " you might get 
pepper to a pony," on any great race that was 
pending, from the sedate old gentleman who was 
serving behind the counter in drab garments and 
flaxen wig, and who would have derived his informa- 

» Hence the proverb " to bear the bell." 

Jockey and his horse were by their masters sent 
To put in for the bell. 

North, Forest of Vaneti-es. 

56 



A GREAT MATCH 

tion from some Malton stable-lad at that moment 
in the little back parlour discussing a plate of 
corned beef and a horn of October ale. The present 
race-course is situate about a mile from the city 
on the Tadcaster Road, and is known as the 
Knavesmire. Here were estabhshed races as far 
back as 1709, in which year the citizens made a 
collection with which they purchased five plates 
for competition, while, according to the historian 
Drake, four years later " the King's Gold Cup was 
procured to be run for." ^ The course is a mile 
and six furlongs and rather over fifty yards round ; 
and, being in the form of a horseshoe, is considered 
one of the best in England, as the spectators can 
stand and witness the horses running round them. 
Throughout the winter and early spring tongues 
wagged and pens wrote concerning the probable 
issue of the great match and the manner in which 
it would be run. Match-riding in those days was 
understood ; in recent years it has become a lost 
art. One prophetic scribe opined that the Dutch- 
man would go away and run the four-year-old 
down as soon as they reached the turn — the famous 
spot where an Archbishop of York, having stolen 
from his adjoining palace of Bishopthorpe, is said 
to have been discovered by his chaplain on a race 
day slyly peeping through the hedge at the horses 
running on the Knavesmire — the chaplain, be it 
said, being equally interested in the proceedings. 
From that point it was anticipated that Voltigeur 
would make his effort and win the match. On 
the other hand, there were sound judges who, 

' Strictly, Drake should have called it the Queen's Cup, as at 
that date Queen Anne was on the throne. 

57 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

having regard to the races in which the Zetland 
horse had taken part, doubted whether he was 
of as good class as the Dutchman. Among these 
was the famous sporting Baronet of Sledmere, 
whose opinion is thus quoted in a medley com- 
memorating the event : 

Of victory for Voltigeur 

The masses never doubt, 
But thus outspoke Sir Tatton, 

He cannot win this bout. 

Indeed, the poet was right, Voltigeur was the 
horse of the million. The miners, the hardware 
youths from Sheffield, the factory hands from 
Leeds, the farmers from every quarter of Yorkshire 
drove, rode, or tramped along the roads leading 
to York. From Leeds to Tadcaster and onwards 
hundreds slept on the wayside, resuming their 
walk betimes in order to get a place on the course 
near the rails. There were then some limited 
railway facilities ; but trains announced to start 
at 10 A.M. were packed full at 6 o'clock by crowds 
who sang and cheered the name of Voltigeur and 
the Zetland spots. 

" Pompeius before Pharsalia, Harold before 
Hastings, Napoleon before Waterloo, might afford 
some striking contrasts to the immediate catastrophe 
of their fortunes. And yet the Before and After 
of a first-rate English race in the degree of its 
excitement, and sometimes in the tragic emotions 
of its close, may vie even with these." Thus 
wrote DisraeH of the Derby of 1837 when Phos- 
phorus prevailed. Certainly no " before " and 
" after " ever aroused more interest on an English 
race-course than did this match of the century. 

58 



A GREAT MATCH 

The two horses were at even betting almost from 
the day when it was announced that the match 
had been made, and when they went to the post 
there was not a shade of odds on the one side or 
the other. The match was the third event on the 
card. At the fall of the flag Nat on Voltigeur 
made the running at the top of his speed, and was 
soon three lengths ahead of his rival, the pace 
being very fast, having regard to the state of the 
ground. No change took place until they rounded 
the last turn, when Marlow called on the Flying 
Dutchman to go up to his antagonist with a request 
very pointedly urged. As the two horses passed 
the stands it was stride for stride, and it was seen 
by the breathless spectators to be a struggle of 
desperate effort. It proved too much for the 
younger horse, and he tired first, the Dutchman 
with his relentless reach passing the post first by 
a short length. Marlow appeared to be nervous 
before the start, but throughout he rode a confident 
and well-judged race. He was a jockey with good 
hands, very patient, and a most resolute finisher. 

The next day Lord Eglinton announced that 
the Flying Dutchman would forthwith be with- 
drawn from the Turf, having lost only one of the 
sixteen races in which he had been engaged. 

And for Yorkshire, too, it was all over. The 
Richmond men had their long journey home before 
them. It was no more the rollicking roystering 
crowd that had shouted over the successes of their 
favourite at Doncaster, and who in their hearts 
had believed that he would never know defeat. 
As they plodded along they had to relate the story 
of their disappointment in the sanded kitchen 

59 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

of many an alehouse on village greens, and to 
listen to old greybeards who, in their turn, told 
of their memory of another North-country cham- 
pion, Hambletonian of the County of Durham, 
who fifty-two years before had vanquished Dia- 
mond in a match for three thousand guineas over 
the Beacon Course. 

How Hambletonian beat of yore 
Such horses as are seen no more. 

They told how Sir Harry Vane Tempest's horse 
only won by a head, and how before the race Sir 
Harry took the cool hand of his jockey, Frank 
Buckle, in his own hot grasp, exclaiming that 
he would give much to possess such nerve, and 
how Buckle's judgment in making up his ground 
between the Ditch and the Turn of the Lands 
had gained him his narrow victory. 

Voltigeur's picture by Landseer hangs at Aske, 
with the horse's favourite companion, the kitten, 
which would curl up contentedly on his clothing, 
but would never sit upon his bare back. At the 
stud the progeny of Voltigeur and his great rival 
met and loved — a union of the family of Eclipse 
with that of Herod, and one of significant contrast, 
if the concetto may be forgiven, to the tragedy of 
the children of Montague and Capulet. Voltigeur's 
son Vedette was mated with Flying Duchess, a 
daughter of the Flying Dutchman. The offspring 
of this union was the famous Galopin, winner 
of the Derby of 1875, and the immediate founder 
of the St. Simon Hne, which for many years has 
dominated the Racing Peerage of England. 



60 



Ill 

DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

Sat est vixisse. 

Wherein were two things equally amusing : 
The one was winning, and the other losing. 

Danebury for sale !^ Is there a surviving votary 
of the Turf of the Victorian era whose mind is 
not charged with memories of Danebury and 
Stockbridge — once the centre of racing interests, 
where the quick pulse of the Turf world throbbed, 
where fortunes were made and lost, and where 
the dead progenitors of the race-horses of to-day 
were born and trained for their engagements ? 

Some seven miles from Andover and about 
seventeen from Salisbury lies the little town of 
Stockbridge, with its race-course in the middle 
of the open country. On the sky-line is seen the 
majestic Danebury Clump, and as the descent is 
made from that commanding height, there stretches 
the famous Danebury Down, revealing all the quiet 
beauties of the valley. The turf is sound and 
yielding and of a livelier hue than elsewhere. The 
hill-sides are bright with a rich verdure, and in 
the sunshine the landscape has a freshness and 
a warmth of colouring peculiar to this delicious 
quarter of Hampshire. The race-course on which 

I This property was put up for sale, and bought by Lord Glanely. 

6i 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

the Stockbridge and Bibury Club meetings were 
held is one of severe gradients, and offers more 
reward to stamina than mere speed. Indeed, the 
severity which makes it so admirable as a training 
ground somewhat spoils it for racing purposes. 
The races have been discontinued these twenty- 
three years, but the stands remain, from which 
many a close struggle has been witnessed of horses 
battling up and down the dips as the winning- 
post was approached. These structures are now 
rapidly falling into decay ; but one still serves 
for the evening entertainment of the stable-boys, 
and another for a chapel where the local priest 
says Mass for the benefit of the Irish employes 
of the adjoining training establishments, and hears 
confessions, which must give his reverence — if he 
has any mind for the sport — material for interest- 
ing and sometimes profitable reflection. It would 
seem that the observance of religious discipline 
has been inherited at Danebury. In the time of 
John Day the boys were compelled to attend 
two services on Sunday, and, after these devotions, 
were assembled in the trainer's dining-room, where 
he read them one of Blair's discourses, with a 
whip at hand, which he used for the benefit of 
any member of the congregation who chanced to 
slumber. 

Vox domini furit instantis virgamgue ieneniis.'^ 

After the turn is made from the Andover road 
and passing along the lane which winds through 
the sleepy Wallops, the trainer's house is soon 
reached. It lies in a pleasant hollow in the midst 
of stables and paddocks. Here reigned the famous 

* Juvenal, xiv. 63. 
62 



Trainer's Cottage at Danebury in the Time of 
Old John Day. 



The Stands, Stockbridge Race-course. 




Traixer's Cottage at Danebury in the time of old 
John Day. 




•dHHHHiiafi^HHi 



i 



The Stands, Stockdridge Race-course. 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINGK 

John Day. In his time the house was Uttle more 
than a cottage, overshadowed by a great horse- 
chestnut tree and in close proximity to stalls and 
boxes ; but since then his successors have occupied 
a building of more modern proportions. Many 
interesting memorials of the past remain — notably 
the little cramped room where the old trainer 
kept his saddles and colours, and where the weighing 
machine still stands in which jockeys and boys 
were weighed out before riding a trial to determine 
an issue on which many thousands of pounds 
were ultimately hazarded in the betting ring. Day 
gave evidence before a Committee of the House of 
Commons in 1844, ^^^ i^ ^is answers to questions 
by the Chairman stated that thirty-five servants 
in his employment at Danebury sat down to 
dinner every day, and upwards of a hundred 
persons were employed in the stables in con- 
nexion with the management of the horses in 
training. 

The old place is full of the traditions of classic 
race-horses. Mr. Crosby's mare Pussy was trained 
here, winner of the Oaks as far back as 1834. In 
the hands of " Old John " (J. B. Day), and starting 
at 20 to I, she defeated an Epsom field of fifteen 
runners — a lucky performance, for May Day at 
the distance, with the race well in hand, fell and 
broke her leg. John Gully, prize-fighter and 
Member of Parliament, owned Pyrrhus the First, 
who learnt his business on Danebury Down and 
won the Derby in 1846 — a success which the same 
owner repeated in 1854 with his bay horse Andover. 
Cossack, who gave his name to the renowned 
port-wine vintage of 1847, completes the list of 

63 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

Danebury winners of the Epsom race, and was 
the last horse to win over the old course, of which 
the first three-quarters of a mile nearly settled 
the contest before Tattenham Corner was reached. 
The Oaks race went to Danebury in 1840 with the 
famous Crucifix, while Mendicant, of exquisite 
symmetry and perfect action, won it easily six 
years later — both mares at the stud making great 
names for themselves with their sons who won 
the Derby. Danebury also sent out Mr. Hill's 
mares, Cymba to win the Oaks in 1848 and Mincepie 
in 1856 ; and to win the One Thousand Guineas, 
Lord George Bentinck's Chapeau d'Espagne, the 
Duke of Beaufort's Siberia, and Lord Hastings' 
Repulse. Vauban, though he failed in Hermit's 
sensational Derby of 1867, brought credit to Dane- 
bury by his easy victory in the Two Thousand, 
as did The Hermit in the same race in 1854. Elis 
in 1836 took the St. Leger and so did Saucebox 
in 1854. Bay Middleton, after his unbeaten career 
on the Turf, stood here : the magnificent son of 
Sultan having been bought by Lord George Bentinck 
from Lord Jersey for the sum of £4,000, partly 
because he was the only horse who consistently 
proved himself superior to Elis, of whom Lord 
George had the highest opinion, and partly in 
the hope that the skill of Day at Danebury would 
repair a suspicious leg and again bring the great 
horse to the post. But this was not to be. Bay 
Middleton's subsequent renown was gained as the 
sire of the Flying Dutchman and Andover — both 
winners of the Derby — and as one of the best 
representatives of an important branch of the 
.genealogical stud tree. 

64 



The Two 'Thousand. The One Thousand. The Oaks. 

Grey Momus ... 1838 Chapeau d'Espagne 1837 Crucifix 1840 

Crucifix 1840 Crucifi.\ 1840 

firebrand 1842 



67. Leger. 
Elii 1836 




^(Zwfc^;^ 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

The Grand National is the classic steeplechase, 
and on the Danebur}^ ground was schooled Mani- 
festo, who was twice victorious and became the 
idol of the Aintree public. In 1908 Rubio and 
Mattie Macgregor were first and second for the 
great race over the Liverpool country, and were 
trained for this engagement by Mr. Withington — 
then the tenant of Danebury — a gentleman of 
deserved popularity, a fine horseman, and an 
accomplished master of his craft. 

Danebury will always be associated with the 
name of Lord George Bentinck. Despite the 
literary charm with which Disraeli has drawn his 
character as a politician, it is as one of the most 
astute and imperious personalities of the racing 
world that he will be remembered in the history 
of the English Turf. Bentinck, bom in 1802, was 
the second son of the Duke of Portland. He was 
bred to race, for his father had won the Derby 
in 1819 with Tiresias. In early life he was for 
three years private secretary to his uncle, Mr. 
Canning, when Foreign Secretary and Leader of 
the House of Commons. In the service of the 
eminent statesman he made the acquaintance of 
the Duke of York, whom he had greatly impressed 
by his knowledge of racing affairs and whose 
race-horses were managed by Charles Greville, 
Clerk of the Privy Council. His Royal Highness 
rewarded his young friend with a majority in the 
loth Hussars. Two years later Bentinck became 
Member for Lynn, and in 1833 started a racing 
stud at Danebury, entering and running his horses 
sometimes in the name of his trainer, John Day, 
and sometimes in the name of his cousin, Greville. 

65 E 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

In his diary Greville ^ records that Bentinck ran 
a number of horses in various ahases at Newmarket. 
The Duke of Portland was much puzzled, and asked 
his friends who these invisible personages were. 
At last, as it was evident that the Duke would 
find out the truth, Greville advised his cousin to 
make a clean breast of it. Mustering up his courage, 
Bentinck told his father that all those horses were 
his. The Duke was greatly incensed and at once 
left Newmarket. For a long time he would not see 
the offender, but he was ultimately pacified, and 
afterwards became much interested in his son's 
racing interests. 

Bentinck's first good horse was Preserve, an 
animal Greville had bred in 1832, and which he 
states that he bought for Bentinck in the following 
year. Preserve was an own sister to Greville's 
famous horse Mango by Emilius (winner of the 
Derby of 1833) out of Mustard. This reference 
to Mango recalls an incident of the Stockbridge 
race-course in June of 1837. The races were in 
progress on the Friday, and when the time set 
for a sweepstakes of ;fioo had arrived, the owner 
of Mango had not appeared. The race was delayed 

» Mr. Greville's career on the Turf began in 182 1 — the year of 
liis appointment as Clerk of the Council — and closed in 1855, when 
he sold his horses. In racing affairs his judgment was so highly 
respected that, in 1822, he became the manager of the Duke of 
York's stud on the retirement of Mr. Warwick Lake. Subsequently 
Lord Egremont's stud was under his direction. He enjoyed a fair 
measure of success on the Turf. He would have won the Derby 
in 1845 — and according to his own account ;^20,ooo in bets — had 
not his horse, Alarm, been driven over the rails by the Libel at 
the starting-post. Alarm, though badly injured, took part in the 
race. Later on Alarm won several engagements of importance 
^{Grevilh Memoirs, vol. v. p. 290). 

66 



Stockbridge Race-course. 

Trainer with horses on the straight five furlongs. 





5 i 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

for half an hour, when Lord Chesterfield ^ and 
the Clerk of the Council came rattling over the 
hill in an open barouche and four. The carriage 
had hardly reached the stand before the noble 
lord offered 6 to 4 in thousands on his friend's 
horse Mango to beat his solitary opponent, Wisdom. 
It was a desperate race, the horses entering the 
straight almost level, Mango on the inside. They 
ran neck and neck under the whip to the winning- 
post, the judge awarding the race to Greville's 
horse by a head. 

" Punch " Greville gossips interestingly about 
Mango. Bentinck and he had quarrelled over the 
former's purchase of Preserve, and matters were 
not made better by Greville's interference in an 
affaire de conur — at any time a perilous operation ; 
but in about two years' time they began to jumble 
into intimacy again, and at length their friendship 
was almost re-established under the following cir- 
cumstances. Greville wanted to try Mango for 
the St. Leger. Bentinck's trainer told him he 
was sure that his master would arrange this at 
Danebury. Greville and Bentinck went down to 
Stockbridge together and tried the horse. Mango 
won the trial, and subsequently won the St. Leger ; 
Bentinck, according to his cousin's journal, re- 
ceiving £14,000 over the race. 

Preserve was a useful purchase for Bentinck. 
She took the Clearwell and the Criterion, and as 
a three-year-old won for her owner his first classic 

I Lord Chesterfield made his first appearance on the Turf under 
the guidance of Charles Greville, with whom he trained his horses 
at Newmarket under Prince. The connexion was dissolved in 1832, 
when Chesterfield removed his horses to John Scott's care at 
Malton. 

67 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

race — the One Thousand. She was subsequently 
second for the Oaks to Queen of Trumps and ran 
unplaced for the St. Leger. 

Bentinck loved Danebury. It is said that he 
spent £1,500 over the gallops in bone-dust alone, 
and in his shirt-sleeves spread a good deal of it 
himself while young Day wheeled the barrow. 
He owned and trained on the downs a notable 
horse in Grey Momus. The colt was a stout one, 
but a little wanting in speed. He started six 
times as a two-year-old and won three of his 
engagements. He began his three-year-old career 
by winning the Two Thousand Guineas, a race 
for which Lord Sufheld's Bamboo was favourite. 
Lord Suffield, who had backed his horse for the 
ensuing Derby to win £50,000, was so dissatisfied 
with the race that he matched his horse against 
Bentinck's at the same meeting, but the grey won 
even more easily than in the first encounter. In 
the Derby, however. Grey Momus suffered a hand- 
some defeat by Amato in a field of twenty-two 
runners. Bentinck was confident of taking the race 
to Danebury, and having another horse — D' Egville 
— engaged, declared to win with Grey Momus, 
who at once became first favourite. He was 
ridden by Day, who, knowing his mount well, 
made most of the running in what proved to be 
for those days a very fast-run race. On entering 
the straight, Amato went easily up to the leaders 
and won by two lengths. Grey Momus was a 
bad third, and Bentinck lost £5,000 on the race. 
Amato is always known as a winner of the Blue 
Riband who won his first and only race on Epsom 
Downs and who lies buried at the Durdans, the 

68 



The Oaks. 

Industry 1838 

Lady Evelyn ... 1849 



St. Leger. 
Don John 183S 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

Surrey retreat of Lord Rosebery. Grey Momus 
subsequently won the Ascot Cup, beating Caravan, 
though that horse turned the tables on him in a 
match at Newmarket in the autumn. 

In the spring of the year of Queen Victoria's 
accession Lord Chesterfield sold a draft from his 
stud. His princely fortune was practically gone. 
He had been Master of the Buckhounds, which 
he had hunted with unexampled extravagance. 
For three seasons he had carried the Pytchley 
horn, and that country had rejoiced in his amazing 
hospitality. His mode of living at Chesterfield 
house was modelled on the profusion of Elagabalus. 
His banquets were the talk of London, and Dolesio, 
his chef, enjoyed the salary of a Cabinet Minister, 
and would have been decorated under the Empire. 

This finished artist in extravagance and gambling 
— with the hel air slightly overdone — this habitue 
of Newmarket and the race-course, was the sixth 
holder of the title made famous by Philip Dormer, 
the fourth Earl, statesman, scholar and letter-writer. 
" The greatest of all the Chesterfields " ^ hated 
field sports, and told his son that such amusements 
were frivolous and the resource of little minds who 
either do not think or do not love to think. During 
the whole period of his public service he never 
touched a card, but on the evening of his resignation 
of the seals of office he repaired to White's and 
quietly resumed his seat among the gamblers in 
the card-room. 

It is notorious that the pious wishes of a testator 
are seldom fulfilled by the legatee, and certainly 

' The description is Lord Carnarvon's : see Prefatory Memoir 
to the Letters. 

69 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

there can hardly be a more signal example of the 
futility of a last testament than that which is 
exhibited in the will of the illustrious nobleman 
who died in 1773. He left his property to his 
godson, Philip Stanhope, but saddled it with 
one of the most remarkable conditions which the 
Registry of Wills enshrines. The will provided 
" that in case my said godson, Philip Stanhope, 
should at any time hereafter keep or be concerned 
in the keeping of any race-horse or race-horses, or 
pack or packs of hounds, or reside one night at 
Newmarket, that infamous seminary of iniquity and 
ill manners, during the course of the races there, 
or shall resort to the said races, or shall lose in 
any one day at any games or bet whatever the 
sum of £500 there ; and in any of the cases afore- 
said it is my express will that he, my said godson, 
shall forfeit and pay out of my estate the sum of 
;f5,ooo to and for the use of the Dean and Chapter 
of Westminster." With a sardonic sneer the 
testator avowed that he had selected these reverend 
parties to enforce this clause in his will, because 
he felt sure that, if the penalty should be incurred, 
they would not be remiss in claiming it ! 

Lord Chesterfield would have been sadly dis- 
appointed in his heir, who, according to Madame 
D'Arblay, had " as little good breeding as any 
man I ever met " ; but if his distaste for the race- 
course and the card-table was genuine, it was 
indeed the irony of fate that his title and estates 
should in the second succession devolve upon one 
who was a master of hounds, who captured the 
chief prizes of the Turf, who gave his name to 
important races at Newmarket and Goodwood, and 

70 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

who squandered a fortune in the gambling hells 
of St. James's. 

The Lord Chesterfield of this period under review 
had won the Oaks with Industry — a daughter of 
the Derby winner, Priam — and the St. Leger with 
Don John, but he had neither the means nor the 
courage to turn their victories to profitable account. 
At this date Bentinck was the Napoleon of the Turf 
market, and he could not conceal his contempt 
for a man who, owning such a horse as Don John, 
allowed the bookmakers to escape with impunity. 
" I am just about to address myself," he wrote 
to a friend, " to the weary task of making out 
my book upon which I have not won a single bet. 
And yet I would rather be in my position than in 
that of Lord Chesterfield, who, with such a horse 
as Don John in his possession, has only won £1,500 
upon the St. Leger. Had Don John been mine, 
I would not have left a single card-seller in Don- 
caster with a coat to his back." 

At this sale of Lord Chesterfield's at Tattersall's 
there was led into the ring an old mare, twenty- 
one years of age, with an ungainly looking bay 
foal at foot. The pair excited more contempt 
than interest, and were knocked down to Bentinck 
for the paltry sum of fifty-four guineas. The foal 
was by Priam out of Octaviana, by Octavian 
who won the St. Leger in 1810. With such a 
pedigree it is not surprising that Bentinck bought 
mother and foal on the advice of a sound judge 
of bloodstock who was present at the sale. The 
foal proved to be a wonder, and in her brief career 
witched the world of racing under the name of 
Crucifix. 

71 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

Crucifix made her first appearance in the Julv 
Stakes at Newmarket in 1839 — ^ i"^ce which in 
those days attracted heavy betting. Two days 
before the race the secret was whispered that 
Danebury would send something exceptionally good 
to run, and after Bentinck's money was invested 
the odds shortened to 2 to i. Young John Day 
who rode the filly was obliged, in spite of a very 
tight rein, to let her win by two lengths. On the 
Thursday she ran in the Chesterfield Stakes, which 
proved to be a chapter of accidents. After several 
false starts the horses ran the full course, and 
Crucifix finished second to Lord Albemarle's Iris. 
The stewards decided that it was " no race," and 
in the actual contest Crucifix reversed the verdict 
and won easily by two lengths. 

The style in which Crucifix had won her races 
showed that she was a filly of more than ordinary 
excellence, and she increased her reputation by 
cantering away with the Lavant Stakes at Good- 
wood and with the Molecomb Stakes at the same 
meeting. 

In October at Newmarket she won the Hopeful 
Stakes. In this race there were seventeen false 
starts, and the horses were kept at the post for 
over an hour. She was favourite, had a bad 
start, and carried a 9-lb. penalty, but nevertheless 
she won as she liked, and afterwards walked over 
for a £100 sweepstakes. At the second October 
meeting she won the Clearwell easily with odds 
betted on her, and in the last race of the year she 
ran a dead-heat for the Criterion with General 
Bates' Gibraltar, carrying a 9-lb. penalty and 
getting last off after a long delay at the starting- 

72 



Crucifix. 

Winner cf the Oaks Stakes at Epsom, 1840. 



iSlM 










^ s 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

post. On this occasion Bentinck presented her 
jockey with a cheque for £ioo, observing, " This is 
not for your riding, but for keeping your temper." 
Bentinck's purchase had won in all nine races, had 
never known defeat, and had placed to his credit 
£4,507 in stakes — a lucrative return for the fifty- 
four guineas which the filly and her dam had 
cost him. 

In the following season Crucifix won the Two 
Thousand Guineas without an effort, and on the 
following Thursday made an example of her oppo- 
nents in the One Thousand. She started for 
this race at the extravagant odds of 10 to i on, 
which her owner cheerfully laid. But the filly was 
now beginning to feel the effects of her numerous 
efforts, and her trainer at Danebury was obliged 
to break it to Bentinck that her legs would hardly 
last another race, and that it would take the 
utmost care to bring her to the post for the Oaks. 
She was indeed built on curious lines. Standing 
nearly sixteen hands high, she had a neck long 
and light ; her shoulders were thin, her chest 
very narrow, and her arms and legs small. She 
was flat-sided, with short back ribs and drooping 
quarters. She is said to have been a shambling 
mover with a tendency to cross her legs, but she 
was as active as a cat, and had the faculty of reach- 
ing her top speed in a few strides. On June 5th, 
in the presence of Queen Victoria and the Prince 
Consort and an immense crowd, Crucifix ran in 
her last race. She was a hot favourite, for the 
public knew nothing of her infirmities. Fifteen 
fillies went to the post at two o'clock, but sixteen 
false starts delayed the race for more than an 

73 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

hour. As the pace was slow, Crucifix, who was last 
off by two or three lengths, took up the running. 
Coming down the hill Lalla Rookh, Welfare, and 
Teleta drew near to the sky-blue and white cap, 
when the trainer's anxiety was seen to be acute, 
and in the straight it became a good race, Welfare 
and Teleta being alongside the favourite. There 
they stayed to the finish. Crucifix, fully extended, 
winning by half a length. As the mare came 
back to scale. Day observed with a significant 
shake of the head, " That is well over," for he 
knew she had really won on three legs. It was 
a fine ending to a great career. The winner had 
run in twelve races, had never been beaten, and 
had won £18,287 in stakes. Bentinck received 
£20,000 in bets over her Oaks victory — his betting 
book showing three times that amount to the 
mare's credit during her victorious life on the 
Turf. 

At the stud Crucifix bred The Cowl (by Bay 
Middleton), a good horse whose name is found 
in the best pedigrees, and in 1845, having been 
mated with Touchstone, produced Surplice, the first 
winner of the Derby and the St. Leger since the 
victories of Champion in 1800. Surplice, as is 
well known, was included in Bentinck's stud, 
which he sold across the breakfast table at Good- 
wood one morning before the races in 1846 to 
Mr. Mostyn for the sum of £10,000. Two years 
later he groaned over his misfortune in the library 
of the House of Commons — it was the day after 
Surplice had won the Derby — and his biographer 
has described the scene in words which have 
become a familiar quotation. 

74 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

Not long after Crucifix's success in the Oaks^ 
Bentinck severed his connexion with Danebury. 
He became dissatisfied with the Days,* and trans- 
ferred his horses to the care of John Kent at 
Goodwood, a trainer who made his master his 
hero, and who has left more than one interesting 
reminiscence of their connexion. 

Bentinck's life is not an easy one to review or 
to estimate. As Greville says, it was one in which 
opposite motives and feelings were strangely inter- 
mingled. His record in political history, of course, 
depends upon Disraeli's brilliant monograph ; but 
Greville, though deeply prejudiced, knew his cousin 
better than the politician, and, at all events, may 
be taken as a superior authority upon those quaUties 
which engaged him in the sovereign passion. 
Bentinck, however, defined his own character in 
a sentence he uttered to Disraeli a few months 
before he died. " I don't pretend," he said, " to 
know much, but I can judge of men and horses " ; 
and indeed this was true. Strenuous and irascible 
— the epithets are those of Disraeli, his sympathetic 
biographer — he worked at the problems of the 
Turf with the same energy as he afterwards dis- 
played in the House of Commons when he was 
called — as he might well have been called in these 
days — to the aid of an acephalous and helpless 
political group. He had no claims to cultivation 
or to polite learning. He could have taken na 
part in conversation with Fox and Windham at 

' Although Bentinck ceased to employ Day as his trainer irt 
1 84 1, it appears from the report of a qui tarn action at Guildford 
Assizes in 1844 that he won ;^3,ooo from his quondam servant in. 
a bet. 

75 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

Newmarket on the horses of the ancients or on 
the VirgiHan meaning of argutum caput : 

Ardua cervix, 
Argutumque caput, brevis alvus, obesaque terga, 
Luxuriatque toris animosum pectus. ' 

but he mastered the rules of racing and reformed 
them. He instituted a new system of starting, 
and by posting a man with a flag directly in view 
of the jockeys, who were ordered to go the moment 
the flag fell, he alleviated the difficulties of the 
starter and hindered the fraud of the dishonest 
rider. It must have been an interesting spectacle 
when Bentinck, to test the value of his plan, took 
the flag himself at York races, and attired after 
the manner of D'Orsay, and in a vest and cravat 
which rivalled Beau Brummell, started a field of 
twenty-eight in the Great Yorkshire Handicap. 
The conditions of a race-meeting of to-day are 
practically due to him. He enforced punctuality 
upon stewards, trainers, and jockeys. He con- 
trived the scheme of hoisting on a board the names 
and riders — by numbers corresponding to those 
on the race-card — of the field about to start for 
a race ; and, for the further benefit of the spectators, 
he introduced the practice of walking horses in the 
paddock before their engagements, and cantering 
them past the stands en route to the starting-post. 
Upon defaulters and swindlers he waged war 
without mercy. To a man who owed him £4,000 
over a bet, and who offered him los. in the pound 
and the remainder in instalments, he wrote as 
follows : " Sir, — No man has a right to bet if he 
cannot pay should he lose. The sum I want of 

I Virgil, Georgics, iii. 80. Conf. PiU, by Lord Rosebery, p. 32. 

76 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

you is £4,000, and until that sum is paid 3^ou are 
in the list of defaulters." Again, among other 
reforms for which he is responsible is one recorded 
in the proceedings of the Jockey Club for 1848. 
It may astonish the racing men of to-day to learn 
that up to that time it was the practice for the 
winners of great stakes to make a present to the 
judge. The custom was a vicious one, and Bentinck 
wisely moved the Jockey Club to abrogate it. 

Bentinck on the training ground was equally 
indefatigable. During the severe frost of 1843 
he turned the avenue in Goodwood Park into a 
tan-gallop, and thus was enabled to work his horses 
throughout the winter. He himself taught the lads 
in the stable how to ride. He would explain to 
the veriest midget the best method of reining-in 
and of managing his mount. He would school him 
until he had hands to hold and a head to judge. 
The first time that he put up his famous light- 
weight. Kitchener, I the weight, including saddle, 
bridle, and other equipment of a jockey, was just 
under 3 st. It was declared by the onlookers that 
the boy would never sit on : but he had been well 
taught, and he won the race in gallant style. 

Bentinck was greatly interested in the transport 
of horses from their training grounds to the race- 
course. He revived the system of the caravan, 
which was due to the invention of a Mr. Territt, 
who in the year 1816 moved his horse Sovereign 
from Worcestershire to Newmarket in a four- 
wheeled padded vehicle, drawn unicorn fashion by 

' In 1844 this boy rode the winner of the Chester Cup in a field 
of twenty-six horses on what is, perhaps, the most cramped course 
in the kingdom. He carried 4 st. 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

two heavy horses in the wheel and one in front. 
Doe, who was Mr. Territt's trainer, suggested this 
method of conveying Ehs — the St. Leger winner — 
to Doncaster in 1836. Ehs, by Langar out of 
Olympia, had a distinguished career on the Turf. 
He ran the famous Bay Middleton to a neck for 
the Two Thousand Guineas. Although he had 
the St. Leger in prospect, his owner ran him in 
four races in July and August. As the day of the 
Doncaster race drew near, no one knew whether 
the horse would make the journey to Doncaster, 
and his owner was pressed on all hands to declare 
his intentions. At last, when it seemed almost 
impossible for Elis to reach the Town Moor in 
time, it was announced that if people were so 
anxious to see him he should make the long 
journey in a carriage and four ; but on one con- 
dition only — namely, that the odds to one thousand 
should be laid against him at 12 to i. The odds 
were duly laid, and in the hands of Day the horse 
won the St. Leger by two lengths. The caravan 
built for Elis had accommodation for a companion, 
and resembled a narrow two-stall stable on wheels. 
It was drawn by four horses, and had a seat in 
front for two persons. In a picture by Cooper 
the postillions are seen forcing their horses along 
the road at a great pace. This system of transport 
was no doubt expensive ; but it enabled the owner 
of a good horse to save the animal's legs from the 
hard hot roads and to send him to fulfil his engage- 
ments with an economy of time which was certainly 
not less than a fourth of that taken by walking 
the distance. But the endurance of the horse is 
remarkable. Venison in 1836, when a three-year- 

78 



The Caravan'. 

Eli.s (winner of the St. Leger of 1S36) was thus conveyed to Doncaster. 




u -^ 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

old, tramped from one race-course to another to 
win no less than eleven races between the Epsom 
and Doncaster meetings. On the other hand, 
*' the ambulatory horse-box " proved its value 
in an emergency. For example, at an autumn 
meeting at Newmarket, Bentinck, finding that 
Grey Momus was not well enough to run, dispatched 
an express to Danebury on the Tuesday for a horse 
of his named D'Egville. On the Thursday after- 
noon D'Egville arrived at Newmarket in his caravan, 
and, none the worse for the long journey, won his 
race on the following day. 

A striking incident in Bentinck's career on the 
Turf was his part in the famous case of Running 
Rein.^ In the Derby of 1844 a horse came in 
first described as Mr. A. Wood's Running Rein 
by the Saddler out of Mab. This horse had been 
suspected of being a year older than his descrip- 
tion in the previous year, and bets had been paid 
under protest. Immediately after the Epsom race. 
Colonel Peel, the owner of Orlando, who ran second, 
lodged an objection, and obtained an order of the 
Court of Queen's Bench restraining the stake- 
holders from parting with the stakes until the 
issue had been decided in a court of law. It 
was alleged by Colonel Peel that Running Rein 
was not the three-year-old as described, but a 
four-year-old horse named Maccabaeus (afterwards 
Zanoni) by Gladiator. Bentinck at once devoted 
himself to the affair with extraordinary industry 
and enthusiasm. He hunted up evidence in Ire- 
land and in all parts of the country. He even 

I This case is developed under the title " The Fraud of a Derby " 
at page 126. 

79 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

set to work to discover where the dye had been 
purchased with which the horse's legs had been 
painted, and he proved this part of the case up 
to the hilt. In the result the Jockey Club dis- 
qualified Running Rein and awarded the race 
to Colonel Peel's Orlando. The stakeholders paid 
the stakes into court, and left the owners of the 
two horses to fight out the issue in an action at 
law. On July i, 1844, a great sensation was 
caused by the trial of the suit before Baron Alderson 
in the Court of Exchequer. Cockburn, afterwards 
a law of&cer of the Crown and Lord Chief Justice 
of England, appeared for the owner of Running 
Rein, but on the second day of the trial he had 
to confess defeat and to withdraw the action. 
The jury returned a verdict for Colonel Peel, and 
Orlando was legally declared the winner of the 
Derby of 1844. On all hands it was admitted 
that the result had been achieved by Bentinck's 
activity, ingenuity, and perseverance. The solicitor 
employed in the case was amazed at his dexterity, 
and said there was no sum he would not pay for 
such professional assistance. Cockburn, who had 
been completely surprised by the strength of the 
evidence which had been collected against his 
client, made a violent attack upon Bentinck and 
accused him of being party, attorney, and poUce- 
man. Bentinck was furious, and demanded that 
he should be put in the witness-box so that he 
might vindicate his character. However, some 
explanatory civilities were exchanged between 
Bentinck, Cockburn, and the learned judge, and the 
matter ended amicably. So great was the credit 
gained by Bentinck that a valuable testimonial 

80 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

was subscribed in honour of his exertions. This 
he refused to accept : but he desired that the 
money might be apphed to the estabUshment of 
a fund for the benefit of decayed and distressed 
servants of the Turf. It is known at this day 
as the Bentinck Memorial Fund, and is a most 
valuable institution, and one that is admirably 
administered by the authorities of the Jockey 
Club. 

Bentinck was no easy owner for a trainer to 
serve. He had his way in every detail of stable 
management. His letters to his Danebury trainer 
were in the nature of State papers, and were as 
long and argumentative as a Foreign Office memor- 
andum. He worked out the most elaborate schemes 
for winning races with particular horses, and, if 
Greville is to be believed, his ardour, industry, 
and cleverness led him into courses which would 
have incurred public reproach had they been 
generally known. 

But this testimony, though corroborated by the 
Days, who never forgave him for removing his 
horses from Danebury, rests mainly upon the 
memoir of his cousin. Greville admits that he 
was not a fair judge of Bentinck's character and 
behaviour. Nor was he. Reference has already 
been made to their quarrel ov^er Preserve, and 
though, after the Doncaster victory of Mango in 
1837, Greville protests his own spirit of recon- 
ciliation, he questions the sincerity of Bentinck. 
Crucifix became the occasion of a new difference, 
and of their final estrangement, Greville remarking 
with some naivete that he perceived that Bentinck 
intended to keep all the advantage of the mare's 

81 F 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

merits to himself without allowing him to partici- 
pate in them. Subsequently, they had a personal 
collision at Newm.arket in a matter relating to 
the rules of the Turf Senate, and in the spring of 
1840, after a speech by Greville at the Jockey 
Club ^ which Bentinck bitterly resented, they were 
never again on speaking terms. No doubt Bentinck 
was at times impulsive and arrogant, but Greville's 
version is manifestly ex parte and coloured by a 
personal prejudice which usually deformed the 
judgments of that seasoned viveur. There is, on 
the other hand, ample evidence that Bentinck had 
many of the best qualities of a sportsman. He 
bore the loss of a race with admirable philosophy, 
and he never reviled his jockey or reproached his 
trainer. Although he set his horses tasks of con- 
siderable severity, he taught the rider that plus 
fait douceur que violence. He was most liberal 
to all who served him and most obliging in money 
matters to his friends. He threw himself with 
passionate ardour into any business he undertook, 
and he risked his money with the ring because 
to win was the test of judgment and success. 
In the words used by both his biographers, he 
counted his thousands after a great race as a 
general would count his prisoners and cannon 
after a victory. 

The Turf and its interests were nearest to 
Bentinck's heart. His political career was merely 

I Speeches at the Jockey Club in those days must have been 
portentous performances. Greville told Martin, Q.C., that Bentinck 
might well be encouraged to make his maiden speech in the House 
of Commons on the ground that he (Greville) had heard him speak 
with great advantage for two hours at a meeting of the Jockey 
Club ! 

82 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

a parenthesis. He had accepted the leadership 
of a poHtical Party with great reluctance and after 
more than one refusal ; but he did it at the call 
of a man who stood alone in ability among a 
beggarly array of mediocrities and who had to 
wait for his command until reason slowly entered 
the minds of a distracted and factious remnant. 
In less than two years he retired from his Parlia- 
mentary post, rejoicing, as he told a colleague, 
" like a caged wild bird escaped from his wired 
prison." Had his life been spared he would have 
returned to the Turf : at least that was the opinion 
entertained by many of his friends, and it is strongly 
supported by a passage in Greville's diary written 
two months after the tragedy in Welbeck Park. 
He died on September 21, 1848, but only the 
week before he was standing by the jockey who 
was unsaddling Surplice after the St. Leger victory 
of that horse. " Nat," said Bentinck, " from this 
time I engage you should I ever have a stud of 
horses," and turning to a friend who was with 
him, he continued : " Nat has, I know, four 
masters ; if I could be Nat's sole master I would 
give him £1,000 a year." ^ 

The death of Bentinck is a familiar tragedy. He 
set out to walk in the afternoon from Welbeck 
to Thoresby. About a mile from the Abbey, 
near the edge of the deer park, he was found dead. 
In the half-hour after leaving his home, it may be 

^ The famous jockey Elnathan Flatman, always known as Nat, 
though he had for some years more winning mounts than any 
jockey in the racing season, was never first past the post in either 
the Derby or the Oaks. He, however, won the St. Leger on three 
occasions. The suggested retainer is, of course, much less than 
that paid to a jockey of eminence in these days. 

83 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

that his thoughts turned upon the many incidents 
of his racing Ufe. Surely he had found in it more 
of the segreto per esser felice than in the sordid 
struggle at Westminster, which he had so gladly 
relinquished. He may have expended a sigh upon 
the failure of his Parliamentary fortunes, but he 
had no wish to resume the part of the homme 
politique or the thankless office of a Party leader. 
He could look back to his career on the Turf with 
a larger and more generous spirit than common 
men do. He had seen the real features of his 
world of sport more fairly than the timid shufflers 
who see theirs through blinkers, and who only 
boast an opinion when there is a majority to 
back it. He was still in the prime of life. Time 
enough yet to breed and own and lead in the 
winner of the Derby. This is a real achievement 
for a man, and to have his name inscribed on 
that long scroll of fame is like having it written 
on the dome of St. Peter's. Pilgrims from all 
the world behold it and admire. After all, he 
had found in politics a morality not a whit superior 
to that in sport. As in racing he had laid himself 
out to defeat foul play, so he had opposed a states- 
man on the Treasury Bench who had sold his 
Party with less excuse than has the jockey who 
sells his employer. And, thus musing, he may 
have turned his thoughts upon his early days 
before he wielded his undisputed authority as 
Lord Paramount of the Turf — before he left the 
pleasant scene of Danebury and the breezy downs 
where he trained and triumphed. He may have 
thought of those who had served him well, and 
of the good horses that had carried his colours : 

84 




IV. .1. Rouch, Copyright. 



The Graveyard, Danebury. 

The graves of Bay Middleton {ob. 1856) and Crucifix (pb. 1857). 



The Graveyard, Danebury. 

The graves of Bay JVIiddleton {ob. 1856) and Crucifix {ob. 1857). 



DANEBURY AND LORD GEORGE BENTINCK 

and, doubtless, in his reflections his mind wandered 
to Bay Middleton and his favourite Crucifix. 
They both rest at Danebury in a little campo 
santo beyond the old trainer's cottage, under the 
shadow of a chestnut-tree planted in their honour 
and sacred to their memory. 



85 



IV 

THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

I beseech you make the play, if you are stout. 

Sir George Saville to Lord Rockingham. 

Rockingham Memoirs. 

In the year 1804 there lay in the Fleet Prison a 
young man, twenty-one years of age. Born in 
August 1783, at the Crown Inn, on the road between 
Bath and Bristol, he had moved with his father to 
Bath, who set up in business as a butcher. The 
father died, trade declined, and the boy failing 
to meet his liabilities was sentenced to confine- 
ment in the debtors' prison. Such was the opening 
chapter of the long career of John Gully, who in 
his time was butcher, pugilist, publican, and book- 
maker, until he became a Member of Parliament, 
a prominent owner of race-horses, and a wealthy 
colliery proprietor. 

In the Fleet — " that Cavern of Obhvion " — 
young Gully might have passed the best years 
of his life had not his hard case reached the ears 
of a famous citizen of Bath, who out of compassion 
for his fellow-townsman called on him in prison. 
Henry Pearce was then Champion of England, 
and known far and wide in the pugilistic world 
as the Game Chicken. He was greatly attracted 
by Gully, and determined to secure his liberation 

86 



THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

from imprisonment. One day he brought to the 
Fleet a set of gloves and engaged Gully in a friendly 
sparring match. The champion was astonished 
at the boy's natural proficienc}/, which had only 
been acquired in casual encounters with local 
bullies of the roadside. It then occurred to Pearce 
that, to extricate Gully from his debts, a fight 
between them should be arranged for one thousand 
guineas. A well-known sportsman was found to 
stake six hundred guineas on behalf of Pearce 
against four hundred put down for Gully by 
Colonel Mellish, at that time the most popular 
plunger in England. The butcher's creditors, see- 
ing their money secured, consented to his release 
from the Fleet, and young Gully stepped out into 
the sunshine a free man. Pearce told him before- 
hand that he was destined to be soundly beaten, 
but that if he showed himself a stout fighter, as 
he thought he would, his fortune would be made. 
It was an ingenious device, alike creditable to the 
generosity of the elder man and to the courage 
of the younger. 

A fortnight before the naval victory of Trafalgar 
the fight took place at Hailsham, on the road 
between Brighton and Lewes, in the presence of 
a vast assembly, including the Duke of Clarence, 
afterwards King William IV. In the opening rounds 
the youthful challenger, who had been in training 
at Virginia Water, appeared hopelessly outmatched. 
Again and again was he knocked down, but by 
degrees acquiring confidence, and making full use 
of the height and reach in which he was superior 
to his opponent, he hit the champion off his legs 
time after time, and the odds were called slightly 

87 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

in his favour. However, in the last rounds of 
the encounter the judgment and experience of 
Pearce began to tell, and finding Gully's throat 
with some fearful blows, the issue was no longer 
in doubt. Colonel Mellish withdrew his man, 
and the Champion of England was declared the 
winner after sixty-four rounds had been fought, 
lasting an hour and seventeen minutes. It had 
been a magnificent struggle : both men had fought 
their hardest, and both had suffered severely. 
The last scene was dramatic. Pearce tottered up 
to the beaten novice, grasped his hand, and in his 
broad dialect congratulated him on the skill and 
endurance he had shown, asserting before the 
whole company that he was the best man he had 
ever fought. 

On the retirement of Pearce, Gully, who had 
gained great popularity by his performance, accepted 
the championship. For two years his claim was 
undisputed, but at length he was called upon to 
defend his title. He was challenged by a fighter 
from Lancashire, named Gregson, who up to that 
time had beaten every bruiser who had ventured 
to oppose him. The challenge was of course ac- 
cepted, and on October 14, 1807, the two men met 
at the then wayside settlement of Six Mile Bottom, 
near Newmarket, to decide the Championship of 
England for a stake of two hundred guineas. The 
fight began shortly after 10 o'clock, and slight 
odds were betted on Gully. They were a powerful 
pair, over six feet in height, but the challenger 
was the taller, and had the advantage of excep- 
tional bodily strength. At the eighth round he 
caught Gully in his arms and dashed him with 

88 



THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

great force upon the ground. The odds now moved 
in favour of Gregson, who had throughout punished 
Gully severely. At the twenty-fifth round the 
combatants were so exhausted that they could 
hardly see or stand, and their blows lost power and 
precision. However, after the fight had lasted 
an hour, Gully, pulhng himself together, exerted 
every ounce of his remaining strength in one- 
desperate hit with which he knocked his opponent 
senseless, and the fight was thereupon declared 
in his favour. The struggle had been Titanic, 
and victory was in the balance until the final blow. 
Captain Barclay drove Gully from the ring in his 
carriage, and the following day both men appeared 
at the races at Newmarket. 

A review of this fight showed Gully and Gregson 
to have been very evenly matched, and the backers 
of the latter contended that the verdict would be 
reversed if the pair were again engaged. A second 
match was therefore arranged to take place on 
May 8, 1808, and again for two hundred guineas. 
The venue was to have been in Buckinghamshire,, 
but the Lord-Lieutenant gave public notice by 
proclamation of his intention to frustrate the 
fight. On the appointed day the town of Woburn 
and the neighbourhood were in an uproar. The 
roads were blocked with strings of vehicles and 
a confused array of pedestrians. The Dunstable 
volunteers were called out, and the countryside 
were firmly persuaded that the French had landed. 
Ultimately a rendezvous was found in Sir John 
Sebright 's park, some seventeen miles from Ashley 
Common. By two o'clock a huge concourse had 
reached the park, and had assembled at a flat 

89 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

spot about a mile from the house, where a space 
was cleared for the fight. Gully and Gregson 
entered the ring at three o'clock. They fought 
in white breeches and silk stockings, but without 
shoes. On this occasion the result was a decisive 
victory for Gully. Although the contest lasted 
for an hour and a quarter, the experts hailed 
the success of the champion in the tenth round. 
His coolness, science, and fortitude under severe 
punishment was amazing, while he confidently 
placed the heaviest blows on his opponent with 
a dexterous finish which the defence could not 
resist. After the battle had been formally decided 
in his favour Gully addressed the spectators. He 
said he had not desired this fight, for he had fought 
with a partially disabled arm, but that he had 
been obhged to accept the challenge. Now that 
the issue was settled, he hoped he should never 
fight again, and, hke Entellus in the games sung 
by Virgil, 

Hie victor caestus artemque repono, 

he resigned the Championship of the Ring. Im- 
mediately he was dressed. Lord Barrymore drove 
him in his barouche to London and left him at 
the Plough Inn, Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
a tavern of which at that date the champion was 
the proprietor. The following morning, despite 
a face severely cut and bruised and both eyes re- 
covering from heavy blows, Gully, in a little white 
apron, was serving his customers and delighting 
them with a recital of the incidents of his fight 
on the previous afternoon. 

But he was a shrewd fellow. He saw no fortune 

90 



THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

in the trade of Boniface, and he reahzed that the 
betting-ring offered exceptional opportunities of 
making money to a man who could combine a 
cool head and calculating brain with a character 
for scrupulous honesty. At this period, although 
the number of horses in training was few compared 
with the long strings at Newmarket and provincial 
training quarters which may be seen to-day, the 
betting was far heavier. There was practically no 
wagering by the general public. The professional 
members of the betting-ring laid the odds them- 
selves and worked commissions for heavy speculators 
of the type of the Duke of Queensberry, Lord 
Abingdon, and the famous confederates. Lord 
Foley and Colonel Mellish — Mellish of whom the 
sporting writer of that day says that he never 
opened his mouth under £500. Gully prospered 
in his new calling. He soon had all the best 
commissions in his hands, and the big backers 
found their business done with skill and fidelity. 
In 1827 — nineteen years after his last fight in the 
Ring — he had acquired a fortune sufficient to 
enable him to buy the Derby winner of that year 
from Lord Jersey. The Epsom race had brought 
much criticism upon his lordship, who had inherited 
from his father, a Cabinet Minister in the preceding 
reign, a high sense of honour and a spotless character. 
Lord Jersey's horse Glenartney, an own brother to 
Middleton, the Derby winner of 1825, was probably 
the best three-year-old of his year, and if his 
jockey had not been financially interested in the 
race would have won it. Lord Jersey ran another 
horse in the Derby, called Mameluke, but he made 
no declaration to win with either of the pair. At 

91 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

the distance it was obvious that Glenartney had the 
race in hand, but his jockey steadied him and let 
up that consummate rider Robinson on Mameluke, 
who won by a length. After the race Glenartney's 
jockey frankly admitted his conduct, adding that 
the ovv^ner's orders were that each jockey was to 
do his best to win. At Ascot Lord Jersey sold 
Mameluke to Gully for £4,000, while he refused 
£5,000 for Glenartney. It then became Gully's 
ambition to win the St. Leger with the son of 
Partisan. He took £10,000 to £1,000 about his 
horse, and, in addition to other large investments, 
had a heavy bet with Mr. Crockford, founder of 
the great gaming-house which bore his name. 
It was commonly beheved that Crockford made 
a corrupt bargain with the starter, who kept the 
horses so long at the post that Mameluke, a bad- 
tempered colt, could hardly be induced to go near 
the flag. At a moment when Chifney was turn- 
ing Mameluke round and when Mr. Petre's mare 
Matilda was many yards ahead, the starter let 
the field go, and Mameluke was left at the post. 
He was ridden hard to join the front rank. At 
the turn his jockey made an appeal to another 
rider to pull on one side, but Nicholson would 
not oblige him, and Chifney having to go round lost 
four lengths. Mameluke's great speed, however, 
enabled him to reach the girths of Matilda, but he 
could not sustain the effort, and Mr. Petre's elegant 
little mare, defying the Chifney rush with his far- 
striding horse, won by half a length. After the 
race Gully challenged Mr. Petre to run his mare 
at an additional advantage of 7 lb. in the weights 
on the following Friday, but acting on the skilled 

92 



THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

advice of Scott, who knew the filly was a lucky 
winner, the challenge was decUned. Gully was said 
to have lost £45,000 over the event, but he paid 
his losses without a murmur. 

This race for the St. Leger was made famous 
by a poem from the pen of the Professor of Poetry 
at Oxford. Sir Francis Doyle wrote of Matilda, 
trained, as he solemnly told his lecture-room, 
*' by that immortal man Scott, not the mere poet 
and novelist " (how amusing those lectures must 
have been !) : 

With birdlike dart shoots clean away,» 
And by half a length has gained the day. 

These lines were criticized with academic irreverence 
by a distinguished writer and sportsman who, like 
the Professor, was a Fellow of All Souls. The 
critic refused to admit the verisimilitude of " the 
birdlike dart." " Did ever human being," he asked 
with conscientious accuracy of detail, " see the 
horse who could make running over the mile and 
three-quarters of the Leger course and then muster 
speed for ' a birdhke dart ' ? " Probably, as he 
suggests, the nearest approach to such a finish 
was that in which Throstle in the St. Leger of 1894, 
after sulking and shirking in the earher stages of 
the race, swooped down upon Ladas and Matchbox 
who had run themselves to a standstill in their 
desperate duel. 

But to return to Mameluke. At Newmarket the 
following season he won two races for his owner, 
and in 1829 was second for the Ascot Cup. Subse- 
quently Gully sold the horse to Mr. Theobald, 

I Thus in the edition of 1883 ; but in the original version of 1841 
it runs : " Just on the post she springs away." 

93 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

breeder of Stockwell and Rataplan, but, repenting 
of the sale, tried hard to buy him back. The pur- 
chaser, however, was obdurate, informing Gully that 
no money would induce him to cancel the bargain. 
Soon after this date Gully was in partnership 
with a man named Ridsdale,^ and the confederacy 
was a financial success. They were joint-owners 
of St. Giles, who won the Derby in the year of the 
Reform Bill, the year that Gully became Member 
for Pontefract. St. Giles as a yearling was sent to 
be sold at the August meeting at York, but the 
ungainly colt did not obtain a single bid, and 
William Day thought that he gave full value for 
him and three others when he paid £240. The 
horse was slow in coming to hand, and was deficient 
in pace, but he was excellent over a distance. 
Ridsdale ran another horse in the race. Trustee, 
but he declared to win with St. Giles, who was 
favourite at 3 to i. Gully also ran his own horse 
Margrave. After a tedious delay at the post. 
Trustee led the field for a long way, when his 
jockey, believing that he had not done enough to 
prevent anything waiting on St. Giles and beating 
him for speed, increased the pace. A quarter of 
a mile from home Scott brought St. Giles to the 
front and won easily by two lengths. Edwards 
on Trustee had ridden a fast and masterly race, 
well calculated to serve the purpose of the winner. 
Ridsdale and Gully won largely over the event ; but 
Gully, who had sacrificed his own horse Margrave 

» Ridsdale was a man of humble origin, who acquired consider- 
able wealth. He had some literary and artistic attainments, and 
was undoubtedly able. It is unnecessary in this narrative to 
discuss a quarrel between the two men, and its consequences. 

94 



THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

to St. Giles, thought that he was entitled to a 
moiety of the receipts. To this, however, Ridsdale 
would not agree, and the coalition was dissolved 
on the following Monday. 

At Doncaster, Gully, who had bought Margrave 
after winning the Criterion, and had sent him to 
Whitehall to be trained by Scott, carried off the 
St. Leger with that horse. It was, in contrast 
to the Derby, a very slow-run race. Robinson 
caught his field opposite the stands and won by 
three-quarters of a length. 

There were further racing triumphs in store for 
Gully. Fourteen years later he had the supreme 
satisfaction of winning the Derby with Pyrrhus I. 
The colt had been purchased as a yearling at Don- 
caster by John Day, and subsequently was acquired 
by Gully. The chestnut son of Epirus won the 
race by a neck, just beating Sir Tatton Sykes, 
who was left sixty yards at the post. In the same 
week Gully supplemented this victory by winning 
the Oaks with Mendicant, a mare of the highest 
class and of exquisite quality. Not since 1801, 
when Sir Charles Banbury carried off the Derby 
and the Oaks with his famous mare Eleanor, 
had both races fallen to the same owner in the 
same year. Gully won but little over the success 
of Mendicant, as Lord George Bentinck had fore- 
stalled him in the market. At Ascot he sold the 
mare for £4,000 to Sir Joseph Hawley, who was 
thought to have made a bad bargain when she 
was beaten in the Cup ; but she bred him Beadsman, 
who won the Derby in 1858 and brought him a 
large fortune over the race. Eight years later 
Gully again won the Derby. On his own judgment 

95 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

he had bought Andover, a bay son of Bay Middleton, 
the Derby winner of 1836, and had tried him to 
be a certainty for the Epsom race. John Scott 
trained a good favourite in Dervish, and the field 
also included the Rothschild horse King Tom, 
Gully's own horse The Hermit, who had won the 
Two Thousand, and Knight of St. George, subse- 
quently the winner of the St. Leger. Andover, 
who was a lengthy, shortlegged, and handsome 
horse, won very cleverly in the lilac jacket. The 
racing chronicle of that day thus concludes an 
account of the race : " Even losers sympathized 
in the glorious triumph for such a fine old sports- 
man as Mr. Gully in the evening of his life." 

At the Reform dissolution Gully was pressed 
to come forward as a candidate for Pontefract, 
a constituency which returned two Members, but 
he declined the invitation. However, when Par- 
liament was dissolved in December 1832 he was 
again invited by a numerous deputation, and after 
some hesitation he consented to stand, and with 
Mr. Jerningham was returned without opposition. 
His opponents, it was said, left the field because 
they had no chance before a parcel of Gr^'hounds 
with a dash of Fox m them — a punning and sport- 
ing metaphor which was doubtless appreciated by 
one of the elected candidates. Pontefract at that 
date was under the Tory influence of Lord Mex- 
borough, a peer whose political pressure at an 
election was strongly resented by Gully, who stood 
in the Liberal interest. At the election of 1835 
Gully headed the poll, and had the satisfaction 
of beating Lord Mexborough's heir into the second 
place, the other Tory candidate, Mr. Raphael, 

96 



The Two Thousand. The One Thousand. The Derby. 

The Hermit ... 1S54 Mendicant ... 1846 Pynhus I. ... 1846 

Andover 1854. 

The Oaks. St. Lege:: 
Mendicant 1846 Mar<:;iave 1832 



THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

being defeated. In 1837 Gully declined nomina- 
tion, but again (and for the last time) contesting 
the borough in 1841, when Sir Robert Peel swept 
the country, was beaten by the two Tory candidates. 
Lord Pollington, his former colleague, and Mr. 
Monckton Milnes. A battle of words between 
Gully and Monckton Milnes must have been a 
most humorous feature of this electoral contest. 
The character of Monckton Milnes, satirically 
drawn by Disraeli six years later in the pages of 
Tancred under the name of Vavasour, is immortal. 
" Vavasour," writes Disraeli, " liked to know 
everybody who was known, and to see everything 
which ought to be seen. He also was of opinion 
that everybody who was known ought to know 
him. . . . He had gone down in a diving-bell 
and gone up in a balloon." An exchange of 
political compliments with Gully must have added 
largely to Vavasour's experiences ! 

In reference to Gully's election to the House of 
Commons in 1832 the following sketch appears in 
the memoirs of that jaundiced diarist, Charles 
Greville. " In person Gully is tall and finely made, 
full of strength and grace, with delicate hands and 
feet, his head well set on his shoulders, and remark- 
ably graceful and even dignified in his actions and 
manners. He has strong sense, discretion, and 
reserve, and a species of good taste which has pre- 
vented, in the height of his fortunes, his behaviour 
from ever transgressing the bounds of modesty 
and respect." The concluding reference in the 
diary has a strange ring about it. Greville, in 
the arrogant vein of the courtier that he was, 
writes : " Gully's position is now more anomalous 

97 G 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

than ever, for a Member of Parliament is a great 
man, though there appear no reasons why the 
suffrages of Pontefract should place him in different 
social relations towards us than those in which we 
mutually stood before." 

But the history of Greville's references to Gully 
is a curious one. The earlier editions of the 
famous memoirs contain several very offensive 
reflections upon Gully and his chequered career. 
In the edition of 1894 they wholly disappear. 
The following explanation is offered. It is of 
unimpeachable authority. " I knew Harry Hill, 
the Commissioner, very well. He banked with 
me at Charing Cross. One day I was going down 
towards Whitehall when I met him and a tall 
young man whom he introduced to me as young 
Gully. He said, ' We have just been to see Mr. 
Reeve ^ at the Council Office and have asked him 
to leave out things he had said in his earlier editions. 
He said he would do so, and he was very civil 
about it, and it is just as well he was, for young 



' Mr. Henry Reeve in 1837 was appointed by Lord Lansdowne 
Clerk of Appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 
and was promoted to the Registrarship in 1843. In 1855 he 
became Editor of the Edinburgh Review. Ten years later Greville 
placed in his hands the important deposit of his memoirs. These 
were most conscientiously edited by Reeve, whose cosmopolitan 
training and broad political sympatliies eminently qualified him 
for the task. The publication of the memoirs provoked the wrath 
and fury of Queen Victoria. She was " horrified and indignant " 
at Greville's " indiscretion." Her anger was. equally directed 
against Reeve, and her deep displeasure with the poor Editor was 
conveyed to him by Sir Arthur Helps. Reeve adroitly defended 
himself, but to no purpose ; and when he left the public service 
the customary knighthood was denied him. Disraeli on Greville 
in a letter to Lady Bradford is most entertaining [Lije of Disraeli, 
vol. v. pp. 348-51)- 

98 



The One Thorfsand. Si. Lcger. 
Preserve 1835 Mange 




(Clerk t>f tlie Privy Council.) 



THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

Gully would have punched his head if he had 
not consented.' All this was told me by Hill in 
his broadest Yorkshire accent." 

It would seem that Greville's portrait of Gully's 
personal appearance was not exaggerated. When 
the late Lord FitzwiUiam came of age in 1836 
an entertainment was given at the family seat of 
Wentworth Woodhouse to celebrate the occasion. 
Upwards of two thousand persons were present. 
Among the groups that passed from room to 
room there was one that attracted universal atten- 
tion. It was formed of three persons. The central 
one a fine, manly, athletic, yet well-formed and 
graceful figure, and resting on either arm two of 
the loveliest women of all the assembled multitude. 
They were unknown, but the whisper was every- 
where, " Who are they ? Who can they be ? " 
At length it was discovered that they were Mr. 
Gully and his daughters — Mr. Gully, the ci-devant 
prize-fighter, the owner of the St. Leger winner 
of 1832, the newly elected Member of the neigh- 
bouring borough of Pontefract, and the proprietor 
of a large estate. ^ 

Hero worship — the thin illusion of the biographer 
— makes bad history. The chronicle of a hero 
seldom adheres to veracity, and usually is as 
untrustworthy as an epitaph. Gully was no hero. 
He was a sporting representative of his day. He 
moved with a sure step among the Chesterfields, 
the Bentincks, the Grevilles, the Paynes, and the 

' This account is taken from Mr. Buckingham's autobiography. 
]VIr. Buckingham was then Member for Sheffield, and appears to 
have been one of Lord Fitzvvilliam's guests on the occasion in 
question. 

99 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

Padwicks, and in their company he played his 
part in the Turf's drama with courage and resolu- 
tion. He knew their ways ; he understood their 
cupidities and resentments ; he conformed to 
their canon of racing ethics. Doubtless he was 
no finished example of moral excellence, but he 
had an honest and substantial shrewdness. He 
had a cool brain and iron nerve, and his judgment 
was rarely coloured by prejudice. While he was 
conscious of his own limitations, his sagacity and 
power of penetration led him to a correct appraise- 
ment of the men with whom he had to deal. He 
accomplished his main purposes. He had been 
the champion of the Ring. His judgment of men 
and horses was as fine as Lord George Bentinck 
once boasted that his was. But, more fortunate 
than that eminent person. Gully twice led a Derby 
winner up the little sacred enclosure to the weighing- 
room. At the time that he entered Parliament 
that political portent, the Nonconformist Conscience, 
was making its appearance, and as a domestic 
effervescence was beginning to trouble Ministers of 
the Reform era. Although it had not yet been 
obliged to decide on the political inconvenience 
of the late Mr. Parnell's moral indiscretion, and 
had not come to hesitate about the propriety of 
a financial speculation which involved a Chancellor 
of the Exchequer of its own religious persuasion, 
it was, and still is, pleased to consider itself of 
the school of Charles James Fox, and to hold in 
reverence the memory of that soiled gamester 
who divided his time between women and the 
dice-box. It regarded with horror such a career 
as that of the Member for Pontefract ; but while 

100 



THE RING, THE TURF, AND PARLIAMENT 

Fox might leave a twenty-four-hour seance at 
the quinze-table in order to address the House of 
Commons, or keep the faro bank at Brooks's and 
back horses on Newmarket Heath, that gambhng 
rake was still the object of its political veneration. » 
It has always been true to its inconsistency. In 
i860, after the great fight between Tom Sayers 
and Heenan, the Liberal Home Secretary one 
evening was explaining to his querulous supporters 
the illegality of prize-fighting and the duty of 
justices of the peace, when the Prime Minister, 
leaving the side of his apologetic colleague, passed 
into the lobby. He was at once held by a Member. 
" My lord, I want a sovereign for a testimonial 
to Tom Sayers." " A sovereign for Tom Sayers," 
exclaimed Jaunty Pam, " I'll give you five with 
pleasure. He's a splendid fellow." " I am sorry, 
my lord, but the subscription is limited to a 
sovereign." " Well," said Palmerston, " here it is, 
but I wish you would let me make it five to show 
my appreciation of his pluck." What a scene ! 
How piquant the contrast ! The Puritan on the 
bench ; the sportsman in the lobby. In Selwyn's 
words with reference to the performances of Fox, 
la plus parfaitement comique que Von puisse imaginer. 
During the closing years of his life Gully acquired 
extensive colliery property in the north of England, 
which he successfully controlled with the same 
mastery of detail and calculating judgment as he 
had shown in the affairs of the Turf. Latterly 
he lived in the vicinity of Durham, and in that 
city he died in March 1863, at the ripe age of eighty. 
He had always desired to be buried at Ackworth, 

» See Political Portraits, by Whibley, 191 7. 
lOI 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

a village on the outskirts of Pontefract, near which 
place at one time he had owned an estate. His 
wishes were respected. At the graveside stood 
the mayor and corporation of his old constituency. 
They were accompanied by his former neighbours 
and friends, whose crowded ranks bore witness 
to their respect and regard. An epitaph justly 
commemorative of such a life would require the 
research of a sportsman and the taste of a scholar. 



102 



V 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

To-morrow [Derby Day] I believe we shall all be engaged else- 
where. — Disraeli, Speech in the House of Commons, June 3, 1862. 

Much has been written on the subject of DisraeH's 
hfe, as it is presented in the admirable volumes 
from the pen of Mr. Buckle.^ Nor, indeed, could 
it be otherwise. No career possesses so many 
facets — Literature, Politics, International Affairs 
and Society are the theme of the biographer and 
the text of the reviewer. But, while it is only 
natural that the serious world should be edified 
by the pregnant reflections of cultivated critics 
of life and character, while it may be profitable 
to debate the vexata qucBstio of the Bradford- 
Chesterfield romance, or to defend the revelation 
of Queen Victoria's letters, so grievous to the 
scanty remnant of Gladstonian apostles, it may be 
of transient interest to glance at some of those 
sparkling references which Disraeli makes to the 
pursuit of horse-racing, both in the scenes he has 
sketched in his novels and in the pointed allusions 
of his correspondence with his friends. 

Great and various as were the powers of 
Disraeli, he owes his fame to a disposition which 

' The Life of Benjarmn Disraeh, Earl of Beaconsfield, by George 
Earle Buckle (John Murray, 1920). 

103 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

was free of all cant and illusion and to a wide 
sympathy with popular tastes and amusements. 
Possessing a keen sense of minute observation and 
a striking amplitude of comprehension, he was 
able without undue presumption to enter the 
province of the sportsman and to describe in 
brilliant terms all the features of a classic encounter 
on the race-course and all the emotions which it 
excites. 

Sybil, a work of grave purpose, and, according 
to an eminent critic, the sincerest of all Disraeli's 
novels, seems to have been written soon after 
the publication of Coningshy, and made its ap- 
pearance in May 1845. The first chapter opens 
with a really brilliant sketch of Crockford's on 
the eve of the Derby of 1837. Disraeli did not 
rely on his imagination for his description of the 
golden saloons of this famous and sumptuous 
gaming-house in St. James's Street. He had been 
elected a member of it in 1840 — the year that 
" Old Crocky," the proprietor, had retired from 
his hazard bank and had acquired a residence 
in Carlton House Terrace and a racing stud of 
some importance.^ It was at Crockford's that 

' Crockford started in life as a fishmonger in a shop next door 
to Temple Bar Without, which he quitted for play in St. James's. 
He began by taking Waller's old club-house, where he set up 
a hazard bank and won a great deal of money. Crockford 
then removed to St. James's Street, had a good year, and built 
in 1827 the club-house which bore his name, and of which the 
decorations are said to have cost ;^g4,ooo. Ude was engaged as 
maitre d'hdtel, and Crockford's was high fashion. There were 
cards, but the main business was the hazard bank at which the 
proprietor took his nightly stand, prepared for all comers. He 
retired in 1840, much as an Indian chief retires from a fine hunting 
country where there is not game enough left for his tribe. He 
then went in heavily for racing, but a Turf conspiracy killed him. 

104 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

Disraeli had submitted to an embrace and to the 
effusiv^e congratulations of admirers on the occasion 
of his trenchant indictment of Palmerston.* 

It is late : the hour of supper, a repast pre- 
pared by the renowned Ude, the Club's accom- 
plished maitre d'hotel of those days.* The night is 
close and warm, and thunder rolls in the heavens. 
The macaroni of Society and the young exquisites 
of the Guards are taking the odds and studying 
their betting-books. 

" I'll take the odds against Caravan. In ponies ? 
Done." Then comes the satiric touch at the 
expense of artless youth. " How shall we all 
feel to-morrow ? The happiest fellow at this 
moment must be Cockie Graves : he can have no 
suspense," said Lord Milford : " I have been 
looking at his book and I defy him, whatever 
happens, not to lose." " Poor Cockie," said Mr. 
Berners, " he has asked me to dine with him on 
Saturday." One of the youths declares his faith 
in Caravan : " Mark my words," says another, 
" Rat-trap wins." " You used to be all for Phos- 

His disappointment over his horse, Ratan, who with fair play must 
have won the Derby of 1844, proved fatal, and on the Friday in 
Epsom week he died in his magnificent mansion in Carlton House 
Terrace within a week of his seventieth year. 

» Life of Disraeli, vol. ii. p. 128. 

» The year after this event Ude was dismissed. He had admitted 
to the Committee of the Club that he was worth ;^4,ooo a year. 
In spite of this fortune he was miserable in retirement, and sat 
all day with his hands before him doing nothing. He shed tears, 
and told George Wombwell that he had only been twice in St. 
James's Street since his dismissal, and that he never walked on 
the same side of the street as the Clubhouse. To Wombwell he 
said : " Ah ! I love that Club, though they are ingrais. Do not 
be offended if I do not take my hat ofi to you when we meet." 
Wombwell replied : "I shall always take my hat off to you, Mr. 
Ude." From a letter of Disraeli to his sister, Life of Disraeli, vol. ii. 
P- 39. 

105 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

phorus, Egremont," observes a noble lord. 
" Yes," replies the hero, " but, fortunately, I got 
out of that scrape ; I was the third man who 
knew he had gone lame." " And what are the 
odds against him now ? " inquires Lord Eugene 
de Vere. " Oh ! nominal — 40 to i. What you 
please." " He won't run," said Mr. Berners ; 
" John Day told me he had refused to ride him." 
Then Lord Milford : "I beheve Cookie Graves 
might win something if Phosphorus came in first." 

Lord Milford, a betting nobleman of the famiUar 
type who confer with jockeys about the prospects 
of horses, moves aside, and after secretly glancing 
at a letter from the famous Chifney, offers to 
take the odds about Pocket Hercules — Chifney's 
mount in the race — a losing bet, however, for the 
grey had no price at starting and was beaten a 
long way from home. 

So much for the eve of the Derby. The next 
chapter describes the Ring at Epsom on the 
morning of the race : the eager groups round the 
betting-post, and the gentlemen shouting from 
their saddles the odds they would take. In a few 
lines there is a witty sketch of two of the leading 
professionals. Spruce, " who had earned his title 
of Captain on the plains of Newmarket," had a 
weakness for the aristocracy, who, knowing his 
infirmity, acknowledged his existence in Pall Mall 
as well as at Tattersalls, and thus occasionally 
obtained a point over the odds. Mr. Chippendale, 
on the other hand, had none of these gentle failings : 
" he was a democratic leg and thought all men 
were born equal." The business quickens : " Five- 
and-thirty ponies, Phosphorus," is called. " I'll 

106 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

bet forty," said Lord Milford. " Forty to one,'^ 
murmurs the hero, who stood heavily against 
Phosphorus. Nervously, he turns to a neighbour : 
" Don't you think that Phosphorus may, after 
all, have some chance ? " "I should be cursed 
sorry to be deep against him," said his friend. 
Egremont strolls away and consults his book- 
Should he hedge ? — he stood so well by the 
favourite, why mar the symmetry of his winnings ? 
No, he would trust his star : he would not hedge. 
This is the true mentality of the doubting punter^ 
drawn to life. 

At last the Ring is up — the last odds declared 
and the cavalcade of horsemen gallop away to 
the Warren. Then follows a vivid description of 
the race, which, with a trifling exception,^ is exact 
in all points. 

The Derby of the 37ear 1837 was won by Phos- 
phorus, a bay horse by Lamplighter out of a 
Rubens mare, bred by his owner. Lord Berners, 
Phosphorus had made his first appearance that 
year in the Newmarket Stakes, when he ran an 
indifferent second to Rat-trap. At the Second 
Spring Meeting he won a £50 Plate easily in the 
hands of John Day. These performances did not 
warrant much hope of his success in the Epsom 
race, and the horse had few supporters. Moreover,, 
as Disraeli here asserts, it was well known that 
he was an infirm colt, so much so that at twelve 
o'clock on the day before the race he was absolutely 
lame and John Day decHned to ride him. In 
the evening the trainer called on Lord Berners- 

I Phosphorus is described as running on the higher ground ; 
he was on the lower. 

107 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

for orders, not knowing what to do with his lame 
charge. The old lord merely growled, " Run, I 
always run " : and so Phosphorus the next day, 
heavily bandaged, was duly saddled for the race. 
At twenty minutes to three the Derby field assem- 
bled. Rat-trap was a hot favourite at 6 to 4. 
Lord Stradbroke's Caravan, and Mango, who sub- 
sequently won the St. Leger for Mr. Greville, 
Clerk of the Privy Council, were next in demand. 
The price of Phosphorus was 40 to i. After two 
false starts the field was dispatched on level terms, 
and a very fast pace was set by Pocket Hercules 
till the famous corner was reached, when he and 
a good many others were beaten. Rounding the 
corner. Caravan, well ridden by Pavis, led Phos- 
phorus by a length until the distance. Then 
Phosphorus on the lower ground drew level and 
a desperate struggle ensued. They ran locked 
together until some twenty yards from the winning- 
post, when George Edwards, with fine horseman- 
ship, drove the hardridden Phosphorus to win by 
a bare half-length. The third horse was many 
lengths away. Phosphorus never ran again in 
England, and his eccentric owner dying in the 
following year, his horses were sold at the First 
Spring Meeting at Newmarket. The Derby winner 
was bought in for 910 guineas. Subsequently he 
was sold to the Duke of Brunswick for 1,000 
guineas and sent abroad. A futile attempt was 
made to train him, but his lameness was too 
deeply seated to be cured, and he was put to 
the stud. 

It can be seen from this account of the Derby, 
which is based on contemporary reports, how 

108 



Phosphorus. 

\\'innei of the Derby of 1S37. 




r n 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

carefully Disraeli, eight years later, compiled 
his narrative of the event. In the novel his 
list of the field is correct in every particular, 
as is his quotation of the betting. He touches 
on the remote chance of Phosphorus, owing 
to his lameness, and on the current report that 
the horse would not be started. He accurately 
describes the very fast pace at which the race 
was run, and attributes the result to the skilful 
and resolute riding of the jockey. The finale is 
on a delicious note. " By Jove ! " said Lord 
Milford, " only think of Cockie Graves having 
gone and done it." Cockie Graves, whose amateur 
book on the race had made the impossible Phos- 
phorus his only winner, had in the end proved 
wiser than the noble lord and all the select coterie 
of Crockford's. But, then, is it not so written in 
the Chronicles of Tattersalls ? 

In Endymion, a curious mixture of history and 
fiction, I and planned as a story in consequence 
of the success of Lothair, Disraeli again brings 
in the subject of the Epsom race. If Endymion be 
indeed a study of the author's youthful career, it 
is possible Disraeli sketched his own early experi- 
ence of Derby Day. Endymion lodges in Warwick 
Street with a Mr. Rodney, who, having saved 
the Duke of Wellington's life in the Reform Bill 
riots, was proud to be acknowledged by His Grace 
in St. James's Street. Mr. Rodney was interested 
in racing. " In 1835," writes Disraeli, " men made 
books, and Mr. Rodney was proficient in a com- 
position which requires no ordinary qualities of 
character and intelligence — nay, more, it demands 

I Life of Disraeli, vol. vi. p. 558. 
109 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

method, judgment, self-restraint, not too much 
imagination, and powers of calculation." Such 
qualities Endymion's landlord was actively em- 
ploying in anticipation of the Derby, and his 
family, who were deeply interested in the result, 
were to attend " the celebrated festival." One 
of the patrician lodgers insists on taking the 
Rodney family to Epsom on his drag, and Endy- 
mion joins the party. Another of the passengers 
is credited with saying that he is not a classical 
scholar, " but there are two things which I think 
I understand, men and horses.^ I like to back 
them both when I think they ought to win." 
The drive to " the Carnival of England " is des- 
cribed. It is a bright day — a day of wild hopes 
and terrible fears, but yet, on the whole, of joy 
and exultation. Unfortunately, the author dis- 
misses the race with the brief sentence : " The 
right horse won." Accordingly, Mr. Rodney 
pockets a good stake. Although the hero did 
not know he had betted, he found he too had 
won a little money. Mr. Rodney " had put him 
on something, though what that meant he had 
not the slightest idea." A fair neighbour informs 
him it is all right. " Mr. Rodney constantly 
put her on something." The return from the 
race-course is delightfully written, and the chapter 
ends with a laugh at Jawett — a rather malignant 
portrait — who " disapproved of races." 

" The right horse won." It may have been so 

I This is a curious plagiarism of Lord George Bentinck's state- 
ment concerning himself: "I don't pretend to know much, but I 
■can judge of men and horses." — Disraeli's Life of Lord George 
Bentinck, p. 575. 

no 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

from Mr. Rodney's point of view, but he evidently 
had not backed the favourite. The winner of 
that year's Derby was Miindig — the first North 
Country horse to win the Blue Riband. He was 
a coarse-looking chestnut son of Catton and Emma, 
whose chief recommendation was his fine action. 
The Derb}^ was his first race. In April he stood 
at the long odds of 50 to i, but his home reputation 
became known shortly before the race and he 
touched 6 to I in the betting. There was a hot 
favourite in Ibrahim, Lord Jersey's horse, whose 
price was 7 to 4, and also heavily backed was 
Ascot, the property of Lord Orford. Fourteen 
horses faced the starter. A good pace was set 
from the start, but at Tattenham Corner they were 
all together. In the straight Robinson brought 
the favourite to the front. As the road was 
reached, Miindig and Ascot shot forward, the 
former on the higher ground. At the stands the 
favourite was beaten and the issue lay between 
Miindig and Ascot. It was a fine neck-to-neck 
race, but Miindig just won on the post. A stride 
after the judge's chair Ascot's head was in front ! 
Miindig will always be classed as a moderate horse 
and a lucky one. He ran nowhere in the St. Leger 
to Queen of Trumps and Hornsea. It was well 
known before the Derby that Hornsea could give 
weight to Miindig ; but to please Scott, the trainer 
of Hornsea, the better horse remained in his stable, 
so that Mr. Bowes, M.P., the popular Squire of 
Streatlam, might win the Derby. " The right 
horse won," says Disraeli. It was a statement 
the late Lady Dorothy Nevill would have vigor- 
ously disputed, for she was wont to deplore the 

III 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

difference to the family fortunes which the neck 
defeat of her father's horse had unhappily entailed. 

In his very young days Disraeli trifled with the 
subject of racing. He published The Young Duke, 
a romance of fashion, in 1830, but, on his own 
confession, he never liked it. To the edition of 
his works in 1853 he prefixed an apology for it, 
pleading that a young author is apt to fall into 
affectation and conceit ; but adding, with charac- 
teristic humour, that " every man has a right to 
be conceited until he is successful." The hero of 
the book is, indeed, a sublime coxcomb. At 
Ascot he bought up all the winning horses at an 
average of 3,000 guineas " for each pair of ears " ! 
At Doncaster, which the boy-writer christens " the 
Carnival of the North," the hero runs his horse 
Sans Pareil in the St. Leger. Sportsmen will be 
surprised to hear that ninety horses started in 
the race and that the start was a fair one. The 
young Duke's horse ran, but with no success, and 
the noble owner lost £25,000 — a sum he con- 
sidered " too trifling to be thought of." 

"This is the most successful meeting, I should 
think, that was ever known at Doncaster," observes 
the heroine. It was certainly the most remarkable. 
Subsequently, the Duke goes to Newmarket, where 
"a Club discharges a crowd of gentlemen and a 
stable a crowd of grooms." He exclaims : " This, 
then, is Newmarket : if it required £25,000 to make 
Doncaster amusing, a plum at least will go in 
rendering Newmarket endurable." He began to 
find Newmarket not so disagreeable. He galloped 
about the course and his blood warmed. " Even 
the jockeys were civil to him, and welcomed him 

112 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

with a sweet smile and gracious nod — those mys- 
terious characters who, in their influence over 
their superiors and their total want of sympathy 
with their species, are our only match for the 
Oriental eunuch." The Duke completed his stud, 
and became one of the most distinguished votaries 
of the Turf. 

Strange to say, the book had a good reception 
and was popular. Indeed, Disraeli's sister says 
that it was reviewed with excessive praise. But 
it must surely have excited contemptuous opinions 
in the racing world. In such an assembly, for 
example, as at that date sat round Lord Egremont's 
hospitable table — the host who had owned no 
less than five winners of the Derby — when over 
the wine a plain little foal was sold which after- 
wards achieved a classic success. It can hardly 
be supposed that of the then professional element 
Gully or Ridsdale ever dipped into imaginative 
hterature, or they too would have been greatly 
diverted by the pantomime of Doncaster and the 
absurd picture of Newmarket Heath. 

Impossible, of course, and ridiculous would have 
been the verdict of them all. What extravagant 
odds would they have gladly laid about the 
romantic novelist ever being the director of the 
destinies of the British Empire ! 

And yet in 1878 the author of The Young Duke 
is the leading Plenipotentiary of Great Britain at 
the Berlin Congress and discusses racing with 
Prince Bismarck. In a letter to Queen Victoria, he 
states that one evening he dined with the Prince. 
They were alone, and in the course of conversation 
Bismarck asked Disraeli " whether racing was still 

113 H 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

much encouraged in England." To this question 
Disraeli says, " I replied never more so : that 
when I was young, though there were numerous 
race-meetings, they were at intervals, and some- 
times long intervals — Epsom, Ascot, Doncaster, 
Goodwood and Newmarket frequently ; but now 
there were races throughout the year — it might 
be said every day in the year — and all much 
attended." The letter continues : " The Prince 
cried out eagerly, ' Then there never will be Social- 
ism in England. You are a happy country. You 
are safe as long as the people are devoted to racing. 
Here a gentleman cannot ride down the street with- 
out twenty persons saying to themselves or each 
other, ' WTiy has that fellow a horse and I have 
not one ? In England the more horses a nobleman 
has the more popular he is. So long as the English 
are devoted to racing Socialism has no chance with 
you.' " ^ Alas ! for the infirmity of political vision ! 
Disraeli formed his second Administration in 
1874. In the following year his private corre- 
spondence contains a reference to a defeat which 
the horse of his friend Lord Bradford had sustained. 
Writing to Lady Bradford on July 28, he said : 
" Tell Bradford I was greatly disappointed that 
his horse came in second. I cannot understand 
why a great noble with his brains and knowledge 
of horses does not command the Turf. I don't 
want him to have a great stable, but I want him 
to have a famous one ; that he should, at any 
rate, obtain some first-rate blood and then carefully 
and sedulously breed from it, as Rothschild did 
with King Tom. I saw the beginning of his plan 

I Lije of Disraeli, vol. vi. p. 331. 
114 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

at Mentmore, and people turned up their noses 
at his scheme and his sire for a while, and yet 
eventually that blood gave him the Derby, the 
Oaks and the St. Leger in one year. I should 
like to see that done at dear Weston." 

Disraeli here is writing of the Goodwood Meeting 
of that year, and had evidently heard by telegram 
that his friend's horse Glendinning had run second 
in the Drayton Handicap to Glenmarkie. Owners 
set their horses severe tasks even in those days. 
Previously Glendinning had run unplaced in the 
Stewards' Cup on the Tuesday, and, after his 
second defeat, was pulled out again on the Friday, 
when, with Archer riding, he beat Mr. Sturt's 
Beechnut by a neck in a match for £200 over five 
furlongs. This success must have been very agree- 
able to Disraeli, for reasons which appear in the 
biography.^ Apart from this particular incident, 
Disraeli's observations are interesting, although 
they reveal no little ignorance of the philosophy 
of racing. It is not for a great nobleman as such 
to command success on the Turf, where all men 
are equal, whether above it or below it. Disraeli's 
friend Lord George Bentinck undoubtedly had his 
triumphs on the race-course ; but the end of his 
ambition w as to win the Derby. He never achieved 
it. True, he bred Surplice in 1845, but the colt 
was included in the stud which he sold across the 
breakfast-table that fatal morning at Goodwood. 
Two years later, when Surplice won the Derby, 
Bentinck mourned his misfortune. " All my life 
I have been trying for this, and for what have I 
sacrificed it ? " For what indeed ? For a futile 

I Life of Disraeli, vol. v. p. 248. 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

struggle with the sophistries of Peel in the cockpit 
of pohtics.^ 

Again, there is the case of the late Duke of 
Devonshire. To win the classic races of the Turf 
he devoted his energies and his fortune. He 
gained one — the One Thousand Guineas with Bel- 
phoebe in 1877. The statesman who refused three 
times to be Prime Minister, who in 1873 " had 
come to detest office," and who wrote of the 
possible succession to Gladstone that " it will 
really be a great relief to be out of it," would 
gladly have given his life instead of his leisure 
to the prosecution of the sport of racing. In the 
House of Commons he yawned in the course of 
his own speech : at Newmarket he was never 
bored. " Sometimes," he said, " I dream that I 
am leading in the winner of the Derby, but I am 
afraid it will never be anything but a dream." 
Reluctantly, he thought that his destiny summoned 
him to public life and office, and so he obeyed. 
But that he cared greatly for the Turf and ac- 
knowledged its claim is well known. The dates for 
Cabinets were often fixed to suit his racing engage- 
ments, and he sometimes cancelled important Com- 
mittees when they clashed with such appointments. 
There is extant a letter from the late Lord Salis- 
bury to a colleague in which he laments the in- 
convenience caused by " Hartington being obliged 
to go to Newmarket to ascertain whether one 
quadruped can run a little faster than another ! " 

Lastly, it may be noted that year after year 
generations of the House of Stanley have striven 
to win the great classic of the racing season, but 

* See Political Portraits, by Charles Whibley. 
116 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

since 1787 their efforts have met with no success. 
Lord Rosebery once playfully consoled the present 
Earl with the reminder that he ought to be well 
content with the honour of giving his name to 
the greatest race in the world. 

What is it that tempts men of rank and position 
to devote themselves to the pursuit of racing ? 
Assuredly, it is not lucri faciendi causa. An 
authority, distinguished alike in the Senate and 
on the Turf, has suggested two answers to the 
question. He thinks that friendships are thus 
formed which are invaluable to men who wish 
to get on in life, and he quotes from a remark 
made to Lord Houghton, that such friendships are 
durable because each man knows something that 
would hang the other. The second answer to 
the question is that men are lured to race by the 
ambition of owning the horse of the century. 
Whatever value may be attributed to the first 
answer, none belongs to the second. Sportsmen 
do not dream of miraculous animals. They do 
not contemplate such a deceitful mirage. They 
are quite happy to win the chief prizes of the 
Turf with any horse in any year. 

But to return to Disraeli and the ideal he held 
up to Lord Bradford. If it be difficult to appreciate 
the distinction between a great stable and a famous 
one, at all events his observations on breeding 
are sound enough. Possibly on his round of visits 
to country houses he had been attracted by those 
fascinating groups of mares and foals which are 
the most delightful furniture of park or paddock : 
but, wisely, the Prime Minister did not presume 
beyond a general statement on the subject. The 

117 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

practical question involved is not whether breeding 
is a matter of chance, but whether it is possible 
to arrive at any system of principles which are 
sound enough and exact enough to be a useful guide 
to the breeder. The Stud Book, of course, abounds 
in the results of opposite theories, for race-horse 
breeding is, and always will be, an inexact and 
largely conjectural science. 

Disraeli pointed to the example of his friend 
Baron Meyer de Rothschild. The wealth of a 
Monte Cristo combined with the shrewd judgment 
of a financier had founded a superb stud. Still, 
as in the case of Lord Bradford, the Baron had 
to wait for Fortune's favours, and to endure dis- 
appointment before his anmis mirahilis arrived. 
That came in 1871. The Zephyr colt, aptly 
christened Favonius — a name which originated in 
the Common Room of Trinity College, Dubhn, 
and which was communicated to the Baron on 
the eve of the race by a distinguished classical 
scholar of that fraternity — won the Derby with 
two good horses behind him. He was a chestnut 
colt by Parmesan, his dam Zephyr, a daughter 
of the horse Disraeli mentions, King Tom, out of 
Mentmore Lass by Melbourne. In Hannah, a 
rather small bay filly, sister to Zephyr, Baron 
de Rothschild owned a remarkable animal. Her 
record was wonderful. In this year when the 
stable won the Derby with Favonius, Hannah 
was successful in the One Thousand, the Oaks 
and the St. Leger, the feat of an owner winning 
the Derby and the Oaks having been accompUshed 
previously on only three occasions. And yet, 
wonderful to say, the stable sheltered in Corisande 

118 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

another King Tom filly who was absolutely sacrificed 
to Hannah. She won several good races, including 
the Cesarewitch, in this season of marvellous 
success. " Follow the Baron " was the cry that 
year of the racing multitude. Well might Disraeli 
urge his friend to emulate the example of the 
family of Sidonia, whose devotion to sport he 
held to be the safety-valve of their energy.' 

In the September of 1875 Disraeli was on a 
visit to Sandbeck, and attended the Doncaster 
meeting. His biographer relates that the Prime 
Minister witnessed the St. Leger, betted, and lost 
his money. Rarely have such indifferent horses 
competed in a classic race as on that occasion. 
The actual favourite was Seymour, a horse that 
had been beaten in eleven out of the twelve races 
in which he had taken part. Indeed, it was such 
a bad year that it was said anything might win. 
The race was won easily by Craig-Millar, a chestnut 
son of Blair Athol, of whom the stable had a poor 
opinion. No wonder that the Prime Minister lost 
his money ; unfortunately for him, the Prince of 
Wales had heard of his ill-fortune, and when later 
in the month Disraeli paid him a visit at Sandring- 
ham, it appears that the Prince twitted his guest 
unmercifully. At first Disraeli denied his losses, 
and then pleaded in extenuation that he had only 
indulged "in a sweepstake with some ladies." 
But the Prince would not accept the plea. " Oh 
no ! " said His Royal Highness ; " I hear a good 
round sum, paid in bank-notes, a rouleau. I 
always thought Bunny was sharp, but I never 
thought he would top all by putting the Prime 

I Coningsby, p. 221. 
119 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

Minister on a dead horse." Of course, the said 
Bunny was Mr. Gerard Sturt, the racing confederate 
of Sir Frederick Johnstone, and a man who had 
well earned the character given of him by the 
Prince of Wales (who at one time trained in the 
Kingsclere stable with him), a character which 
was substantially confirmed when, in 1894, the 
Crichel bred colt Matchbox, a few days after 
running second in the Derby, was sold for £15,000 
to Baron Hirsch, and the vendor, keeping Throstle 
in his own hands, beat the son of St. Simon in 
the St. Leger with that rather flighty mare. It 
would be interesting to know whether the Prince 
ever referred to the incident of the Doncaster 
bets when the forgiving Prime Minister in the 
following year recommended Mr. Sturt for a 
peerage ! 

Disraeli maintained an active interest in Lord 
Bradford's stable. He followed its fortunes from 
race to race. Born fifteen years after Disraeh, 
Lord Bradford filled the offices of Lord Chamberlain 
and Master of the Horse during Queen Victoria's 
reign. In early life he formed a small stud at 
Weston, which in course of time attained to some 
size and celebrity. This was in the main due to 
Quick March, a full sister of Vedette, from whom 
he bred Manoeuvre (destined to breed a Derby 
winner), Retreat and other good horses. From 
other mares, also, he bred some very successful 
animals, including Zealot and Quicklime, who ran 
second to Shotover for the Derby of 1882. But 
the best horse Lord Bradford owned in Disraeli's 
lifetime was Chippendale. This colt, with his 
dam Adversity, Lord Bradford purchased from 

120 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

Thomas Dawson (the eldest of the four celebrated 
trainers) for 350 guineas. He was by Rococo 
(son of Gemma di Vergy), his dam by Adventurer. 
Chippendale did not run until he was three years 
old, but in 1879 ^^ credited his owner with nearly 
£7,000. He began his career by beating Palm- 
bearer, who later ran second in the Derby. Next, 
he won the Epsom Summer Plate, and at Ascot 
was successful in the Ascot Derby and the Hard- 
wicke Stakes. In the Hardwicke, Silvio, the Derby 
and St. Leger winner of 1877, was an odds-on 
favourite, and, with Archer riding, was confidently 
expected to win. In the race, which was run 
in very deep ground, Silvio, having apparently 
beaten all his opponents, was allowed by Archer 
to take matters too easily, so that Osborne was 
able to drive Chippendale alongside of him and,, 
catching the Derby winner at every stride, won 
the race. No doubt the task set Silvio was a 
stiff one, and it may have been that the attempt 
to give Chippendale 18 lb. was beyond his powers,, 
though he made a very gallant effort to do it. 
Later in the season, Chippendale suffered two 
defeats — one of them by that good mare Dresden 
China ^ in the Great Yorkshire Handicap at Don- 
caster ; but Wadlow, Lord Bradford's trainer, 
made no secret of his belief that the horse would 
beat the mare at Newmarket in the autumn, and 
he was right. 

" I hope you have won the race," wrote the 
Prime Minister from Downing Street to Lady 
Bradford ; adding, " this is possible, as they say 

' Dresden China in the following year won the Goodwood Cup 
and the Doncaster Cup. 

121 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

* everybody has his turn.' " The race was the 
Cesarewitch. Chippendale, who had been specially 
trained for the event, carried 7 st. 5 lb. There 
were twenty-seven runners. The popular fancies 
were Adamite and Westbourne, but Mr. Gretton, 
who had backed his horse Westbourne to win him 
upwards of £50,000, also ran Isonomy. In the 
race the favourite was in trouble at the Bushes, 
and Chippendale took up the running. Just as 
Isonomy, under the heavy burden of 9 st. 10 lb,, 
was making a splendid effort to overtake Lord 
Bradford's horse, he received a bump from his 
stable companion Westbourne which nearly knocked 
him over. Chippendale won the race by a length 
and a half from Westbourne, and Isonomy was 
fourth. In the opinion of good judges Isonomy, 
with a clear run, would have won the race, so 
that, under the circumstances, Chippendale was 
rather a lucky winner. 

Two days after this success Disraeli again writes 
to Lady Bradford. After referring to some im- 
portant news he had received in connection with 
a victory by Lord Roberts in Afghanistan, he says : 
" However, I will only think of your own victory, 
which is very triumphant. I wrote a line of con- 
gratulation to Bradford yesterday, who, being 
Master of the Horse, deserves to win. My house- 
hold is much excited by the event. I suspect 
Bradford's valet must have * put them on.' I 
fear they are all on the Turf, even Mr. 
Baum."» 

' Disraeli's valet : quite a character (see Life of Disraeli, vol. vi. 
pp. 501, 581) ; he nursed Disraeli in his last illness {ib. 609). 
Disraeli always pronounced the name as if it were Beaume. 

122 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

The next year Disraeli was out of office and 
fast failing in health. He still exhibited a lively 
interest in his friend's horse. Chippendale had 
won the Great Metropolitan and the Gold Vase 
at Ascot, and then essayed the severe task of 
tackhng the mighty Isonomy in the Gold Cup. 
" All my hopes are on Chippendale," wrote Disraeli 
to Lady Bradford on June 8th. Alas ! they were 
doomed to disappointment ; but they should never 
have been entertained. Isonomy only ran twice 
this year. In the Manchester Cup, decided over 
a mile and five furlongs, he had carried the enor- 
mous burden of 9 st. 12 lb. Ridden by Cannon, 
he won the race by a neck, beating the Abbot, 
to whom he gave 45 lb. The horse was cheered 
to the echo as he passed the post. It was a 
great performance. None the worse for this 
effort on very hard ground, Isonomy was saddled 
for the Gold Cup at Ascot, a race he had won 
in the preceding year. Odds of 9 to 4 were 
laid on him. His only opponents were Chippen- 
dale and Zut, the property of Count Lagrange. 
On sufferance Chippendale made the running 
until inside the distance, when Isonomy was 
allowed to stride up to him and to win very 
easily. 

Three days later Disraeli wrote to Lady Brad- 
ford : " Your letter was deHghtful. What they 
call graphic. I am glad I have been to Ascot and 
have royally lunched and lounged on the lawn. 
All my household were on Bradford's stable, 
and I believe well backed their opinion. The 
coachman on these matters is the great authority, 
greater even than Baum. He has backed the 

123 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

stable systematically for some time. At first, to 
use his lingo, because he thought it ' respectable 
to Lord B.' as a friend of his lord's, but for the 
last year from a conviction that Lord B/s stable 
had at length got right. I fear, however, he has 
been hit on the Cup." " We " — thus amusingly 
identifying himself with the owner — " could have 
beaten anything but Isonomy." 

There is one more reference to Chippendale. 
On July 30th of this year, in a letter to Lady 
Bradford, Disraeli wrote : " The terrible news from 
Afghanistan, the defeat of Chippendale and some 
other matters, so knocked me up yesterday that I 
felt physically incapacitated to write." The defeat 
to which Disraeli refers in this letter was one of 
those reverses for which Goodwood is famous. 
There were only two runners for the Cup — Chip- 
pendale and Dresden China ; and Lord Bradford's 
horse was so confidently expected to beat the 
mare that the odds of 3 to i were laid on him. 
He, however, suffered defeat by three-quarters of a 
length. Chippendale continued to run. Although 
he could only get fifth in the Cesarewitch, he 
won the Jockey Club Cup. In the two following 
years he again failed in the Cesarewitch, but under 
very heavy weights. He wound up his fine career 
by winning the Jockey Club Cup for the second 
time, beating, among others, such famous animals 
as Tristan and Corrie Roy. 

Disraeli, broken in health and weary of the world 
which he had once ruled by his wit and wisdom, 
died in 1881. Eleven years later the scene is 
Epsom Downs, and a field of thirteen runners 
contests " the paramount and Olympian stake.'* 

124 



DISRAELI AND THE RACE-COURSE 

Sir Hugo prevails, and Lord Bradford is both the 
owner and breeder of the horse. Doubtless in 
his hour of triumph he thought of the lively 
pleasure the victory would have given to his 
old friend. He would remember the message he 
had received from, him in days gone by : how 
that he ought to have a famous stable and breed 
from the best blood a Derby winner. And now 
it had all been fulfilled, and he had attained, after 
years of endeavour, the highest pinnacle of racing 
fame. The fickle goddess had at length smiled 
upon him : 

Nos te, 
Nos facimus, Fortuna, deam coeloque locamus. 



125 



VI 

THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

Why, what an intricate impeach is this ! 

And I was ta'en for him, and he for me. 

Comedy of Errors, Act V, Sc. i. 

Castigatque auditque doles subigitque fateri. 

^neid, VI, 567. 

In the month of September last a Judge of the 
High Court was engaged for many days in trying 
a series of Turf frauds. The prisoners were con- 
victed of conspiracy and of obtaining stake moneys 
by false pretences in relation to certain races in 
which horses had been substituted for those 
originally entered. Complicated and tedious as 
were the charges, they recalled to the minds of 
many readers the most famous case of fraud 
which has ever stained the annals of horse-racing. 
It is an old story : but perhaps its importance 
in the long tale of racing life deserves that it 
should be rediscovered from its burial in the dust- 
heap of drowsy documents. 

The race for the Derby of 1844 was won by 
a horse called Running Rein. This animal was 
subsequently proved to have been a four-year-old 
whose real name was Maccabaeus, and who was 
disqualified. The race and the stakes were awarded 
to the second horse, Orlando, the property of 

126 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

Colonel Peel, brother of the Prime Minister of 
the day- 
Jonathan Peel was a notable figure on the Turf. 
He was the fifth son of the first Sir Robert Peel, 
whose baronetcy had been conferred upon him 
by Mr. Pitt in recognition of a large subscription 
to the Loyalty Loan and his equipment of a 
regiment of volunteers at a crisis in the French 
War. Possessing more geniality than his father 
and more manners than his eminent brother, he 
joined at a very early age a marching regiment 
as an ensign. He soon entered upon the sport 
of racing, and, as often happens, his betting 
ventures as a youth were in striking contrast to 
the modest wagers of his riper years. It is told 
of him that he was once a guest at a regimental 
mess when the presiding officer blustered that 
he would take 5,000 to 100 about a horse for the 
forthcoming St. Leger, knowing that it was quite 
unhkely that any officer of the regiment would 
accept the offer. To the gallant Colonel's con- 
sternation, a voice from the end of the mess table 
called out, " Done, sir ; I will lay you fifty hundreds 
to one." The layer was Lieutenant Peel, and wry 
was the face of Sir John Byng at being snapped 
up by a subaltern in this cool fashion. However, 
the honour of the regiment required that the bet 
should be booked. Peel won some small races 
with his two-year-olds in 1823, and in 1824 Fille 
de Joie, a filly he had bred, ran second in the 
Oaks to Lord Jersey's Cobweb.^ In the year of 

' The Dictionary of National Biography states that Peel's filly 
was named Phantom ! This blunder on the part of the compiler 
of the memoir of General Peel is due apparently to the fact that 

127 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

the Reform Bill he won the Two Thousand Guineas 
with Archibald, a small horse of exquisite quality 
and a great favourite with the public. His next 
classic was the sensational Derby of 1844. 

Among the two-year-olds of 1843 was a reputed 
one named Running Rein. He was described as 
by the Saddler — Mab by Duncan Grey, a bay 
with four black legs, and a few grey hairs on the 
forehead not amounting to a star.^ The colt 
ran in two races at Newmarket during the Second 
October Meeting. He won a £$0 plate, beating 
twelve others in a canter. In the Clearwell the 
next day, won by Colonel Peel's Zenobia, he was 
not placed. At this, his first appearance on the 
race-course, he was evidently regarded with sus- 
picion — indeed, the Turf chronicler of the day 
called him " that disputed animal " — and, after 
winning his race, the Duke of Rutland, who was 
second with Crenoiine, objected to the owner 
receiving the stakes on the ground that the winner 
was a year older than he ought to be. There is 
no doubt that Lord George Bentinck suspected 
the colt, and that he instigated the Duke to lodge 
the objection. A fortnight after the race the 
Stewards — Lord Stradbroke, Mr. Greville and Mr. 
Thornhill — investigated the objection. They took 
the evidence of a boy named Kitchen, who professed 
to identify the horse as the Saddler colt which 

the sire of Cobweb was Phantom (the Derby winner of 1811), and 
that the sire's name in the race record, following after Cobweb's 
name, was mistaken by the writer for that of the second in the race. 

'■ According to the evidence at the subsequent trial there was 
practically no difference in the colour or marking of Running Rein 
and Maccabaeus. There was some question about scars on the 
fore legs, but it came to Uttle or nothing. 

128 



How THE Secret got out. 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

had been foaled in 1841 at Mr. Cobb's stud farm 
at New Malton, in Yorkshire. Lord Stradbroke 
and his colleagues then proposed that the colt's 
mouth should be examined, but the owner, Levi 
Goodman, in strong language, refused point-blank 
to allow it.^ In spite of this most suspicious 
circumstance the Stewards over-ruled the objec- 
tion. ^ " There is little doubt," wrote another 
sporting scribe, " that objection will be taken 
when Running Rein comes to the post again. 
Anyone may be excused for forming an opinion 
that Running Rein is a three-year-old, for a more 
furnished two-year-old I never saw." Although 
the decision was in favour of the horse, all bets 
were paid under protest. 

Some of the legitimate competitors for the 
Blue Riband of 1844 were thought to be animals 
of considerable merit. The Ugly Buck, a colt 
by Venison out of a Plenipotentiary mare, ran 
only once as a two-year-old, when he won the 
Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood. He was then 
reserved for the Two Thousand Guineas, which 
he won, but not with that ease which his Derby 
admirers expected. His favouritism for the great 
race was throughout challenged by Ratan, a colt 
by Buzzard, bred and owned by Crockford, the 
owner of the gaming-house in St. James's Street. 
He had won a race at Ascot on his first appearance, 
and in the autumn carried a penalty to victory 
in the Criterion. It only remains to notice that 

' This was subsequently proved at the trial in court. 

» This decision was set aside by a resolution of the Jockey Club 
at their general meeting on July 6, 1844, and the Duke of Rutland's 
Crenoline was declared the winner of the Plate. 

129 I 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

Colonel Peel had two candidates engaged : Orlando, 
a bay horse by Touchstone out of Vulture, a rather 
soft mare, and Ionian. The former was beaten 
in his race at Ascot into second place, but he 
subsequently won the July Stakes at Newmarket 
and the Ham Stakes at Goodwood. He was a 
singularly handsome horse of conspicuous quality. 
He fell lame, ultimately, in running for the Gold 
Cup at Ascot and was retired to the stud. As 
a sire he was very successful, and his son, Tedding- 
ton, was probably one of the best horses who ever 
won the Derby. Alec Taylor, who trained Ted- 
dington, was wont to say that he was the fastest 
horse he ever had in his stable. At the same 
time Orlando's stable companion Ionian commanded 
more admirers. This horse was by Ion out of 
Maiibran by Whisker. At the Craven Meeting he 
had won a match and had carried off the Chester- 
field Stakes in brilhant style. For the Epsom 
race he stood at much shorter odds than Orlando. 
A few days before the Derby the Stewards of 
the Epsom meeting — Baron de Tessier and Sir 
G. Heathcote — were served with a protest signed 
by Lord George Bentinck, Mr. Bowes and John 
Scott against the inclusion of Running Rein in 
the Derby field. Thereupon the Stewards asked 
the then owner of the colt, Mr. Anthony Wood, 
a corn merchant of Epsom, to produce either the 
servant of the breeder or such other evidence 
as would establish the identity of the horse. On 
the Saturday before the race the Stewards appear 
to have been satisfied with the evidence tendered, 
and they directed that the colt should be allowed 
to start. They, however, informed the owner 

130 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

and his friends that they must be prepared for 
another scrutiny, as probably ttiey would be 
required to prove their declarations in a court 
of law. 

It was a large field for the great race on 
May 22nd, no less than twenty-nine horses coming 
under the orders of the starter. The Ugly Buck 
was favourite at 9 to 4, with Ratan supported 
at 5 to 2. Running Rein, whose condition was 
greatly admired, started at 10 to i, the rest of the 
field being quoted at much longer odds. Before 
the race the Stewards assembled the jockeys and 
warned them that any infraction of the rules of 
starting would be visited with the extreme penalty. 
At three o'clock the flag fell, and Leander ^ made 
the running at a great pace with the Ugly Buck 
in close attendance, followed by Running Rein. 
When half a mile had been covered Leander was 
seen to falter, and the horse was pulled up, as 
he had broken his off hind leg. Running Rein 
then rapidly passed his horses and took a clear 
lead, followed by the Ugly Buck. Enveloped in 
a cloud of dust, they came round Tattenham 
Corner, at which point the race began in earnest. 
It was then seen to be a struggle to catch the rider 
in the white jacket. The Ugly Buck was beaten, 
and Colonel Peel's pair followed the leader home. 
Orlando made a gallant effort ; he got within 
half a length of Running Rein, but could not 
sustain the pressure, and Mr. Wood's horse won 

I There was much controversy at the time concerning this 
animal. Conflicting veterinary reports were made as to his age. 
and the horse, having been destroyed and buried after his accident, 
was subsequently exhumed. 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

comfortably by three parts of a length. Ionian, 
two lengths away, was third. 

That a protest would be raised against the 
winner was at once realized, and the general 
opinion was loudly asserted that the Derby would 
have to be run over again, and this time within 
the narrow precincts of Westminster Hall. The 
settlement of bets over the race was postponed, 
and the successful holders of lottery tickets were 
deeply concerned as to the doubtful issue of their 
interests. Meantime, odds of 2 to i were laid, 
on Orlando getting the race. On the other hand 
it was believed that if Running Rein kept the 
verdict the owner and his friends would win up- 
wards of £50,000. 

Immediately after the race Colonel Peel entered 
an objection and claimed the stakes, following 
this up by serving a writ on Messrs. Weatherby, 
the stakeholders, for £4,250. Upon this the solicitor 
to the owner of Running Rein addressed a letter 
to the Stewards of the Jockey Club asking them to 
appoint twelve o'clock on the following Monday 
in order to hear the objection to the qualification 
of the Derby winner. The Stewards accordingly 
communicated with Colonel Peel, who then offered 
to refer the question of qualification to a barrister 
who should be nominated by the Lord Chief Justice, 
and who, according to the provisions of a recent 
Act of ParUament, would be able, as an arbitrator, 
to examine witnesses upon oath. Peel also in- 
formed the Stewards that he had commenced 
process against Messrs. Weatherby for the Derby 
stakes. This invitation to arbitration was, how- 
ever, declined by the owner of Running Rein, 

132 



Running Rein, 1844. 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

and the Stewards, in view of the legal action 
taken by Colonel Peel, declined jurisdiction, and 
stated that, so far as they were concerned, the 
matter was at an end. The next step in the 
proceedings was that Messrs. Weatherby obtained 
an interpleader rule, and it was ordered that the 
stake money should be paid into court, that the 
owner of Running Rein should be the plaintiff 
in the action and Colonel Peel the defendant. 
The order also settled the terms of the issue to 
be tried. 

On July ist the trial took place in Westminster 
Hall before a special jury. It was well staged : 
indeed, it was the event of the season, for England 
dearly loves a cause celebre. The avenues to the 
Court of Exchequer were blocked by an eager and 
expectant public. To hear " the Derby cause " 
came the leaders of a brilliant society. The mag- 
nates of the racing world were there, conspicuous 
among them being the commanding figure of Lord 
George Bentinck in all the " majestic frivolity " 
of attire which distinguished that age. In the 
imposing array of counsel on either side were 
men celebrated for their talents and learning and 
destined to reach the highest posts of their pro- 
fession. Cockburn,^ whose musical voice and 

« With Cockburn in the case were Edwin James, whose career 
was to prove at once a success and a tragedy, and Lush, who later 
sat with his leader in the Court of Queen's Bench, and was after- 
wards raised to the Court of Appeal. Counsel with the Solicitor- 
General were Martin (afterwards Baron Martin), S. Wortley and 
Rawlinson. Martin, who had an intimate and complete knowledge 
of the Turf, was able to instruct his leader in all the technical details 
of the case. The conferences at which Lord George Bentinck and 
Martin were present with Thesiger must have been entertaining 
and interesting. 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

dignified bearing are still a pleasing memory, and 
who was afterwards Lord Chief Justice of England, 
led for the plaintiff. The defendant, Colonel Peel, 
was represented by the Solicitor-General, Sir 
Frederick Thesiger. As Lord Chancellor, some 
years later, he sat in Cabinet with his client in 
Lord Derby's Administrations. The judge was 
Alderson, Baron of the Exchequer. ^ For fourteen 
years he had been an ornament of the Judicial 
Bench. A judge of humane character and of some 
literary taste, he combined a strong Churchman- 
ship with the religious sentiments of a liberal and 
enlightened mind. He had some acquaintance 
with the business of racing, for at times he had 
been the guest of John Scott, the famous trainer 
at Whitewall, at whose hospitable board he had 
put questions about the art of riding, the condition 
of horses and the supply of stable-boys. 

The pleadings were opened to the effect that 
an issue had arisen between the plaintiff and the 
defendant in which the former maintained the 
affirmative of the question whether a certain 
horse called Running Rein, who had won the 
last Derby Stakes at Epsom, was a colt by the 
Saddler out of Mab, foaled in 1841. Cockburn 
then addressed the jury in the familiar style 
of those days. He pledged himself to establish 
a case in his client's favour as clear as ever was 
done in a court of justice, and boldly asserted 
that the truth was with the plaintiff. He pro 
ceeded to give the history of Running Rein. He 
said that Abraham Levi Goodman, a trainer, 

' Thirteen years later Baron Alderson 's daughter became the 
wife of the late Lord Salisbury. 

134 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

had bought him in 1841 as a foal in Yorkshire, 
and after keeping him at his own stables in Foley 
Place and later in Dorset Square, had sent him 
to Finchley and thence to Haine's stables in 
Langham Place on vSeptember 24, 1842. From 
Langham Place Running Rein was dispatched to 
Epsom to one Smith, who was engaged to train 
him. Goodman and vSmith disagreed, and the 
colt was moved to Sutton, and was there trained 
until the autumn of 1843, when he was due to run 
at Newmarket. He ran there in Goodman's name 
in two races, but, shortly afterwards, Goodman, 
being indebted to the plaintiff, allowed the latter, 
on payment of £200, to take the colt with his 
engagements in satisfaction of the debt. From 
Newmarket the colt was sent back to Epsom, 
and remained in training there until the Derby. 
Cockburn confessed that he could not call Good- 
man, and that he must admit that this important 
witness was a person of bad character. He con- 
cluded his address by saying that the Jockey 
Club was the proper authority for trying the issue, 
and that " a court of justice was desecrated by 
bein,!2 made arbiters in such a case " ! 

After four witnesses had been called to identify 
the horse and to prove the sequence of events 
narrated by counsel,^ the learned Baron showed 
his hand. " Is the horse here ? " he exclaimed. 
The Solicitor-General intervened, "Your Lordship 
made an order for us to inspect him, but we have 
been refused permission." Then the Judge : "I 
sit here as a Court of Conscience, and the jury 
will feel with me that the production of the horse 

» Some of these witnesses were badly shaken in cross-examination. 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

and his examination is indispensable. After this 
notice I shall expect to see him, and I should like 
to look at his mouth myself." ^ 

Cockburn having assured the Judge that there 
would be no objection to produce the animal, 
the case proceeded. Five more witnesses gave 
evidence, some of identification, and some con- 
cerning the movements of the horse in London 
and in the neighbourhood. Towards the end of 
his evidence Smith, the Epsom trainer, related 
how the day before the Judge's order for inspection 
was made he had allowed Running Rein to be 
fetched from his stable in conformity, as he 
alleged, with the verbal orders of the owner. 
Then the Judge raged. " Justice demands the 
production of the horse." " I'll tell you," address- 
ing the plaintiff's counsel, " what makes an im- 
pression on my mind, and that is your anxiety 
to conceal the horse." " But, my Lord," began 
James. The Judge cut him short. " Produce 
your horse ! " he cried. One more witness, and 
the plaintiff's case closed. 

The Solicitor-General then addressed the court 
on behalf of Colonel Peel. After the usual pro- 
fessional comment on his opponent's difficulties, 
and the unfortunate character borne by some of 
his witnesses, he entered upon a long and elaborate 
narrative of the events which he undertook to 
prove. The horse that won the Derby was really 
Maccabaeus — a colt by Gladiator out of a mare 

' In a rather clever poem, entitled The Exchequer Epic, the 
poetaster refers to this utterance of the Judge : 

" Mr. C, Where's the colt ? " Baron Alderson cried, 
"I WILL see liis mouth, and I won't be denied." 
136 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

by Capsicum. He was bred by Sir G. Ibbetson 
in April 1840. In the month of September 1841 
he was offered for sale by Mr. Tattersall at Don- 
caster and was bought by Goodman. He was 
entered for the Derby of 1843. After Doncaster 
the colt was first lodged wth a farmer named 
Worley at Sywell, near Northampton, and was 
then sent to a place in the occupation of Higgins, 
who was Goodman's accomplice, where he remained 
until September 1842, and was there known as 
Maccabseus. Thence he was walked to London, 
and on September 24th was stabled in Langham 
Place. Here the fraud was perpetrated,^ and the 
Gladiator colt (Maccabaeus), under the name of 
Running Rein, on September 27th was dispatched 
to Epsom, while the real Running Rein (the 
Saddler colt) was hidden away at Finchley. Mac- 
cabaeus — henceforward Running Rein — was kept 
at Epsom and trained there until he was sent to 
Newmarket in the autumn of the following year, 
to fulfil the real Running Rein's engagements. 

Goodman, in order to account for Maccabaeus' 
existence, resorted to another deception. There 
was an Irish horse called Goneaway. In July 
1842 Goodman, after inquiring about the colour 
of the animal, paid the owner, Mr. Ferguson, 
of Rossmore Lodge, County Kildare, £500 for the 
use of this three-year-old,^ who was dispatched 

« So, too, the Judge at the close of the trial : " The pinch of 
the case is what was done at the stable in Langham Place, for there 
is no doubt that the colt that left Langham Place for Epsom to 
be trained became Running Rein." 

» Lord George Bentinck travelled to Ireland to see Mr. Ferguson 
about this transaction with Goodman, and even traced the purchase 
of the dye which Goodman had used. 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

to England in January 1843 and was taken to 
the stable in Langham Place. Goodman, with 
dye and other treatment, altered the appearance 
of the horse to conform to that of Maccabaeus,'^ 
and ran him as a three-year-old under the name 
of Maccabaeus at the Epsom Spring Meeting,, 
when, with 7 st. on his four-year-old back and 
a hot favourite, he was beaten by a neck. Good- 
man intended to run the horse in the Derby, but 
the owner, becoming acquainted with the con- 
templated fraud, interfered, and frustrated this 
second scheme of impersonation. 

Evidence was then called to prove the sale of 
Maccabaeus as a yearling in 1841 and his delivery 
to Goodman and Higgins ; while the age of the 
colt was further established by proof of the entries 
at Messrs. Weatherby's office. 

It was now past seven o'clock, and the court 
adjourned. The following morning it was evident 
that the proceedings were about to take a sensa- 
tional turn. The plaintiff was observed to approach 
Colonel Peel with a letter in his hand, and counsel 
held agitated consultation until interrupted by 
the arrival of the learned Judge. Cockburn then 
rose and informed the court that he could not 
produce the Derby winner. He had been taken 
away from the trainer's stable. Then the Judge 
burst out : " Why doesn't he set a policeman to 
find him ? If the horse has been taken away 
against the owner's will, it is a clear case of horse- 
stealing, and if I try the parties who have removed 
him at the Old Bailey I will transport them for 

' The horse had a white pastern, which Goodman painted a. 
dark colour. 

138 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

life to a dead certainty." Turning to Cockburn : 
" What's to be done now ? You cannot produce 
a horse you haven't got." Still the case dragged 
on. Worley, the farmer who had charge of the 
horse in September 1841 as a yearling, had not 
a shadow of a doubt that he was the animal he 
saw win the Derby, and his evidence was cor- 
roborated by another witness. The Judge then 
asked Cockburn how, after this identification, he 
could proceed with the case, and the embarrassed 
lawyer, having admitted that his client had written 
a letter to Colonel Peel saying that he now felt 
that some fraud had been committed and that 
he would withdraw from the inquiry, consented ta 
a verdict for the defendant. 

There was an incident at the trial which gave 
rise to some comment. Although Lord George 
Bentinck had been subpoenaed by the plaintiff,. 
Cockburn at the opening of the proceedings applied 
that he should withdraw from the court. To this 
arbitrary request the Judge declined to assent. 
Then Cockburn, in his address to the jury, thDught 
fit to assail the noble lord, who was his own witness,^ 
in language of asperity and indecency. He charged 
Bentinck with being not only the real promoter 
of the litigation, but also accused him of acting 
as attorney and policeman and of tampering with 
the witnesses, whom, he averred, Bentinck had 
clothed, fed and paid. On the evening of the 
first day of the trial Bentinck addressed a most 
polite and temperate letter to Cockburn imploring 
that he might have an opportunity of denying 
these accusations in the witness-box. At the con- 
clusion of the case Cockburn referred to Bentinck's 

139 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

request. The reasons he gave for not complying 
with it were considered at the time to be weak 
and unconvincing, but they were upheld by the 
Judge, who asserted the traditional privilege of 
learned counsel to speak according to his instruc- 
tions. The next morning The Times, in the best 
style of leading-article criticism, thundered against 
Cockbum's conduct, and derided the wide extent of 
the privilege of the Bar which had been claimed. 
The article accused Cockburn of culpable care- 
lessness in making the charges, uncompensated 
as they were by any adequate amende in the sequel 
of the proceedings. Two or three days later 
Cockburn made a statement in court withdrawing 
the imputations on Bentinck's character. ^ 

The speedy action of his friends must, however, 
have been some solace to Bentinck's wounded 
feelings. On the evening after the trial a meeting 
was called at which the following resolution was 
passed: "That the noblemen and gentlemen of 
the Jockey Club and several proprietors of race- 
horses interested in the honour and prosperity of 
the Turf intend to present Lord George Bentinck 
with a piece of plate to mark their sense of the 
immense service he has rendered to the racing 
community by detecting and defeating the 

» See the Greville Memoirs, vol. v. p. 256. Although Greville 
and Bentinck were not on speaking terms at the time, the former 
pays a high tribute to the energy and ability displayed by his 
cousin in exposing the fraud. Greville, who was in court on both 
days, writes that the Running Rein parties had no idea that Colonel 
Peel's friends had got up their case so perfectly, and also that the 
trial was over before it was half developed in evidence. There is 
authority for saying that the attorney in the case declared of 
Bentinck that there was " no sum he would not give to secure the 
professional assistance of such a coadjutor." 

140 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

attempted fraud exposed in the late trial in the 
Court of Exchequer." Although the subscriptions 
were limited to £25 each, a very large sum was 
rapidly raised. Bentinck declined a personal gift, 
but the money subscribed was at his request 
made the nucleus of the Bentinck Benevolent 
and Provident Fund for Trainers and Jockeys, 
which is maintained and administered at the 
present day by the authorities of the Jockey 
Club. Official approval of Bentinck's services 
was also recorded in a resolution agreed to by 
the members of the Jockey Club at their general 
meeting held in Old Burlington Street on July 6, 
1844. 

Besides promulgating the result of the race 
consequent upon the decision of the court, the 
Stewards, having been asked as to the day when 
the Epsom account should be settled, recommended 
Monday, July 8th, for this purpose, and ordered 
that notice to this effect should be posted at 
Tattersalls. 

La commedia e finita. Wood, the dispossessed 
owner, protested his innocence. The scoundrel 
Goodman and his confederates fled the country. 
Nothing more was seen in public of the mystery 
horses. The story goes in Northamptonshire that 
Worley, who owned and farmed Sywell House 
Farm — not far from the birthplace of the Derby 
winners of 1827 ^^^ iS47» Mameluke and Cos- 
sack — had an interest in Maccabseus, and that 
after the Derby the horse was taken to Sywell, 
where he was destroyed and buried. There is 
also a legend that at nightfall the ghost of the 
murdered horse used to haunt the road leading 

141 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

to the farm.'' The difficulty in accepting this 
romantic tale is that Worley gave evidence at 
the trial in favour of Colonel Peel's contention 
(see ante), which is not easy to reconcile except 
upon the supposition that in self-protection he 
turned, in effect, Queen's evidence. 

And so Orlando was legally declared the winner 
of the Derby of 1844, while Ionian, also the property 
of Colonel Peel, was placed second in the race 
and Bay Momus third. The mention of Ionian 
recalls an incident greatly to the honour of the 
gallant officer. He had laid Lord Glasgow 10,000 
to 100 against Ionian. In the spring of the year 
1844, when he tried the horse, he was astonished 
to find that he was nearly as good as Orlando. 
Thus embarrassed, he proceeded to cover his 
money at some sacrifice, and, this done, he invited 
Lord Glasgow to give his own orders to Ionian's 
jockey. 

These two were firm allies. Lord Glasgow be- 
queathed his race-horses to Peel, and the last 
winner that Peel had he called Peter, a sobriquet 
given to Lord Glasgow by his intimate friends. 
Four months after Peter's victory Peel died at 
his house at Twickenham in the eightieth year of 
his age. Among sportsmen he was the kindest, 
gentlest and most honourable. His political career 
as Member of Parliament for forty-two years and 
as a most capable Secretary of State for War was 
passed without an enemy. But his heart was at 
Newmarket. 

» The writer is indebted for this statement to that distinguished 
soldier and excellent sportsman, Field-Marshal Lord Grenfell, who 
Jived for some years in the neighbourhood of Syweil. 

142 




The Run In over the Round Course, 
Newmarket. 



The Run In over the Round Course, Newmarket. 



THE FRAUD OF A DERBY 

Sixty years ago a group of horsemen might 
have been seen on the Heath — the Admiral on 
his well-known hack. Lord Glasgow, blunt of 
speech and quaint in dress, and Lord Exeter. 
They are joined by General Peel, an erect figure 
without the lightest overcoat, although the air 
bites shrewdly as the wind whistles over the Flat. 
It is the season when the votaries of the Turf 
come to great decisions and commit great mis- 
takes. Absorbed in the passionate pursuit of the 
moment, they watch the issue of a trial from a 
spot where the roll of the famous plain swells 
like a wave into the distance — 

Quam Ditis nomine dicta 
Fossa secat. 

The scene is strangely changed since those days, 
and Newmarket, with its stands and crowds, can 
hardly be recalled as Peel knew it. 

Peel's name stands high on the record of winning 
owners ; but it is found in a better list — in the 
list of those honest and straightforward men who 
have proved by their example of honour and 
integrity that racing is not necessarily a doubtful 
trade nor the race-course the exclusive haunt of 
the professional gambler. 



143 



VII 

THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS' 

Eventus docet : Stultorum iste magister est. 

This has been an annus mirahilis in the history 
of the Enghsh Turf. It has been marked by events 
of a novel and exciting character. The authority 
of the Jockey Club has been frequently exercised 
and has been in one instance loudly questioned. 
The rules of racing have been debated by the 
Club in full session and have been substantially 
amended ; and within the last two months a Court 
of Law has been turned into a theatre where peers, 
trainers, jockeys and handicappers have appeared 
in due succession on the stage, and a learned judge 
has amused the public with his jokes and the 
world of racing with his views on short stirrups. 

> This chapter was pubhshed in September 1913. For the Derby 
of that year Mr. Bower Ismay's horse Cragenour was a well-backed 
favourite and won the race by a head. The Stewards on their own 
initiative disqualified the winner for bumping and boring, and 
awarded the race to Aboyeur. Chancery proceedings to withhold 
payment of the stakes were contemplated, pending an attempt 
to obtain a revision of the decision ; but in this course Mr. Ismay 
did not persist. A few days later he sold Cragenour to an 
Argentine syndicate for ;^30,ooo. 

In the month of July Mr. Richard Wootton, a prominent trainer, 
brought an action for libel against Mr. Sievier, editor of the Winning 
Post, who had charged him with dishonesty in the training and 
running of horses in his charge. The case, which was tried before 
Mr. Justice Darling and a special jury, lasted eight days, and 
resulted in a verdict for the plaintiff with the derisory damages 
of a farthing. 

144 



THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS 

The horse first past the post in the earhest 
important handicap of the year was disqualified 
for interfering with the second ; an objection was 
lodged against the winner of the One Thousand 
Guineas, but was dismissed ; and the judges' fiat 
in the Derby was set aside by the Epsom Stewards 
and the race awarded to an outsider which started 
at 100 to I. In other cases, notably at Newmarket, 
at Ascot, and at Goodwood, the Stewards had 
occasion to review the riding and conduct of the 
jockeys. At Newmarket and Ascot the winning 
horses were disquahfied, and at Goodwood some 
surprise was expressed that the objection was not 
sustained. 

The action of the Stewards at Epsom was strongly 
criticized. In view of the special circumstances 
this was inevitable. A bumping finish, a cluster 
of non-staying horses struggling together, the 
favourite's number hoisted as the winner of the 
melee, and the horse led in by his dehghted owner, 
only to be followed by an inquiry undertaken on 
the sole motion of the Stewards — these incidents 
combined in connection with the greatest race 
of the year made up a situation of palpitating 
and poignant interest without parallel in racing 
annals. Pendente lite, tongues wagged apace. Sir 
Oracle of the Rostrum laid down the law ; blase 
punters, backers of the favourite, were hotly 
indignant ; gentlemen of the amateur Press were 
deeply concerned ; and even the fair and fashion- 
able fiutterers in a few sovereigns 

Who change complexions at a losing game 

joined in the chorus of protest. 

145 K 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

But, to the great credit of the sporting com- 
munity as a whole, the decision was generally 
accepted. It was known that the Stewards had 
acted in good faith, and it was believed that they 
had cogent reasons for the course they had taken. 
If, it was said, they had considered their own 
popularity and had consulted their own wishes 
they would have acquiesced in the judge's verdict 
on that memorable afternoon. The mere fact that 
they had felt compelled to set it aside, and that 
they had drawn no distinction between a classic 
race and a selling plate scramble at Newmarket, 
was proof, if proof were wanted, of the justice 
and equity of their interposition. 

Out of this controversy, however, arises a question 
of far greater importance than the merits of the 
decision in this particular case. The welfare of 
racing, the maintenance of the best traditions of 
the Turf, and the security of the millions of capital 
which have been expended on race-courses and 
racing establishments depend, and depend entirely, 
on maintaining the authority of the Jockey Club. 
Owners of race-horses submit themselves to the 
Rules of Racing. These rules are promulgated 
by the Jockey Club, and either in the first instance 
or as a Court of Appeal the Stewards examine into 
the facts of each dispute or questionable result, 
interpret the Rules, and in virtue of them enforce 
their decision. 

The Jockey Club, like the Cabinet, sits in camera ; 
but, unlike the Cabinet, there appears in their 
official organ — the Racing Calendar — a well-edited 
report of their debates and proceedings. Is it 
permissible for a moment to look into that Council 

146 



THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS 

Chamber at the Rooms in Newmarket ? There 
are assembled the august Senators of the Turf — 
stewards of its mysteries. Some of them have 
known the spacious days of Admiral Rous and 
Lord Hastings, of Mr. George Payne and Mr. 
Savile. Some have trained their horses with Mat 
Dawson of famous memory, and can recall their 
racing victories of the sixties ; while a younger 
generation have been elected to the sacred circle 
who have been born since Galopin won the Derby. 
Lord Durham is there. Out of office now, he has 
at several periods filled with great credit the 
highest position in the Club. He is a just judge, 
but a hanging judge, more often wearing the black 
cap than the white gloves. He replies to the 
case made by the Senior Steward — the secundum 
columen of the Turf — in argument which lacks 
nothing of pungent difference marked by studied 
gravity and respect. Lord Londonderry's narrative 
flows easily on in its ordered sequence of logic 
and reminiscence. Lord Derby, wielding a calm 
and consistent statement, presses home some 
material point. Lord Harewood assists his 
colleagues with his intimate knowledge of the 
classic races, with opinions sound, though at times 
pontifical, and with his ripe experience of the 
law and practice of the Turf. Lord Rosebery, who 
can now give to the Jockey Club what he denies 
to the Legislature, may offer a criticism all the 
keener for its playful humour. 

Though wondering Senates hung on all he spoke. 
The Club must hail him master of the joke. 

Lord Villiers and Lord Hamilton of Dalzell bring 

147 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

to the matter in hand a practical knowledge and 
debating ability which lose nothing of effect from 
that salt flavour that comes to younger minds in 
contact with business affairs. Lord Crewe is in 
attendance. His part in the discussion must be 
an easier and more agreeable task than that which 
he undertakes as an unenvied leader of the House of 
Lords. Glad indeed must he be to have temporary 
relief from those Cabinet complications ^ which 
have turned upon the gambling exploits of his 
Ministerial colleagues, and to find himself in the 
purer atmosphere of an assembly which since 
October 1842 has taken no cognisance of trans- 
actions in the betting ring. 

There is no playing to the Gallery. There are 
no lobbying Pressmen. Interruptions, if any, are 
polite and orderly. At the close of the debate 
the officials claim urgency and the business is 
dispatched. The Venetian oligarchs rise from 
their seats with the feelings of statesmen who 
have realized their responsibilities, and who, as 
the Guardians of the Turf, have exercised their 
extensive and arbitrary powers alike in the best 
interests of that sport which they regulate, and 
of that discipline which is vital to its continuance. 

The recent case in which a representative of the 
yellow section of the Sporting Press was sued for 
libel by a well-known trainer excited much comment 
in racing circles. To the particular charges levelled 
by the defendant against the plaintiff it is un- 
necessary to refer. The trial itself was a long and 
pitiful exhibition of personal prejudice and irrele- 
vancy. The broad result was that the jury found 

' The reference is to the Marconi scandal of that date. 

148 



THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS 

in explicit terms that there was no warrant for 
the defendant's accusations and that the plaintiff's 
grievance was sufficiently met by an award of 
contemptuous damages. But the by-products of 
the case are perhaps deserving of passing notice. 
Frequent references were made in the trial to 
the suspension of jockeys for foul riding. It is 
unfortunate that any offence committed by a 
jockey in a race should be thus described. Racing 
terminology is surely not so poor but that a dis- 
tinction can be drawn between a breach of the 
rules due to negligence, rashness or inability, and 
one into which scienter or intention enters. The 
majority of jockeys are little more than boys. 
They are eager to win : but — according to authority 
— to be eager is not a very bad vice at any age 
under the critical forty. Je veux risquer le tout 
pour le tout may be said to be a young jockey's 
motto. In his anxiety to carry out the orders of 
an exacting trainer he crosses another horse before 
he is that distance clear of him which the rule 
prescribes. He is properly convicted of an offence. 
Again, a 6 st. jockey, riding a big and awkward 
animal, finds himself unable to avoid interference 
with another horse in the race. He too is rightly 
condemned. But it certainly seems harsh to 
stigmatize these offences by an epithet which is 
ordinarily understood to import intentional wrong. 
In the old articles of racing they were careful to 
make this point of intention. Thus : " whosoever 
doth stop or stay any of the horses that rideth 
for this plate or prize and it appears to be willingly 
done, he shall win no plate or prize." The Jockey 
Club have recently been much engaged in reforming 

149 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

the rules which deal with crossing and jostling, 
and racing opinion supports them, and will support 
them, in defining the precise character of these 
offences and in determining their penal conse- 
quences. It certainly ought not to be beyond 
the powers of a competent draughtsman to use 
terms of definition and distinction which are quite 
familiar in every code of criminal jurisprudence. 
Times are indeed changed since the days when 
foul play on the part of one jockey towards another 
was allowed by the rules of the Jockey Club, and 
when " crossing and jostling " was always under- 
stood to be permitted in a match unless there was 
a special provision to the contrary. 

Compelled to run each knavish jockey's heat 
Subservient to Newmarket's annual cheat. 

It was alleged, in the course of the trial, that 
the recent increase of objections to the riding of 
jockeys was due to the present fashion of the seat 
on the horse. With all respect to the distinguished 
upholders of the old practice of the upright seat 
and long stirrups, they may be reminded of some 
of the essentials of the controversy. Sloan was 
the author in this country not only of the modern 
seat but also of the true run race. " Waiting in 
front " was the paradoxical aphorism associated 
with his name. Those who rejoice in garrulous 
reminiscences of the past forget that, ridden as a 
race was in former days, it was comparatively easy 
for the jockey to keep his horse straight. The 
early part of the race was often a mere cantering 
finesse. Speed and stamina were husbanded for 
the finish. A race now run from end to end 

150 



THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS 

occasionally finds the leading horses swerving from 
distress ; but it is very doubtful indeed whether 
the accomplished riders of former times would, 
under these conditions, have been more successful 
in keeping a straight course than the much-abused 
jockeys of the present day. An obscurantist patron 
of the Turf may talk bravely of the advantage 
of the old style. Let him go to his trainer in the 
paddock before an important race when the wind 
blows freshly down the Rowley mile some October 
afternoon. Let him suggest to the trainer that 
his jockey should let his stirrup leathers down 
some holes and should sit upright in the saddle. 
The trainer would reply : " Very well, my lord, 
but you are giving 5 lb. away to the others." No 
one is so foolish as to contend that the present 
style, in the case of some exponents of it, is not 
open to criticism ; that apprentices and light- 
weights do not show at times to disadvantage 
just as the tiny midgets of the past did when the 
older jockeys crowded them out at the fall of the 
flag or squeezed them on to the rails. But the 
continued vigilance of the Stewards and the due 
enforcement of penalties will certainly lead to 
more careful riding in public, and will make it 
incumbent on trainers, where their apprentices are 
concerned, to see that they are well practised in 
riding and at the gate before they appear in the 
weighing-room in the glory of colours. 

It is undeniable that the evidence of considerable 
betting by a trainer of horses produced a very 
unfavourable impression on the public mind. The 
combination of trainer and semi-professional backer 
is not a wholesome one. It is calculated to create 

151 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

a conflict of disturbing factors in connection with 
a given race : and it is at variance with the correct 
relations between an owner and his servant. If 
the trainer bets, his stable lads will do the same ; 
and, though it may not be possible to banish 
betting from a stable, it is obvious that the one 
man who can exercise a healthy restraint on the 
gambling of his employes, who ought to teach them 
to resist the scandalous temptations which are 
offered to them by the advertising tipster in search 
of stable information, is in no position to set a 
sober example of independence of the betting 
market if he is known — and known he will be- — to 
be employing a commissioner to accept the odds 
about the horses he trains, or to support the more- 
fancied animals in another establishment. 

A trainer holds a position of trust. He requires 
a licence in order to follow his calling. It has been 
argued that a licensed trainer ought to be under 
the same disability as regards betting as a licensed 
jockey. This would, however, be aiming at too 
rigid a standard of morality, at too lofty a counsel 
of perfection. And yet, when the statement is 
made that the emoluments of a trainer are in- 
sufficient for his situation unless he supplements 
his professional earnings by betting, the matter is 
one which should not be too lightly dismissed. 
That a trainer should be obliged to look for a 
necessary addition to his income from betting 
operations on the course or from manipulating the 
machinery of starting-price offices is an intolerable 
reflection upon those who engage his services and 
who are responsible for his rate of remuneration. 
There are, of course, trainers and trainers ; but 

152 



THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS 

certain it is that the Lord Chesterfield of to-day^ 
when writing to his son upon the general scheme 
of his amusements d la mode, would add to his 
worldly code the recommendation that he should 
not place his race-horses in a stable where gambling 
was the practice of the trainer. 

In every department of national amusements 
great changes and developments have taken place, 
and racing is no exception to the law of human 
progress. In earlier times the sport was the 
diversion of the few : it is now the pastime of the 
multitude. The days are long past when the race- 
course was attended by a select band of gentlemen 
who followed the proceedings on horseback and who 
cantered on their hacks to the ring to support 
the animal of their choice. Races have increased 
in number and enormously in value. Matches, 
which within the lifetime of some who are still 
racing, figured in one year to the number of 86, 
are now practically unknown, save when an engage- 
ment of the kind appeals to the boyish fancy of 
a Jewish millionaire. The great prizes offered 
by the flourishing Park Clubs in the neighbour- 
hood of London and by the management of other 
racing centres, where enterprise and reforming 
policy have been rewarded with financial success,, 
have naturally proved more attractive to owners 
than running for their own money. 

The purging of racing from the graver kinds 
of fraud and chicane has been a gradual process. 
It is improbable that four-year-old horses will ever 
again be engaged in races limited to three-year- 
olds ; or that such circumstances as Greville, for 
example, records in connection with the Derby of 

153 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

1833 will in future deform the history of the 
sport. Cromwell once said that England had 
need of a Constable, and racing will always 
require the strictest supervision of the Jockey 
Club. There are men of every type who follow 
the game, and who are neither finished examples 
of moral excellence nor of the standard of just 
men made perfect. In the early Victorian period 
the authorities were as drowsy and indulgent 
as the bishops of the eighteenth century, and 
offences went undetected and unpunished. But 
in these days even Stewards of minor meetings 
have asserted themselves, conscious that they 
will be supported by the appellate tribunal ; and 
no owner, no trainer at the head of his profession, 
and no leading jockey can expect to receive 
the smallest mercy when the Stewards of the 
Jockey Club are satisfied of the evidence of 
guilt. 

It is not too much to say that betting as it 
prevailed in former days has practically ceased. 
Betting in small sums takes place extensively 
among the lower orders of the community. The 
facilities for it have grown. The most ingenious 
and the most active canvassing is employed. 
Columns of advertisements appear in some news- 
papers, as insidious as money-lenders' letters and 
generally as misleading. As Voltaire wrote 
shrewdly of the Cathohc priests, so of these 
practitioners it may also be said : Notre credulUe 
fait toute leur science. Again, the modern institution 
of starting-price offices accounts for a great deal 
of betting in the aggregate. These offices, with 
their elaborate rules, their telegraphic codes, and 

154 



THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS 

lines of telephone, are largely used by connections 
of certain gambling stables, by members of the 
Stock Exchange, and among others by those who 
adopt some silly pseudonym * to cloak, as they 
vainly hope, their speculative interests in insig- 
nificant races. To these classes and to the Post- 
master-General their prohibition might be un- 
welcome ; but the better type of bookmaker on 
the race-course and the respectable adherent of 
racing would rejoice in their extinction. 

Young Sidonia may splash large sums on an 
outsider, and South Africa may occasionally launch 
out with a few thousands, but the fashion of 
individual heavy betting is dead. What would be 
thought in these days of an owner who stood to 
win £150,000 on his own horse in the Derby, which 
was beaten, and at the same time won £30,000 on 
another which proved successful, and who could 
call his net winnings by betting in a single year 
£100,000 ? Racing history records this of Lord 
George Bentinck. Where are the owners who bet 
as did Lord Hastings during his brief career on 
the Turf, Mr. George Payne, Mr. Merry and Sir 
Joseph Hawley ? Where is the bookmaker to-day 
whose betting transactions bear any resemblance 
to those of Davis ? Over the Derby of 185 1 
Davis is said to have paid more than £100,000, 
and without waiting for settling day sent Mr. 
Greville a cheque for £15,000 twenty-four hours 
after the race was run. The truth is the whole 
scheme of betting has changed. There are now 
no yearling books on the Derby ; no owner would 

I The Jockey Club has now prohibited racing under an assumed 
name. 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

dream now of taking £40,000 to £600 about each 
of his five filHes for the Derby nearly a year before 
the race, as did Sir Joseph Hawley. Such a scene 
as is described in the glowing pages of Sybil — 
accurate as are the details down to the lameness 
of the bandaged winner, Phosphorus — seems to 
modern sportsmen as grotesque a picture of the 
eve of an Epsom contest as the recent melodrama 
of The Whip at Drury Lane, or the description of 
the betting on the race in Ouida's novel of Under 
Two Flags. 

With very few exceptions betting is now confined 
to the day of the race. A comparatively small 
outlay brings a horse to a short price in the market 
— a market ever apprehensive of some starting- 
price manoeuvre. Cramped odds lead to light 
betting, and the restriction of business over the 
rails. Indeed, in these times not a few attend- 
ants of the members' enclosure witness race 
after race without making a wager, and appear 
to emulate the reputation of the late Lord 
Falmouth. 

For these changed conditions the Sporting Press 
is in part responsible. Thanks to the calculation 
of chances " by our Special Correspondent " and 
to the daily leading articles based upon training 
reports and a searching analysis of form, the 
public know as much about a horse as the ring 
and frequently more than his owner. The recog- 
nized organs of racing each morning enter fully 
into the prospects of every horse that is likely to 
run during the day. In this enterprise they are 
followed by journals whose proprietors are endowed 
with the profits from the sales of cocoa, which they 

156 



THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS 

recommend, and are enriched by the news of racing 
which they denounce. Little can be said against 
the general policy of the legitimate organs of the 
Turf. Their writers know their business. Their 
articles are readable. They steer the student 
through all the dreary intricacies of varying form, 
and comment to their own satisfaction upon " in 
and out " running. True, they occasionally elevate 
a trainer into an oracle and exalt a jockey to the 
dignity of a hero. But, generally speaking, their 
gospel is against gambling and their message is 
for fair play ; and they rarely deviate from loyalty 
to the rule of constituted authority. They would 
certainly have found a reader in Horace Walpole 
vv^ho wrote to a correspondent : "I read the 
part of newspapers I used to skip, and peruse 
the list of Sweepstakes, not the articles of in- 
telligence." 

It is sometimes questioned whether the Turf is 
in any danger at the hands of the Legislature. 
There have been times when Nonconformist 
politicians in Parliament have talked glibly of 
confiscatory measures. The egregious Mr. John 
Burns once recommended the ploughing up of 
race-courses, and Labour members have displayed 
hostility to racing apparently because it is a popular 
amusement. The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. 
Lloyd George) in his best manner says that his 
opponents hurry back from Ascot to vote against 
him. Nevertheless it is difficult to imagine even 
this Government embarking on a policy of racing 
repression. It is but the other day that Mr. Lloyd 
George indulged in a considerable gamble. He 
acted on a tip given him by one of his stable 

157 



CHAPTERS FROM TURF HISTORY 

confederates who professed to know the chances 
of Marconi,^ and he won his money. After the habit 
of plungers who have had a success, Mr. George 
" played up " his winnings and increased his 
stake, and, as frequently happens, with disastrous 
results. He did not settle his account. On the 
Turf a man who fails to settle may be posted at 
Tattersalls as a defaulter : a professional tipster 
would not be appointed a judge at any race meeting 
in the country. It would be interesting were a 
modern Massinger to draw afresh the characters of 
Overreach and Justice Greedy. 

Consistency in these political times does not 
count for much, but it counts for something ; and 
if the present Administration were to attempt to 
interfere with racing they would indeed challenge 
their own record for Pharisaical hypocrisy. The 
philosophy of this prose age has borne much ; 
but this would touch the limits of endurance. In 
truth the fortunes of the Turf do not depend upon 
Parliament. " You have taught me," exclaimed 
George II. to his imperious Minister, " to look for 
the sense of my people in other places than the 
House of Commons." What the second Hanoverian 
had to learn from the greatest of English statesmen 
his illustrious descendant must have long since 
realized without the counsel of a Minister and 
despite the whisper of a Courtier. Hence, so long as 
the democracy enjoys its racing, so long as owners 
set an example of honesty and probity in their 
own persons and require clean conduct from their 

I The reference is to Sir Rufus Isaacs, then Attorney- 
General, and shortly afterwards appointed Lord Chief Justice of 
England. 

158 



This Piece of Plate, with the Hoof of Eclipse was 

PRESENTED BY HiS MoST GRACIOUS MaJESTY WiLLIAM 

THE Fourth to the Jockey Club, May, 1832. 




THIS PIECE OF PLATE 

WITH THE 

HOOF OF ECLIPSE 

WAS PRESENTED BY 

?I6 iWost ffiracious iWajpstB ffiaiilliam tfjr .ifourtft 



THE JOCKEY CLUB. 

Maw 1832. 



THE TURF AND SOME REFLECTIONS 

servants and employes, and so long as the Govern- 
ment of the Turf is administered by a wise and 
courageous autocracy, the sense of the people will 
surely protect it from the predatory passions of 
puritans and partisans. 



159 



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