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Full text of "The turf and the racehorse : describing trainers and training, the stud-farm, the sires and brood-mares of the past and present : and how to breed and rear the racehorse"

STUD FARM. ^ 




i 



t I •[' 






1^^° 127 S. 7 th St ^^®^i' 










GIFT OF FAIRMAN ROGERS. 



University of Pennsylvania 

Annenberg Rare Book 
and Manuscript Library 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/turfracehorsedesOOcopp 



THE 

TURF AND THE RACEHORSE 

DESCRIBING 

TRAINER8 AND TRAINING, THE STUD-FARM, 

THE 8IRE8 AND BROOD-MARES OF 
THE PAST AND PRESENT, 

AND 

HOW TO BREED AND REAR THE RACEHORSE. 



BY 

R. II. COPPERTHWAITE. 



?ctonb (^'bifion. 



LONDON : 

DAY AND SON, LIMITED, 

Lithographers, Printers, and Publishers, 

GATE STKEET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS : 

Late DAY and SON, Lithogkapheks to the Queen. 

1866.' 

All RU/ht.i reserred.] 



The Ages of the Horses referred to m this work ivere 
computed in I860. 



PEEFACE. 



In offering a few remarks to the sporting public upon the 
Turf and the Racehorse, I deem it at least necessary to 
render them in as simple a manner as possible, inasmuch 
as they are offered to the community at large. 

Taking for granted that all the followers of turf pur- 
suits, or lovers of horseflesh, are not Walkers, Johnsons, or 
Sheridans, it becomes necessary to write in language which 
can be plainly understood, instead of indulging in that 
high-flowing, flowery style, which tends more to test the 
faculties and bewalder the reader than to enlighten him 
on the subject ; and substituting what may be termed a 
superfluity of very fine English for instruction, thereby 
disguising the absence of practical knowledge: in fine, 
endeavouring to " spin out a long yarn " on a subject, with 
the merits of which they are but slightly acquainted. As 
the illustrious Moore said, — 

" Nine times out of ten, if his title is good, 

The material within of small consequence is : 
Let him only write fine, and if not understood, 
Why that 's the concern of the reader, not his." 



IV PREFACE. 

Others, preferring modern innovations, deal in poly- 
syllables, where perhaps monosyllables would be found 
more explicit, and to the point : for instance, now-a-days 
we read proofs such as the following. In an account of 
a good dinner we learn that " the tables groaned with all 
the delicacies of the season ; " in returning from which, 
should a party happen to tumble into a ditch, we shall 
hear that "he became immersed in the liquid element.^^ 
At Brighton, or any other watering-place, should a young 
lady while bathing happen to be drowned, the grievous 
intelligence is to the. effect that, ''having plunged fear- 
lessly into the bosom of Neptune, before the summer of 
her years had faded she sank into the silence of the 
grave.'' 

It may perhaps appear presumptuous in me to 
attempt a small treatise on a subject which has been, 
and is so frequently, written upon by others — a subject, 
also, which is one of almost universal interest, and pecu- 
liarly calculated to challenge public attention : but having 
from boyhood owned horses, and studied their every 
movement, &c., and indeed I may add, occupied my 
mind with thoughts thereupon, when it might have 
been otherwise more beneficially employed — it is hardly 
to be wondered at, that as time wore on my passion, or 
taste for the animal, grew stronger, and as Horace says, — 

" Quo semel est imbuta recens, servabit odorem 
Testa diu." 



PREFACE. V 

Or, in homely vernacular, — 

" You may break, you may shatter, the vase as you -will, 
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still." 

Whatever else I may have had to occupy my thoughts, 
there was one uppermost — "the Horse." Another cir- 
cumstance prompted me to the attempt. In these sensa- 
tion times, almost everybody seems to write something or 
other on this subject; and if my ideas or remarks do not 
coincide with the opinions of others, it can hardly be 
denied that, although " doctors differ," yet " two heads 
are better than one;" and it may so happen, that the 
reader will learn by a perusal of these few pages some- 
thing foreign to his former ideas, and will then have 
what the late Lord George Bentinck was frequently heard 
to term " the best of the bargain,^^ having the option of 
taking or rejecting them as he thinks proper. 

There can be little doubt, that in speaking or writing 
on any subject which involves the interests of parties or 
professions, where differences of opinion must exist, the 
necessary consequence which may be expected to follow 
is, disapproval on the one side or the other, according as 
the doctrines of the writer may please or displease. 

It too frequently happens that some hesitate to give 
candid expression to their sentiments, and adopt the 
sycophantic maxim of " running with the hare and 
holding with the hounds:" for even the great Cicero, 



VI PREFACE. 

when defending his friend Milo, feared to do so, but 
subsequent to the trial published a statement of what 
he had intended to say; upon reading which the latter 
exclaimed, " Oh ! if Cicero had thus spoken before my 
enemies, I would not now be eating figs in Marseilles !" 

In presenting to the reader a few remarks, generally 
upon the subject of the Turf and the Racehorse, &c., they 
are rendered for the benefit of those who may think pro- 
per to accept them as useful; merely adding, that after 
about thirty years' experience I entertain sound reasons 
for my convictions, which are declared without prejudice, 
personality, or enmity. 

I trust, therefore, that those who in their leisure 
hours may condescend to peruse them will make allow- 
ances for any errors which may creep in, or delusions under 
which the author may labour ; and, as the poet said, re- 
member that 

" Everything has faults ; nor is 't unknown, 
That harps and fiddles often lose their tone ; 
And wayward voices, at their owners' call. 
With all their best endeavours only squall : 
Dogs blink their covey, flints withhold the spark, 
And double barrels (d them!) miss their mark." 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

TURF TOPICS ....... 1 

THE RACEHORSE . . . . . .117 

THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY . . 164 

BROOD MARES ....... 263 

SYNOPTICAL TABLE OF TRIED BROOD MARES . . 300 

THE STUD-FARM : ITS REGULATIONS AND REQUISITES 320 

CONCLUSION ....... 329 



TURF TOPICS. 



" What reams of paper, floods of ink, 
Do some men spoil, who never think ! 
And so, perhaps, you '11 say of me ; 
In which some readers may agree. 
Still I write on, and tell you why : 
Nothing 's so bad, you can't deny. 
But may instruct or entertain. 
Without the risk of giving pain." 

Ancient history tells us that Nero loved his monkey, and 
Caligula his horse ; indeed, to such an extent did the latter 
carry his affection for the animal, that he appears to have 
lavished upon him every luxury and comfort, to a degree 
exceeding (if possible) his barbarous treatment of his 
miserable subjects : his only wish, in the one instance, 
being that " the Roman people had but one head, that it 
might be struck off at one blow /' whilst in the other 
he was wont to swear by his Incitatus, whom he honoured 
with a palace, guards, and servants, and entertained at 
his own table, giving him gilded barley to eat and 
wine to drink in golden cups ; clothing him in purple, 
with a collar of pearls ; and on the eve of running his 
race having him carefully watched by a guard of honour, 
lest his rest should be disturbed. Is it, therefore, to be 
wondered at that this noble animal, possessing such silent 



» TURF TOPICS. 

power and influence over the hardened heart and mind of 
the cruel Caligula should, in the enlightened nineteenth 
century, be the admiration of mankind ; particularly when 
we consider how far he tends towards our health, happi- 
ness, and amusement, independently of his usefulness in 
other respects ? But however beautiful and noble he ap- 
pears under ordinary circumstances, and in other places, 
nowhere does he shine so brilliantly, or show to such per- 
fection, as when, in blooming health and condition, we find 
him on the turf, ready to contend for victory ; and how 
gamely does the true thoroughbred struggle and strain 
every nerve and muscle to that end ! 

It has been stated that the horse was the greatest 
conquest ever made by man j and he has been, and is still, 
found in his natural state in the deserts of Arabia and 
Africa, and on the plains of Tartary, where droves of five 
and six hundred have been seen at a time : but in Arabia 
he appears in the greatest state of perfection. The Arabs 
love horses as their children, and live under the same 
tents with them. They surpass all other animals of the 
desert in speed, and are so well trained that they stop 
as if shot with the slightest touch of the rein ; and 
although the spur is uukno^vn to them, they obey the 
least movement of the foot. As a further proof of the 
sagacity of the animal, it is known that kind treatment 
renders them so docile and fond of their masters that 
they follow them about without being led. 

The Arabs understand and are particular about the 
pedigrees, which they divide into three classes : first, what 
they term "first class,^' that is, "noble blood" on both 
sides, which they can trace back for centuries ; the 
second, still " noble or ancient blood,^^ but with a stain 



THE ARABIAN HORSE. 3 

on one side, whicli they term a "mis-alliance;" the 
third, " the common class." Those in a wild state are 
not so large as the domesticated ; they are generally of 
a dark bay or brown, and their manes and tails much 
shorter. 

In South America as many as ten or twelve thousand 
have been seen in a drove, and if by chance they happened to 
meet with a tame horse they have been known to surround, 
him, and, by neighing and coaxing, endeavour to induce him 
to join their ranks and escape. Travellers have been left 
without means of proceeding on their journey in this way, 
being obliged to move in advance of their own animals 
in order to frighten away those droves. There can be no 
greater proof of the necessity of good care, and the bene- 
fits which must result therefrom, than the simple fact 
that the wilder these animals are the more diminutive 
they become, because they cannot, in their natural state, 
obtain the nourishment and comforts which they other- 
wise would ; and, therefore, the British-bred horse bears 
a striking contrast to the Arab in size and bone. 

For whatever purpose the thoroughbred horse may 
have been intended, there can be no question that he has 
been by man converted to a very useful one, and in the 
present day more so than ever; for, since the com- 
mencement of the present century, the numbers of horses 
turned to racing purposes have increased, to the present 
time, more than threefold, there being now more than 
three horses rvmning in public contests for every one that 
ran in the commencement of the present century; an 
increase in numbers, which has been steady and regular, 
as well as enormous : for we find that, in 1802, but 536 
horses ran, whereas there are at present from seventeen 



4 TURF TOPICS. 

to eighteen hundred, or two thousand, according to the 
re.cords of racing, contending annually for various prizes 
— a fact which proves that the " glorious pastime " has 
charms for many, whether founded upon pure love of 
sport or anxiety for pecuniary advantages. 

What is the Turf? Let us take it from its very 
foundation, and it can hardly be looked upon in any other 
light than a bird's-eye representation of the world, with 
which no other pursuit, whether of pleasure, profit, or any 
nature whatever, can for one moment compare, in its 
representations of life and of mankind. Almost every 
true Briton appears to fancy it a duty, either from admir- 
ation or appreciation of the many enjoyments which it 
affords, or from curiosity, to visit the racecourse. What- 
ever may have been the ancient ideas on the subject of its 
pleasures, it can hardly be denied that it has fallen into 
hands, in modern times, which have turned it to purposes 
of business as well as recreation. If, according to the 
tastes and ideas of the present rising and enlightened 
generation, the turf were by possibility stripped of all its 
attractions, except that of witnessing a number of horses 
like a herd of buffaloes thundering over the prairies, the 
spectators would be few and far between, and the value 
of the beautiful thoroughbred would soon become seriously 
lessened : for, with all due respect to those who contend 
that certain high personages, who with kingly condescen- 
sion grace the turf with their patronage and support, be- 
come proprietors of racehorses solely from love of sport, and 
with pure disregard of any profitable results, it is very ques- 
tionable if even they continue to escape the electric in- 
fluences of that metal which seems to possess such power 
over the human mind. It is, in fact, a field over which 



WHAT IS THE TURF ? 5 

there is kept up a continued quest after the "universal 
idol;" the beauties, excitements, and pleasures of the 
chace varying according to circumstances. Some of the 
most zealous, although superbly mounted and well 
equipped, occasionally come to grief, through over- 
anxiety to excel all others ; while, on the other hand, 
there is nothing more simple than by a cool and steady 
course to experience the enjoyments, and, at the same 
time, participate in the emoluments sought for. And it 
is very much to be regretted that fathers and mothers, old 
maiden aunts and rich uncles, should have heretofore 
formed such unfavourable and unchangeable prejudices 
against the turf; for it is far better the present gene- 
ration should benefit by a reasonable distribution of 
the coin of the realm than that it should be hoarded up 
for heartless, miserable specimens of humanity, who 
perchance would picture this glorious pastime to their 
heirs and successors as one to be for ever avoided. The 
turf is a pursuit sanctioned by Providence, to counteract 
the evil effects of the Satanic thirst of misers for worldly 
treasure, which now does, and always has, proved so dire 
and lamentable in its effects to their fellow-creatures, 
whose miseries and wants they calmly witness, Avhile 
gloating over wealth which they prostituted their lives 
in accumulating, and yet do not enjoy, and which they 
would even cling to with tenacity, if it were possible to 
bargain for life with the king of terrors. Yet it is an ex- 
traordinary and glorious fact, and a gratifying consolation, 
that, in many cases, the successors of such detestable 
specimens of mankind are generally not only most liberal, 
if not extravagant, but are invariably staunch supporters 
and patrons of the turf; which, it must be confessed, affords 



b TURF TOPICS. 

the heirs or successors of such wretches ample opportunity 
of displaying their powers of distributing the cherished 
wealth of their ancestors, and thus preventing the possi- 
bility of the entire currency, which was intended for 
circulation, becoming buried, hidden, and concentrated in 
a few useless iron safes, where it could yield no good to 
anybody beyond the knowledge of its possession, which 
merely creates a grasping propensity for more. 

Everything connected with the turf yields good to 
somebody ; it is a wheel upon which fortune turns^ casting 
benefits in all directions, in which all classes are parti- 
cipators. Its followers are invariably doing good one way 
or other, and are, and have at all times been, foremost to 
aid and assist their fellow-creatures, where their helping 
hand may have been required, and nevertheless they are, 
by a certain class of infatuated and prejudiced persons, 
the most abused body in existence; yet if the acts of 
some of those very parties, wdio, with the criticism and 
malignity of a Zoilus, censure the followers and patrons 
of the turf, were brought to light, probably it would 
appear, that while they had advanced in years they had 
not done so in virtue, however they may have differed in 
their selection of the course through which they may 
have elected to err. According to their picture of the 
turf and its followers, those who were ignorant of the 
real facts would almost be led to a belief that they were 
nothing short of a band of moss-troopers, with "Vivitur 
ex rapto " for their motto ; whereas, in truth, it can boast 
that its foundation is based upon the solid support of 
the very picked pillars of the constitution, and that those 
pillars are propped up by adherents, the very soundest 
and most faultless in the British nation ; so well tested. 



ITS ADVANTAGES. 7 

that any attempts to shake their strength would be as 
futile as gusts of wind against a tower of granite, or, as 
a certain learned Lord once remarked in speaking of 
O'Connell, " as useless as pelting paper pellets at the 
sides of a rhinoceros." 

It is only very recently that an addition to the 
numerous proofs of the virtue and goodness of the turf ^s 
patrons was made manifest by one of its late most 
respected, lamented, and staunchest supporters, who 
bequeathed in charities alone no less a sum than thirty- 
six thousand pounds by his will, in which he forgot 
neither the unprotected widow, the helpless orphan, nor 
the faithful servant. 

The man who feels disposed to eiT can do so in any 
pursuit in life, no matter what his object may be ; but 
those who could condemn a noble and manly pastime 
because, forsooth, it may be accompanied by a wish or 
possibility to combine with its enjoyments that from 
which no earthly pursuit is totally free, must be possessed 
of minds not only capable of base acts, but prone to prac- 
tise them if opportunity presented itself, or if the power 
to accomplish equalled the inclination to attempt. And 
it would be well if such people would recollect the words 
of Vousden's song, — 

"Let each man learn to know himself ; 
To gain that knowledge let him labour, 
Improve those failings in himself, 
Which he condemns so in his neighbour." 

Amongst the patrons of the turf rank the first men in 
the land, as well as many humble yet equally zealous. It 
would indeed be difficult to define exactly the difference 
in their objects, by taking or judging solely according to 



8 TURF TOPICS. 

rank or position. By many, who consider themselves 
astute and competent judges, it is believed, that it always 
was intended solely as an amusement for royalty and the 
aristocracy, with permission to the community at large to 
participate, — a condescension which the latter appear to 
have availed themselves of beyond doubt, as some of the 
most successful speculators are frequently very humble 
patrons. It can hardly be denied, however, that the 
great stimulus to the excitement and pleasures afforded 
thereby consists in the anxiety of each, at least to prevent 
his opponent from gaining the prize, whatever it may be, if 
not to become possessed of it himself : perhaps this is the 
mildest way of putting the case ; a most natural ambition 
to take possession of any frail specimen of human nature, 
no matter how exalted in society or however independent 
he may be otherwise. It is said there are many who run 
their horses solely for "honour and glory, and that sort of 
thing : " it may be so, but it is more likely, and very much 
to be apprehended, that if the ranks were confined to those 
parties they would have little competition to apprehend, 
and horseflesh would soon be at a discount.* If money 
could be obtained by asking for it (one of the last delu- 
sions under which any one is likely to labour, and the 
very first to be relieved from), there would not be such 
severely contested races, nor so many, as at present. 
Ninety-nine out of every hundred persons who keep 

* How many men would, on the presentation of a check for 
the amount of a Derby or St. Leger, request the Messrs. Wea- 
therby to apply the amount towards the Lancashire distress, or 
the London Hospitals ? For my part, I should back ' Current 
Coin ' versus ' Glory ;' the former would be a tremendous fa- 
vourite, and the result, doubtless, justify the confidence of its 
backers. 



THE OBJECT OF HORSE-RACING. 9 

horses would not then find as mucli pleasure^ even in 
winning stakes, as they do now in the excitement of 
trying. 

There lies the "kernel of the nut;" the rest is but 
the " shell," and the " fun " is in the breaking of it ; and 
glorious fun it is, especially to those who require it most : 
for, after all, the pleasure or gratification cannot be so 
great to those who stand least in need of it, unless to one 
of those "money-worshippers," were he to make his 
appearance from behind his iron safe. There are plenty 
of good sportsmen in different positions, and there is 
nothing whatever inconsistent in one being a thorough 
sportsman, and, at the same time, anxious to benefit 
himself otherwise. 

It is, however, not only amusing, but ridiculous, to 
hear the views some people form about men who are on 
the turf; and to hear persons who describe themselves as 
so, when they have never had any other description to give, 
and no earthly pretensions beyond, perhaps, having owned 
a fourth share in a plater. I once heard an intoxicated 
postilion at Bath, who had ridden home from the races, 
and was about being removed to strong quarters for the 
night, vow " he was hloived if he would go ; that he was 
a racing man, and they dar not take him during the 
races." 

So far as its amusements, there can be little question 
that the turf stands alone as a pastime — that it reigns 
supreme above any other. Even the fox-hunter could 
barely live without its addition ; but the question is, for 
whom is it fit ? or to whom is it suited, as far as becoming 
proprietor of a stud, with its necessarily heavy require- 
ments? — questions best answered by those who may have 



10 TURF TOPICS. 

had tlie pleasing gratification of trying their hands. To 
the young, ardent beginner, who may have suddenly 
fallen into the receipt of a fine fortune, there is no pos- 
sible arena wherein he can better display all his powers, 
or carry out his wishes as to investing his capital, 
and proving himself a worthy or liberal deputy for the 
distribution of a long-cherished treasure. Yet it by no 
means follows that he cannot have, to his hearths con- 
tent, unbounded amusement without a farthing loss ; 
nay, even with plenty of profit, provided he keeps within 
bounds and acts with reasonable judgment and pru- 
dence. If he does not himself possess sufficient judg- 
ment, there are plenty capable of teaching him, who will 
be delighted to instruct him, and give him the benefit of 
their own perhaps dearly-bought experience, which is 
generally the best of all. His great care should be, while 
endeavouring to select good horses, not to neglect or 
forget the more important point of making a good selec- 
tion of his friends and advisers, and to take heed lest he 
should fall in with those who, in endeavouring to regain 
some of their own "experience-money," might charge too 
high a price for their instruction : for, unfortunately, it 
must be confessed, that the natural love of self is not 
forgotten on the turf, any more than elsewhere, whilst 
it afibrds the amplest opportunities of gratifying such a 
failing, and on the grandest scale. And not only be- 
ginners, but even old heads, have sometimes more to fear 
from those nearest to them in whom they may have, in 
over-confiding weakness, placed implicit confidence, than 
from their opponents, for the common laws of nature 
dictate that in such pursuits, as in every other in life, 
love of self should reign predominant in the human breast. 



DANGERS OF THE TURF. 11 

Still there are plenty, whose upright and straightfor- 
ward disinterestedness would not permit any unworthy 
motives to interfere with their good intentions to benefit 
their younger friends by their advice; but it is from 
neglect of caution in selecting such monitors that so 
many young men have heretofore been led astray, and 
sadly victimised : it is, however, a happy reflection that 
the march of intellect, in the present day, is such as to 
leave little need of apprehension in the minds of their 
well-wishers, for the rising generation appear to be very 
competent to take care of their own interests, and, like 
the young horses of the present day, are showing a 
marked superiority in that respect, when contrasted with 
those of former days, who have "broken down^^ in a 
very short time; indeed, in racing parlance, without ever 
having developed or displayed much form. 

Then, assuming that the reader may be disposed to 
enter upon the stage, and try his fortune, I shall take the 
liberty of supposing him a novice, and offer to him any 
little information which may be within my power towards 
his enlightenment on the subject ; and will suppose that 
he is about to commence " a nice little establishment," for 
the purposes of pleasure combined with the probability of 
success, and with a dash of honour and glory. 

It appears to me, that the man who ventures upon a 
breeding establishment with any view beyond mere 
amusement, has frequently more trouble, expense, and 
risk before him, than he may fancy at first thought. The 
paddocks may have their charms for the eyes of the casual 
visitor, who may admire a fine old mare, perhaps the win- 
ner of the Oaks or the Thousand-guineas stakes, with 
a promising foal by her side, from which the owner 



12 TURF TOPICS. 

expects even greater success : he may fancy he is looking 
at the winner of a future Derby or St. Leger while gazing 
on a promising yearling ; or may visit the box of a 
stallion, probably the winner of both, yet doomed never 
to get a winner of either — which is no uncommon occur- 
rence. Those are very agreeable visions, no doubt, and, 
as far as the pleasure of the speculation is concerned, 
afford it in abundance, pi'ovided it is a matter of little 
concern to the breeder whether they prove otherwise pro- 
fitable, or that such is a secondary consideration ; yet it 
is a speculation surrounded with perpetual torments, anx- 
iety, and losses : the latter frequently on so large a 
scale, that it is very questionable whether a party using 
racehorses for profit would not, in the present day, find a 
more beneficial and economical mode of keeping himself 
supplied : for, no matter how careful or intelligent the stud- 
groom may be, while grass grows, or water runs, he will 
now and then have to announce to his employer something 
or other, in the course of his duties, which will have upon 
the latter any effect but one tending to increase his appe- 
tite, or improve his digestion. If you pay a large price 
for a sire, particularly an untried one, no matter what 
his perfections or qualities may be, you may in vain 
make use of all the gift of speech and persuasion with 
which Providence may have endowed you, to induce 
people to believe that his shapes, blood, and so forth, 
are what they ought to be. You hear then of the 
kind (?) remarks of a neighbour, who may happen to 
be proprietor of a rival stallion, that yours is either a 
"roarer" (according to reports, almost every stallion is 
a roarer — a most mistaken idea, elsewhere explained), 
or an uncertain foal-getter (a very likely matter, for 



HOW DOCTORS DIFFER. 13 

reasons also explained), or some such observations. When 
I purchased ' Mountain Deer/ and imported him to Ire- 
land (where it is said horses are so fast deteriorating 
of late ; and little wonder, although there are good sires 
enough), my groom used to report to me the various 
opinions of parties who came to see the horse, which cer- 
tainly were about as flattering as they bave since proved 
to be valuable. 

" Has anybody been to see the horse ?" 

" Yes, sir : Mr. So-and-So, and some other gentle- 
men." 

" What did they think of him ?" 

" Not much, sir. One said he had flat sides ; another, 
that he had bad legs ; and a third, that he did not like his 
white face. I tould them, the divil a pinsworth they knew 
about it — that he cost too much not to be good. But there 
was one gentleman said he liked him very much, and that 
he would send three mares for half price, if he got the 
keep of one of them gratis .'' 

A breeder must have patience and a long purse, for 
there must always be great wear and tear of capital, 
in purchasing untried stallions or mares, which, until 
their characters at stud have been established, are of 
little profit, and frequently turn out worthless. Then, 
again, the losses which are experienced through death 
or accidents, the missing of mares, and, in short, the 
continvial drain upon the exchequer, render it a most 
hazardous speculation ; in most cases a purchaser of stock 
adopts by far the better and more economical course by 
attending public sales, or still better, by purchasing 
privately from parties, who perhaps are much more easily 
dealt with, and from whom bargains are more frequently 



14 TURf TOPICS. 

obtained than at fashionable auctions, where competition 
is often so spirited and sometimes so very Jiot. But if 
any man attempts to breed for sale in the present day, 
and does so from any but the best, most fashionable, and 
running blood, both on the sides of sire and dam, he 
might as well, and much better, present his money to 
some charitable institution. 

Then, when the sale-day does arrive, the purchaser will 
best consult his own interests by obtaining the best lot, 
even at the top price; not that it is impossible, or even im- 
probable, that the very highest priced one might turn out 
the worst, or vice versa : yet, as a general rule, speculators 
in horseflesh have become such masters of their business 
that they generally '^ hit the right nail on the head," the 
big money frequently succeeding, partly from the lot being 
competed for by experienced judges ; although curious 
exceptions are frequently seen, where valuable animals 
are sold, and even forced upon purchasers, for merely 
trifling sums, both at public auction and by private sale. 
The following was an extraordinary instance. There is 
at this moment in Her Majesty's stud at Hampton-court 
paddocks, an animal named ' The Deformed ;' without ex- 
aggeration, as magnificent a specimen of a thorough-bred 
mare as any to be found, and well worth the time of any 
lover of horseflesh to look at. Her size, symmetry, and 
blood-like appearance, together with substance, almost 
defy comparison. She is by 'Burgundy ' or ' Harkaway,' 
dam ' Welfare,' by ' Priam.' I purchased this mare, when 
a yearling, for 15/.; she being at the time engaged in four 
large stakes, all of which she won, besides many others, 
both in England and Ireland, and subsequently ended her 
racing career by winning Prince Demidofi"'s cup in Italy. 



UNCERTAIN VALUE OF HORSES. 15 

I sold her to Captain Scott for 1500 guineas, repurchased 
her as a brood mare for 300, and subsequently sold her 
to the late Marquis of Waterford for 600 guineas, at 
whose sale she was purchased for Her Majesty. She was 
thus named by me from the fact that she turns her left 
foot rather inwards (her half-sister, ' Mag on the Win^-/ 
once in my possession, did so likewise), and walks and 
gallops with a pecuhar, round, wide-sweeping action, like old 
'Harkaway.^ She has the temper of a lamb, the propelling 
power of a steam-engine, the eye of a gazelle — in every 
shape defying exaggeration from the pencil of a Herring 
or a Hall ; and has proved herself, both in England and 
Ireland, an extraordinarily good mare. 

The Marquis's name calls up recollection of an in- 
stance of the ill-luck which, during one week^s racing at 
the Curragh, attended that much-respected and deeply- 
lamented nobleman; and how good-humouredly he bore 
with it! He had sixteen horses running during the 
meeting, and did not win one race, although in some 
he ran two or three. The races over he commenced 
laughing heartily at the idea, and there being a travelHng 
show opposite the stand invited a certain popular Baronet, 
a particular friend, to accompany him thereto, forgetting all 
the disappointments of the race-week. They repaired to 
the exhibition, and finding amongst the " curiosities" two 
pelicans, he challenged his friend to match one against the 
other for a small wager. The match was made, the birds 
ran for the fish, and the Marquis won by a " bill ;" at 
which success he appeared as much elated as if he had 
won a Derby. Well was he named, and long will he 
be known and remembered, and his memory respected, as 
"The Marquis.'^ We ne^er shall see his like again ! 



16 TURF TOPICS. 

In the formation of a stud for racing purposes, a great 
deal must depend upon the intentions or wishes of the 
\)artj, as well as the length of his purse; a very great 
mistake^ and one frequently made, being, that of purchasing 
too many, sometimes of a moderate stamp, instead of con- 
fining the number to fewer of first-class promise and 
quality, for the expense of the one is as great as that of 
the other. The principal question for a beginner is, as to 
the best way to accomplish his wishes and suit himself. 
Then, suppose his object be to obtain the very best class, 
regardless of price, having in view the " Blue Hiband,^^ 
Doncaster and Goodwood cups, &c., and that he is one 
of the " honour-and-glory '' party, his simple course 
must be to attend the sales where such are advertised 
for public auction, and seek (if he be not himself a 
competent judge) the assistance of those who are : but 
then he must make up his mind, as a general rule, 
to pay high prices, for in the present day the com- 
petition for yearlings of promise is very great indeed, and 
the prices exceedingly high, especially at fashionable 
auctions, where, as a matter of course, such animals are 
most likely to be found : for it is wonderful the very high 
prices which some breeders pay when purchasing brood 
mares, sires, &c. Such auctions are always attended by 
parties, either upon their own behalf or in the interest of 
others, whose judgment might, figuratively speaking, be 
compared to that of Sylla, who declared he saw "many a 
Marius in the stripling Csesar." Still, the fluctuations in 
prices, the competition and judgment displayed, are extra- 
ordinary, and only equalled by the contrast between the want 
of judgment of some and the soundness of that of others; 
the inexperienced employer in some cases being encouraged, 



PURCHASING FOR STUD PURPOSES. 17 

by the sagacity of an over-anxious trainer, to become a 
purchaser at all hazards, and at any price, rather than let 
the stable be empty. 

The prudence of paying very large prices for year- 
lings is a question admitting of difference of opinion, 
and depending very much upon circumstances ; and to 
arrive at a conclusion as to what the real value of a first- 
class yearling — say an own brother or sister to a cele- 
brated horse — may be, is a most difficult task, and one 
which becomes so even to the seller. It is truly said 
"that the value of anything is what it will bring,^^ and it is 
equally true that the fairest and most simple way to ascer- 
tain that value is by public auction ; still, the question of 
prudence in always following the rule, in the case of such 
property as that in question, admits of doubt, for the fol- 
lowing reasons. The prices realised at auctions, for some 
lots, are more artificial than really consistent with reason, 
because two or more anxious wealthy competitors may 
make up their minds '^ to have the animal'^ regardless of 
expense — such resolutions being frequently formed, not so 
much upon the actual shapes or qualities, as upon the fact 
that they had been successful with the same family, such as 
an own or half-brother or sister — consequently, very much 
to the satisfaction of the seller, and sometimes the astonish- 
ment and amusement of the bystanders, who may happen to 
be really sound judges, the animal is sold at probably three 
times its real value, without perhaps a bid from others, who 
had more judgment, and as much means. Then comes 
another lot, in reality worth more, yet, not having the 
prestige referred to, the competition is not so spirited. 

These remarks are merely applicable to the prudence 
of paying extravagant prices for yearlings^ because others 

c 



18 TURF TOPICS. 

of the family may have done good service for parties 
individually. 

But taking into consideration the great risk and lottery 
in young stock, and how frequently the most promising 
turn out the very worst ; considering the matter in a mer- 
cantile point of view, the prices sometimes paid are fabulous, 
and how frequently do such " swans " turn out inferior to 
"geese V The 1800 guineas 'Lord of the Hills,' ' Voivode,' 
&c., for example. The prices of young stock must be 
viewed as a question of fancy, which can be indulged in 
according to the length of certain purses, as well as taste. 
It is but common reason to suppose that he who gives a 
thousand pounds for a yearling ought to, and in most 
cases will, have a better chance of a racehorse than a 
purchaser at fifty pounds : still, curious '' turns-up " occur, 
where animals are purchased for very small sums. I 
once purchased a St. Leger winner for less than fifty 
pounds, and afterwards handed him over to a friend. 
Many of the best horses have been bought, both at auction 
and at private sales, for moderate prices : such as ' Thor- 
manby ' at 350 guineas, ' Voltigeur ' at less, ' Caractacus ' 
less than 300 guineas, ' Kettledrum ' at 350 guineas. 
' Early Bird ' cost but 70 guineas, besides many 
others, at prices varying from 70 to 200 and 300 
guineas. 350 guineas seems to be a fortunate price : 
* Chattanooga,^ winner of the ' Criterion,' cost that price. 
Many of the best horses have been picked up quietly for 
very small prices by private sale, which is by far a 
more prudent way of purchasing, for many reasons; and 
there are few owners who will not sell when offered a fair 
price. But still, some of the greatest bargains are had at 
public sales ; where the breeder has perhaps, in his private 



FANCY PRICES. 19 

calculation, booked one as likely to bring 500 guineas, he 
has been knocked down perhaps at 100 : so much de- 
pending on the whims or fancies of purchasers. In fact 
the prices, like breeding, and everything connected with 
horseflesh, are a lottery ; and if a breeder is occasionally 
remunerated with a fancy price he is deserving of it, for in 
the long run, when matters are wound up, he requires a 
'^ lift '^ to square his account : and some are richly deserving 
of encouragement, from the spirited and liberal manner in 
which they purchase when forming their breeding establish- 
ments ; not that they are likely to add one guinea co the 
"tot," by reason of any generous impulse on the part of 
the bidder, beyond what the qualities or merits of the lot 
may justify; for if they relied one iota on that slender 
thread they would find any other mode of investing their 
capital far more profitable. However promising an own 
brother to a ' Flying Dutchman ' or a ' Blair Athol ' might 
be, should he march into a ring with a blemish or ques- 
tionable formation, the fall of Messrs. Tattersall's hammer, 
notwithstanding their persuasive eloquence, would soon 
announce a figure anything but encouraging. 

I remember upon one occasion asking Mr. Tatter- 
sall what he fancied a certain colt, of a number about 
to be sold at his establishment, would realise ? His 
reply was something to the effect, that " I might as 
well ask how many stars there were in the sky, so 
much depended upon the intentions of parties to pur- 
chase ; that price to some was a secondary consideration, 
if the animal suited.^' Purchasers must frequently cut 
their coat according to their cloth ; but my advice to any 
reader would be to avoid over-excited competition, and 
if not sufficient judge himself to obtain the assistance of 



20 TURF TOPICS. 

parties who really are, who have proved that they are so, 
and not pay attention to persons who would almost talk 
one out of his senses about shapes, and some of whom 
have spent half their lives breeding, buying, and racing, 
and yet whose attempts to produce a racehorse remind 
one of a man endeavouring to " open an oyster with a 
pitchfork." Considering the number of young ones 
purchased by some parties, and the sporting prices paid, 
it is astonishing how few good animals they select. 
Others purchase most dreadful samples, and having once 
done so, even cling to them with the tenacity of a " sink- 
ing sailor clinging to a mast,'^ instead of taking moral 
courage, turning them loose, and letting whoever catches 
them keep them. The first loss is always the best in such 
cases ; and it is to be presumed that some day a purchaser 
will hit upon a prize. 

Although in most pursuits in life the old motto, " Ex- 
perientia docet," is verified, the case of judgment in 
horseflesh, to a very great extent, is, in my opinion, an 
exception; for I believe that all the practice and ex- 
perience that could possibly be bestowed on some would 
not make them judges : in short, that there is a taste 
necessary ; and that some have naturally " an eye for a 
horse,^' while others, as a certain gallant old general 
would say, " hardly know a horse from a hen," can 
scarcely be questioned. How many men, having spent 
their fortunes and lives in this pursuit, have gone under 
the ^wr/" without having won any prize worth mentioning? 
Again, how many still live, who are day after day paying 
high prices, and spending large fortunes, with the same 
result ? But it is not always want of judgment or means, 
but frequently mismanagement and want of the care 



HINTS AS TO PURCHASING. 21 

that becomes necessary when the owner finds the young 
racehorse promising; many a valuable young one is, and 
has been, rendered worthless, through the negligence or 
ignorance of those who are paid to attend to its require- 
ments. 

It has been remarked with truth, that " horses run in 
all shapes," yet it cannot be denied that they do so mo7-e 
frequently, and better, when those shapes are good, and of 
the approved and tried formation ; and it frequently hap- 
pens, that the very animals that many connoisseurs call ill- 
shaped or ugly are quite the contrary : for one possessing 
the best points in the world, where those good points are 
required and put together as machinery should be, in the 
proper place, may, at first sight to a novice, or even to one 
who fancies himself a judge, appear an ugly horse, and 
really be one ; but some of the ugliest horses are the very 
best shaped when properly looked over, and there alone 
rests the point where the natural eye discovers the pro- 
bability of the animal turning out well. Who would have 
picked out such a horse as ' Fisherman,' if he were in- 
experienced? or who would have chosen ' King of Oude ?' 
the latter, perhaps, the most extraordinary-looking animal 
that ever was foaled; yet, when looked over, they were 
combinations of magnificent racing shapes. The worst- 
shaped horses,/or racing purposes, are frequently the hand- 
some ones ; and it would be hardly going too far to add, 
that they are invariably the very worst. The greatest 
failures are generally very handsome, and only fit for 
Rotten Row, where they are most valuable, no doubt. 
The machinery, properly put togetlier, like in any railway 
engine, is the point ; the shapes, taken separately, may be 
perfection, but if not properly screwed together in the par- 



23 TURF TOPICS. 

ticular or principal place, tliey are as useless as the works 
of a watch with a broken spring. And the principal point 
which calls for the attention of any person is the coupling 
of the two ends ; and the chief, if not almost the entire 
success, depends upon the pro2')elling power from the Mr.d 
quarters, which should be well placed and sufficiently 
turned under. ' Leamington/ probably, would afford 
about the best example of any horse that could be named, 
and would certainly be a very fine model for any novice 
to learn from in other respects.* 

But, no matter how great the experience or judgment 
may be in purchasing horses at a year old, or untried, 
it is a great lottery, for some of the best-looking have 
not been foaled with the gift of speed, and no training 
or time can give it where Nature has denied it; however, 
they will give stamina, and add staying powers : even an 
overgrown or large young one must show a turn of speed, 
to a certain extent. The chance and lottery in yearlings 
are wonderful, and the greatest disappointments are ex- 
perienced from the best-looking : as Shakespeare says, — 

" Oft expectation fails, and most oft there 
Where most it promises ; and oft it hits 
Where hope is coldest and despair most sits." 

Although the prudent course is invariably to adhere 
to the own brother or sister of good horses, or the produce 
of tried brood mares and stallions, yet in the case of the 



* The shapes of a racehorse may separately be perfection ; a 
man may know what good shapes are, and yet be just as far 
from knowing what a racehorse is as a schoolboy, when he tries 
to put a toy map of Europe together, which he had never seen 
before. 



ERRORS IN JUDGMENT. 23 

produce of a mare that had perhaps highly distinguished 
herself on the turf, but not been tried at stud, such 
produce being put to action would, if good-looking, 
realise a high price. Then suppose another yearling, the 
produce of a daughter of that mare (never, perhaps, having 
been trained) by the same sire, equally good-looking, and 
in other respects desirable, the one would in all proba- 
bility bring double or treble the price of the other; 
yet, to my mind, the chances would be in favour of the 
produce of the young untrained mare : that is to say, 
provided in appearance, shapes, size, &c. such produce 
equalled that of the old mare, and that both had in every 
respect " equal main and chance," and the earlier the trial 
was made the more I would rely on the young mare's pro- 
duce and yet at auctions the habit generally is to run after 
the other, although we have innumerable proofs against it. 
My principal reason for arriving at this conclusion is, that 
we have every day proof of first-class mares having 
been long in training, and having done severe work, 
highly distinguishing themselves when put to stud, and 
yet frequently proving perfect failures ; whereas some of 
the best brood mares have been useless as racehorses from 
various causes ; and if the young fresh mares more fre- 
quently had the chances of old ones, they would be even 
more successful. But owners do not generally give them 
that chance, because they are disheartened from the fact 
that they have not distinguished themselves; whereas they 
are, on the other hand, carried away to expect wonders 
from the old brilliant performer. 

A reference to the performances of the produce of the 
very best mares — say the Oaks winners, &c. — will prove 
that they have been as a lot perfect failures ; to which fact I 



24 TURF TOPICS. 

shall more fully refer under the head of " Brood Mares :" 
another remarkable fact being, that the early produce of 
such distinguished mares, even though subsequently first- 
class, are not the best. Take old 'Beeswing,' for in- 
stance ; one would have expected the best vintage from 
her alliance with ' Sir Hercules/ yet although the pro- 
duce was ' Old Port/ it was not good. But, to my mind, 
the most prudent class of speculators are those who pa- 
tiently await the opportunities (which they seldom have 
to wait long for) of purchasing horses, say at the end 
of their two years, after they have run and shown some 
form, perhaps overgrown, but of an improving sort, and 
from stajdng strains. Such a course, in the first place, 
has one advantage, that it gets rid of the risk to a 
very gi'eat extent, or rather the lottery; for there one 
buys with his eyes open, and it is almost incredible 
the state in which some horses are brought out to run, 
some as fat as pigs, but more frequently galloped to 
death, leg-weary, and with skins as fast as the bark on 
trees, and frequently parted with for trifling causes, not 
known or understood by their owners. Taking into con- 
sideration the fact that the largest stakes are realised by 
horses of moderate pretensions in handicaps, wherein 
they defeat the largest priced yearlings, from which they 
receive as much as two stones even at three years old; 
and, moreover, when we even find old horses literally 
turned loose ; it is high time for speculators to open their 
eyes when, without throwing sand in those of the handi- 
capper, they can win the richest stakes run for. Not to 
speak of tbree-years-old alone, we sometimes find owners 
display their ability and judgment by winning some of 
the largest races with old horses at weights, which would 



"will-o'-the-wisps." 25 

lead one to fancy tliat it will shortly be necessary to train 
monkeys for the pig-skin ; while it is impossible to say 
at what weights first-class three-years-old will^ in some 
years hence, be visited. 

To use racing phraseology, it would appear that 
" Handicapping" is the father, " Money" the mother, and 
"Pull 'em" and " Scratch'em" the children of the sins 
against the Turf. The enemies of the paternal parent 
(the maternal one has none) avow that he is instrumental 
in ruining the breed of horses in general, and punishing 
good ones in particular; that he holds out inducements 
and temptations, tending to soil the morality of the turf, 
by testing the integrity of its patrons to too great an ex- 
tent, as to their regard for the maternal parent, and fre- 
quently obliging them to sin against the rules or their 
code of laws and honour. 

If it were possible to do away with the system alto- 
gether, much benefit might ensue; for, notwithstanding 
the vigilance of the most scrutinising adjudicator of 
weights, " Will-o'-the- Wisps " will occasionally appear 
visible for a moment, but speedily became extinguished 
by lights still more brilliant. 

If the object of those in authority really be to abolish 
the practice, probably the most desirable course, as well 
as the one most likely to have the desired efi'ect, would 
be to muster up courage, and concentrate their forces; 
and without favour or affection, regardless of rank or 
position, deal out their judgment with an even and im- 
partial hand : and thus render their warnings and deci- 
sions more to be respected and dreaded, and prevent the 
possibility of any transgressor saying with the Scythian, 
'•' that laws were cobwebs, wherein small flies got caught 



26 TURF TOPICS. 

and larger ones broke through ;" and assimilating to him- 
self the position assumed by Dionides the pirate with 
Alexander the Great, who, when asked "how he dared to 
trespass on his seas?" replied, "that he did it for his 
own profit, as Alexander did himself. But," added he, 
"7, sire, ivho rob with a simple galley, am called a pirate; 
but you, who plunder with a great army, are called a 
king !'' 

The sacrifice of a shipload of poor pirates hke " Dio," 
would not have half so beneficial or salutary an effect as 
the offering up of one aristocratic holocaust, if he were 
caught playing " Will-o'-the-Wisp," or exceeding the 
bounds of decorum in his poaching propensities, after 
either glory or gold. For if such an extraordinary phe- 
nomenon were to be presented, the effect upon the as- 
tonished multitude would be so great, that probably a 
system so baneful to the morality of the turf would be for 
ever abolished; a consummation, however, which, while 
handicapping exists, it is much to be apprehended will 
not be accomplished until about that period when the 
industrious children of Israel return to Palestine. 

Probably those mystifying " Will -o'- the- Wisps" 
practice their errors, and justify them on the principle, 
that "when they go to Home they do as Romans do;" 
that, as others in their struggle for the prize resort to such 
stratagems, they cannot " tie one hand behind their back," 
but must fight them with their own weapons; and may 
have the temerity to add, that if they did not do so they 
would have no chance, and be totally debarred the possi- 
bility of success ; their opponents would 

" Like lions o'er the jackal sway, 
By springing dauntless on the prey." 



HANDICAPPING. 27 

The duties and responsibilities of a handicapper are at 
all times most arduous, and sometimes thankless; re- 
quiring not only a thorough knowledge of the numerous 
animals (sometimes of men, which perhaps should not 
be taken into consideration^ and too frequently is in 
various ways), but also skill and experience generally 
in matters of horse-racing: in short, a thorough know- 
ledge of the horse himself, as to condition and other- 
wise. Even supposing that all the horses submitted to 
him had previously displayed their true merits, it is a task 
of no ordinary undertaking, but requires the brain of a 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. But when the conscien- 
tious adjudicator, anxious to measure out justice to all 
alike, finds that he is dealing, not with facts but 
shadows it must, indeed, especially to an upright and 
conscientious man, be anything but agreeable or encou- 
raging. 

Fancy, after all the pains and trouble consequent 
upon the framing of an immense handicap, some great, 
fine, four or five years old, coming bounding in like a 
deer before a pack of hounds ! Why one, in the amaze- 
ment and excitement of the moment, hardly knows 
whether to condole with the chagrined adjudicator or 
laugh with the artful fox, the destroyer of his hopes ; 
while the latter chuckles over his success, to the mor- 
tification of many who may have been overmatched at 
the same game, and found themselves out in their own 
private calculations. 

Admitting that the duties of the handicapper are 
most onerous, and that the subject is one which involves 
serious amounts, and is, therefore, of vital importance to 
the racing public, especially to the owners of horses, it 



28 TURF TOPICS. 

must be deserving of consideration what tliose duties 
are, how far they extend, and where they terminate; 
a very nice point indeed : taking for granted, that they 
have for their object a fair and impartial adjudication of 
weights ; but according to what ? Here is the question, 
the main point, and the stumbling-block. 

Let us suppose that a given number of horses are en- 
tered of various ages — or even of one age, for simplicity's 
sake; that all of those animals have run in public and 
displayed certain form, and that the handicapper be a 
competent one. To what end is he justified to carry his 
inquiries ? upon what grounds is he supposed to found his 
judgment, or form his opinions of their respective merits, 
beyond the manner in which they absolutely performed'? 
If the difficulty ended with arriving at calculations ex- 
clusively upon that head, and if it were the case that all had 
fairly tried their best on the several occasions of their 
running, the difficulty would be but slight. But sup- 
pose that various stratagems are resorted to for the 
purpose of misleading or misrepresenting their merits, 
such as want of condition, running them out of their 
natural courses, or the old-fashioned go- the- whole-hog 
system, which, when done in a slovenly manner, is 
sometimes discovered, and occasionally punished, either 
by a subsequent " crusher," or if '' guilty" pleaded, 
notice to quit in toto ; — how far is a handicapper jus- 
tified in forming surmises or coming to conclusions, in 
some of which he may be sadly mistaken ? Is he to listen 
to whispers from idle prattlers, who, perhaps, with the 
assistance of a glass in their eye, may have discovered 
a "mare's nest," or fancy they saw something which never 
happened ? or is he to attend to the inuendocs of in- 



HANDICAPPING. 29 

terested parties, who from either personal interest, private 
fique, or jealousy, may throw out hints, if not assert 
deliberate falsehoods, to the prejudice not only of owners, 
but perhaps others ? It is quite natural, and consistent 
with reason, that he should form his opinions upon the 
running of horses, taking into consideration their condition 
and all the points in relation to their true merits, which 
his experience may dictate; but any man to be a handi- 
capper must be a thorough judge of the animal, his 
condition, his probable improvement, and all such mat- 
ters. The fact is, that if people are disposed to mys- 
tify, it is a task much easier to accomplish than for a 
non-subscriber, however high his position, to effect an en- 
trance into the subscription-room at the " Corner,^' without 
the knowledge of the Argus-eyed and indefatigable over- 
seer thereof. The handicapper is not in a position to 
assert that which he cannot jorow, however he may fancy 
it. " Sir, you are a ' Will-o'-the-Wisp V I 've got you ! 
and / shall hold you until we tell you to vanish.^^ But 
when an owner, who may not have resorted to deception, 
has run a wretched animal good for little more than con- 
suming corn, and finds himself politely treated to perhaps 
the top weight, what must his astonishment be ? Therefore, 
however unpleasant it may be to such owner to brood over 
the misplaced or unmerited compliment, still the handi- 
capper has no other altei-native or mode of giving the 
" gentle hint," that he entertains a higher estimate of the 
animaPs pretensions than of the owner's straightforward- 
ness, which conclusion may have been formed through 
mere idle report. He is thus led to act upon reputation, 
not upon character — two very different things. 



30 TURF TOPICS. 

As long as handicapping exists^ it will be surrounded 
with grumbling, vexation, and discontent, on the one side 
or other; and the position of the adjudicator will be any- 
thing but an enviable one, however it may tend to keep 
the brain in exercise. It rather resembles that of the old 
man, his son, and the ass, in the fable — he pleases 
nobody ; and might be compared, in some respects, to 
the description I once read of a crown, — 

" 'Tis to bear the miseries of a people, 
Hear their murmurs, feel their discontents, 
And sink beneath a load of care ; 
Have your best success ascribed to fortune, 
Fortune's failings all ascribed to you." 

It is to be presumed, that, so long as it exists, 
the object of a handicap will be to give an equal 
chance to animals of various ages, according to merit. 
Then it appears strange that such a cry should be so 
very frequently raised, if a four or five or aged horse wins 
— an argument, in fact, that they should be debarred 
from a possibility of defeating young horses; whereas 
every day is adding fresh proof that the young ones can 
almost do anything with old ones, especially at the end 
of their three-year-old year, when they are on the very 
verge of four years old. Take the Chester cup, early in 
May, and what do three-years-old not accomplish ? Take 
the Csesarewitch for years, and even so far back as 
' Faugh-a-Ballagh,' with his 8st.; the 'Baron,' 7st. 8 lbs., 
&c. The changes and improvements in three-year-olds 
of late years, as well as the marked alterations in handi- 
capping, are wonderful. For example, — 





HANDICAPPING. 






Chester Cup^ 


1842. 




Lanercost 


aged 




. 9 St. 9 lbs 


Cruiskeen 


5) 




. 8 


Retriever 6 years 
Millepede 4 „ 
Alice Hawthorne 4 „ 




. 7 8 
. 6 10 
. 6 


Topsail 
Tripola 
Proof Print 


> 3 „ 


• 


. feathers 



31 



In the above ' Lanercost ' accepted, and it can hardly 
be questioned that ' Alice Hawthorne ' " looked well m." 





Chester Cup, 1844. 






Alice Hawthorne, 


6 years 


9 St 


8 lbs 


Retriever 




aged 


9 


2 


St. Lawrence 




5J 


9 





Gasparoni 




)> • 


5 


9 


Red Deer 




3 years 


4 






In those days, it was looked upon as an act of ab- 
surdity, even to " enter '' a three-years-old for the Chester 
cup, heavy as the weights were set, until the late Lord 
George Bentinck astonished the talent by winning the 
above race with ' Red Deer,' ridden by that extraordinary 
little jockey Kitchener. The accuracy of his lordship's 
judgment has been wonderfully borne out of late years; 
for when we refer to the weights, with which the three- 
years-old contend now-a-days, it is enough to make 
people ask, or wonder, what they will carry and win with 
in 1880? 

Contrast the foregoing with the following, in which 
horses of all ages contended, and ' Stampedo,' five years 
old, winner of the great Northamptonshire stakes, without 



32 TURF TOPICS. 

his ten-pound penalty, headed the list and accepted with 
8 St. 51bs. : — 



Chester Cup, 


1862. 




Tim Whiffler, 3 years . 


. 6 St. nibs. 


1st. 


Investment 3 „ . 


. 6 8 


2nd. 


Brighton 3 „ . 


. 6 


3rd. 


Sappho 3 „ . 


. 6 5 


4th. 



Here are four three-years-old, the first four beating 
'Caller-Ou/ 4yrs., 8st. 11 lbs.; 'Fairvvater/ 4yrs., 8st. 
7 lbs., &c. The reason why three-years-old have been 
and are becoming more frequently successful, and old 
horses are diminishing so much during the pi'esent 
century, may be gathered from the returns, furnishing 
the following results. 

In 1802 the two-years-old were about one-seven- 
teenth; in 1860 they were about one-third. The three- 
years-old, in 1802, were one-fourth ; in 1860 they were 
one-third. The four-years-old, in 1802, were one-fifth ; in 
1860 they were one-fourth. The five-years-old, in 1802, 
were more than one-half the entire number; in 1860, but 
one-sixth of the entire were five or upwards, and but one- 
third of all horses were four or upwards. The increase 
in the number of horses of all ages running from 1802 
up to the present time, was, in 1802, 536 ; in the present 
day, nearly 2500. In 1802, but 100 three-years-old ran; 
in the present day there are about 600 contending. About 
30 two-years-old ran in 1802; in the present day there 
are about 700; whereas in 1802, 280 of five and 
upwards started, and now there are not more than about 
the same number. There are at present about 1500 
races, contended for by all ages, of the following dis- 
tances: — 



WHAT THREE-YEAllS-OLB CAN DO. 33 



Ilalf-a-mile and under 



256 
474 
281 
301 
177 
25 



Over half and under a mile 

One mile ...... 

Over a mile and under two 
Two miles and under three 
Three miles and upwards . 

As far as the CEesarewitch is concerned^ of late years, 
three-years-old have shown what they can accomplish. 
'Dulcibella' literally could have trotted in with 6st. 11 lbs. j 
she won by ten lengths in a canter, and four-yeai's-old in 
with 6 St.; 'Asteroid^ was third, with 7st. 6 lbs., beaten a 
neck, for second; and in the present year ' Ackworth' was 
third, with 7st. Had such horses as ' Faugh-a-Ballagh,' 
' The Baron,' or ' Asteroid,' been in with 7st., where would 
those two mares, '' Thalestris ' and ' Gratitu^de ' (neither of 
which had previously shown even moderate form), have 
been ? It is quite certain something must wiu, and it ap- 
pears strange, when two four-years-old run so well-con- 
tested a race to a head, and a three-years-old third, with 
1 st. less than horses of his own age had won with, that 
there should be any reason to complain as far as the first 
rank were concerned ; and it should be borne in mind that, 
in the Csesarewitch especially, all horses do not finish out, 
and many run merely for a certain distance, as a trial for 
the Cambridgeshire. A handicap is nothing more than a 
handicap — they cannot all win; and it is equally certain 
that their owners will never be all satisfied, for the world 
is a grumbling world; and the Turf, although a w^orld of 
wonders in itself, is not a likely one to be the exception. 
The great mistake that has been made for years, was not 
appreciating what young horses could really do. In the 
Liverpool cup it was considered a regular "settler" to 
visit a three-years-old with 6st. 7 lbs., for not one of 



34 TURF TOPICS. 

them could win with a weight of the kind, until ' Charles 
the Twelfth ' did succeed : he was a first-class horse, and 
won the Doncaster St. Leger. About the same period we 
found old horses handicapped at lOst. 61b., giving 5st. to 
three-years-old in the Goodwood stakes, at that advanced 
season of the year; whereas, now-a-days, the young ones 
can do almost anything with old horses, at very little 
difference of weight. For instance, 'Pretty Boy,^ three 
years old, as well as I remember, won with 7st. 8 lbs., and 
^Elcho,^ carrying within lib. of 6st. defeated 'Starke,' 
six years old, at a difference of 24 lbs. in the Goodwood 
stakes. ' Starke,^ same meeting, won the Goodwood cup, 
carrying 8st. lOlbs., defeating ' Thormanby ' and the 
' Wizard,' first and second for the Derby, and a good field 
of horses of various ages. The fact is, many three-years- 
old, at the end of the year, arrive at their best form, 
especially those that may have been trained and ran early ; 
for it is " the pace that kills,'' and what some gain in 
stamina by age they lose in speed. 

In the late Cambridgeshire the success of the winner 
' Ackworth,' with 7st., appears to be looked upon by 
most of the cognoscenti as a great performance. No doubt 
it was a good one. But they appear to forget what several 
others did previously, which, when contrasted with it, will 
hardly tend to prove that there was anything wonderful in 
it : nor does the result, as far as the race is concerned, in 
other respects prove it so. It must not be forgotten that 
the distance was shorter, although a more severe course, 
than the Csesarewitch ; and it certainly appears strange, the 
young horse having seven pounds less weight than in the 
longer race with ' Gratitude,' the four-years-old, especially 
further on in the season. But how many other three- 



AS TO WEIGHTING HORSES. 35 

years-old have won, and only been just defeated by a 
head, with far more weight than the late winner? — ' Odd 
Trick,' ' Saunterer,' &c. Moreover, it is an admitted and 
well-proved fact, that horses can give away to each other 
more weight at two years old than at any other age ; and 
there can be no reason why the same rule, to a certain 
extent, should not prove, and in fact it does prove, pro- 
portionally the case with the three-years-old. The 
difference appears greater upon paper than it really is, 
when horses of a superior class are put alongside moderate 
ones ; for it is wonderful what really good young ones 
can do with those of a different age, as well as those of 
their own, especially where there is a great turn of speed : 
for horses deficient therein are always in trouble, and 
many of them so much so that, in fact, they could not win 
with any weight. Many persons who ought to be compe- 
tent judges, and perhaps are, maintain that it comes to the 
same thing, no matter whether horses are tried at high or 
low weights : and amongst those who entertained that 
opinion was the late Lord George Bentinck, I believe. 
Still, with all due respect, my vote would be against any 
such idea ; for many reasons. In the first place, all horses 
are not equally formed, nor is their action suited to carry 
heavy weights, and common sense must dictate the 
absurdity of supposing that the higher they were set the 
more they should not tell, especially when they exceeded 
the acknowledged racing weight, 8st. 71b.* Who, if he 

* Upon the subject of weights, an opinion which I entertain 
may call up the ridicule of many, as regards the error of putting 
up such vary light children to ride horses in their general exercise, 
in comparison with the weights they may be bound to carry in 
their engagements ; namely, that, as in most other cases, " practice 
makes perfect, and habit becomes second nature," and, to a great 



36 TURF TOPICS. 

were possessed of the ordinary share of that sagacity with 
which racing-men are accredited, having even made a 
match, and given away a stone, would set the weights, 
at racing weight, if he had the option of doing so, at 7 st.? 
Those who entertain the opposite opinions should bear in 
mind the old adage, " the last feather breaks the camel's 
back,^^ and remember the fable of 

" The donkey, whose talents for burdens was wondrous. 
So much that you 'd swear he rejoiced in a load. 
One day had to jog under panniers so pond'rous, 
That down the poor donkey fell smack on the road." 

Those opposed to handicapping maintain that it 
tends to injure the breed of horses in general, which, 
if it were the only grounds of objection, would be a 
slender one indeed. It is not likely that breeders would 
take pains to produce bad horses for the purpose of 
getting them lightly weighted, nor is it the fact that 
they are weighted according to size ; many of the finest 
animals are the lightest weighted, and if the adjudica- 
tion thereof were taken according to the judgment of 
some of those who declare against the principle, their 
efforts would be attended with success so far only as 
to cause merriment and plenty of "fun" to the spec- 
tators. Men purchase young horses with high ex- 
pectations, and if they had not something to turn 
round upon, in the shape of handicaps, in the event of 
their higher hopes being frustrated^ they would not be so 

extent, inures the frame to exertion : the fact of the animal 
being accustomed to a feather-weight, and suddenly loaded on the 
racecourse to contend under heavy weights, must, to a certain 
degree, have an injurious effect, independently of other objections, 
such as not being properly held together, and boring on the bridle. 



what's in a name ? 37 

ready to purchase ; and then the breeder would naturally 
be discouraged, and down would go the value of the horse 
in every respect. But it seems strange, amid the great 
outcry against the system of handicapping, that, amongst 
the ranks of its enemies, there cannot be found any 
bright enough to provide a substitute without diminishing 
the amount of either sport or speculation. The originator 
of the one system may not have been possessed of more 
intellect than others ; and it would be a great libel 
on that of so experienced and so enlightened a body 
as the rulers of the turf, if amongst them there did 
not exist one capable of improving upon a plan which 
appears to some unpopular, and attended with so many 
drawbacks. 

It has been frequently asked, "What is there in a 
name?^' There is a great deal. The name of ''Selling 
Stakes " is not a favourite with either side. Then suppose 
the stakes were called ' The Prince of Wales,^ ' The 
Grand Alexandra Prize,^ 'The Garibaldi Goblet,' or 'Tom 
Thumb's Thimble,^ and that the conditions were the 
same, and the secondary/ consideration (?) — in fact, every 
part of the terms, the same as they are at present in 
handicaps, with the exception of the mode of adjusting 
the weights; that the latter were put upon their horses 
by the respective owners, in a sealed entry, and deposited, 
the day of entry, with the proper authority, each owner 
entering his horse, affixing to his name the price he was 
to be sold for, whether for 3000, 1000, or 100, and at which 
price he might be claimed according to rules framed, 
or to be framed, by the Jockey Club ; what difficulty 
would there be, beyond the regulation of the sliding 
scales of weights, in accordance with the prices, which 



38 TURF TOPICS. 

those authorities, it is to be presumed, would find no 
more difficulty in arriving at than in the adjustments of 
weights for Queen's plates ? It may be said that there 
would not be so many entries. That is very ques- 
tionable : but if reduced they could not be by so 
great a number as in a proportionate view would reduce 
fields (if the stakes were worth winning) to so great 
an extent as the non-contents usually found in an 
entry of one hundred horses, or the usual number 
entered for large handicaps would do, because those 
who would enter would do so with a knowledge of their 
weights. Such conditions could be framed as would 
prevent any possibility of the objections to the former 
conditions of selling stakes ; and if there were no handi- 
caps, owners wavering about entering under such con- 
ditions would be obliged to do so, having no other mode 
of winning ; while they would have the same chances as 
ever of winning weight for age races. 

The only difficulty would be as to the sliding scale. 
Assuming that an owner would not feel disposed to sell 
his horse at all, he must be a very valuable one, and there 
are plenty of richer stakes for such animals ; and, more- 
over, it is the very fact of such " swans " being entered 
for handicaps that causes all the outcry on the part of the 
owners of moderate horses, as well as their own, who are 
always the most likely to complain if they are treated 
according to their merits. The very entry of such 
horses in such races, which, in fact, is not their place, 
causes all the trouble and complaints of very light 
weights : in short, they are the cause of the difficulty. 
Some owners, perhaps after having paid 1000 guineas 
for a yearling, find they cannot win at all — as there are 



TEST OF A horse's VALUE. 39 

many horses at present could not win if let loose in good 
company — yet they have no opportunity of getting 
back any of their losses; whereas^ if there were certain 
classes formed for such horses, or for moderate ones, there 
would be plenty of racing and plenty of profit, and an 
opportunity for owners to get rid of such animals should 
they feel disposed to fly at higher game. Amusement 
does not altogether depend upon the class of horse; 
nor does the amount of speculation either, although no 
doubt there is most interest in witnessing contests 
between first-class or celebrated horses. The autho- 
rities would not find it very difficult to frame scales 
which would be attended with most beneficial results, and 
be a very great improvement upon the present system. 
If, for instance, any of those large handicaps were 
called by one of those grand, sounding titles, and were 
framed according to such terms, what would the odds be 
that there would not be more entered, or start at least, 
than appear at the post now-a-days ? 

The true test of the value and merits of any horse, as a 
general rule, is the price his owner will part with him for ; 
and it is a much fairer one than that which may be fan- 
cied by any other party unacquainted with his merits, of 
which, it is to be presumed, his owner is fully aware, at 
least more so than others, although even in this respect 
there are some exceptions. An eccentric friend of mine 
used to be driven to a state of excitement, almost border- 
ing upon distraction, at the very mention of the fact of 
an owner knowing anything at all about his own horse ; so 
much so, that it was a regular joke amongst his sporting 
friends to refer to the subject. What reasons he could 
have had for arriving at his conclusions were, it is to be 



40 TURF TOPICS. 

presumed, best known to himself; he, however, seemed 
to have formed very fixed notions on the point.* 

But redeo ad rem. As to purchasing a stud, or 
adding to one already formed, perhaps one of the greatest 
mistakes frequently made is that of buying too many, 
especially of a moderate class, for very many reasons : 
amongst others, the object may be to become possessed of 
first-class horses; and few possess the moral courage to 
get rid of the inferior ones, or adopt the maxim " that the 
first loss is the best." It stands to reason, that to get 
those rare acquisitions, first-class racehorses, the best 
mode is to purchase the most promising; and it is but 
natural to assume, that the greater number any one pur- 
chases, the more likely he is to hit upon good ones : but 
the great drawback is, that he thus encumbers himself 
with too many. Any owner anxious to accomplish his 
undertaking, should make it a rule to get rid of the others, 
when found wanting, even at a sacrifice, and if he could 
not do so otherwise, it would be a far more judicious 
course, under any circumstances, to give them away, 
than adopt that so frequently pursued, of holding on 
in hope of a handicap. Many are carried on from time 
to time, each reduction in weight rendering it in his 
mind nearer to the '' moral," as it is termed ; but that 
" moral '' frequently turns out a '' myth,'' ending in a 
break-down, or some other disappointment. 

* The best bet I ever won was when I took, amongst others, one 
thousand to fifteen pounds about an animal the moment I saw the 
weights, and the horse started at a hundred to one, the owner at 
the same time backing another of his own, at very short odds : the 
former won in a canter. One of the greatest examples I ever knew 
in racing, of either the brightest display of generalship, or most 
palpable stupidity, ever manifested. 



A FEW '^ GOOD 'UNS" BETTER THAN A BAD LOT. 41 

Any owner keeping a number of horses^ if speculation 
be his object, can win as much money with 2ifeiv horses 
and upon a few races as he can with a dozen. Some 
people, who really understand the prudent course in the 
various branches connected with the animal, and the 
management, placing, and other necessary matters re- 
lating thereto, would win far more with a small stud than 
others with a much larger one.* Some keep on day after 
day, entering, engaging, travelling, and perpetually back- 
ing them, frequently " merely because they are their own ; '' 
not that they think they can " absolutely win," but " they 
don't like to let them run without a 'pony,' " and so on ; 
or they " only backed them (when beaten) for a hundred, 
sometimes called a ' century -/ " but this " century sys- 
tem," which sometimes is continued for a quarter of 
a century, if the estates have not been entailed, in any 
case amounts to more money than at first imagined, and 
all the time the heavy drag is kept on, the bad ones 
eating as much, and generally costing more, than the 
good. This may be best termed the " dribbling system," 
which never pays. The continual drag is too heavy. He 
who keeps a lesser number, and backs them at the proper 
time for a sum sufficiently remunerative, and otherwise 
adopts a course of prudence, which judgment and ex- 
perience alone can dictate, is the party most likely to 
succeed. Judgment and experience will always beat 
money in the long run ; for however the plunging prin- 

* It would almost require Mr. Judge Clark's _;?a^, at least once 
in every three races, otherwise the decease of some dearly-beloved 
relative annually, to keep accounts square with the number of 
horses kept by some enterprising aspirants, assuming that fortune 
should smile occasionally on others. 



42 TURF TOPICS. 

ciple in any branch may prosper for a time^ it never lasts. 
Sometimes horses are sold, from the fact that the owner has 
too many ; and amongst them perhaps some good, which 
are purchased at " par " by some really sound judge : and 
this course is frequently caused by persons not being in 
a position to "see it out" with their horses. Where is 
the man who ever rushed recklessly into a large stud, 
and ever found it pay ? How many men of judgment, 
who adopted the other system, have made fortunes pro- 
portionate to' their attempts or their aspirations? And 
why ? because they, with comparatively little expense, 
have had plenty to work against, furnished by more ex- 
travagant and reckless owners. Have not even men who 
could be named (now under the turf) kept something bor- 
dering on one hundred horses at a time ; and although 
really men of judgment, and with experience of the 
animal, yet made the " grand mistake " referred to ? It is 
wonderful that people do not more frequently ask them- 
selves, " where is the money to come from to enable them, 
without losing their own, to even have their enjoyment V 
Of course it is a diiFerent case with those who can afford 
to keep a thousand horses if they choose, to amuse them- 
selves, like the Sultan with his Harem, and the public 
ought to be very much obliged to them ; and most un- 
questionably the success of such owners should, and 
would be, at all times, hailed with delight by all true 
sportsmen, for, in every sense of the word, they are 
deserving of it. Still, in the case of others, who had 
an eye to something beyond amusement, the question 
becomes of more importance as to their probable success. 
The El Dorado, in search of which most aspii-ants 
cast their bark, consists of certain value. The question is, 



TURF STATISTICS. 43 

what that value is, and the expense which, the "fitting- 
out " costs, the various appendages thereto, and the num- 
ber of " sailors " on board ? An inexperienced mariner, 
unacquainted with tlie shoals and quicksands, can hardly 
be too cautious, especially of sharks, which frequently 
abound, and with their satellites, or pilot-fish, generally 
look after the best-conditioned prey, lurking nearest the 
spot where it is most likely to be found ; and once they get 
the chance, escape is a miracle. The instinct of those fish, 
especially combined with that of their aides-de-camp, is 
surprising, their bite frequently fatal. 

Probably the most important subject is as to the real 
value of the sought-for prize, and the comparative expense 
attending the realisation of it. It has always been ad- 
mitted that the turf was remarkable for its uncertainties, 
its ups and downs, occasional successes to some, yet more 
frequent reverses to most people. It might, however, not 
prove a very difficult task to arrive at the principal cause. 

The statistics of horseracing furnish materials, clearly 
demonstrating the fallacy of supposing that it is possible 
for it to have any other result than one of certain loss to 
the majority of its patrons, forming or framing calculations 
merely confined to the value of prizes, which may be won inde- 
pendently of betting speculations. Those racing records are 
framed and rendered in a style not excelled, if equalled, 
by any other public returns in simplicity and correctness. 
By reference thereto it would appear, that there are at 
present, and have been for the last few years, taking one 
with the other (independently of numerous others pur- 
chased, trained, &c. and found useless), from 1800 to 
2000 horses, contending for a certain number of stakes or 
prizes, numbering about 1500. In calculating the pro- 



44 TURF TOPICS. 

bable amount of expenses necessarily attending the keep- 
ing of racehorses, and making a rough guess, it would 
hardly be exceeding a fair estimate to rate each horse, 
including stakes, forfeit, training, travelling, and the 
numerous et ccBteras, at 300/. per annum each (which 
might in many cases be more properly set at 500Z.J. 
Would a contractor accept of one million per annum, 
and undertake to supply the deficiency to be found by 
owners of horses annually ? In other words, does that 
amount cover the outlay of the owners of all the animals 
that contend for races, as well as those proved worth- 
less ? What, then, would be the amazement of some 
of the patrons of the turf if they were asked to take 
a few shares in one of those numerous monster schemes 
so frequently, in the present enterprising age, sub- 
mitted for public patronage, if they set forth upon their 
prospectus such enticing proofs of their desirability and 
probability of success or remuneration ? (The Earth - 
quake-and-Balloon scheme will probably be the next 
project.) Such statistics as these might be fairly urged 
as evidence of the truth and justice of the remark, that 
the " glorious pastime" was originally intended for, and 
is best suited to, the nobility and aristocracy, who are 
presumed to be not only the most noble representatives 
of mankind, but likewise the possessors of the superfluity 
of that much-prized metal, which they sometimes appear 
to hold in quite as high estimation as their more humble 
fellow-creatures. Then^ if success depends upon betting 
transactions, the question arises as to how far the absolute 
ownership of horses benefits the proprietor beyond the 
public, and how such benefits can be derived, curtailed, 
or completely prevented ? Assuming that an owner is 



TRAINERS. 45 

desirous of blending profit with pleasure, the very first 
step necessary to be taken is to secm'e the services of 
a trustworthy and competent trainer, with a silent tongue 
(not with a clapper like Big Ben); inasmuch as, next 
to becoming possessed of good horses, the subject most 
requiring attention, and one of most vital importance, is 
to provide himself with a good trainer. Still, a very far- 
fetched and exaggerated idea is sometimes entertained with 
regard to the superiority of one above anothei*, so fre- 
quently remarked upon, even among themselves ; viz. that 
some are so far preferable to others, and excel to so 
great an extent in skill. 

If one were reminded that it required great study to 
arrive at a fellowship or scholarship at college, the fact 
would be admitted as a matter of course, but to argue 
that there exists that wonderful art or science in training 
a racehorse is simply a farce, which may be rendered 
theatrical to a great extent, by the acting of persons whose 
extraordinary imaginative genius, and sometimes conse- 
quential and bland style, above that of their more unas- 
suming brethren, frequently carry away the credulous 
to believe that it requires a wizard to win a Derby or 
bring condition to perfection; almost persuading many to 
a belief that some trainers could win a Derby with a bad 
horse, like Baron Munchausen's harp, that "played the 
tune without the performer.'^ Good horses make good 
trainers — plenty of good hay and corn tend wonderfully 
tow^ards condition. The usual duties of a stable are nothing 
beyond that which the most humble individual may 
become acquainted with in time. The best " head-lads " 
make the best trainers, many being for years, in some 
instances, in reality the trainers. 



46 TURF TOPICS. 

There was a day, when the " good old fashions " 
would at a glance impress one with the idea of the man 
who really understood his business, and was not above 
it. Fortunately, many of the same class still remain. 
Some have been lucky in having had good horses placed 
under their charge, while others have been the reverse; 
the success of those animals tending in the eyes of some 
persons to stamp their traiuevs as "nonpareils," the 
consequence being an immediate run to fill their stables ; 
while others, equally scientific, and perhaps otherwise 
more deserving, have been just as unfortunate in not get- 
ting the chance, as their employers have been in not 
obtaining good animals. That there is a certain know- 
ledge necessary to be obtained, and which must be im- 
proved by practice, there can be no question; that it 
requires a sort of apprenticeship is true, the more humbly 
served the more likely to arrive at perfection. A certain 
form of condition must be arrived at to have the horse 
really " fit,^' still it does not require that wonderful talent 
which many people appear to fancy. It is true that, 
having learned the regular routine to be pursued in order 
to arrive at perfect condition, the more intellect coupled 
with practical experience any man may have been gifted 
with, the more likely he is to prove successful : b\it there 
is but one pitch of condition, " perfection ;^' and that is 
as often overdone by the " artists^' as it is underdone by 
the " non-professors," or more humble members of the 
profession. In many instances the animals themselves, 
by nature and a mixture of chance, happen to be exactly 
the thing on the day, although having, perhaps, been 
a shade removed therefrom within a very short period pre- 
ceding, for it is quite true that a sweat or a couple of good 



CONDITION AN ELEMENT OF SUCCESS. 47 

gallops will effect a wonderful change. Horses cannot, like 
pedestrians or prize-fighters, tell their trainers, or friends, 
" they never felt better, and are fit to contend for a king- 
dom." There are many instances where horses have 
" raced themselves " into condition previous to an event, 
their success for which has astonished none more than 
their owners or trainers, owing to their having been 
perhaps defeated previously, when their success has been 
looked upon as a foregone conclusion. The fact is, there 
is a deal of chance in condition as well as in every other 
matter connected with horseracing ; for no trainer, be he 
ever so talented or experienced, can at all times have his 
horse as fit, or as well as he might wish. These remarks 
are made merely to impress upon the reader that there is 
more fuss made about the science of training than it really 
calls for; for admitting that there is a great deal of 
practical experience and intellect necessary, and as much 
difference in the appearance and condition of some horses 
as there is between those cherished relics of aristocratic 
antiquity at Newmarket and the public stand-houses at 
gorgeous Goodwood and elsewhere, still the opinions of 
required skill are frequently exaggerated. 

In some instances trainers have a gi'cater number of 
animals under their charge than they could by possibility 
properly attend to, if it were absolutely necessary that each 
should have their special attention. No doubt they have 
head-men or assistants, some of whom occasionally know 
as much, if not more, than the masters, and in reality are 
the trainers ; and why should they not ? In some such 
cases, no doubt, the best performers come in for the lion's 
share of the trainer's attentions, while the inferior are com- 
paratively disregarded. 



48 TUllF TOPICS. 

Trainers, as a body, are respectable, trustworthy, 
and intelligent, and many of them most independent. 
Although intelligence and experience are necessary, it by 
no means follows that an illiterate man cannot be a good 
trainer. Some of the best have hardly known how to 
write their names, whilst others have learned to write too 
well to be either an acquisition or beneficial to their 
employers. "A little learning is a dangerous thing" at 
times. Some years ago, a certain trainer whose horses 
had won Caesarewitches, Liverpool cups, &c., upon being 
asked suddenly by his employer to read the weights of a 
handicap just published, and give his opinion thereupon, 
quietly handing back the paper remarked, — " There ! 
please to read them to me. I have been trying that game 
on long enough ; divil a word myself can read. The old 
woman (his wife) always does the reading and writing for 
me." On a previous occasion he had been found with a 
newspaper turned upside down, but he had discussed the 
weights previously with others. 

A horse, trained by our hero, had won easily a 
certain celebrated race in England, subsequent to which 
he was immediately jiurchased, for a large price, by 
a patron of the turf, who called over the trainer, a very 
humble, although clever and experienced man ; the latter, 
snatching his dudeen from his mouth, and touching his 
caubeen, was requested by the purchaser to inform his 
trainer, Mr. So-and-So, as to the horse's constitution, 
habits, &c., adding, " that he believed, when he had 
received the ' polish,' he would ' do a good thing.' '' 
" Oh ! " replied the late trainer (who was not over-polished 
himself), " why should the likes of me attempt to give Mr. 
So-and-So any instructions?" The fact was, the horse 



DISHONEST TRAINERS. 49 

was in superb form at the time — a perfect picture of con- 
dition, admired by all judges, but having been removed 
to his destination was tried over and over again, galloped 
almost to death, and never won a farthing afterwards. 

There are very many competent men to be found, whose 
very appearance would denote a fitness for their duty 
adhering thereto, and not outsti'ipping it, who will not 
try your horses without your knowledge or authority ; or 
try them at one time before your face with one incorrect 
result, again behind your back with a different one, 
leaving you in total ignorance of the result of the genuine 
trial, and turning it to their own advantage, and that of 
necessary and obliging friends, sub rosd, who possibly, 
having made a few temporary advances, consider they are 
entitled toknow the merits of an animal before even the owner 
himself. It is all very well to be possessed of good horses ; 
the difficulty of finding them is best known to those who 
have tried the experiment : the disappointment which they 
so repeatedly experience, and so dearly pay for, all tend to 
test the " staying poivers" of owners, as well as horses. 
But when fortune may have favoured an owner, be his 
position high or humble, with animals so rarely found — 
" racehorses ^^ — the matter becomes somewhat serious 
when he finds all his hopes blighted, through the instru- 
mentality, or connivance, of the very party in whom he 
may have placed implicit confidence. Let any man place 
himself in the position of an owner, who, putting his own 
interests aside, in every sincerity may have expressed to his 
friends his sanguine expectations of success ; then, what 
would the individual deserve who, with perhaps an out- 
ward appearance of honesty and straightforwardness, " z 
lip of lies, a face formed to conceal/^ could act the 



50 TURF TOPICS. 

part of the frozen serpent, and turn upon his employer 
and benefactor, by a dishonest sacrifice of his interests ? 

" And in my mind there is no traitor like 
Him whose domestic treason plants the poniard 
Within the breast which trusted to his truth." 

On the other hand, the trustworthy trainer is invaluable 
to an owner ; and to one who could afibrd it, amount of 
remuneration should be a secondary consideration, as he 
best studies. his own interests by making those of his 
trainer identical with them ; and next to an owner, the 
trainer's interests should be consulted and considered. 
Any proprietor of a number of horses would, for many 
reasons, adopt by far the most prudent course, by having 
his private trainer, or, at least, one to act conjointly with a 
friend or two; for one of the great objects to be attained is 
privacy in such matters, as well as quietness for the animals. 
The frequent visits of the various employers (some, per- 
haps, with a fourth share of a leather plater), with their 
hosts of friends, one after the other, morning, noon, 
and night, stalking about the stables, puffing their 
cigars, worrying the horses (sometimes kept stripped 
and tantalised by rubbing an extra half-hour, during 
the pleasure of their admirers), taking their notes, and 
circulating the number of coughs ; " pumping '"' attend- 
ants and little boys, on various subjects; in short, 
" poking their noses " where they are not required, 
and should not be admitted, together with the fact that 
the trainer is kept in a perpetual state of bewilderment, 
answering either absurd questions or evading others with 
more meaning ; and taking into consideration the fact that 
a man with a lot of horses to attend to properly has quite 



ADVANTAGES OF PRIVATE TRAINING. 51 

enough on his mind (if not too much)^ and requires a 
little rest ; all must tend to render matters anything but 
desirable or beneficial. In fact, the doctrine is erroneous ; 
and any owner of horses who can afford to keep a private 
trainer, or join a friend, with whose interests his own may 
become identical, makes a very great mistake indeed in 
adopting the opposite course ; which he will only find out 
when he has been worried to death in many ways, and, 
though last not least, obliged to back his horses at about 
one-half the proper odds : for there are sometimes a drove 
of followers in stables, who, from a sort of custom, appear 
to fancy they are quite as well entitled as the owner to 
know every movement (and sometimes know more), and be 
" on," at the best odds. Thus owners are frequently driven 
to "scratch" their horses out of their engagements, simply 
from the fact that they have been forestalled by people who 
make it their business to become acquainted with facts, 
which they communicate to their respective connexions : 
the result is, the owner in disgust strikes his horse out, be- 
cause he could not get his own money on, and then comes 
the thunder of abuse from those who, enraged because 
horses were not kept for their use and benefit, express 
themselves in terms anything but complimentary. 

It is all very well for people to rave about proprietors 
who keep horses for "honour and glory, and that sort of 
thing;" there are a great many more who " wait for 
the waggon with the universal idol," and like a little 
of the " cream " of the market, instead of being obliged 
to take the " skimmed milk." Still it sometimes happens, 
that the very people most closely connected with stables, 
and who ought to be the vert/ first to know when there 
existed a probability of success, are not only the ver?/ last 



52 TURF TOPICS. 

to learn it, but absolutely made the useful instruments, 
in the shape of cats' paws or jackals, in order to carry out 
" arrangements " suitable to certain parties, who may 
have been accommodating, under peculiar circumstances. 
Such proceedings are not, happily, of frequent occurrence, 
and are not practised in respectable establishments, where 
the interests of owners are really studied. It is also 
very well to run away with ideas, as to the advantages 
one has in being the owner ; but what are they ? and 
where do they begin and terminate ? Those benefits 
or advantages may be great, or may be quite the con- 
trary. He has to find the animals, and all the ex- 
penses attending them ; and the entire benefit consists in 
the fact of his having not only more knowledge of the 
merits of his horses, but a prior one to the public. 

Suppose an owner has purchased a splendid stud, upon 
a scale of magnitude; or, on the other hand, take the 
case of what is commonly termed a "little man," whose 
principal, if not entire dependence, rests upon his suc- 
cess. Then to what possible end can all this tend, if 
the cup of success is to be snatched from him through the 
ignorance, ingratitude, or dishonesty of the trainer ? It 
therefore becomes absolutely necessaiy, and of the most 
vital importance, to find a man to whom the responsi- 
bilities and care of such can be entrusted, and in whom 
implicit confidence can be reposed ; as it is like placing 
one's capital in a safe, and handing the key to another. 
Thei'efore, in order to avoid the possibility of one being like 
Tristram Fickle, in the farce of "The Weathercock,'' 
changing with every breath of wind, which frequently 
ends in a storm of suspicions and want of confidence, it 
is absolutely necessary to secure the services of a trust- 



" THE TRIAL HORSE." 53 

worthy trainer; without which he might as well carry 
one of "Dent^s best" without a key to wind it, and 
all the 'Flying Dutchmen' or 'West Australians' that 
ever were foaled would not only be useless, but ruinous. 
When confidence dies and candour departs between em- 
ployer and ti-ainer, rather than continue such a course it 
would be more prudent to sell for whatever they brought ; 
and if purchasers could not be found, open the stable- 
door, turn the animals loose, and let the first who caught 
them keep them ; unless the owner wished to live to find 
the hair of his head make its appearance thi'ough the 
crown of his hat, his ancestors having neglected to entail 
the estates. 

The steady, unassuming, and industrious man, is the 
one to select : examples are to be found frequently. 

" Let them talk as they will about writing and reading, 
And science in training, the chief thing is feeding ; 
Strictly trustworthy, a son of old Dumbery 
Is the trainer — believe me, the rest is mere flummery." 

One of the most important necessaries, in addition to 
a properly regulated establishment, and a principal link 
in the chain of success, is a good and true " trial horse ; " 
one which, as an old trainer of mine, dead many years ago, 
used to say, " would tell one to a second what o'clock 
it was." The want of this most important requisite 
is invariably the cause of owners losing large sums ; 
and moreover, even when such necessary tell-tales are 
supplied, it is not every owner or trainer knows how 
to use them. On the contrary, there are more mistakes 
made in trials than many people have any idea of; and 
to my mind, it is not only one of the chief parts of the 



54 TURF TOPICS. 

science which trainers should be versed in, but it is the 
very one which they are most frequently, as well as their 
employers, least conversant with. Some are more skilled 
and preferable to others in this respect, as well as in 
judgment and knowledge of the animal, than in the 
mere matter of condition. Such mistakes are made 
most frequently through mismanagement as to jockeys 
and pace, as well as from the weights under which horses 
are tried, frequently differing so much from those under 
which they may be about to contend in their engage- 
ments. In many instances experienced jockeys are put 
on some, mere lads on others. Again, the pace half the 
way is frequently little more than half speed ; the boys 
sometimes chatting to each other. Then some horses, 
especially old ones, become so accustomed to particular 
ground, that they frequently do not really try ; or if they 
win, they merely do so, leading to the supposition that 
they only just won; and orders are frequently given '^not 
to abuse the old horse." An instance of this kind occurred, 
and which might have been attended with serious results, 
and, as it was, attended with one anything but gratifying, 
beyond a temporary delusion that a small mine of wealth 
had been discovered, in the shape of half-a-dozen two-year- 
old flyers, which was soon dispelled. Having tried several 
times a number of two-years-old with a well-known old 
one, and some others, at certain weights, the result on 
each occasion was exactly the same — the old one just 
winning by a length, the rest in a " lump." All wonders, 
of course ! although, in the latter respect, the matter did 
not look well. Thanks to the intelligence of my respected 
and experienced trainer, Mr. H. May, a change of ground 
being decided upon, from a belief that there were too many 



THE TRIAL GROUND. 55 

flyers in the covey to be true, we tried the reverse way, run- 
ning in the direction of the *^ corn-bin;" when the young 
birds' wings were woefully clipped, and they were left 
scattered in all directions, some not within gun-shot of 
others, for the old one might almost have had her share 
of the oats consumed before they arrived for theirs. 

The ground has a great deal to do with the coi-rectness 
of a trial j for some horses like certain gallops and di-ead 
others, from having too frequently had the " persuaders" 
applied. The ground, if possible, should resemble in 
every respect that over which the horse about to be tried 
is to contend for his engagements in public; and in every 
respect, in fact, the private trial should resemble the 
public race — jackets, tight light saddles (which frequently 
frighten young horses, if unaccustomed to them), &c. The 
more remote from their usual exercise-ground the better. 

Some horses will almost fly in private, either with or 
without their clothes, yet when they are stripped in public 
will literally die under the jockey, or, upon the appearance 
of a crowd, never try at all. 

An extraordinary instance of this occurred some 
years ago with a horse of mine, which probably no animal 
living could have beaten in private. This horse (he 
was a gelding by ' Harkaway,' and half-bred) led both 
myself and trainer to fancy, either that the others, 
although they had previously won and defeated easily 
all the horses of their year in Ireland, were moderate, 
or that he was a perfect wonder. Having entered 
him for a few handicaps, and upon the first occasion 
backed him, as if the result were over and decided, 
he w^as not only defeated easily, but was absolutely last — 
beaten a hundred yards, to our great astonishment and the 



56 TURF TOPICS. 

amusement of others^ who enjoyed the thing amazingly. 
The other horses with which he had been tried ran 
subsequently during the day^ and, not backed for a penny, 
won as they liked. The following day, having resolved to 
give him one more chance, and being laughed at by some 
friends who were rather disappointed at having lost their 
money, the brute, with extreme odds against him, abso- 
lutely won as far as he was defeated the day previously, 
beating a large field and upsetting a " tremendous pot " 
backed against the field. The fact was, just previous to and 
during the race a heavy shower of hail came down ; every- 
body took shelter therefrom ; the course appeared quite de- 
serted, and in came the big seventeen-hands-high "buffalo" 
by himself (he had a pair of horns about two inches long 
on his forehead). The result led to the " usual remarks " 
upon all sides; the most wounded sufferers of course being 
the layers, and the friends who were not on at the proper 
time, according to their ideas and wishes. But such are 
frequent cases, and prove the necessity as well as value of 
a genuine trial horse. This animal turned out a first-class 
steeple-chase horse, although a coward on the flat. The 
true worth and staying qualities of horses, like those of 
their masters and friends, are best tested and tried when 
in difficulties; the mistakes so frequently made, and 
delusions under which so many labour, might in many 
cases be obviated, and the results be rendered more harm- 
less, by an observance of that caution so often disregarded. 
But the prudence of trying horses at all, at least to 
that extent so frequently practised in cases where a great 
event or large stake is in question, is one admitting of 
doubt, where the object is not to win largely by the result ; 
for in many instances the consequences are most detri- 



EVIL CONSEQUENCES OF TRIALS. 57 

mental, and sometimes fatal, extinguishing not only the 
immediate chance, but putting the animals completely hors 
de combat. 

Suppose an owner has already backed his horse 
for a large stake, say for a Derby. On the eve thereof 
the animal is tried, and asked a Derby question, which 
he finds very difficult to answer. Although favourites in- 
variably do so, as far as report — people seldom hear of 
one losing his trial. Then in what better position is he, 
further than that he has the pleasing gratification of 
a further belief that he will find his name recorded as the 
owner of a winner of the " Blue Riband ? " If the result 
turn out an unfavourable one, the wires are certain to be 
at work from some quarter or other; and the metallic 
influences are also, in other respects, in requisition and 
full play. Some very experienced patrons of the turf 
completely set their faces against the system, merely 
satisfied with a "rough-up.'^ One of the best judges and 
most experienced and successful men, in every respect, in 
breeding and racing, did not approve of absolute trials. 
He was not a heavy better, generally confining his invest- 
ments to a ten or a twenty-pound note. He had an obser- 
vatory specially constructed, from which he, with the as- 
sistance of a telescope, witnessed the daily exercise of his 
horses ; and upon the eve of a race-meeting had them sent 
from a certain point, a given distance, in their regular 
Indian file, finishing opposite his post. If asked what he 
thought of his chance, he would invariably reply " that his 
horse ran untried :" but whenever his ten was on he gener- 
ally won ; and if a " po7iy," it was all over. He was, in my 
humble opinion, the best judge of a horse, in every respect, 
and eveiything relating to breeding and horseracing, that 



58 TURF TOPICS. 

ever lived — (a large word, no doubt) — and many an hour's 
amusement and instruction he afforded those with whom 
he was acquainted, having been, in addition to his other 
qualifications, a V. S. of nearly half-a-century's first-rate 
practice.* 

One of the most important matters to have regard 
to in the management of horses, and one upon which 
success principally depends, is the placing and engaging 
of them. It is much better to be first in moderate 
than second in superior company; and in this the judg- 
ment is best tested. As Csesar remarked, "that he would 
rather he first in a hamlet than have an equal, or be second 
in Rome/' The wholesale manner in which horses are 
sometimes crammed into engagements, especially when the 
option of doing so is entrusted to parties who have not to 
pay the forfeits, is something surprising. In many in- 
stances, the absence of owners' names from a sheet calen- 
dar or race-card is as rare an occurrence as the appearance 
of a woodcock in summer, or a policeman when really re- 
quired. How horses, especially young ones, can be 
expected to fulfil those numerous undertakings, is a matter 
best known to those who adopt the system. Prejudice of 
some owners in favour of their own, and belief in their 
powers to vanquish all comers, being the very essence and 
life of horseracing, and when carried to excess, which it 
so frequently is, the stumbling-block to success. Some 

* All horses will not gallop in their clothes ; still, a very fair 
estimate of their qualities may occasionally be made under such cir- 
cumstances : a contradiction to which opinion would be a serious 
libel upon the talents, as well as detrimental to the pecuniary in- 
terests, of a certain professional fraternity, forming a large body of 
the cognoscenti. 



THE RACE-GROUNDS OF ENGLAND. 59 

owners (especially beginners) fancy their "geese" are all 
" swans," invariably assuring their friends on the eve of 
an event that it is a certainty for one of their stud, whether 
for ' The Devil among the Tailors/ ' All Round my Hat/ 
* Tickle my Fancy/ or 'Impetuous Bess ;^ an attempt to 
change them from which infatuation would prove as futile 
as to persuade a young lady to dispense with her crinoline. 
It would, however, be prudent to bear in mind, that others 
likewise have good horses, as also the dangerous results 
arising from being over-sanguine. Disappointment to such 
parties, who are generally of a rather excitable tempera- 
ment, sometimes leading into the river of revelry, which 
not unfrequently flows into the sea of adversity. 

The plains of Newmarket afford to the beginner ample 
opportunity of displaying his taste, gratifying his am- 
bitions, as well as developing his resources in his favourite 
pastime; still, although it may be the admitted "me- 
tropolis of horseracing," yet it would hardly be the spot 
likely to be selected to make a favourable impression on 
those wavering in their opinions as to the superiority of 
the turf over all other pastimes : nor does it unfold the 
most pleasing representations in many respects. 

Goodwood ! — Glorious Goodwood, Beauteous Brigh- 
ton, Royal Ascot, or Metropolitan Epsom, would be more 
likely to have the desired efi'ect. Goodwood, from its ele- 
vated, yet sheltered position, unfolding to the wan- 
dering eye, amid her hills and valleys, the richness 
and beauty of her woodland scenery, rivalling therewith 
her sister. Beauteous Brighton, the queen of watering- 
places, with her varied views of land and sea, the " blue 
above and the blue below," her bracing breezes and ma- 
rine retreats ; they from their proxhnity vie with each other 



60 TURF TOPICS. 

in excellence^ but each aid in restoring to the mind and 
body those invigorating and soothing influences so much 
needed, and so frequently impaired, especially by the 
zealous patrons of the " glorious pastime." 

Ascot, patronised by Royalty, where the eye of the 
visitor will at once become fixed in admiration upon the 
array of beauty which so adds to the scene, by the pre- 
sence of the fair sex — those charming objects, eclipsing 
the other beauties of Nature, — 

" In lines of light, beneath the golden sunbeam's hues, 
Like stars through heaven's sea 
Floating in harmony, 
And casting a lustre of light to all around." 

All combining to render the contrast with the " ]\Ietro- 
polis" most striking, and with anything but a tendency 
towards raising the latter, even in the eyes of its most 
zealous admirers. 

If, indeed, the opponents of the turf sought for a pic- 
ture whereupon to paint, if not its defects, at least the 
absence of all additional charms beyond mere speculatory 
recommendations, they could hardly select a more favour- 
able one than Newmarket. 

It is quite true, it at once unfolds in its outward and 
visible tout ensemble the inward and real meaning of its 
objects, without affording beyond the mere arena for the 
development of its purposes any additional prepossessing 
recommendations. As the Head-quarters of horseracing, 
and as the Court wherein its laws are framed and admi- 
nistered from, it stands "alone in its glory;" but even in 
the benefits or advantages necessary to the advancement 
of its objects, such as its training-grounds, it can hardly 



NEWMARKET. 61 

boast of equality with^ and much less with superiority over 
many others. It cannot be denied that^ in its abundance of 
racing, it excels all other meetings ; although it neither 
surpasses nor equals many others in the superiority of 
sport. In its superfluity, it is almost sufficient to remind 
one of the old, although not very refined adage, that 
" too much pudding would choke even a dog." The 
solemnity, as well as precision (rivalling Costa, or 
Jullien in his best day), with which some of its rules are 
carried out, are remarkably business-like; perhaps, 
in the extreme, almost sufficient to impress — suppose a 
foreigner, who' might not be conversant with the 
English language or habits — with the idea that he had 
come not to a rendezvous of racing, but to a more solemn 
duty ; for he would be rather surprised upon an evening 
(perhaps a Sunday), about nine o'clock, upon his entree to 
an edifice resembling a Methodist meeting-house, to hear 
the weights of the various handicaps, as long almost as 
one of Blair^s Sermons, read aloud, in a clear and clerical 
voice, to an attentive and anxious audience, without the 
soothing assistance of even a cigarette, so highly appre- 
ciated in continental countries. 

The rush at the railway terminus upon the arrival of 
the afternoon "express,^^ on a Sunday afternoon, bears 
a striking resemblance to the representation of Brown, 
Jones, and Robinson, looking after their baggage. Every 
man, who cannot afford the luxury of a valet, keeping a 
sharp look-out for "his own," which he so hastily con- 
veys to his usual domicile, seldom remarkable for the 
moderation of its rent. Everything seems " money," 
racing times. What care racing-men what they pay ? 
They find their money ; the streets of Newmarket are 



62 TURF TOPICS. 

paved with gold. Then^ where is the race-card ? generally 
as long as a lawyer's bill, printed in a peculiar kind of 
German-text — peculiar to the place, and looking like 
Greek to a stranger ; yet Jemmy de Vergy can read it 
and mark the winners, with his " tip " into the bargain : 
he appears to monopolise the principal custom. The trade 
must be profitable and flourishing ; for any person to wit- 
ness the " rush" at the printing-office during any race 
meeting, would hardly require a better description of 
that at a railway terminus, at cockcrow in the morning, 
upon the occasion of an international prize-fight. The 
scene is one by no means the least amusing, in connexion 
with the sport. The crush of crinoline upon the occasion 
must be tremendous, if those fair retailers of the " correct 
cards" patronise that fashionable, yet deceptive, addition 
to the female figure. 

But Newmarket, with its trifling drawbacks, must be 
always held in high respect, as the theatre at which so au- 
gust, select, and zealous a body, as the " rulers of the 
turf" assemble, who are so chary of its interests and 
welfare, and without whose patronage and support the 
princely pastime could not be preserved in all its grandeur, 
but would unquestionably dwindle into insignificance. 
The air must be most beneficial to the health and soothing 
in its influences, for it is considered by those who ought to 
be best judges conducive towards enabling rejiorters for 
the press to carry out their arduous duties, even in the 
Cambridgeshire week, without further shelter than the 
celestial canopy. The patrons of sport are invariably fond 
of good living ; and the casual visitor, if an epicure, should 
be made aware of the fact, that as Yorkshire is celebrated 
for its hams, Cheshire for its Dee salmon and cheese, so 



NEWMARKET. 63 

Newmarket is renowned for its "pork sausages." Many 
a bottle of prime old port, Cliambertin, Cliquot, &c., 
has been and will be uncorked in that little sporting 
village. The eventful anniversary which represents the 
discovery of this wonderful and anxiously-sought- for El 
Dorado, the prize so eagerly coveted by its numerous fol- 
lowers, and which casts such a halo of glory around the 
fortunate victor, is the signal for commotion amongst 
all classes, from the highest to the lowest in the land ; 
each, to a certain extent, feeling a deep interest and 
anxiety, which no other event could create or bear com- 
parison with. As the day approaches which is to decide 
the fate of the followers, and to whom the golden apple is 
to be awarded, everything is rife with excitement ; every- 
body becomes more anxious to learn from his neighbour 
his opinion, whatever it may be worth, or however igno- 
rant he may be as to the probable result ; exchanges of 
which take place in the conference, more remarkable, 
however, for their extreme diversity than their value. 

The chief fountain from whence the genuine "tip" 
is most likely to flow, when properly or legitimately 
" pumped," and into which trickle from various quarters 
the purest streams — in fact, a certainty, as far as human 
form can render it, and where, if it fails, it is looked upon 
as a sort of phenomenon in the history of the reign of 
" His Majesty" — is sought for in the neighbourhood of 
the " Green Park" (not always very green, even in May), 
where the highest in the land seek the proper path, and 
endeavour to ascertain in what direction his Majesty 
waves his magnetic wand, which sounds the tocsin, the 
signal for the rush of the multitude in the right direction, 
and generally seals the doom of many a desponding 



64 TURF TOPICS. 

aspirant. All who anxiously seek the favours of the 
" King/' in token of their loyalty, combine by volunteer- 
ing their aid to increase the stability of his throne, by. 
each unfolding his stock of private information from his 
knowledge-box; which is at all times most graciously 
listened to (if not "taken in"), with that condescension 
so truly characteristic of him who so generously and 
truthfully, at the proper time, when consistent with the 
duties of his important position, dispenses to his faithful 
subjects the tickets for the "■ express," which invariably 
wends its way, without danger to its passengers, in the 
right direction. 

"The Lord and the Sqmre have a ' good thing' for Freddy — 
A ' dead certainty' each for the next Derby Day ; 
But I 'd wager a ducat he knows it ah-cady, 

For his Lordship no doubt is a ' king' in his way." 

The veteran sportsman calculates his age by the number 
of Derbies he has witnessed, and as the Yorkshire squire 
counts from ' Filho da Puta,' so others do from ^Whisker,' 
each, on the eve of the coming events, discussing the merits 
of many a flyer over their Chambertin or old port, and 
the difference of opinion is thus happily settled. Many 
friends meet on that occasion, who part only to renew it 
under the same auspices. 

Although the "Blue Riband" is looked upon, and is, 
in fact, the greatest race as well as most valuable in amount, 
and therefore the prize most coveted, and although the 
winner is an animal of great merit, still it does not follow 
that at all times he is the best horse of the year, nor yet 
of those that absolutely start. On the contrary, compai'a- 
tively speaking, and taking into consideration the great 



THE DERBY. 65 

weight attached to the victory, it is frequently won by 
moderate animals, and is a much easier task than gene- 
ally supposed. For instance, it sometimes happens that 
many of the very horses that start, if not absolutely unfit, 
are suffering from the effects of recent attacks of influenza, 
or other diseases so prevalent during the long winter 
and trying spring, so fatal to horses in general, varying 
in severity as well as their nature. Some are seriously 
amiss on the day, yet started for various reasons; such 
as the " off chance,^' being superior horses, and the pro- 
bability of others meeting with accidents. Others are de- 
barred through a sort of " metallic fever," the most fatal 
of all ; of which, when symptoms present themselves, it is 
most desirable to take precautionary measures, by becom- 
ing as far acquainted as possible with the operators who 
prescribe for them, who are generally most experienced 
practitioners, and keep them alive as long as possible, or 
human skill can avail. The patients seldom absolutely 
die, and often even start but with faint hopes of success, 
although some sanguine owners frequently are led to fancy, 
even to the last moment, that a spark of life remains, and 
nourish a hope like " the wounded soldier, struggling to 
the last." 

The "winding-up" system, too, proves fatal in many 
instances, a break-down being a far more likely announce- 
ment on the eve of a Derby than the defeat of a favourite 
in a private trial ; the fn qucnt remark, " Such a horse 
will never stand a Dei by preparation," being often 
verified. 

It is a remarkable fact, that the Doncaster St. Leger 
winners have been far better horses, both as racehorses 
and at stud, as a lot; many winners of the latter having 

p 



66 TURF TOPICS. 

defeated the Derby winners of their ycar^ but yet 
have been nowhere in the Derby. 'Stockwell's^ year^ 
when ' Daniel O'Rourke^ won the Derby^ was a remark- 
able instance ; for. without exaggeration, it would not be 
going too far to say there were several far superior horses 
behind him. In 'Blink Bonny's ' year, in my opinion, the 
best horse I ever saw gallop was not even entered for the 
Derby or St. Leger, viz. ' Vedette.^ What would he 
have done over York, Doncaster, or Newmarket, with the 
lot, for even the Derby distance ? and if two miles, what 
would the result have been ? If four, he would have won 
as far as a will-o'-the-wisp in an Irish bog — they would 
perhaps get a glimpse of him. Without meaning for 
a moment to deteriorate, or presume to lessen the qua- 
lities of that renowned, yet, to my mind, fortunate 
mare, still I merely make the remark in giving ex- 
pression to my humble opinion as to the animal, which 
I consider the best horse within my memory, not 
even excepting the great " Wonder of Erin," ' Faugh-a- 
Ballagh,' with whom, if he were about to start for a match 
over the Cresarewitcli course, my preference would be for 
the former. 

The name of winning the Derby goes far towards, not 
only immortalising the owner (he should be created, if not 
a Peer, at least a Knight ; but certainly, if he " threw in 
three mains," he should be raised to a seat in the Upper 
House, considering that so many of those high personages 
have so repeatedly failed to win even one), but has a very 
great influence in many respects; amongst others, it tends 
wonderfully to enhance his value as a sire, at least in 
prestige if not in reality, having a powerful weight in public 
opinion, although many a superior animal has been passec 



THE DERBY, 67 

over as a sire that would have been at the top of the tree 
had he ivon the Derby; while others, comparatively speaking 
wretches, have been patronised, and many of the best 
mares put to them : the consequence being the loss of 
the value of the latter by injury to their reputation. 
In any case the merits of the winners of the Derby 
can only be judged so far as that distance, for there are 
many animals defeated, especially over that course, that, 
if they had to contend for a longer or shorter distance 
over different ground, would defeat them. Every horse 
has a certain favourite distance, and a few lengths beyond 
it tells one way or other. The grand secret is to discover 
what that distance is, and innumerable are the mistakes 
made thereupon, and the hasty conclusions formed, totally 
at variance with their real forte. 

But " the Derby day " having at length arrived, what 
a scene ! A complete revolution of everything ! " The 
great city^' becomes deserted, looking as if the long- 
expected French had reached Gravesend and the Thames 
been set on fire ; the Lords and Commons closed ; Rotten 
Row a " blank ; " the World and his Wife gone to the 
Derby; the Jews supposed to have gone to Jericho. 
The Regent Street emporiums of silks and satins, pretty 
bonnets for prettier faces, blending and displaying the 
beauties of the rose and lily, and Fortnum, Mason, and 
Co. transplanted to Epsom Downs. Even the most needle- 
pointing snip would never entertain the absurd idea of 
sending his dun for " his little bill." Mr., Mrs., and the 
Misses Naggleton become a happy family, and join in the 
festival without a word of difference, except in the selection 
of a " favourite;^' and Master N., so sunk in admiration, 
and beginning to feel an inclination to become a candidate 



68 TURF TOPICS, 

for future honours, if not a proprietor of a noble stud, 
asks his pa to buy a pony. The absentees are Methodist 
preachers, old maids and their lap-dogs, and the well- 
known firm of "Bobby and Cabby, '^ none of the mem- 
bers of which would be in London if they were required. 
The scene presented on the Downs about two, when the 
great struggle is about to be decided, has but to be wit- 
nessed — description hardly requisite to any reader. Talk 
of Garibaldi in his red jacket, and his infatuated followers 
anxious to grasp the hand of the disinterested hero of 
so many fights (the last nine-days wonder, the forerunner, 
of General Tom Thumb), even at the expense of the 
weight of a Bobby's baton on the head, so mercilessly 
dealt out on the recent occasion of the King of Caprera's 
visit to the hospitable shores of Great Britain ! what com- 
parison would their impetuosity bear towards that of the 
crowd, in their anxiety to get a peep at the probable 
winner — "the Crack," who not unfrequently carries tri- 
umphantly to victory the Garibaldian colours — the cherry 
jacket ? 

" They 're off ! " " They 're off ! " " Hats off ! " " Hats 
off!" There they go, and climb the hill like a herd of 
deer; 'Daniel,' 'Sunbeam,' ' Caller-Ou,' followed by 
'Van Tromp' and 'Beadsman,' bang in front. What a 
string ! Now they near the bend ! * The Dutchman' and 
' Voltigeur' together down the hill, with a tail as long as the 
comet of '60. The pace has already told its tale. The pep- 
per's out of 'Saucebox;' 'Daniel' gone to judgment (not 
by Mr. Clarke), his eagle wings already clipped. Tatten- 
ham Corner rounded ; some have cracked. Hats off ! hats 
off! Glasses up. The game is up with ' Gamester.' The 
' Knight' has cast his die. The 'Merry Monarch' looks 



THE DERBY. 69 

doleful, and no longer goes forth, but yields his place to 
' The Baron/ who gamely keeps his coronet and helps his 
countryman to fight for the crown alongside ' The Mar- 
quis,' led by the gallant ^Caractacus/ ' Pyrrhus the First' 
amongst the last condoling with ' Sir Tatton/ the Yorkshire 
pet, whose happiest friend is the eccentric "Bill." The 
splendid ' Sunbeam' shines no more, but casts her rays of 
hope on her game companion, the sterling mine of wealth, 
the son of old ' Alice.' They near the distance ! " Hats 
off ! hats off ! " (" You, su-, in the white tile, get down off 
the rails ! " by some anxious speculator, but non-spec- 
tator). "What wins? What wins?" (Another indi- 
vidual has just pulled down a fat gentleman from the 
top of an artificial structure, and upset half-a-dozen.) 
"Where's Faug?" (from the Emeralders.) "Where's 
the boy in yellow? Where's 'The Dutchman?' Tom, 
with a grim death-hold of 'Ellington's' head, comes with 
a rush; his backers gasping for breath, and turning all 
the colours of the rainbow. " Honest Tom,'' cool but 
sanguine, taps his box, takes a pinch, and halloos " Mine 
wins ! " Mat smiles. ' Thormanby ' is there, alongside ' The 
Dutchman,' upon whom Charley, his pilot, sits as steady 
as a rock next the stand, anxiously looking out for his 
friend Job on the game little chestnut, who gamely strug- 
gles for the Cherry, and has " astonished his friends 
the Browns." ' Beadsman's ' beads seem nearly counted, 
'Musjid' helping him; ' Van Tromp' right in front, using 
his broom like a brick : there seems to be no end to it — 
always at work. Nat on the great big bay, clothed in 
yellow surplice, begins to feel nervous ; as does poor 
old Isaac, whose cigar has almost become extinguished. 
His lordship's confidence remains unshaken. There's 



70 TURF TOPICS. 

young ' Clifden' by his side, looking as well as anything ; 
but not a smile from ' Johnny.' ' Macaroni' looks like a 
nailer about to hit the right 'un on the head ; his pilot 
looking steady as usual, as if he had them dished. '^Im- 
perieuse' is humbled; 'Warlock' cries " Peccavi!" The 
distance reached, 'Orlando's' done; 'Blink Bonny,' 
blinked, surrenders to ' Caller-Ou,' who cries " very fine 
oysters, but no Queen's plates ; " resigns the office to the 
bold ' Blair Athol,' to halloo the nine-day wonder. ' Kettle- 
drum' on the lower side, bang in front, upholds the 
fame of ' Old Ratty,' and rattles away to the air of 
"Bonnie Dundee," and the fastest Derby on record. 
The ' Voltigeurs ' and ' Cossacks' come with double-quick 
pace and gamely fight their way, Alfred on 'Andover,' 
with scientific hands and head, comes creeping up : but this 
is not his day. The Wild Dayrellites discover that this 
is not the Derby of '55. The struggle has commenced in 
earnest. Shouts rend the skies from all sides. Here 
comes Simmy the sensible, on ' Newminster,' sanguine, 
and looking as if the coals were going to Newcastle ; the 
days of 'Bay Middleton' flash across his mind: but so 
does ' Stockwell ' by him, who comes like a thunderbolt 
from St. Albans, so near. Shouts from the aristocrats' 
stand — " Exeter wins ! " " No, he don't ! " " Yes, he 
does!" Bell bellows, "Clear the way !" but they won't; 
he 's not iheperfect cure. The Emeralders frantically shout 
" Faugh-a-Ballagh ! " throw their hats up in the air for 
joy, and knock i\ie\v friends down for love. The stand is 
reached. ' Thormanby ! ' ' Thormanby ! ' ' Thormanby ! ' 
from a thousand, as he comes stride by stride, looking as 
if he 'd like another round. ' West Australian ' — the Aus- 
tralian, the " sombre gentleman in black " — comes with his 



AFTER THE DERBY. 71 

terrific rush. No : ' The Dutchman ' wins. ' The Dutch- 
man ! ' 'The Dutchman ! ' 'The Dutchman ' unfurls his 
sailsj and like a shot from the Kearsage snatches the prize, 
and lands the tartan and yellow to the dismay of the Aus- 
trahans. The "Blue Riband" goes over the border, to 
enliven the bonnets of Bonnie Dundee. Charley returns 
to scale with his simple yet unexulting smile, followed 
by poor Frank, looking graver than ever, who never will 
smile on earth again, and whose superior as a horseman 
we have never seen. 

The race over, the various speculators of all classes 
discuss and inquire the effect the result may have had 
upon their respective financial depai-tments, the following 
being about the probable replies to anxious inquiries from 
friends, — 

Blustering Bookmaker {half frantic). " Won so much, 
can't guess ! " 

Bwnptious Bookmaker {hands in pockets, jingling sove- 
reigns). "A mere nothing; only won three thou " 

Sensible and unassuming Bookmaker. " Just got out, 
and a little the right side.'^ 

Ravenous Backer {looking sad). " A regular facer." 

Cautious Backer {ivho went to the Insurance Office). 
" Five thou " 

Clever Backer {besides his book). "Enough of blunt to 
buy a brewery.'^ 

Backer {who always wins). "Just got on at the last 
moment." 

Unlucky Backer {who never wins) . " If I had backed 
him, he'd have tumbled down." 

Now for the champagne corks, which fly in all direc- 
tions, the report resembling one of Garibaldi's hottest 



7^ TURF TOPICS. 

contests, generally issuing from ambuscades not only 
manned by many a devoted admirer or love- sick swain, bat 
assisted by the objects of their most ardent love and ad- 
miration, who so bravely face and share in the danger 
consequent upon their return from the scene on that 
eventful day, amid a shower of grape in the shape of 
flower-bags, and shells of tiny representations of maternal 
care. 

Then on to Cremorne, the next scene of battle so fre- 
quently selected, when the toils of the great day have com- 
pelled the Naggletons and Caudles to retire, and renew 
behind other scenes any difference left unsettled. On to 
the charge! Down go "The Blues!" the first Redan is 
taken, to the dismay of the bold and enterprising pro- 
prietor. Off go the few prisoners, the foremost in the 
fray, to hear the sentence of the tribunal ; who, with the 
magnanimity of the true Eriton, merely does his duty 
with a palliating remembrance of the Derby day. 

All becomes serene; the spoils of battle divided among 
the victor and his friends, and his Majesty hailed upon all 
sides with acclamation, and assurances of the number of 
debts of gratitude due by his numerous friends. But 
some less fortunate, who have not belonged to his ministry, 
or had disregarded his advice, or joined other confede- 
rates, in mournful tones exclaim, — 

" Oh, my dear Freddy ! how oft, if I ivould 
Have adhered to your counsel, I might have done good," 

are occasionally obliged to seek Solomon Sixty-per-cent ; 
to whom they are introduced by his friends Flatcatcher 
and Touser, and received with the bland smile of 
welcome and twinkle of the eye, denoting an anxious 



SOLOMON SIXTY-PER-CENT. 73 

readiness to accede to their requests, but regrets lie 
cannot do so, having already promised an old cus- 
tomer, Captain Firceater, who had called upon him the 
week preceding, in anticipation of the consequences of 
having backed three ' winter favourites ' — two already 
dead 'uns;^ the other, although not a 'corpse,' then in a 
very declining state. Still, being desirous, if possible, to 
accommodate, if they could induce their friends Lord Go- 
the-pace, or Sir Samuel Smashall (to whom, by way of 
parenthesis, he should very much like to be introduced), 
to affix his autograph to the " little instrument of security,'' 
he would strain a point, and endeavour to obtain through a 
friend the few thousands required, which would be accom- 
plished at a very great sacrifice." The job is done, and 
Solomon retails the bullion obtained at twenty at the 
moderate price, from his partiality to which he has derived 
his cognomen ; and thus bids, for the time being, his new 
acquaintances, with their happy-to-see-you-sorry-to-meet- 
you countenances, Bon soir — Au revoir ! 

But there are others who have been deeply interested 
in the results of the great race, and have their rendezvous 
for settling their differences and discussing the merits of 
their respective favourites. Sam Shandigaff, of the sign of 
" The Racehorse," where all sporting events are on the 
tapis and ably analysed, the host (nicknamed "Mys- 
terious Sam," from his policy of taking in everything and 
letting out nothing), has a large snuff-box (a gift from his 
grandfather, who trained for some of the " real old squires," 
in former days), with a painting on the lid, representing 
a human head, a mouth with a padlock, a pair of ears 
like overgrown mushrooms, and eyes like little Jack Horner 
in the pantomime, eating his Christmas pie. Sam, who is a 



74 TURF TOPICS. 

sober fellow himself, but likes to see bis customers glorious 
and excited over their differences as to their favourites, 
merely sits in his arm-chair beside the fire, smokes his 
long pipe, giving an occasional powerful whiff, resembling 
smoke from the window of a house on fire, or a shunting 
steam-engine, at the mention of any absurd opinion, sig- 
nificant of the fact that he " knows a thing worth two of 
that ; " merely makes use of the spittoon, and occasionally 
amuses himself making paper pipe-lights. There is old 
Squeezem, the lawyer, in the corner, just dropped in, 
looking as if he had lost a lawsuit ; cursing " those pots 
that always boil over. He'll stand no more of Peter 
Polish and his pots; he can't train a Derby winner — not 
he ! he is only good for plating purposes. His horses 
sometimes look better outside than they feel inside : he 
don't give enough of pepper. What vexes him most is, 
he put on Mrs. S.'s 'fiver,' and invited a dozen friends 
to dinner; she having already chosen a splendid moue 
antique, from the sanguine hopes expressed by her friend 
Mrs. P." 

" What a confounded fool he was not to follow Jack 
Wilson's advice ! He always said ' this horse would do a 
great thing some day;' he was not fit in the 'guineas;' 
and, as Jack said, " you can't have two bites of a cherry." 
And he was i-ight ; he has won a ' regular stinger.' He 
said at the time, Sammy rode his head off in the 'two 
thousand,' and that if I didn't back him he'd never speak 
to me, or tell me a good thing again." (I heard of a 
"tout" once telling a nobleman the same thing.) 

But in comes Tommy Tightfit, the tailor ; he has won 
a " reeker," (he builds for the boys) . Sammy Sharpspurs 
came to town last week and gave him the right " /z);." 



SAM SHANDIGAFF. 7o 

"He rode in the trial; never crossed such a 'tit:' he 
rode the young 'un, " Jimmy the Fairy" the old'un: the 
young ^un gave him a stun, and left him stannin." He 
also had it from Harry Brown, whose sister is married 
to Tom Jones, the head-lad's brother; and Jack Robin- 
son, another friend of his, had it straight from the right 
quarter — froTn Nosey Jones, who gives Captain Noddle 
(his pet pupil) lessons in the manly art of self-defence. 
The Captain has horses in the same stable. 

But what is that thing that has just made its ap- 
pearance, looking hke a cross between a ringtailed monkey 
and a gorilla ? Sammy whispers, — 

*' Mr. Tadpole, a friend of Mr. Squeezem^s. Another 
' chip of the block,' eh ? " 

" Bless my heart ! why he looks as if he had been 
fed all his life on parchment-slips and sealing-wax ! " 

[Taddy surveys the company, and discovering 
his friend, esconces himself. 

" Well, Squeeze, how are you?'^ 

" Poorly." 

" You've lost, eh ?" 

" Of course I have." 

" Oh ! you'd back your friend Polish's nag." 

" Rather. Bad work, Taddy ! bad work ! discounting 
better than backing horses, especially such infernal hot 
'uns. But come, cheer up, old cock ! there's a good time 
coming : They may crow now, but we will raise the dis- 
count — eh ?" 

" A good time coming, indeed ! ' Live horse and get 
grass.' How do, Sam? Quite well?" 

" Jolly, Mr. T. ; how's yourself?" 

" Tol-lol. AYaiter ! " 



76 TURF TOPICS. 

« Yessir." 

" Some gin and walnuts." 

" Got no walnuts, sir." 

" Then go and get them, you muff! Do you suppose 
I can take my gin without nuts ? " 

\John retires, muttering, — " He's had too 
much already." 

Here one of the company remarks to another, — 
"That old chap is a regular 'out-and-outer;' if ever 
you want any law done, he'd go down a chimney after a 
chap to get it." " He's a rum^un to look at, however" 
[iifter a good look']. " Pve seen some very decent dis- 
coimting lawyers, and good-looking fellows, too; but I 
should have taken that 'un for a tailor." 

[In marches a party in sporting costume — John 
Jogabout, ivaiter from " Fair Rosamond's 
Bower,'' Richmond; seats himself beside 
Sam. 

" Well, your nag won, John ? " 

" Yes. Touched a little fifty ' quid.' " 

" How did you get hold of this ' good thing ? '" 

" You see, I looks after the private rooms, where 
gents and their ladies comes for a week. One sporting 
gent, who often comes, told me it was a good thing. His 
lady lost her lapdog — such a beauty! and she gave me 
five pounds for finding it : when they were leaving he 
told me the Huntsman for Liverpool, too, he was with us 
at the time." 

" Waiter ! " \_Fi'om three quarters. 

" Here, Stupo ! " {from Tad.) " Got those nuts, yet ? " 

" All right, sir ; coming." 

" So is Christmas. What a stupid fellow your waiter 



SAM SHANDIGAFF, 11 

'\%, Sam ! Here, bring some more gin. What are you 
doing, Squeeze ? '' 

" I \e just been thinking we ought to cut this con- 
founded backing, and take to laying ; it don't pay : one 
would want the Bank of England at his back. Let's 
make a book between us." 

" A good idea ! We '11 talk it over." 

[Tightfit's 'party is becoming rathe?' noisy ; one 

in particular very tight. The room filled v:ith 

smoke. A voice from a corner exclaims, — 

" Let's have some air, for Heaven's sake ! Open that 

window over there, Sam." \_Just over Tad's head. 

" Most emphatically, No ! Not if / know it. No idea 

of sitting in a draft." 

[Hates drafts, except of gin, or on the bank. 
Taps his snuff-box, takes a pinch, sneezes, 
coughs, and uses his pocket-handkerchief. 
" Here come the nuts, Taddy, my boy." 
" That 's better. Where are the crackers, Stupo ? 
Do you fancy I can break them with my teeth ? Sam, 
Sam, this is dreadful ! " 

" Why, we shall smother ! I '11 stand this infernal 
smoke no longer. Come, I '11 have that window open, or 
know for why." 

\_After a deal of persuasion Sam effects an ar- 
rangement ; the parties change seats. 
" Capital cigar that of yours, Mr. Tadpole," {remarks 
one of the new company). " Might I beg one ?" 

" You may, if you like ; but not from me. I got a 
present of a box from a client : he told mc they were 
prime, and to keep them for my own smoking. I know 
him to be a good judge, and mean to take his advice." 



78 TURF TOPICS. 

" Thank you for nothing." 
''Don't mention it." 

[The Tightfits are becoming uproarious. One 
sings " Old King Cole." Squeezem and 
Taddy keep on talking ; Tad pulling away at 
the gin. Squeeze, in a dialogue on the im- 
prudence ofjjrofessional men meddling in such 
speculations, asks Tommy "if he understands 
Latin?" 
The noisy Tightfit man, at the conclusion of the song, 
rattles away with a large tankard on the table for the 
waiter, which causes Tad to jump from the effects of 
gin, at the moment Squeeze has said to him, " Ne sutor 
ultra crepidam, Taddy." Up jumps the tankard man, and 
asks Tommy "how he dare make such impident re- 
marks ?" 

" What do you mean, fellow ? Sit down and draw 
yourself to an anchor. I did not address you." 

"You insinivated that I made the soot come down 
the chimney." 

[Sammy starts up, makes peace, assures him 

of what he verily believes — " The gents was 

only talking French; it's all right: nothing 

meant." All becomes serene — A devil of a 

row in the outer bar. 

"What's the matter?" asks Sam. 

" Nothing, sir ; it 's settled. Ned Greenham the 

costermonger, and Bill Jenkins the tout, had a few 

words. Bill told him to back ' Miss Cruiser ' for the 

Oaks, and demanded his fees : Ned said it was ' Matilda 

Tightwaist.' Bill is right, for I heard him say myself she 

couldn't stay ; he 'd eat her if she won : drawn too fine ; 



SAM SHANDIGAFF. 79 

was ou the go ; done too much work ; had a bad 
night, and looked as if she was dragged through a 
hedge backwards, and hadn't eaten a feed of corn for a 
month." 

\T0mm7fs health, ivith three times three, "For 
he's a jolly good fellow;" " Touch him with 
the crowbar/' {another, " With the poker.") 
Tommy becomes glorious; stands a round; 
sings " Cheer, boys, cheer;" "We won't go 
home till morning :" in the middle of which 
the Knight of the Napkin announces that a 
lady in a cab requires Mr. Tadpole^s im- 
mediate attendance. " Cannot be him ; must 
be Mrs. S." "No, it's Mr. T.;'' who, 
with some difficulty, is bundled into the cab 
with Mrs. T. The company, after drink- 
ing the health of Samuel Shandigaff, and 
many happy returns of the Derby day, dis- 
perse to their domiciles. 
The Derby week in London affords many opportunities 
of witnessing amusing scenes. A rather funny one took 
place at a certain well-known and long-established hotel, 
frequented principally by elderly wealthy gentlemen and 
rich merchants. One of its patrons was a middle-aged 
bachelor, who, having nothing else to occupy his attention, 
devoted his talents towards proposing amendments to 
resolutions at public meetings. He was most eccentric 
in his habits ; of hasty temper ; should have first atten- 
dance with everything — first of any dish; newspapers, 
which he appeared to spell from beginning to end, and 
monopolise, to the very great annoyance of others. His 
attire it would be neither necessary nor courteous to refei- 



80 



TURF TOPICS. 



to, further than to state that it was a light green coat ; 
collar about six inches deep (partly sheltered by very long 
whiskers, and moustache of immense size) ; tails extremely 
long, and in the good old style, looking as if built in the 
reign of Queen Anne, with a superfluity of brass buttons 
from top to bottom, in which he appeared to live exclu- 
sively, and likely to die, if not to sleep; a Paul-Pry 
umbrella winter and summer — from which fact he was 
known by the name of " Billy Button/' 

Having been in company with a friend of mine one 
evening during the week, two others entered. The one a 
sporting lawyer ; the other had been a captain in a dra- 
goon regiment — we will call him "Jack Rollicker;'^ re- 
markably good-looking, with a wonderful flow of spirits, 
most humorous manners, which, coupled with being a 
most liberal, generous, and tine-hearted fellow, had made 
him a general favourite. His ideas of the value of money 
bore a striking contrast to those universally entertained, he 
having spent the greater portion of a fine fortune. Having 
just returned from the races, he appeared at least in as 
high spirits as usual ; and previous to sitting down, in a 
jovial manner was relating some of the incidents of the 
day's racing. Mr. B. had been reading the paper with the 
additional aid of a wax candle, sheltered from the gas above 
by a large piece of paper, which he held in the other 
hand. Having dropped the paper and fixed his eyes most 
intently on Jack from under his specs, the latter sun-eyed 
him, and at once struck with his peculiar tout-ensemble, 
bowed courteously, congratulating him upon his good 
fortune. Mr. B., in an astonished and rather irritable 
manner, replied, — 

" You are mistaken.'' 



ANECDOTE. 81 

" Met you at Limmer's, have I not ? Heard you had 
won a good stake on the Derby." 

" Never, sir ! never ! Never there. And as for stakes, 
I never eat them." 

" No, no : I mean, that you won a large sum of 
money on the race for the Derby." 

" Never was at a race, sir ! never ! You have evidently 
mistaken me for another person. Never was at Derby, 
and detest horseracing." 

" Extremely sorry, sir. Must be a mistake.*^ 

\_Dinner over, various parties taking their wine 
at tables around ; and in the centre of the 
room Mr. B., still reading the newspaper. 
The sporting lawyer remarked that he ex- 
pected a blaze shortly, that the paper was at 
times absolutely touching the candle betiveen 
the shade. He had scarcely uttered the 
words when away it went like a balloon on 
fire, landing amongst a few old gentlemen 
next table, who fled in all directions, Billy 
shouting, ''Waitev ! waiter ! Water ! water!" 
A discussion having ensued upon the 
subject of racing, various parties in the 
usual way had joined, while several old folk 
fiddled with their large bunches of seals, 
and sipped their wine ; Jack surveying them, 
and selecting which of them he should fancy 
as likely to be possessed of most of the ''sin- 
ews of tear," chose one who had been speak- 
ing to himself — as he retnarked, probably 
about consols and railway shares. 
The sporting lawyer, in advocating the turf, remarked, 

G 



83 TURF TOPICS. 

" It was the best school to make a man of the world ; 
that everybody was running after money; it afforded 
opportunities of seeing life in most classes of society; 
that nothing whatever could be justly or fairly urged 
against it." 

An elderly gentleman here remarked, that " he should 
be very sorry to have his son educated there, or know 
anything about it ; that it was a most dangerous 
gambling pursuit, a speculation only fit for rogues or 
fools. He fancied Harrow would be a more desirable 
school for youth," 

[Billy here looked from under his specs, 
and smiled assent. 

" True ; but if I wished likewise to enable him to 
plough his way through the world, I should give him a 
slight knowledge of the turf : even if he were to become 
a bishop or a judge, it could do him no harm." 

" Pshaw ! Judges and bishops totally discountenance 
it. Nothing but gambling !" 

" Decidedly not. Many of them would enjoy a good 
race, and like to have a little pecuniary interest into the 
bargain, to add to the excitement. Where is the pro- 
fession or calling that is not in some way, or to some ex- 
tent, a speculation ? The world, sir, is money, money — 
a race after money." 

'^ No argument, sir ; not a particle ! I 've known 
many men who have lost considerably in turf pursuits, 
and been obliged to come to us, when raising money, to 
pay such liabilities. All gambling dreadful ! I speak 
from experience." 

" Very good of you, sir, to accommodate them, and of 
them to pay their engagements. They are remarkable for 



ANECDOTE. 83 

their strict sense of honour and punctuality. Pray, sir, in 
case I or my friends should require your kind assistance, 
would you favour me with the nature of your profession, 
or calling ? " 

"I happen, sir, to be, in addition to other matters 
of business unnecessary to mention, a Director of an In- 
surance Company." 

" Oh, indeed ! What are Insurance Companies ?" 

" A company, sir, composed of a number of pro- 
prietors " 

" A number of gamblers, you mean, according to your 
own account. I fancy I have you safe now ; presume you 
sometimes lay against a dead'un." 

" Do not understand your terms, sir. We are a con- 
solidated fund, capital one million sterling; and as to 
my being safe, I am safe for thirty thousand pounds, sir. 
What do you think of that ?" 

" Wish I had it now," says Jack. 

\Billy looks from under his specs at him. 

" But still you must be sometimes hard hit. Suppose 
you lay five thousand to one hundred against a young ^un ; 
I think those are about the odds ; for instance, a fast ^un 
like my friend here, and 'his goose is cooked' immediately 
afterwards, how do you square your book ? — how do you 
hedge ? Get it out of the old'uns, I presume ?^^ 

" Really, your terms are Greek to me; and as for your 
figures, they are fabulous.^^ 

" Pooh ! pooh ! " says Jack ; " mere fractions ! " 

" Suppose you lay twenty monkeys to a pony against 
a house ; it takes fire in a fortnight and burns down, per- 
haps with a few of your patrons inside : how do you get 
out of the fire ? That takes some getting out of, don't it ? 



84 TURF TOPICS. 

Defend the action, and plead the owner was the incendiary, 
eh ? I 'm a bit of a lawyer, you see. As for gambling, 
you are for ever getting up speculations ; the next will pro- 
bably be an earthquake and balloon for the shareholders 
to escape by." 

" Never was in a house on fire, sir, thank God, and 
hope I never shall be. Don^t feel disposed to continue 
this line of argument. All Greek to me — all Greek; and 
as for lawyers, not particularly fond of them." 
" Neither am I, I assure you." 
" Suppose you enter a Nolle prosequi ?'' 
" A nolle what ? You seem to have a peculiar mix- 
ture of languages, as well as professions." 

" You don't appear, sir, to have been at Harrow, then ? 
Neither have I been, although often at Cambridge. A 
great favourite of mine that country." 

" Capital ! jolly ! " adds Jack ; " one of the most glo- 
rious spots in the world ! " 

[Mr. B. calls for second edition o/*'The Sun." 
" Hope you won't make a second edition of it, sir," 
adds Jack. 

\_A venerable old gentleman, who had escaped 
the fire-balloon, gently draioing his seat to- 
wards Jack, remarks, " I trust not ; " 7'e- 
quested to join the table : does so, addressing 
the sporting lawyer, — 
'' Happy to hear, sir, you and your friends speak so 
highly of Cambridge. I have there, at this moment, my 
only son; a most promising youth." 

[Jack calls for a bottle of port [his favourite 
wine), and asks Billy " what they are 
doins: on the ' Oaks.' " 



ANECDOTE. 85 

" Don't know anything about it ; you have evidently 
mistaken me for another party." 

" Would you favour me with a peep for a second ? " 

" The waiter, I dare say, will find you another." 

U'Vaiter brings fresh bottle. 

" Only take in one of the second edition, sir." 
Whisjjers : " ' Miss Cruiser's' come a cracker; two to one 
taken freely.'^ 

" That'll do," says Jack; " I'm on at ten." 

[Tips him a crown; waiter slips him " Locket^s 
Circular," and adds, — 

" He gives ' Miss Cruiser' to win, and ' Piusticker' for 
a place." 

" Now, sir," adds Jack, " perhaps you would prefer a 
glass of Chambertin ; but here is a capital glass of old 
port. A prime glass of wine as any connoisseur need 
wish for." 

[^Tastes it : after the usual peep, turn, and 
smack, — 

" A prime glass of wine." 

" Yes : they keep everything very good here." 

" And very moderate. Bless you, my dear sir ! I 
have patronised this house these twenty years; hardly 
miss a day, except when I run down to see my boy at 
Cambridge." 

" Ah, the very name of Cambridge puts life into me," 
remarks the lawyer, helping himself. " Pray excuse me 
asking if you have yet made up your mind as to what pro- 
fession you mean him for ? " 

" My dear sir ! Most happy to tell you. His mind 
is made up, long ago, upon that point." 

"The army?" 



86 TURF TOPICS. 

" Right sir, right ! " says Jack. 

" The arraj'^, sir, and nothing but the army for him. 
I assure you he sometimes acts in private theatricals, and 
always assumes the part of an officer in full uniform. 
Wonderful taste for the army ! He is already growing 
a moustache — ha ! ha ! ha ! " 

'' Perfectly right. It is the true school to make a per- 
fect man of the world — next to the turf. A young man, 
especially about to join the army, should always have a 
knowledge of what he is likely to have to contend against, 
I^m a great advocate for young men knowing as much of 
the world as possible, before they embark in any pursuits 
whei'ein their intellects are likely to be called into action. 
Nothing like it, depend upon it. They frequently have to 
pay too dearly for their experience. Nothing like an 
officer knowing the enemy. Good idea of yours, sending 
him to Cambridge," 

" Then you think I could not have selected a better 
school V 

" Decidedly not. He will have the double advantage, 
I have a son, but not at Cambridge ; although some notion 
of finishing him there. He has already taken first places 
in classics, Greek, Latin, &c, I intend to instruct him 
myself in the other rudiments of human nature, having 
been plucked as clean as any green goose at Michaelmas ; 
fearing the young 'un might some day take after his 
parent, in his fondness for racing, although by no 
means so inclined at present : it sometimes runs in the 
family." 

" My Albert has never shown any inclination in that 
way, although very fond of horses. He is most attentive 
to his studies.'' 



ANECDOTE. 87 

" Ah ! no telling the moment. And in order to guard 
against danger and prepare him to meet his foe, The World, 
in this battle for money in so many shapes, my son is 
already pretty well up in the various requisites. I shall 
back him to beat any lad under sixteen at all the classics 
— to speak French, Italian, German — and what so many 
of those highly-finished scholars are deficient in, Ids own 
language — to tell the pedigree of any horse in ' The Hacing 
Calendar,' and wind up by running four miles over the 
Beacon Course at Newmarket for a piece of plate, value 
one hundred guineas — or two hundred either — to be 
handed to the winner, and stand a dinner for six, if any 
sanguine parent will make the match." 

" Bless my soul ! what a wonder he must be ! " 
" Yes, sir; so his grandmother thinks. He is a very 
promising and good-looking youngster; but rather tall 
and overgrown at present : but will thicken with time and 
training, I expect." 

" Pray for what profession do you intend him V 
" Have not quite made up my mind. Had some idea 
of the Church ; but, upon mentioning it to him, he 
jokingly remarked, ' he was better suited for the steeple.'' 
Probably he meant steeple-chasing. No telling the mo- 
ment." 

" Is it not a pity to encourage him in those ideas ?" 
" By no means encourage him ; on the contrary : but 
' blood will tell.^ Every day expect to find him show 
some speed in that direction. His grandfather, although 
always opposed to absolute proprietorship of racehorses, 
was remarkably fond of a good race, and of horses. He 
ascertained that I had some under the rose, and called 
me, in angiy terms, a horseracing scamp; but having 



88 TURF TOPICS. 

accidentally heard of my success, to my astonishment 
almost embraced me ! I occasionally figured in silk, sub 
rosd — a second Pierce O'Hara of ^98, preferring 'The 
Racing Calendar' and pigskin to ' Blackstone's Com- 
mentaries^ and parchment. The Ilace versus The Case." 
[Billy looks under his specs ; a long look. 

" Dear me ! It would be the death of me if my 
Albert were to attempt such a thing." 

" He's all right enough," says Jack. "Does he fancy 
The Plungers, or The Mudcrushers ? He is certain to 
ride in the Garrison races." 

" Have heard him speak of the Blues and Buffs, and 
others; but never heard him mention either of those 
regiments." 

" They're a very nice mixture, I assure you. Blue 
body and buff sleeves would do nicely ; and lucky, too, 
' Faugh-a-Ballagh^s' Sellinger colours. I backed him 
for a monkey. Won't you help yourself, sir, and pass the 
bottle ? — not a headache in a hogshead of it. Waiter, a 
fresh bottle of port." 

\_Billy drops the paper ; looks first at Jack, then 
at his watch — almost his regular hour. 

" I think you said you had an idea of finishing your 
son at Cambridge, did you not ? You prefer it to Ox- 
ford?" 

" Have some notion of it; but, unfortunately, my 
financial department is not at present in a very nourishing 
condition, owing to various causes." 

" Ah ! losses on the turf, I presume." 

" By no means. Quite the contrary, I assure you. 
Although not much of a speculator or money-hunter, 
never a tuft-hunter, and little of a fox-hunter, but rather 



ANECDOTE. 89 

inclined to hunt after other game^ such as pheasants; fond 
of greyhounds (once beat the celebrated Father Tom's 
' Lady Harkaway/ and won a gold cup to his mortifica- 
tion), poodle-dogs^ toy terriers, an odd shy at hazard, and 
other little innocent amusements, which cost money : but, 
worst of all, entertaining and accommodating my nu- 
merous friends. Spent, sir^ — rather, squandered — many 
thousands ; part of which had been made upon the turf." 
[Billy droj)s the paper, looks at his watch, and 
commits himself to the care of Morpheus. 

" Gracious me ! Am I to understand that a clergy- 
man kept racing-dogs?" 

" Certainly ! Some of the best that ever followed a 
hare: 'Doctor Syntax' and 'Lady Harkaway' about two 
of the best I ever met. I kept thirty greyhounds at 
one time, and lost a fortune by one, in a most curious 
way. Too long a story, sir, to tell you. Suffice it to say, 
he broke into the house; jumped upon the table after 
some bones of fowl ; upset a quantity of things, which led 
to a question of whether my parent would shoot the lot ; 
and drove away an old dying relative and godfather, who 
forthwith burned his will, which had been made all in my 
favour, and died a week afterwards. He was an old 
miser. My father, sir, many a time cursed the greyhounds, 
and shipped the lot. I once knew a parson (a client of 
my own) who told me he detested horseracing. I found 
him, upon a subsequent occasion, in the centre of the ring, 
endeavouring to become initiated in the Eleusinian mys- 
teries of the turf." 

" Very curious case. I should not be fond of grey- 
hounds under such reflections." 

" Next to racehorses, sir, the best fun, to my fancy." 



90 TURF TOPICS. 

" Greyhounds be hanged ! " says Jack. '' No music 
or fuUj those see-dogs, pot-dogs." 

[Helps himself and jjasses the bottle. 

" Why do you prefer Cambridge to Oxford ?^^ 

" I run down periodically, about four times a-year, 
and spend a week in the neighbourhood.^' 

[Here a fresh bottle of wine is placed on the 
table; Jack helps the old gentleman, then 
himself, and passes it, remarking, — 

" Capital partridge-shooting, and Newmarket close 
by; celebrated for its delicious " 

" Newmarket ! Bless my soul and body ! New- 
market close by ! I never dreamt of that astounding fact ! " 

" Of course," adds Jack. " Glorious place ! You should 
make it your business to run down there, see your son — 
kill two birds with one stone, as they say : he could give 
you a seat over in his carriage. They are always racing 
there, from New-year's Day to Christmas Eve ; from morn- 
ing till night : sometimes in a fog. Enjoy yourself very 
much — capital sport — add twenty years to your life — 
bracing breezes ! " 

" Why, sii', my son has no carriage yet ! his father 
bad not one until he earned it. But do you really mean 
to say that place is so very near ? " 

" True bill, sir; one of the jolliest spots under the 
sun. You can win twenty or thirty thousand as easy as 
snap your finger — aye, fifty thousand, if you like." 

" Oh, dear \" {with a deep sigh.) " Oh, dear ! Albert 
never mentioned anything of having visited races, except 
the boat-race. He formed one of the Cambridge crew, 
who were victorious." 

" The very thing that will give him a taste for racing. 



ANECDOTE. 91 

Why, all the lads join in a fly or a drag, and run over 
there in a jiffy; or the train would drop you there in a 
few minutes. It^s the finest place in the world. Talk of 
America, Australia, or the gold diggings ! why, they are 
copper-mines compared to it — for speculation : you might 
make a fortune in five minutes there, and have glorious 
fun into the bargain ; whereas you might have to slave all 
your life for a paltry twenty or thirty thousand pounds 
elsewhere." 

" A 'paltry twenty or thirty thousand ! It ^s very easy 
to talk of snapping, but it might be snapped from me. 
I assure you, my dear sir, I have spent all my life, now 
sixty-two " 

" Sixty-two ! " interrupts Jack. " Why, sir, you don't 
look over forty. A few fresheners over the plains of New- 
market would make you as fresh as a kitten. You would 
become fond of the fun — would often run down and see 
Albert; take a run over, and have a little shooting. 
Capital partridge shooting.'' 

"I was just about to remark, that I have been all my 
life a most industrious adherent to business, and found it 
extremely difiicult, what with losses in speculations, rail- 
way and other shares, to realise a sum very far short of 
a plum." 

"A plum!" says Jack. "Oh, Albert! lucky dog! 
Couldn't have prettier or more lucky colours. Buff and 
blue, eh ? " [Helping himself. 

"It is very difficult to make money, but sometimes 
people find it more so to keep it." 

" I believe you, sir. I never made any, nor my father 
before me; but whatever he couldn't drive through I 
finished in double-quick pace." 



92 TURF TOPICS. 

"You said," [addi-essing the sporting lawyer) "that 
things of the kind sometimes run in families; I should 
fancy, on the same principle that, if the parent were in- 
dustriously inclined, and had, for instance, made his own 
money, and displayed a knowledge of its value, it would 
be natural to suppose the son would be thus inclined also.'^ 

" A great deal would depend on circumstances. They 
run in all shapes, and sometimes throw back to the grand- 
sire, for instance, if he had been fond of cock-fighting." 

" Cock-fighting ! Bless me, sir, my father abhorred 
it!" 

" Oh, I do not refer to him especially, or to cock- 
fighting in particular : but as an example, it's certain to 
break out in some form, even if it escapes a generation. 
The blood will tell, sir, I assure you ; like the gout, for 
instance." 

" Gout ! Thank God, none of my family ever had it." 

" No, no. I merely quote it as an example." 

"If they had, rest assured I would not dream of 
touching this delicious glass of port." 

" Bless you ! " says Jack, " I have it now, at this mo- 
ment ; and here I am, helping myself." 

" Thank God, it 's not contagious ! " 

" No, no. But I was remarking, that as to mania for 
spending money, it is a remarkable fact that young men, 
whose parents have evinced an over-fondness for money, 
frequently turn out the contrary, and generally select the 
turf as their favourite pastime." 

" Suppose I remove my Albert to-morrow, and shift 
his quarters to Oxford, for instance ?" 

" Bless you, he would never be fit to plough through 
the ranks in life, as the Cambridge education will leave 



ANECDOTE. 93 

him. Let him remain where he is, my dear sir. If you 
check the natural impulse you only increase the mania, if 
it exists ; you may rest assured he has been slightly in- 
oculated already. How long has he been there ? " 

" Nearly two years." 

" It's all over but the shouting. Buff body and blue 
sleeves/' says Jack, rather elated, helping himself, and 
requesting the old gentleman to follow suit. 

" How do you mean ? No hope for him ?" 

''None." 

" None, whatever," says Jack. 

" But he may be ordered to India ? " 

" They race there, also." 

"What! in India?" 

"Of course they do. They race everywhere. Every- 
body races, especially after money." 

" Happy to say I never did." 

"But, my dear sir," adds Jack, " if your son is fond 
of the army, he is certain to be fond of racing, and better 
let him have his fling. He must get ready for the Gar- 
rison races." 

An elderly gentleman at next table remarks, — " Pardon 
me, I have been rather amused, but is it exaggeration or 
joke when you say one can realise such large sums of 
money upon the turf, in so short a time ?" 

"Exaggerate ! Why, let me see. It takes about 
four minutes to run the Derby. You can win forty or 
fifty thousand pounds on it ; — aye, nearer to a hundred 
thousand, if you have a mind." 

" Yes, with proper pluck to put it down," says 
Jack. [Helping himself ^ and throwing off with a gusto. 

" If you chose to make a certainty, without risk, of 



94 TURF TOPICS. 

say thirty or forty thousand, by going to the Insurance 

Office " 

[Here the Director turns upon his chair, and remarks, — 

" I beg, sir, you will not refer to Insurance Companies 
in a sarcastic manner." 

" Not referring to you, I assure you : nothing per- 
sonal, sir." 

" If you, for instance, back a horse for one thousand 
pounds " 

" That's the sum," says Jack; " say two." 

" You get, suppose, to your thousand, fifty to one. 
The consequence which invariably follows is, that from 
the fact of your having backed that particular animal for 
that sum, various other parties will follow suit; the 
animal comes to perhaps ten to one, but certainly to 
much less odds. You can then turn round and hedge ; 
or, in other words, save your own money by going to the 
Insurance Office, as it is termed ; you then stand to win, 
in the event of the horse's success, forty thousand pounds, 
without a penny risk." 

" By Jove ! " 

Jack aside, says to his friend, " I 've known them to be 
backed for many a thousand, and get worse favourites. 
Still, I think we have a convert here." {Helps his friend 
and himself, and aloud, in his usual voice, adds,) — "I 
always go the whole hog — stand it out, unless at very 
tempting odds, or to oblige a friend, or the party who 
has laid the odds, and thus help him out : further than 
that, no Insurance Offices for me. If you don't put it 
down you cannot expect to take it up. P. put down, 
T. take up, is my motto; that's the style." 

[^Director casts a glance, and smiles. 



ANECDOTE. 95 

" Touching the mode of realising without risk, it 
strikes me the hedging system, or insurance plan, is the 
prudent course, and the one I should select. I see 
my way clearly, with one difficulty, and a most im- 
portant one." 

[The cavalier's parent shakes his head, and 
anxiously awaits the reply to that poser, as 
he expects it to prove. 

" How about the payment 1" 

" Payment ! why the best and most punctually paid 
money in the world — to the day, sir ! Their word is their 
bond. The sportsman will pay to his last guinea ; the 
most humble of them will do so. Occasionally a slight 
panic, as in any other affairs, may occur, and cause a 
"temporary inconvenience" to a few, but they invariably 
come to time afterwards. Accidents will happen in the 
best-regulated families, and none more indulgent to each 
other under such circumstances. Fine-hearted fellows, 
sir, as any in the world." 

" None like them," adds Jack, helping himself, and 
passing the bottle ; " always foremost in any emergency, 
where their fellow-creatures require aid, and yet the most 
abused men living, by some who do not understand the 
true state of the case. The first and highest-minded men 
living are on the turf, sir, I assure you." 

" Really," remarks the cavalier's parent, " it seems 
plain enough there cannot be much harm done, with 
prudence." 

" None at all, with prudence," says Jack. " The Oaks 
will be run for on Friday. Send for Albert, sir, and take 
a run down ; the ladies' day — he will be delighted. Be 
sure and tell him to back ' Miss Cruiser' for a monkey." 



96 TURF TOPICS. 

" Well^ bless mc ! it is considerably beyond my usual 
time, you have so agreeably entertained me. It strikes 
me there is a great deal more said against the turf than 
it really merits. I begin not to feel so apprehensive of 
dangerous results with Albert.^^ 

\^Puts on his coat and bids adieu. 
" Give him the proper education^ sir, for a man of the 
world, in time ; never can tell the moment he may require 
it, especially in the army." 

" This appears a very clear case," remarks the elderly 
gentleman. " In my railway and other speculations I 
frequently get a severe shaking, and see no reason 

why " 

l^Jack gives his friend a touch under the table ; 
the friend in retwn gives him one, which 
makes him almost faint with the gout. 

" 1 should not merely speculate a little at first, as a 

mere trial." 

[^Jack jumps up, half in pain, and, unable to 
restrain his desire to laugh, asks, — 
" Who^s for a cigar ? Any one in the smoking-room, 
waiter ?" 

"Yessir, several gentlemen ; some strangers for the 
races from different parts." 

This favourite and national pastime presents opportu- 
nities of viewing various specimens of mankind, from the 
highest to the lowest members of society. Nowhere are 
the world's farces, its changes, chances, and vicissitudes, 
more wonderfully brought to light. It is a " world of 
wonders" in itself. We there see the finest representatives 
of nobility, and amongst them the finest samples of man- 



TURF TUFT-HUNTERS. 97 

kind; not alone noble by name but by nature;* men 
whose maintien (a word borrowed for the occasion, to be 
in the fashion. If I were to win the Derby, or be made 
an M.P., I could not tell the exact meaning of it ; and 
as to pronouncing it, nobody but a Frenchman or Yankee 
could do so properly) and affable manner gain and secure 
that respect in which they are certain to be held by all 
well-thinking men. They bear a most striking con- 
trast to " tuft-hunters,^^ who, in the eyes of their fellow- 
men, are so deservedly looked upon with contempt, and 
by none in reality more than by the nobility themselves, 
one touch of the hem of whose garment converts them — 
in their own opinions — into aristocrats. There are none 
more certain than they to be at their post, always on the 
look-out to pick up any crumbs which may fall from their 
master's table, who sometimes tolerate them as a necessary 
nuisance, as they generally act the part of the " boot- 
jack:'' in their toadying anxiety to make themselves 
appear in the eyes of others what they in reality have no 
pretensions to, further than what may arise from having 
squandered an amount of money, (accumulated by their 
more industrious and less presuming ancestors,) and 
having assumed towards their equals, and frequently their 
superiors, an air of arrogance and impudence, amusing as 
it is ridiculous ; and who, though disclaiming connexion 
with the democratic drain, when " pushed from their 
pedestal," and when reduced in their financial depart- 
ment, are quite as ready to "bend" for 2)rofit in any 

* " ' Tis not purple and gold that ennoble the man, 
Nor the baubles the vulgar revere ; 
'Tis the heart that can feel, 'tis the mind that can span, 
' Tis the soul that no danger can fear." 

H 



98 TURF TOPICS. 

respect, and to endeavour to persuade the credulous to a 
belief of the justice of their pretensions, by the assurance 
that the Duke of Dupes, Marquis of Muffs, or Sir Simon 
Swallowall, are their most intimate friends. Such per- 
sonages may be best described in the words of Moore : — 

" Beside him place the God of Wit, 
Before him Beauty's rosiest girls, 
Apollo for a Star he 'd quit, 
And Love's own sister for an Earl's. 

Did niggard fate no peers afford. 

He'd take, of course, to peers' relations ; 

And, rather than not sport a Lord, 
Put up with e'en the last creations. 

Even Irish names, could he but tag 'em 
With 'Lord' and 'Duke,' were sweet to call; 

And, at a pinch. Lord Ballyraggum 
Was better than no Lord at all." 

Another of the enemy's scouts, always found hovering 
about on the look-out for prey, is the officious, accommo- 
dating usurer, sometimes with the beneficial addition of 
" lawyer" to his title ; who, with the assistance of his satel- 
lites, like the shark following the ship, waiting for the 
corpse to be cast overboard, never leaves the unfortunate 
victim while a spark of life remains in the shape of a 
sovereign to extract, to satisfy his wolfish appetite. He 
also finds it a necessary acquirement towards carrying out 
his enterprise to assume a certain amount of consummate 
assurance ; and should any hapless scion of a noble house 
have been at any time compelled to seek his suffrages — 
should his name be on the tajns in any company, — he is 
invariably mentioned in familiar terms by him, as if they 
had been reared like foster-brothers together all their lives ; 



CARD-SHARPERS. 99 

and probably a seat in the Senate, or liberty to lounge 
on the cushions of the Carlton or Arlington, would suit 
their aspirations and their purposes : where, no doubt, they 
would resemble a living fat turtle, which I saw some time 
ago, strapped and sitting up amongst the passengers on 
the top of a 'bus, in the neighbourhood of the latter club, 
looking down with a happy air of consequence on the 
amused spectators, whatever may have been his medita- 
tions as to his position, or those of his fellow-passengers 
as to their wishes. Those worthies sometimes hover about 
racing establishments, like birds of ill-omen, wherever 
they fancy their temporary assistance might be required 
by master or man; and occasionally place their eggs in 
more baskets than one, in the hope that they may pro- 
duce more fledgelings. When they have once got their 
victims in their claws they turn their weapons to the 
best advantage, by sometimes extracting information in 
terrorem from those whose position might be compared 
to that of Damocles, when he found himself seated beneath 
the sword suspended from a horse-hair. 

Of all the pests that ever frequented the racecourse, 
and the one most to be shunned by young and inexpe- 
rienced men, is the over-di'essed, polished, card-sharping 
practitioner, whose sole aim is to become acquainted with 
youths whose fondness for sport may lead them to follow 
turf pursuits. Once the opportunity presents itself, the 
die is cast. Talk of thimble-riggers ! the world knows 
what must be expected at their hands. But woe to the 
victims of gentlemen card-sharpers and flat-catchers, who 
will lend themselves to any foul play ! 

Let the best judge that ever lived possess the best 
horses that ever galloped, let him have the wealth of a 



100 TURF TOPICS. 

Croesus, and then he may not be successful. On the 
other hand, a party may have moderate animals, and be a 
comparative neophyte in such matters, and yet he may be 
most fortunate. Why ? Simply because the owner, in 
many instances, has no more to do with the animals 
than the child unborn, further than purchasing and pay- 
ing their expenses. So much depends upon the principle 
and integrity of the parties in whose hands it may have 
been his fate to have placed himself; some of whose sys- 
tem of management consists in their talent to put thousands 
in their own pockets, and leave owners to shift for them- 
selves, under the flag of " honour and glory." Many of 
such managers, as they term themselves, know as much 
about a racehorse as did schoolmaster Squeers' pupil 
— that ^' it was a beast." Yet some of these individuals 
strut about with a bloated air of purse-proud consequence 
— the thoroughfare of Piccadilly hardly wide enough for 
them — chuckling over their unexpected treasures, which 
they had probably gained through the knowledge and ex- 
perience of others, whose brains they had sucked, like the 
insects that prey on the brain of the elk, till his very last 
sigh. Nor should owners fancy, that because they have 
good horses they must, as a natural consequence, be suc- 
cessful. It by no means follows. On the contrary, many 
men have lost considerably by good horses, and the largest 
sums most frequently upon them. The sanguine dispo- 
sition of some persons leads them into the belief that their 
animals are invincible, forgetting that others have good 
horses likewise ; without which prejudice, however, racing- 
would soon be at an end. Still, it is easy to overcome the 
dangerous effects thus produced by studying the com- 
mon dictates of reason and prudence, and adopting the 



FATALITY IN HORSERACING. 101 

safe system of hedging, or saving their own money, and 
thus going to " the. Insurance Office : " for it is natural to 
assume (although it unfortunately is not always the case) 
that the owner ouglit to have the first information of the 
merits of his own animals, and make use of it by having 
the first run of the money market. One of the great 
mistakes frequently made is, that they do not at the 
proper time back their horses for an amount adequate to 
reimburse the heavy outlay which attends the keeping of 
horses; and when they find them fit and well, do not put 
down the pieces of gold in preference to continually 
risking money under other circumstances, and upon 
shallow chances. 

Indeed, so long as men follow such a pursuit, no 
matter how judiciously they may act, there is a tide of 
success, or the reverse — a sort of fatality attending such 
speculations, accompanied with a run of either good or 
bad luck ; for those who have reaped rich harvests were 
not often the owners of the best horses, nor the best 
judges of how to manage or place them, which establishes 
the fallacy of believing that it is at best anything but a 
most uncertain adventure. Still, there is no speculation 
by which a fortune can be realised in so short a period, 
and with such comparative certainty j provided the 
follower is a sound judge of the animal, and knows when 
and where to engage him, and provided he has coolness 
and steadiness, never being over-sanguine, or holding 
others in too slight estimation. But it would, in some 
instances, almost lead one to become a fatalist, when vre 
witness the run of ill-luck which attends some of the 
most zealous patrons, as if they were doomed never to 
realise their expectations and ambition ; and yet some of 



102 TURF TOPICS. 

these parties are the most straightforward^ and in every 
respect independent adherents. Others bear away the 
palm with^ comparatively speaking, no pretensions to cope 
with them in any point of view. It seems strange, how- 
ever, that if there really be such a thing as luck, or fate 
(an attempt to arrive at the truth or meaning of which 
renders one very much like a man endeavouring to dis- 
cover the perpetual motion), that it should follow any 
person more upon the turf than in other piirsuits. Yet 
Dame Fortune is nowhere '' move, female" than there; 
dealing out her favours in a most whimsical and unjust 
manner, dispensing them in a most lavish manner to some 
of her votaries, withholding all from others, who might 
well be compared to the Irishman, who thus described his 
luck when writing to his wife, — 

" Bad luck has two handles, dear Judy, they say ; 
But mine has hoth handles turned on the wrong way." 

The turf is a contest between men, whose extreme 
confidence in their individual superiority over each other, 
in the art and science of horseracing, renders it, accord- 
ing to their own belief, not only absolutely possible, but 
highly probable, for each to monopolize the greatest share, 
if not the whole, of a complement unlikely to satisfy any, 
and totally inadequate to satisfy all; which fact is its 
life. The food with which it is supplied emanates 
from fresh sources, continually flowing in the shape of 
young recruits, who join the ranks for the purpose of 
amusement and instruction, some of whom promise to 
make good generals when they join, and really turn out 
most able officers. Still, the majority of the number pay 
most liberally for having mistaken their profession — 



THE TURF AS A PECUNIARY ENTERPRISE. 103 

a fact which, taken in a philosophical point of view, is not 
only a happy circumstance for the tuif, but may naturally 
and fairly, according to the dictates or rules of human na- 
ture, be looked upon in the light, that having selected it 
as their favourite pursuit and that one most suitable to 
their tastes, it is as well it should be so, inasmuch as they 
might have chosen another, equally dangerous and with 
less recreation. An additional consolation, in a pecuniary 
point of view, is, that they have the gratification of 
knowing they have been instrumental, if unsuccessful 
themselves, in maintaining their favourite princely pastime 
in its splendour, and prevented its followers sharing the 
fate of the Kilkenny cats. 

The turf, upon the accession of a few young, wealthy 
patrons, might be compared to a fancy-fish vase upon 
the addition of fresh water. How they frisk about ! the 
young 'uns in particular, the old ^uns likewise, with open 
gullet, becoming more enlivened, and with more steady 
wag of the tail floating about, generally after the large 
crumbs, although the young ^uns show more speed, and 
make more numerous snaps at the smaller ones. 

Taking it in the light solely of a pecuniary enterprise, 
there have been many of its oldest patrons who have 
tried the experiment of keeping an extensive stud, with 
but one result. Some have kept something like one 
hundred horses. There is the grand mistake. In the 
first place, the everlasting drain upon the exchequer ; the 
wear and tear of the veiy animals themselves, in loss of 
price and value, through breaking down or other causes ; 
the impossibility of becoming owner of many good, or 
even middling ones ; the disappointments attending even 
those that may turn out well, setting aside the positive 



101 TURF TOPICS. 

certainty, that some of the most promising and higli-priced 
ones will prove worthless, and run away with the profits 
of their betters ; coupled with the fact that the competition 
for prizes run for in these days is so great, and the amount 
of stakes contended for so disproportionate ; all combined 
make it evident that one would require the purse of a 
Rothschild, the patience of a Job, and the temper of a 
Socrates, to carry on a lai'ge establishment with anything 
like reasonable success, if he relies solely on the amount 
of stakes likely to be won: for although he may have 
what is termed "a good year," or a "run of luck,^' the 
mere stakes cannot possibly meet the enormous outlay 
attending a very large establishment. It may be that 
the owner speculates largely : and then, in nine cases out 
of ten, his temporary success carries him on, and leads 
him to repeat his heavy investments, when it becomes a 
mere question of time as to when the plunging powder- 
magazine will burst, the tide turn, and cany away not 
only the previous gain, but a great deal more along with 
it. The great difficulty is to know when and where to 
stop, and never to " halloo until out of the wood." 

On the other hand, it would be absurd to deny 
that there are plenty who have done wonders with a 
small stud, where judgment, not only in the animal, 
but moral courage forthwith to get rid of bad ones at any 
sacrifice, has carried the owners through. They have 
plenty to contend against, and plenty to contend /or, sup- 
plied by those who make the mistakes referred to. There 
is the value, which is not obtained, and cannot be gained, 
through numbers, but through the instrumentality oi good 
and well-directed instruments, used with caution by experi- 
enced hands. Judgment will always beat money in the long 



HOW TO SPECULATE. 105 

run. But those by whom fortunes are principally made, 
and can surely, and, comparatively speaking, with little 
difficulty, be realised, are those who speculate, not upon 
the anatomy of horseflesh, or their qualities, or breeding. 
The better they are, the better they like them, and the 
more profitable they are to them, for many reasons. They 
know nothing about them — the less, perhaps, the better 
for themselves; nor probably would they wish to know. 
Those who look not at the animal, but at their books and 
their figures, who diligently and anxiously seek the san- 
guine owners, and test their fondness and partiality for 
their respective favourites, the more the better. Men who 
think nothing of paying to the fortunate owner of a winner 
many thousands, after doing which, in many instances, 
they remain still large winners by his success, and some- 
times find their troubles rewarded with the result of not 
having to pay any one of the parties who scientifically 
endeavoured to make a large " aperture " in their book. 
Such are the parties who, no doubt, honourably and fairly 
amass fortunes ; and why not ? Because they have not 
the millstone round their necks, in the shape of the heavy 
expenses referred to, besides stakes and forfeits ; nor yet 
the perpetual worry and torment attending the keeping 
of racehorses, so frequently called out of their names. 
The news of a break-down or other mishap on the eve 
of a race, is of no deeper concern to them than being 
a profit to their purses. They are not uneasy when 
the postman delivers a letter in the well-known hand- 
writing of the trainer, on the eve of a race, announcing 
to the owner : — " My Lord," " Sir," or " Dear Jack," 
(as the case may be), " I am sorry to inform you ' Tom 
the Devil' has caught a cold;" or "'Mis. Bang-up' 



106 TURF TOPICS. 

has broken down ; " or perhaps the gratifying epistle may 
run thus: — "I tried the young ones this day^ and am 
sorry to inform you they are all bad ; but sincerely hope 
the next lot may be good." None of those I'elishes for 
breakfast await or belong to the legitimate bookmaker ; 
he meets the admirers of the respective animals as they 
comCj and deals with them as a matter of business and 
figures — not oi fancy. 

It appears nevertheless strange, wliy bookmakers 
should be so frequently singled out, not only as a target 
for the long shots of the backers, generally rejoicing in 
the name of the " gentlemen," but it would almost appear 
as part of their duty sometimes to bear the odium of 
those who may have missed the " bull's eye," or " thou- 
sand to ten," and failed to realise fortunes in their dealings 
with them. A Bookmaker may be called by that appel- 
lation, yet he is neither more nor less than a speculator, 
who thinks proper to devote his time and employ his 
capital in the pursuit he deems most suitable to his taste or 
talent, and naturally considers that he has a right to live by 
" the sweat of his brain, as well as by that of his brow." 
As an Insurance Company (and what is an Insurance 
Company, as that lawyer termed it, but a bookmaker ?) 
risk their capital, so do bookmakers risk theirs. The one 
receives a premium on the conditions of paying a certain 
sum in the event of death, the other in the event of a 
certain event coming off. The difference in one respect 
being, that it sometimes happens the sporting insurer 
receives on a " dead^un." Some parties, unacquainted with 
the real nature of such subjects, frequently run away with 
very extravagant notions as to the position of bookmakers. 
Their transactions are ruled by the market, as others are 



BOOKMAKERS. 107 

on tlie Stock Exchange, where there is far more " gam- 
bhng" than on the racecourse. Quite as many men have 
taken a liberty there, not only with shares, but with the 
disposal of their own lives in consequence, as in the other 
case. It matters not how humble a man's antecedents 
may have been, nor whether he may have other avocations 
to attend to (however inconsistent) ; if he thinks proper to 
add a branch thereto in the metallic line he has a perfect 
right so to do, and his bank-notes are quite as good and 
as acceptable, whether they odour of patchouli or pig- 
tail. If he succeeds in his undertaking, the more credit 
is due to him in one respect, and the more he will get in 
the other, if he requires it. 

What difference there can be between one man who 
takes odds and another who lays them, as far as constituting 
in itself respectability or morality, is a problem to be 
solved. The powerful influences of " palm paste " effect 
both to a certain extent ; if more so in the one than in the 
other, it is on the part of the backer, who seeks to gain 
more by risking less. There can be little doubt on one 
point, however, that if bookmaking were less difficult or 
troublesome, more of the '^ gentlemen " would condescend 
to try their hands. Some who have done so, under the 
delusion that the science consisted merely in purchasing a 
betting-book with gilt edges, and a gold pencil-case, 
have found the contrary, to their cost. 

There are many respectable men bookmakers — quite 
as good as many of the backers, in any respect; and 
if occasionally, for a few moments immediately preceding 
a race, the " ring " slightly resembles (in the present day) 
the Zoological Gardens at feeding-time, it must not be 
forgotten that it will not require an opera-glass to 



108 TURF TOPICS. 

tlistinguish amongst the crowd of anxious or hungry 
candidates quite as many of the backing fraternity ; 
and that upon such occasions the bookmakers rather 
represent the keepers or feeders. If, however, some 
few of its members, who have been blessed with more 
powerful lungs than others, could be prevailed upon, 
when lading against ' Mario,^ ' Tagliafico,^ or any other 
' 0,' to modulate slightly their tones, whether the bass, 
baritone, or tenor^ a la Lablache, Santley, or Sims Reeves, 
within moderate bounds, they would have a more pleas- 
ing effect upon the ears of the ladies, at least, '' in the 
dress-boxes," who would retire more gratified with their 
entertainment, and with greater admiration of the race- 
course. If a few, who in their anxiety to excel in 
dexterity, and represent their acrobatic feats at the risk 
of becoming impaled on the spikes of the enclosure, 
think proper to do so, they should bear in mind that the 
Sovereign does not permit her subjects to make away with 
their own lives, even from the top of a telegraph-board or 
a judge's box. 

It may truly be said that the universe is a stage, all 
men either actors or spectators ; that Destiny composes 
the piece, and Fortune distributes the parts. But shift 
the scenes. The Turf is the compass, the Racehorse the 
needle, and when the masks are off and the actors 
appear in their true colours, the play is Gold. Talk of 
the benefits of an Oxford or Cambridge education ! They 
are wonderful as they are beneficial, if their objects be 
alone to fit the students for domestic or idle life, or 
more active pursuits, where there may be little or none 
of worldly knowledge called in question. Invaluable to the 
youth whose anxious parent may long to see him a Bishop, 



GOLD THE REAL OBJECT. 109 

or, pcrliaps, "a stickler for the Senate and the Forty." 
In the rudiments of human nature he will unquestionably 
become an adept by theory -, but his education will be no- 
where so highly finished as a perfect man of the world, 
than by a practical experience upon that stage^ which truly 
represents in its genuine colours the principal object of 
life. There they run in all classes, in their true colours^ 
and their real form. They all try. 

Where is the member of the " honour and glory " 
division who would accept the first place in the race on 
the terms of handing over the " idol " to the second ? 
This is the play in which all the actors display to the 
utmost their most brilliant talents, and vie with each other 
for excellence. It is their ''benefit" wherein "each hero 
all his power displays." Therefore those who wish to 
study similar parts can best learn where and when the 
piece selected for the occasion is "The Universal Idol;" 
the after-piece, " The Farce." Many a man who has never 
dreamed, when at those universities, that he would, in after 
years, form a taste for turf pursuits, liaving done so sub- 
sequently, has regretted that his father had not afforded 
him an opportunity of learning the task he had before 
him until his experience had been too dearly bought, and 
then consoled himself with reflection on the pity he had 
not " started " with a knowledge of human nature in a 
practical point of view, and wished he were about to 
" start " again. Men generally learn how to get through 
the world about the period of closing their career, when 
they remain no longer slaves of prejudice^ passion, or 
fame, but attend to the main point of the compass, " true 
as the dial to the sun." 

Strip it of the disguise which hangs over it, the 



110 TURF TOPICS. 

sophistry wbicli eveu its most infatuated followers may 
cast around it^ and it can hardly be alleged that the turf 
is the exception to every pursuit in life, wherein the 
principal objects of most of its patrons are vanity and 
aggrandisement. Its most virtuous followers, in the 
winter of life, have become more perfect men of the world, 
having come in contact with not only the pure, but the 
depraved. They have had the best opportunity of forming 
opinions of friends and foes, as well as what is most 
difficult and frequently mistaken of all — of themselves; 
for there they are best tested in evei-y form, in the thirst 
of man after those fashionable and worldly idols. 

While it can boast amongst its patrons some of the 
highest, purest, and most noble-minded men on the face 
of the globe, there are others who carry their years well, 
their heads high, make a goodly show, and "keep their 
perpendicular.'^ Still, while the bloom of youth has 
vanished from the cheek, the " brow of snow '' hardly 
remains, however well clad in those fashionable attires 
which grace the form of the sycophant and adorn the 
perfect man of the world. The life of the zealous follower 
is a strange one, a continued scene of excitement and 
vicissitudes, without which life to him would be misery, 
and which in time becomes a sort of second nature. Yet 
it has, with many of nervous and excitable temperaments, 
between pleasure, anxiety, and pain, the effect of " tearing 
life out of them before their time." 

The mind becomes almost completely occupied with 
reflections in some respect relating thereto. The adherent 
becomes infatuated with it, and its branches, which are 
many. How anxiously he awaits the publication of the 
weights for a great handicap, and casts his eye down the 



ANECDOTE. Ill 

list in searcli of his own liorse^s name, which he hopes to 
find as neai* the bottom as possible ; but should he find it 
sooner than his expectation, and contrast the weight with 
that of some others, which in his estimation are better 
in by seven pounds, or perhaps a stone, how suddenly he 
offers up a prayer (?) for the hapless handicapper ! 
Should a thoughtless waiter, in laying breakfast upon a 
Saturday or Sunday morning, forget "BelFs Life," his 
pecuniary interests, as well as the bell, would be placed 
in jeopardy. 

A curious circumstance happened many years ago at 
the country-seat of a gentleman, a zealous supporter of 
the turf. The Bishop chanced to pass through that part 
of his diocese. An extra Bible being required for the 
occasion, the clergyman sent, at an early hour on the 
Sunday morning, to request the loan of the family Bible. 
The servant (who could not read) handed a book to the 
messenger, who, however, returned with it in a short time, 
saying it was a " Racing Calendar ;" the dialogue between 
the two resulting in the explanation, "that it was the 
book the master always read on Sunday." 

Should an owner be fortunate enough to be possessed 
of good horses, he may rely upon plenty of friends — they 
will follow like a flock of sheep. " Donee eris, felix 
multos numerabis amicos."" One successful " tip " will 
make a dozen; one oversight or omission on a future 
occasion of a " good thing," lose fifty of the valuable (?) 
class (one hundred to be found any time at a London 
cofiBC-house) ; some of the number forthwith turn from 
the sunny to the shady side, and with a much greater 
gusto play their part in the farce than when favoured, 
which merely consists in the " Congratulate you, old 



112 TURF TOPICS. 

fellow ! " the slap on the back (the owner should be a 
man of nerve for his demonstrative friends). " What did 
you do?" merely casually intimating the amount of 
the " secondary consideration/^ which they may have 
themselves realised by the happy event. In the shady 
side^ however^ the case of the dog and his master is 
generally performed^ where the former, being well fed 
and cared for during the month, was forgotten the 
thirty-first day, and bit the hand he had so frequently 
licked. 

One of the seeds of trouble in such matters is that of 
volunteering opinions of the probable success of horses, 
some appearing to fancy that if an owner says he will 
win, "he is bound to keep his horse well and do so;" 
otherwise, if beaten a head, is at once put down as an 
"ass," or something worse. 

The popularity, as well as the purse of proprietors, 
is subject to the turn of Fortune's wheel; the dame 
being, in that respect, extremely fickle. One day an 
owner is lauded to the skies, and his success hailed 
upon all sides — perhaps not more than merited — as a 
staunch and liberal supporter of the pastime ; but should 
he chance in a hasty moment to adopt a course, probably 
practised from time immemorial, without comment by 
others, hey, presto ! almost before the echo of the cheers 
which rent the skies have died away, the least touch of 
the wheel sends forth a thunder of abuse, and amongst 
the loudest blowers number some of his previous wor- 
shippers. Up starts another favourite, who is made an idol, 
until he may liave transgressed to the displeasure of some 
of the populace, who must have somebody to vent their 
adoration upon, or to inflict with their loud expressions of 



"nil DESPERANDUM." 113 

approl)ation, like the waves of the sea as described by the 
poet^ — 

" And one no sooner touched the shore and died 
Than a new follower arose." 

Is it a matter of wonder that the animal, the instru- 
ment of all those extraordinary scenes, should have 
conquered cruel Emperors, been made a Consul of, 
and had cities built in his honour ? And still he, so 
frequently affording amusement, sometimes becomes the 
apple of discord. But of how little concern is it to the 
noble animal himself ! He cannot change the world from 
one of grumbling and discontent. Nemo vivat contentus 
sua sorte. 

Whatever may be the ups and downs, the pleasures 
or disappointments, in the life of its followers, the 
sportsman's motto should be '^ Nil desperandum.'' He 
invariably has his heart in the right place. " On one 
fight more/' said Robert Bruce (when almost driven by 
reverses to despair), " hangs the independence of my 
country ; '' and Bannockburn told its tale. Even the be- 
ginner may find himself the successful candidate for the 
Derby, Oaks, and St. Leger, while his more experienced 
opponents, after an age of disappointments, may end their 
career like the monkey at Donnybrook fair, that so re- 
peatedly jumped through three hoops without touching 
any one of them. 

But any forsaken child of fortune desirous to get a 
peep at " Old Nick " on earth has but two courses to 
adopt, — fly to the "rosy god," and then, under his aus- 
pices and powerful influences, proceed head-forward to 
ruin. If ever there was one pursuit in life above any other 
that required a cool head, and that it should be properhj 

I 



114 TURF TOPICS. 

screwed on, it is tlie turf. Lemonade or Seltzer water, 
cream or lemon ice, being especially recommended as a 
substitute for alcoholic beverages, particularly during the 
height of the fever, which so frequently accompanies its 
zealous patrons, who, in a pecuniary point of view, fall 
victims to the influences of over-excitement. A deviation 
from which recipe is sometimes followed by unpleasant 
dreams, which unfold a tale that the victim had, while a 
somnambulist, walked out of a prudent course, and had 
been led astray " by the invisible spirit, which steals away 
the brains." 

To the turf are frequently attributed errors and mis- 
fortunes which never belonged to it. Many have been 
successful, both as owners as well as speculators ; many 
have not only had unbounded opportunities of embracing 
the "dame," when she even waited for them with extended 
arms, yet recklessly declined the proffered pleasure. 
Others have benefited by the opportunity, yet have cast 
them away upon worthless objects, and become the dupes 
of sycophants and sharpers. Others have been debarred 
from the possibility of doing so. Destiny having ordained 
otherwise; perhaps from the fact of the recruits having 
been over-confiding in persons, whose false fair face 
may have led them astray. They may have placed 
themselves in the hands or under the guidance of 
some old generals, perhaps grown aged in active service, 
whose doctrines or ideas of management may have con- 
sisted in the science of turning their weapons against the 
confiding owners for their own benefits, as well as made 
them the targets or outposts for others to fire at and 
practise upon. Still there have been instances where 
some of the most experienced old generals have, like 



ADVICE TO SPORTSMEN. 115 

Stonewall Jackson, been shot with their own ammunition, 
and by some of their own brigade. 

The turf abounds with not only opportunities for all, if 
properly embraced, but also with most upright and fair 
men in all classes, who in protecting their own interests, 
which is but natural and just, do not sacrifice every feeling 
of right and equity towards others, or permit mercenary 
motives to swallow up their entire thoughts, — men whose 
humane and kindly motto is '^ Live and let live,^^ and who 
do not permit the hardened love of gold to render their 
hearts callous, their thoughts dead to every feeling beyond 
it. Yes, that pursuit, so well and justly termed 'Hhe 
glorious pastime," is stocked with the most noble-minded 
men under the sun, not alone noble by name but by nature, 
who really feel towards their fellow-men with Christian, 
and at least friendly feeling; and most of whom love 
in their hearts that noble animal^ so justly prized by all 
true sportsmen, yet uncared for by others, who would not 
feel regret, further than for his price, if they saw him shot 
through the head before the sweat had dried upon him, 
or the noble blood in his veins had cooled, which he had 
just heated to the utmost in their behalf. 

Reader, should you feel disposed to join the chace 
in the hunt after " the universal idol," take advice, and 
leave the "honour and glory" to take care of them- 
selves. They must follow. Be not a " perfect man of 
the world," when the autumn or winter of your days has 
arrived, and your lamp of life flickering or about to be 
extinguished. Never start or sound your horn before 
saying your prayers. When you have a clear field make 
use of it, in order that you may not become whipper-in. 
Beware of the " brandy-flask," the sign and sound of the 



116 Tuur TOPICS. 

dice-box — the incurable cancer of the turf, the certain niin 
of its followers. Let your cigar-case bear upon it the 
picture on ]\Ir. Shandigaff's snuflF-box. Avoid overlarge 
fences, or you may come to grief; and beware of riding 
amongst a crowd even of overkind friends, some of 
whom might be dangerous, although most experienced 
horsemen. When badly mounted, give him to your 
whip for a hack. Dispense with managers. When you 
are at fault read the remarks in these pages ; read them 
through, and rest assured you will be more likely to 
commence with the " Blue Riband " and success, than end 
like the Donnybrook monkey and be laughed at. You 
will in after years, if you do not become a misanthrope or 
a sycophant, admit that the intrinsic value of half mankind 
is best estimated at the price of the crtpe on their hat- 
band, when mounted on the death of a rich relative, the 
wearing of which is about their most unsycophantic and 
least ungrateful act — that the world is a bubble, which soon 
bursts — and that the words written by that great and noble- 
minded man were thoroughly true, — 

" Glory, the Grape, Love, Gold — in these are sunk 
The hopes of all men, and of every nation." 



117 



THE UACEHORSE. 



Mr. Squeers' pupil merely enlightened his examiner, 
so far as related to the horse in general, when he replied 
that " it was a beast." Probably his answer w^ould have 
been the same had his information been required upon 
the subject of a " donkey .'' Any remarks which I may 
venture to make will be confined to the animal so fre- 
quently called out of his name, " The Racehorse." The 
subject must be a simple one, inasmuch as so many attempt 
it ; which is partly my reason for making a few observa- 
tions and trespassing upon those parties who, in their 
leisure hours, may condescend to peruse them. Never 
having been overstocked with modesty, and having re- 
served sufficient assurance, perhaps, to fancy that about 
twenty-five years' experience may render it unnecessary 
to commence as lawyers generally do, when paid ex- 
orbitant fees, by an assurance to a judge and jury of 
their perfect conviction in their inability to do justice to 
the case, and their belief in the superiority of so many 
of their brethren, upon whom they so sincerely regret 
the task had not fallen. However, as my fee is but 
modei-ate, I shall consider myself as having given value 
in length, at least, if not in dej)th ; and perhaps my best 
excuse will be to reply as the Irishman did, w^hen asked 



118 TURF TOPICS. 

why miles in his country were so long — "that they 
were not in good order, so they liked to give good 
measure." 

There are, no doubt, many more competent than I 
to write upon the subject who do not, for various reasons, 
think proper to do so ; and there are others who do occa- 
sionally favour the public with most useful and sound 
opinions, evidently founded upon practical experience. 
Having devoted for many years almost my entire thoughts 
to the subject, I must confess to having failed in ar- 
riving at a conclusion upon a few points relating to 
the Racehorse. However simple at first thought they 
may appear, still not only have I failed, but the more 
I reflected upon the subject the more it puzzled; leaving 
me to discover, as one endeavours to discover the per- 
petual motion, what so noble an animal was in reality 
intended for — an animal that can do almost anything but 
speak and discount a bill ; and why he bears so marked 
a contrast in every respect to that extraordinary animal 
referred to with the long ears, and frequently called Neddy, 
with which it has been ordained that he should breed ; 
yet that the produce of the alliance should totally fail, 
and be debarred thereby the possibility of increasing the 
similarity by further alliance with either side, although 
the strange and ominous cross upon the shoulders should 
distinctly remain to human view, but partially removed 
by the first alliance. There is one incontrovertible 
fact, however, that the racehorse has been instrumental 
in filling the purses of many, and generally of those who 
knew least about his real merits ; aye, has been the instru- 
ment of whisking, in the incredibly short space of a 
few hours' change of ownership, tatterdemalions from 



THE RACEHORSE. 119 

previous obscurity into high position — in their own esti- 
mation at least — probably by a cup, or some other victory 
of consequence ; and thereby, in some sickening instances, 
has given a sort of locus standi whereupon to ground an 
amazing stock of bumptious assurance, even in the teeth 
of the first nobles in the land. Probably such individuals 
fancy, that to " get gold" a good deal of " brass" is occa- 
sionally necessary; while others, equally or more suc- 
cessful, bear their good fortune with becoming sense and 
prudence. 

In my remarks under the head of "Brood Mares" 
1 have stated that, from experience, I have found that 
the time to commence to breed a racehorse, and insure 
success, is to begin " before he is born.'' There lies the 
foundation, and there alone ; the neglect of which rule is 
the chief, if not the sole cause, of so many moderate, if not 
useless, animals. As to perfection, it is out of the question 
to expect it, if this course be disregarded ; yet it is truly 
incredible how many neglect it, and to what an extent ; 
sometimes almost approaching starvation. The dam is 
the fountain, and, if neglected, the produce which she 
may be carrying will not only show it, but prove it sub- 
sequently more plainly, at least to the eyes of some. Yet, 
to those of any person who has made it his study, it will 
be at once apparent when the foal is an hour old. 

The opinions of many persons as to the care and atten- 
tion necessary to breed and bring the racehorse to perfec- 
tion fall very far short, indeed, of what it really requires. 
An animal may look well ; the dam or foal may look loell, 
but that is not sufficient. A foal may be larger or taller, 
when dropped by a half-fed mare, than if she had been 
properly fed and cared : but it will not have the condi- 



120 TURF TOPICS. 

tion, the lively spirits, or smooth, glossy skin, and healthy 
appearance, which the produce of a mare kept in tip-top 
condition will plainly show. 

" For good or evil burning from its birth, 
And like the soil beneath it will bring forth." 

It should be remembered, that almost fabulous 
amounts are lost and won by the issue of events, which 
frequently turn upon, and are decided merely hy the nose 
of the animal in question. How, therefore, can even a 
breath of air in climate or temperature, a feed of corn, or 
a particle of attention, be economically and prudently dis- 
regarded, especially in these days of competition for ex- 
cellence ? 

Has the reader ever asked himself, or reflected upon 
the question, as to what kind of animal the first horse 
was ? Was he in the form of a racehorse, a waggonhorse, 
or a hunter ? If not a racehorse, how has he become one ? 
who has brought him to his present formation ? and by 
what means ? The Creator formed the horse, as He did 
man, in certain shapes ; man has worked out of the ma- 
terials the remainder. Take two own brothers or sisters, 
in every respect as nearly alike as possible ; and if the ob- 
ject be to send each in difi'erent directions, to preserve the 
one in its present perfection and reduce the other by de- 
grees, and make them dissimilar, he has only to treat 
them differently as to care, feeding, temperature, and exer- 
cise. Each could be thus rendered, by time, as dissimilar 
as any two animals of the same species could be. Look at 
Shetland ponies. What are they ? Where did they come 
from ? What reduced them in size ? Take the powerful 
float-horse, well fed and cared; he has been forced in 



THE RACEHORSE. 121 

growth and power; still his limbs do not possess that 
elasticity, nor have they been refined down, lengthened, or 
rendered active by training, as the racehorse. There are 
many thoroughbred stallions that possess equal, if not 
more power, to many of these draught-horses; although 
their bone and muscles may not appear so large, yet they 
are of better material. 

There never have been such splendid specimens of the 
thoroughbred horse as are to be seen in the present 
day, the descendants of those two extraordinary mares, 
' Guiccioli^ and ' Pocahontas,' from the ' Whalebone' or 
'Sir Hercules' strain and 'Bob Booty' blood; for it 
cannot be denied that ' Irish Birdcatcher' has done more 
for the racehorse than any stallion of modern days — pro- 
bably than ever was heard of ; not alone in speed, but in 
symmetry of shape and power. The ' Bob Booty' mix- 
ture has told the tale. In symmetry the 'Sweetmeats' 
alone rival the ' Birds.' 

I have been from childhood (the days of blowing soap- 
and-w^ater balloons from a long pipe) amongst thorough- 
bred horses, and, during my schoolboy days, for years in 
the habit of w^eeldy visiting at the residence of a friend of 
my father, who had not less than one hundred thorough- 
bred horses, including brood mares, foals, and animals of 
all ages — some of the best blood in the world, where I 
had been many a time found watching and amusing myself 
with them. An extraordinary circumstance then and 
there occurred, during one of my visits, which proves 
the uncertainty of young stock, and how frequently pre- 
judiced and hasty opinions are formed with regard to 
them. The gentleman referred to now resides on his own 
estates, as he did during his father's lifetime, who was 



122 TURF TOPICS. 

also owner of many first-class and celebrated horses. Both 
were first-rate judges ; and if ever there were two owners 
who really kept horses for honour and glory, and really 
were fond of them in a sporting point of view, they were. 
At the time referred to, upwards of twenty years ago, a 
certain renowned horse upon the turf, in both countries, 
had been put to stud ; the attention of the sporting mil- 
lion was turned towards his yearlings ; people from va- 
rious quarters came to see them. My friend happened to 
have some of his stock, and amongst them a most pro- 
mising colt, the produce of a celebrated mare. The 
owner of the sire was so proud of this colt, that he off"ered 
to back him against any other in the world, for any rea- 
sonable amount ; numbers were asking permission to see 
him, and large sums had been refused for him. In a 
back-yard, however, far removed from observation, and 
comparatively from attention, there happened to be a 
certain yearling by an unfashionable sire, of rather 
plainish although good shapes ; but he had one friend 
about the establishment, who used to bring, with his own 
hand, many a good feed of corn, viz. the writer. The 
owner, finding me continually in the stable, and invariably 
a manger-full of corn before the colt, one day laughingly 
inquired why I was so fond of him. " Why,^' I replied, 
" he is worth a dozen of your crack.^' Whereupon he 
asked me if I would purchase him, and ofifered to take 
thirty pounds for him. The yearlings were all sent into 
training ; this one, after some consideration, amongst the 
number. The crack turned out perfectly useless for any- 
thing, although sound ; the other, one of the best horses 
that ever trod the turf, which he was considered by many 
of the best judges, who stated their belief that he could 



THE RACEHORSE ITS PURCHASE AND SALE. 123 

have won "nine Derbies out of ten/^ and of which ' Chan- 
ticleer/ ' Eryx/ ' Cawrouche/ and many others, bear testi- 
mony. He was named after a favourite wine of his owner. 
It may be a sort of encouragement to beginners to know, 
that the best horse I ever owned was the first thorough- 
bred yearling I purchased, and that his price was seventy 
pounds — 'Bright Star,^ one of ' Irish Birdcatcher's' first 
and best sons. He shone brilliantly only in the Emerald 
Isle, his engagements being confined to that country, 
where he extinguished the light of all of his own year, 
including 'Peep-o^-day Boy,' and horses of all ages. 

Probably one of the most important subjects in con- 
nexion with the racehorse is the mode of purchasing and 
selling, a subject surrounded with many important con- 
siderations and difficulties. There are no dealings which 
lead to more disagreements in various ways, or so fre- 
quently cause trouble and misunderstanding. 

The differences of opinion, as to value of young horses 
especially, are so wide, that it is unnecessary to dwell fur- 
ther on that point than to state my opinion that there is as 
much difference between some sellers or markets, as there 
is between dealing in a shop in the Burlington Arcade 
and a back street in London. And as to the prices, as great 
as between hotel charges to a racing-man and a commer- 
cial traveller : a great deal depends upon the fashion and 
name. (One of the greatest public dancers for many 
years, who had danced to the top of the tree of fame on the 
stage, or whatever the pitch of perfection may be among 

such artists, was really named O'S n, an Emeralder. 

Nobody then thought he could dance a step. He took a 
certain Italian name, a most melodiously sounding one, and 
wore gold earrings; the consequence was, the houses were 



124 TURF TOPICS. 

crammed almost to suffocation; and during a conversation 
lie remarked, laughing, "Why, if I were not a foreigner 
I could not dance/' I have seen him myself frequently.) 
Still, many first-rate articles are often picked up at 
very humble establishments, and very great counterfeits 
sold at some fashionable or flash ones, where the measure 
of the purchaser's purse, as well as himself, is some- 
times taken into consideration. Moreover, a great deal 
depends upon the humour and the time in which the par- 
ties may transact business. A certain well-known breeder 
and owner of racehorses, and of first-rate ones, now de- 
ceased, was remarkable for his peculiarities in such trans- 
actions. Although wealthy, and otherwise independent 
in his views upon the subject, he was fond of selling. It 
was well known, that the time to approach him was just 
after defeat, when he fell amazingly both in spirits and in 
price. His principal rule, however, was never to vary a 
penny, or reduce when once he fixed the price : no one 
who knew him ever attempted to ofi"er less, ''Yes or 
no ! and if you take him, you take him as he is ; the mo- 
ment he leaves this yard, he is yours. Examine him^ if 
you like; I'll give no opinion," &c. If a stranger offered 
less he merely smiled, as much as to say, "You don't 
know me." His other peculiarity was, that when he did 
sell, he invariably had better in his stable ; so much so that 
the knowing ones always " pricked up their ears " when 
they heard of a sale. Upon one occasion a friend of 
mine, having some horses engaged in several rather heavy 
stakes, and knowing that this gentleman had a certain 
horse that could beat him, he purchased him for more 
than a thousand guineas, and booked him a cheap horse : 
he was, no doubt, a good one. Upon coming to the post. 



THE RACEHORSE ANECDOTE. 125 

however, within a fortnight afterwards, to walk over as he 
thought, he not only found his recent companion there, 
but had to lower his colours to him for all the engage- 
ments, amounting to more than the price of the horse. 
His victor, however, was one of the greatest horses of 
modern days in England, both as a racehorse and a sire. 
The fact is, as far as judgment of the animal and know- 
ledge otherwise in purchasing, some men would do more 
with one thousand than others would with ten thousand 
pounds. It is astonishing the few even fair horses some 
persons get, compared with the heavy prices they pay. 

Truly may it be said that bought experience is best. 
Perhaps the reader may fancy that the subject of the 
negociation in horse transactions is a secondary con- 
sideration. Perhaps so; I have found it a hotbed of 
annoyance, disappointment, and loss; all of which, every 
particle of it, has been brought upon me by placing too 
much confidence, and omitting to have every word of 
contracts distinctly and clearly written down, signed, 
and, if necessary, witnessed. Perhaps the following plain 
and unvarnished statement of one case, resulting from 
omission of the "black and white," would convince the 
reader of the necessity of adopting precautionary measures. 

I once owned a two-years-old, a well-known horse, and 
a very good one. (I found him totally neglected, after 
being weaned, at a farm remote from the breeder's resi- 
dence, and purchased him for a mere trifle.) After he 
had run and won his first engagement in Ireland, in June, 
I chanced to be at Livei'pool races the following month, 
where several parties sought to purchase him, as he was 
engaged in the Derby. At the request of one party I 
sold him for 1000 guineas, repeatedly adding the words. 



126 TURF TOPICS. 

" Mind, the price is 1000 guineas, and I shall give no 
warranty further than 'wind and sight/" although the 
horse was as sound as any animal living; adding, "that I 
should require the money cash down, and that before I 
sent over to Ireland for the horse, or concluded the bar- 
gain, I should speak to a certain nobleman who happened 
to be on the ground, with whom I had matched him 
against a filly of his for 500 sovereigns a- side, to be run 
in the following October meeting in Ireland. All was de- 
cided and agreed upon; his Lordship acquiesced under 
the circumstances of my having sold — as he remarked, 
"not to prevent the sale." I gave him fifty pounds 
forfeit to be ofi", and sent for the horse by a special mes- 
senger. The animal having arrived, and after refusing 
several parties permission to see him, who were anxious to 
purchase, I found myself in his stable with the purchaser, 
who did not profess to be a judge, accompanied by his 
brains-carrier, who considered himself a nonpareil in such 
matters. He, however, declared that the horse had bad 
fore-legs, whereupon I challenged him to produce any 
veterinary surgeon in England to test them. However, 
after some useless badinage, I requested the individuals to 
vacate the stable ; directed the door to be locked, and de- 
clined further negociation at any price; which the parties 
subsequently broached with wonderful assurances of con- 
tingencies, with reduced price. I sent the horse his 
journey home, upon which he encountered a gale at sea, 
which terminated in the smashing of the horse-van, and 
as my man informed me, he would have taken ten pounds 
for his chance at one time. He got a heavy distemper, 
under which he suffered for months. So much for sale 
number one. A second party, an individual named Dr. 



THE RACEHORSE. 127 

P r^ of Rugeley, Staffordshire, then sought to become 

purchaser at 2000 guineas, by letter and three telegrams, 
now in my possession, inviting me to spend a few days at 
Rugeley. The third happened to be made by a gentleman 
in high position, who, through a friend, became purchaser 
at 2000 guineas, having sent over a most experienced 
and respectable party to see the horse ; and who, at my 
trainer's request, even rode him a gallop, and highly 
approved of him. 

In consequence of receiving a letter that all was 
right, and that he would take the horse, I sent him to a 
most careful trainer's establishment, informing him of the 
sale. There the horse remained for a considerable time — 
about six weeks or so — during which time some of the 
stakes in which he was engaged, and of considerable 
value, were won by a horse in the same stable. Of course 
I could not run the other, having sold him ; nor was he 
quite fit, not having recovered his stormy passage. Next 
comes a letter informing me that the gentleman had lost 
so much money at Newmarket that he could not take the 
horse, and requesting that I would look out for another 
purchaser. Being thus left upon my hands, and being 
engaged in a valuable stake the next month, and having 
to pay all the stake in any case, I started him : he won 
the race, giving ten pounds to the winner of the Doncaster 
St. Leger the following year, and a field of horses 
(including the filly against which he had been matched 
for five hundred a-side, at even weights, beaten a dis- 
tance), although he was not in training, any odds against 
him, and not backed for a penny-piece. I subsequently 
sold half the horse; sent him in February to a most 
respectable and first-class trainer in the north of England, 



128 TURF TOPICS. 

who was sadly disappointed at liis wretched condition, 
owing to his illness during the winter. He made wonderful 
improvements under the circumstances ; when the trainer 
on the eve of the Derby stated in writing his opinion, 
which is second to none, that no horse living, if ever there 
was one foaled, could beat him for the Derby. He was 
placed, beat the first favourite (at two to one), and was 
beaten about a length ; the trainer remarking to me, that 
had he had him a little longer, and not been obliged 
to give him carrots to get him into condition before 
training, the result would have been different. I subse- 
quently sold him : he won many races, beating the best 
horses in England, and ended his career by breaking his 
leg at exercise in five years afterwards, having struck it 
with his hind foot. The day he did so he was as clean 
and fresh on those legs, and as sound otherwise, as the 
day he was foaled. Thus ended the career of a horse 
that put many thousands in the pockets of others, little in 
mine. 

Another great point to which any owner of blood 
stock, especially the breeder, should direct his especial 
care, is as to the parties to whom he may sell. It would 
be better, in some cases, to sell for half the money to some 
than to others for three times the price. Many horses 
being turned to such wholesale plundering purposes retire 
from racing with characters of impostors, and thus injure 
the sale of others of their breed to an enormous extent, 
their real merits not being half, if at all, developed. 

In selecting young stock the novice would do well 
to observe the following general rules, with regard to 
shape, size, &c., setting aside the question of breeding. 
In the first place, size and substance are indispensable — not 



THE RACEHORSE. 129 

a great, tall, narrow " clothes-horse ;" on the contrary, 
having more the appearance of being thick-set than 
otherwise (that is when in high condition, and previous to 
going into training), for it is astonishing how they fine 
down and lengthen after training and time : whereas the 
class before described, without such shape and substance, 
upon getting the necessary work, become " perfect shells," 
weak and useless, growing tall but not thickening. At 
the same time coarseness should be avoided, especially as 
regards the head, neck, and shoulders. The coarseness of 
the head generally consists in thick and ill-shaped jaw- 
bones, almost as broad at bottom, towards the nose, as at 
top, with a fleshy thickness; the eye small and sullen, 
which should be large, clear, and bright, with a sort 
of comparative baldness, or absence of coarse hairs 
around, which is in all animals, as well as the horse, 
indicative of high breeding. The jaw-bones should be 
shaped, tapering gradually towards the nose, clean, and 
free from superfluous fleshy substance ; a good space 
between the jaw-bones; forehead wide and flat between 
the eyes. (Here there are exceptions, many first class 
horses being the contrary.) The heads, in many horses 
of the first class, bear striking contrasts : some being plain 
and sensible-looking, of a clean, bony kind, not over-small 
or ponjdsh, with a clear, full, and steady eye, which 
generally denotes good temper, and staying and enduring 
qualities ; whereas the fiery or anxious eye, which displays 
the white more than usual, is generally found in the 
flighty-tempered, speedy, but non-stayers ; and more fre- 
quently with mares than horses. The ears are not so much 
a matter of consequence, at least for racing purposes, pro- 
vided they are not of that long, upright form, like a donkey, 

K 



130 TURF TOPICS. 

and stuck upateacli sideof tlie head. Some of thebest horses 
have had lopped ears, in some cases coming down over 
their eyes like a rabbit; such as ' King of Oude/ ' Sir Tatton 
Sykes/ ' Oulston/ ' Camobie/ and others. 

I have always remarked that horses with lopped ears are 
invariably very good-tempered, and good in other respects ; 
and it is equally true that horses with any peculiar fashion 
or habit, such as hanging out the tongue at one side, over 
the bridle, or rocking while in the stable, resting one hind 
hoof upon the other, are generally good animals. As 
to the ' King of Oude,' probably a more extraordinary 
example of curious shapes and formation never was foaled ; 
for although he possessed, when " dissected," many 
capital points, and when looked over was a very fine out- 
line of the racehorse, yet upon first appearance he gave 
one an idea of being some species of animal never 
before discovered. He had a pair of horns, about two 
inches long and an inch wide, and his ears hung down 
about a foot long, as if they had been stitched on by a 
cobbler for some particular occasion. Taking him for 
all in all, 1 fancy we shall never look upon his like again. 

While upon the subject of ears, I have frequently ob- 
served that good and true animals, when cantering or gal- 
loping, prick backward and forward alternately the one or 
the other ; and I believe it to be a sign, that they are 
happy and contented : and, moreover, they are invariably 
long runners, and good in every respect. The nostrils 
should be full and roomy; reasonable length of neck, which 
should be muscular and strong, but not coarse. A very 
short neck is generally accompanied by round, heavy, or 
misplaced shoulders, as well as shortness in other respects, 
which is the worst failing in a racehorse ; for length is of 



THE RACEHORSE HIS SHAPES. 131 

all things desirable. Speaking of length, a mistaken 
notion sometimes prevails in the minds of persons that it 
means a long back ; whereas it is nothing of the kind. 
We must judge of length by the ground which an animal 
covers imderneath, the placing of the shoulders, which 
should be well placed back in an oblique fomi, together 
with good length from hip to end of the haunch-bone, 
supplying the length where it should really be found. 
A slight drooping towards the tail is preferable to too level 
an appearance. Animals with such drooping shape are 
generally better turned under on their haunches, and pos- 
sess more propelling power. Length to a certain extent, 
in every point, is necessary in the racehorse. The 
arms should be muscular, and reasonably long; but it is 
most desirable that from knees to fetlock they should be 
shortish, clean, and with good bone and sinew, not round 
and " gummy." The fetlock -joints, to insure " long 
standing," should be of reasonable length and substance ; 
not straight or upright ; for horses thus formed seldom 
last long, and are generally strait and tied in the shoulders 
and elbows — fatal points in the racehorse. If there is 
any inclination in either respect, arched knees, appearing 
rather bent over, are preferable to " calf knees," which 
have the contrary appearance, and cause generally an 
extra pressure on the back tendons. The body or 
middle-piece of the true-made weight-carrying racehorse, 
when in condition, should present plenty of depth of 
girth, good back, muscular arched loins ; but the back 
ribs do not always present that power or depth, nor should 
they be coupled up towards the hip so closely as some 
persons appear to fancy : for the longest runners and 
best weight-carriers, as well as the most speedy, present 



132 TURF TOPICS. 

the appearance of being light in their back ribs. ' Alice 
Hawthorne/ for instance, was very light in this respect; 
perhaps more so than any other animal that could be 
named. Still she had wonderful depth of girth and fore- 
rib, which partly caused the back ribs to appear so very 
light or shallow. But the great point of all for pro- 
pelling power lies in the hind-quarters — good length 
from hip to hock, the quarters being well placed under 
good thighs and hocks. Where horses are very close, 
and well ribbed-up, that is to say, where there is but 
small space between the back-rib and hip, the latter 
being sometimes deep and round, thei'e is not freedom of 
action, propelling power, and fine stride, which are found 
in animals shaped as 'Alice Hawthorne,' and others of 
her mould ; and action carries weight. ' Thormanby ' (her 
son) takes after her very much in his hind-quarters, in his 
great length from hip to hock, and his fine lengthy stride ; 
and her son ' Oulston' to a great extent does so, especially 
in his fine style and freedom of galloping. 

There can be no question that the formation of the race- 
horse, to insure action and success, must principally de- 
pend upon the propelling power; for, like the connecting- 
rod in a railway engine, on that the machinery depends. 
A level, evenly-proportioned, fair-sized horse, about fifteen 
two, three, or say sixteen hands, is the style. Horses are 
seldom really so tall as in their owners' eyes, the deduction 
of an inch from his standard being about the true mark. 
Long, low, and level is the best line to be guided by. 
Perhaps one of the most important points to have re- 
gard to is the formation of the chest ; for where you 
find the chest very broad, and the animal " standing very 
wide on the ground," you may pass him as " no race- 



THE RACEHORSE. 133 

horse/^ On tlie other hand, some of the speediest, 
stoutest, and longest runners, as well as best weight- 
carriers, have been very narrow between the fore-arms and 
fore-legs ; still they may have a well-expanded chest. 
' Harkaway,^ 'Alice Hawthorne,' and many others, were 
narrow in this respect ; and ' Fisherman' stood and walked 
wide on the ground, still was not so above. Horses that 
are so heavily formed in the respect referred to are gene- 
rally badly formed in the shoulders and elbows. At 
Doncaster, some years ago, I happened to be looking at a 
yearling filly, a daughter of a renowned mare on the turf 
and at stud, and since the dam of a Derby winner. Being 
alone for some time in the stable, remarking the peculiar 
breadth of her chest and between her fore-legs as men- 
tioned, and turning in my mind the improbability of her 
px'oving a racehorse, a certain well-known northern trainer 
entered, accompanied by a friend, and at once made the 
same remark, taking no further notice of her. The filly 
turned out useless. Many similar cases have been seen. 
One being in that of a yearling, bred by myself; a fine 
colt of a running family, and well-shaped in other respects, 
and yet in a moment condemned by the late J\Ir. Watts 
on that ground ; his remark simply being, " he will never 
be worth a bowl of soup.'' 

Many animals are flat-ribbed, and have an extraordinary 
appearance of weakness behind the saddle, being of great 
length in that respect, yet many of them stay well. Some 
of the 'Touchstones' are remarkably so : but they have most 
muscular loins, tine quarters, and thighs, with propelling 
power; their hind-quai-ters well turned under, aud they 
seldom throw curbs. The only instance I can remember 
was one in which I was the sufferer ; which will go far 



134 TURF TOPICS. 

to prove to the reader the necessity of making inquiry, 
and, as far as possible, learning the antecedents of any 
animal whose produce he may be about to purchase. 

Amongst a number of yearlings for sale at Doncaster 
there chanced to be one whose blood was undeniable, and 
during my rounds of those advertised for sale, handbill in 
hand, I immediately marked one from a knowledge of the 
dam and sire. The colt was by ' Touchstone/ but was not 
exposed for public inspection the evening preceding the 
sale, although the rest were. 

Just as the sale was progressing next morning I chanced 
to be approaching the ring, and saw a fine colt being 
led round within the crowd, when a party, who had 
for years haunted me like a bird of ill omen, whenever 
he wanted a favour or had bad news, came rushing to 
me and in most laudable terms exclaimed, "Don^t lose 
him at any price. ^^ The hammer was about to fall the last 
time. I made an advanced bid in a hasty moment, and 
upon entering the ring at the first look beheld a colt dead 
lame, knuckling, and hardly able to walk, with ringbones, 
curbs, and spavins, and spent an anxious moment in sus- 
pense (hoping the owner, who was near me, or some blind 
speculator, might advance and permit me to retreat), when 
down fell the hammer, resounding the sale to me of the 
highest-priced colt (double the price) I ever purchased, with 
his engagements in Derby, St. Leger, &c. To crown all, 
having sent him to a celebrated V. S. in London to 
practise upon, he informed me he was broken-winded. I 
sold him for thirty shillings. The Connoisseur previous to 
the St. Leger, while I was blowing him up on the sub- 
ject, expressed his surprise that I was losing my time 
instead of being engaged laying against " the lamest horse 



THE RACEHORSE. 135 

he ever saw walk or gallop ;" tliat lie had seen him at exer- 
cise. The horse won the St. Leger " in a common canter." 
The following year a friend of mine requested I would 
accompany him to see two yearlings he had purchased. 
I did so. The one was out of the same dam, good-looking 
in many respects, by a first-class sire, but with some sad 
deficiencies where perfection was most necessary. He paid 
a high price for her (some hundreds), and upon being in- 
formed of my misfortune, and that his was one of the 
breed, he did not seem gratified at his bargain. This 
lot turned out useless. The following year another colt, 
out of the same mare, was put to auction, and bought 
by an intimate friend of the last purchaser for a very 
high price indeed, but also turned out good for nothing. 
Since then I have from curiosity watched the sale of her 
produce, and they have absolutely continued to fetch 
high prices; while others, really valuable, if they were 
forced upon people might not meet with a purchaser ; — 
like ' Thormanby,^ who was exposed for sale all the 
week without avail, until picked up for 350/. through 
the sound judgment of his experienced trainer. ' Vol- 
tigeur,^ .. and many others likewise, in the same way. 
Upon the subject of purchasing, it is a strange fact, 
that the fall of the hammer within two minutes has 
placed to the credit of the auctioneer, by the sale of that 
noble animal, the racehorse, a sum exceeding the salary 
of some of the younger but poorer branches of the best 
families in Great Britain, in Government Offices, where 
they toil from New-year^s Day to Christmas Eve, and 
which appointments they obtain through IMinisterial 
influence, provided they pass a strict examination as 
educated gentlemen. 



136 TURF TOPICS. 

One of the most important points to which the atten- 
tion of purchasers should be directed is "temper;" no- 
thing being more hereditary or more fatal to the racehorse 
than the want of it. It is therefore most necessary, as far 
as possible, to arrive at information as to the antecedents 
of brood mares in this respect. 

" Birds breed not vipers, tigers nurse not lambs." 

Still a predisposition to bad temper may be consider- 
ably overcome, if not completely eradicated, by proper 
treatment ; always taking care to place young horses under 
the charge of steady persons, who will not, on the one 
hand, play tricks with them, or, on the other, abuse them : 
for want of heart or pluck in either man or beast is fatal, 
in many instances. They should not be allowed to master 
on the one hand, and vice versa. A proper medium between 
kindness and chastisement should be observed. There is 
nothing like shaping the sapling when young. Some 
young as well as old horses, particularly fillies, naturally if 
not absolutely bad-tempered, still are faint-hearted and soft; 
and although the colts in a family may be quite the reverse, 
the fillies are frequently objectionable in this respect. 

I once purchased a yearling filly, sister to ' Wolf- 
dog ' (a horse of superior merit, once the vanquisher of 
the celebrated 'Alice Hawthorne'); she not only gave eveiy 
promise of turning out a first-class animal, but, in reality, 
could run in private. At the commencement of her 
training I happened to meet a party (who trained during 
many years for the bx'eeder). Upon speaking of this 
filly he jokingly remarked, that she was good-looking and 
well-bred enough for anything, but recommended that she 
should be kept in an outer yard, as far away from the 



THE RACEHORSE. 137 

house as possible -, for, added he, " if the cook should 
happen to come outside and blow her nose, divil a feed of 
oats she'll eat for a month/' His estimate of her qualifi- 
cations and imperfections proved perfectly correct, for, like 
several other fillies of her breed, she was a nervous, soft- 
hearted jade, although a beautiful animal to look at. 

A certain well-known breeder and owner of racehorses for 
many years sold his fillies for '' mere songs," as a rule; such 
was his dislike to them. Young stock are frequently kept 
too much confined, and do not get half the exercise which 
they should have from the very day they are foaled ; for, 
bearing in mind that, like other animals by nature formed 
for speed, it is natural to suppose that their muscles and 
joints must be properly afforded the means of development, 
and every facility to promote freedom of action : in fact, to 
" run faster and show more speed than any other.'' Suppose, 
then, that deer, greyhounds, hares, foxes, or any other 
animal by nature speedy, were to be kept confined and 
denied liberty to exercise, what chance would they have, 
reared in that domesticated manner, with those in their 
wild and natural state ? The foal, from the moment it is 
dropped, should have plenty of space to give freedom to its 
limbs, and avoid the possibility of its becoming in the 
slightest degree confined, or its freedom of action lessened. 
Confinement, or want of expansion of the muscles and 
joints, must materially deprive the animal of its natural 
speed; for common reason dictates that the racehorse, above 
all other animals, must not and cannot be an exception. 
My particular reason for directing the reader's attention to 
this fact is, that as everybody knows, or ought to know, 
that '^practice makes perfect," how can people expect 
their " caged-up," half-exercised young ones, to equal or 



]38 TURF TOPICS. 

contend witli tbose that have, perhaps, not only had their 
natural comforts attended to otherwise, but in this respect 
their paddock to exercise in unmolested? not allowing, on 
the one hand, their joints to become stiff from want of or- 
dinary exercise, or, on the other, to become strained, tending 
to cause curbs, spavins, &c. : which might be the case if 
left with other young ones, for they frequently hunt and 
run down each other if kept together, and injure their 
wind through excessive galloping. The exercise should 
be given without overdrawing, spraining, or otherwise im- 
peding progress in any respect. Such omissions frequently 
happen, yet the consequences and losses do not always fall 
upon those who are in fault, as the effects of such neglect 
do not at all times appear suddenly; on the contrary, 
perhaps in a week, month, or considerable time, after the 
animals have changed hands. 

Bearing in mind that it is much easier to become a 
purchaser than to find one, parties should be cautious be- 
fore investing ; which is not attended alone with the first 
outlay, but if young ones are good-looking, and well-bred, 
they are generally heavily engaged. Many are made up 
for sale, and look well to the eye, being apparently fine, 
grown and well-fed, yet in reality have lost to a great ex- 
tent their natural freedom of action, from the fact that 
they have been forced to look well to the eye, yet are not 
in really good condition or fit to go into training; some 
being so fat inwardly, that they often go amiss in various 
ways upon getting proper exercise or being trained, and 
sometimes become affected in the wind. Overfed and 
housed young ones are not the most desirable. 

Another benefit resulting from the inspection of the 
dam and as many of the family as possible is this, that 



THE RACEHORSE. J 39 

many yearlings are handsome and well-formed, when, 
quite suddenly, they take a change to an amazing extent, 
sometimes improving with rapidity in faulty respects, and 
at others growing quite the contrary, until finally they 
become perfectly metamorphosed. Just like mankind : 
we frequently see children with regular Paddy-noses ; and 
yet, when they grow up, they become perfect Welling- 
tonians. It is, therefore, most desirable for a purchaser 
to have a knowledge of the sires, dams, and as many of 
the family as possible, when purchasing yearlings, because 
they change so quickly and to such an extent : moreover, 
an experienced breeder, in crossing mares with sires, seeks 
in every respect to amend deficiencies, whether as to 
temper, size, colour, or shape, &c. ; which improvements 
may not be fully developed at a year old, but still are 
most likely to appear in time. 

" The tainted branches of the tree, 

If lopped with care, a strength may give, 
By which the rest shall bloom and live, 
All greenly fresh and wildly free." 

Many yearlings are undersized, yet grow wonderfully, 
if the sires and dams are large ; whereas, if forced for 
sale, some become afterwards what may be termed stunted 
in growth. They may thicken, but they will not gi'oio 
in proportion. The latter frequently happens where 
they receive a temporary check in growth from having 
changed into bad hands, or from sickness, or want of 
being kept in really good health : for animals may, by 
forcing or artificial feeding, grow in every respect ; 
still they may not be in perfect health : and even brood 
mares may feed better than others, and be in bad 



140 TURF TOPICS. 

health, through inward complaints, and die suddenly 
therefrom. I have seen balls as large as cannon-balls, 
and almost as heavy, that have been taken from them 
on post-moi'tem examination, and preserved, polished, 
and cut in two ; when they represented beautiful pieces 
of grained marble, which was composed of sand, hay, 
straw, &c. These curiosities are to be seen at some vete- 
rinary establishments, and are well worth looking at. 
Such is generally the consequence of not cleaning food 
properly, or want of occasional medicine ; and those balls 
have been forming for a long time. The very best, most 
simple, and least dangerous medicine, and one that I found 
valuable beyond description, is linseed oil, especially for 
yearlings, whei-e their coats are found cold or staring, or 
the animal not putting up condition ; and for all horses 
or any animals there is no food more beneficial than a 
little linseed meal or oil-cake, for putting up condition, 
and otherwise improving health. But with yearlings 
especially I found the oil make immediate and marked 
improvement. The coats that had been staring, in an 
incredibly short time became like satin, and the animals 
in all other respects made vast progress. 

If the dam is unhealthy she cannot afford the nou- 
rishment, and what she does yield will not be so good ; 
yet half the owners of mares overlook this important 
point of absolute health. How frequently do we see 
mares "mowing down'' capital pasture, yet look cold, 
and not put-up condition ! It is quite true that many 
dams, the best nurses, will yield so much to their produce 
that they lessen their own condition thereby ; but still 
there are many bad nurses, as poor-looking as if they 
were half-starved, and especially staring and cold in their 



THE RACEHORSE. 141 

coats, and ^Miide-bound/' like the bark on trees — the 
certain proof of ill-health. Still, many owners say, " Oh ! 
she is all right ; she has plenty to eat.^' 

Temperature and climate are most essential to per- 
fection ; every breath of air and change of wind are of 
consequence. And here too much care cannot be taken in 
changes of weather. Sometimes the sun may be shining, 
suddenly cold winds set in, and here is where the atten- 
tion is required, which proves how frequently men have a 
greater number of such animals to attend to than they 
can possibly do justice to : that is, if perfection be the 
object. To my mind, it frequently happens that there are 
about half a sufficient number of attendants upon such 
stock ; whereas I know instances quite the contrary, and 
as much difference as between chalk and cheese in the 
results in every respect, when compared with those of the 
"do-well-enough idea.^^ It is subsequently i\\e,y prove it, 
when it comes to the struggle to a nose. 

It appears to astonish some people that the French 
should defeat the British in horseflesh. It would be a 
source of amazement to me if they did not. If asked 
why, my simple answer would be in the Irish fashion, 
by asking another question — Why should they not? 
Tell me one single point in which they do not come 
quite up to, if not absolutely excel, the British in every 
thing necessary towards success, as far as the animal 
is concerned, up to the time he leaves the starting- 
post ? Then, as to their talents otherwise in the manage- 
ment — their trainers, their jockeys, their judgment, and 
their knowing how to take care of the "main point'^ (in 
which they are quite as ^cute as the Yankee), — in my 
humble opinion they can give them weight. 



143 TURF TOPICS. 

Their selection of trainers and jockeys — who are 
Enghsh, no doubt — do them credit; and their chmate 
speaks for itself. As to the fallacy of saying, " Oh, they 
are English horses/' it is moonshine ; they are nothing 
of the kind. One might as well say, " Oh, they are not 
English horses, they are Irish." Pray, where did ' Faugh- 
a-Ballagh' (sire of ' Fille de TAir') come from? 'The 
Baron,' grandsire of all the best horses in England, from 
whose sons ' Stockwell ' and ' Rataplan ' have sprung ? the 
grandest specimens of the racehorse ever beheld in every 
respect ; besides many in former years that never were 
heard of in England ? If I mistake not, steam will carry 
an owner or a horse in as short a space of time from 
luxurious London to princely Paris as to desolate Dublin, 
and with half the sea. If there be superiority, no matter 
how or why it exists — there is no use mincing the matter 
— the French have it, and the point turns on "climate." 
The reason they have the opportunity of availing them- 
selves of that benefit is simply open markets, free and 
willing purses, and good buyers. It would, indeed, be 
strange if the land which is sought by the declining Brit- 
isher, to restore, by the soothing influences of its climate, 
the declining constitution, and which yields for his con- 
sumption the deliciou^s and nutritious grape, could not, in 
this respect, vie with "the tight little island" so celebrated 
for beef, barley, and juniper juice. Yes, and as certain 
as those remarks are penned, there will be more demon- 
strative proofs of the fact. It is an old adage, and a true 
one, " that every man knows best where his boot pinches." 
I never in my experience received such a shock in horse- 
racing as I did through a " Frenchman," who appeared 
to come like a thunderbolt from the skies ; and he was 



THE RACEHORSE. 143 

not only a 'Pretendant' but a ' Faugh-a-Ballagli/ for lie 
^^shot'^ me by a "bead^' witb bis blue cap on; wbicb 
was all I could see, and did not seek for more, deeming 
bim auytbing but dangerous, and being more afraid of 
" Gallus." Witb regard to tbe allowance in weigbt, instead 
of being looked upon as a compliment, it sbould ratber 
be taken as an insult, or a piece of vanity; like a scbool- 
boy telling his playfellow tbat be would tie one band 
bebind bis back and tben tbrasb bim. Let it also be 
borne in mind, tbat the Emperor is not only an en- 
lightened judge of horses, but a staunch supporter of the 
turf. 

With regard to a horse's colour, a great diversity 
of opinion exists. It has been said, tbat " a good 
horse never was of a bad colour." Still, it will 
hardly be questioned, that there have been more good 
of certain colours than of others: tben, assuming tbat 
particular colours have a tendency towards enabling a 
purchaser to become possessed of a good animal, the 
subject must merit attention. We must arrive, therefore, 
at conclusions derived from practical experience; and 
admitting the fact, tbat some are more general or common 
than others, let us first take those of gray and black, 
which are the rarest, especially the latter. Where can we 
find (as far as mares are concerned) instances in modern 
times of good animals really black, with a solitary excep- 
tion or two, such as ^Priestess' (the ^Doctor' blood)? 
Curiously enough, black mares usually, and more fre- 
quently those of a very dark brown, almost black, are 
of the ' Touchstone' or ' Sir Hercules' blood. The very 
best brood mares being of tbat very dark brown colour, 
with a mixture of gray hairs in the flank and tail, which 



144 TURF TOPICS. 

denote generally the descendants of the ' Whalebone ' 
blood. Although ' Saunterer/ ' Nunnykirk/ ' Black 
Tommy/ 'Launcelot^ (brother to 'Touchstone'), and 
others were good, we seldom find good mares for racing 
purposes. It is extraordinary, considering the number of 
the 'Whalebone' blood now bred, that so very few are 
black; and yet the generality of those black thorough- 
bred animals are descended from that blood, so remark- 
able for stoutness : still, animals of this colour are inva- 
riably soft, mares especially.* Although we occasionally 
find a few good gray horses, yet, comparatively speaking, 
they are, "like angels' visits, few and far between." As 
to the merits of bay, brown, and chestnut, each have 
afforded so many proofs of their excellence that it would 
almost " puzzle Paris " to whom he should award the 
golden apple. As far as the writer can form an esti- 
mate, the Derby has been won within the last thirty 
years by seven chestnuts, seven browns^ and sixteen 
bays ; the St. Leger by five chestnuts, eight browns, and 
seventeen bays; with about the same proportion in the 
Oaks. 

Many a valuable young one has been sacrificed 
through want of that attention which is so needed, par- 
ticularly in the case of the racehorse : for in point of fact, 
according to the present state of things, one cannot be 
too particular in the respects referred to. An erroneous 
idea exists in the minds of the proprietors of many 
establishments that one man can attend to a large num- 

* For my part, I am not so very partial to, nor a great believer 
in, the staying qualities of many 'Touchstones;' on the contrary, 
believe that their forte is speed, and their best point that they 
are of a very running strain. 



THE RACEHORSE. 145 

ber of animals : if they can^ it depends upon " the sort of 
minding." 

One of the most important, if not the most important 
rule to be observed, is strict attention to the feet, no 
drawback or neglect proving more injurious; for if the 
power or gift to run faster than any other animal be the 
object, it is easy to imagine the sensitive feelings, espe- 
cially when galloping upon hard ground, when they have 
been neglected. In the races for the first and second 
classes of the Madrid stakes at the Curragh April meet- 
ing, when 'The Baron' (sire of ' Stockwxll ') and 'High- 
wayman,' ran with many others, the result was that the 
latter won the first class in a canter. I shall never 
forget the veteran Mr. Watts' astonishment at his 
horse's defeat as he leant on his large twisted stick, 
believing him invincible. In two days afterwards, for the 
second class, same distance, &c., ' The Baron,' reversing 
their positions, won easily ; the owner having just pre- 
viously backed him for a ten-pound note (his favourite 
investment) for the second journey; and seeming quite 
pleased, explained to the bystanders that he could not 
account for the horse's running on the first day, but had 
him plated for the second occasion tvith a piece of thin 
leather between the plate and hoof (to the want of which 
he ascribed his horse's defeat on the previous occasion), 
having had thin, shelly soles, or tender feet. What does 
it matter how good horses may really be by nature if, 
through neglect, accident, or ignorance upon the part of 
the owner or care-taker, they are lost or become useless? 
Many horses are parted with as worthless, from ignorance 
of the real ailment or causes of their indifferent perform- 
ances, which may proceed from the most simple reasons 

L 



146 TURF TOPICS. 

possible ; and what can tend more to retard speed or 
action than anything wrong with the feet ? Bad shoeing 
in many instances being the cause. 

The very time above all others, when the experienced 
hand, as regards the trainer, is called in question, is when 
the animal is commencing or being taught "the way he 
should go.^^ The foundation before described, as to care 
and condition, should be laid, in order to leave something 
to work upon; the first attempt of the trainer being to 
get rid of the " soft foaFs flesh,^^ and replace it with as 
much muscle as possible, thereby developing, as far as the 
age of the animal admits, the natural shapes and powers, 
without reducing the frame too much or too suddenly. 
Especial care should be taken not to draw the young ones 
too fine, for they run better when as '' big" as circum- 
stances will admit ; and, naturally, will not bear to be re- 
duced in condition as old horses. A mistake sometimes 
made is the supposition that, because a two-year-old feeds 
well, and keeps up condition, he can stand extra work in 
proportion. To a certain extent they, like all other ages, 
must get work according to these rules; but a two-year- 
old may be a fine-constitutioned animal, inclined to carry 
flesh, and what is termed "a gross horse," and still, if 
worked and galloped according to the general rule, will 
prove that, although he may feed well and thrive upon work, 
still, if the latter be given in the same ratio, " in strong 
work" he frequently becomes "slow," and loses his action 
from over-exercise. 

In selecting yearlings or young horses that have never 
been trained, the purchaser should bear in mind that the 
animals are on the eve of being trained, as well as at an 
age when rapidly growing, and requiring every care ; and 



THE RACEHORSE. 147 

therefore he should have regard^ not alone to the breeding 
and shape, but also to the condition, leaving, as stated, 
"something to work upon" — badly or half-fed animals 
being more or less in the background, in some respect or 
other, during their training career, and requiring double 
the time of others. 

The period for taking up or commencing to train 
yearlings varies according to circumstances and opinions 
of owners, some commencing to break or handle them in 
July, others not until about October, according to their 
advancement in condition, time of their being foaled, 
as well as their early engagements. On this point it 
matters little, provided caution is observed in other 
respects. If the colt happens to have been accustomed to 
his paddock, with plenty of fresh air and exercise, there 
is nothing more likely, upon sudden change into a warm 
stable, than his being seized with a distemper, sore throat, 
swelling of the glands, frequently ending in death. Great 
care should, therefore, be taken to have well-ventilated 
stables, especially when the young animal has been sud- 
denly changed : during the tine season especially plenty of 
air is indispensable, the want of it most detrimental. In 
the event of commencing during the summer season, while 
the ground is hard, great care should be taken to avoid much 
work, confining the exercise to walking, trotting, or gentle 
cantering, more with a view to making the mouth than 
with any other object; for if a deviation from this rule be 
made, the consequence too frequently is sore or " buck ^' 
shins, the bone, tendons, or muscles in animals so young 
not being matured : even old horses, through excessive 
work en hard ground, are not uufrequently affected in the 
same way, which renders them literally unable to move. 



148 TURF TOPICS. 

The enlargement in some instances is more manifest than in 
others ; in many, soreness without enlargement, the only 
symptom being the shortness of the fore-action ; the 
sufferer, in attempting to canter, going shorter than usual, 
without the natural freedom. The cause or even existence 
of it is not at all times known, even to the trainer, from 
the absence of the " bend,'^ or raising of the hard protu- 
berance in front, extending from under the knee down 
the fore-part of the leg, about two or three inches. The 
simple way to ascertain if soreness without such an 
appearance exists is by running the hand suddenly, with a 
pressure, down the front of the legs : if it does exist, the 
animal immediately yields with pain; in many cases, if 
badly affected, will almost fall on the knees. I have known 
horses while in training and racing to be skin-sore, and 
their owners and trainers did not dream of it, and have 
known yearlings to be rendered totally useless, and never re- 
cover their action, through this complaint; and little wonder 
it was so, for the parties who had charge of them (some 
of them their owners) could have expected nothing else, 
taking into consideration that they were in the month of 
July, on the hard ground, carrying for hours (and cantering 
about) great big men, their legs being little more than 
grizzle. Rest, a little physic, and wet applications, with 
bandages saturated with burned salt and boiled vinegar 
mixed, applied in a warm state, and left on when cold, will 
be found useful, giving but gentle exercise during this 
period. Some resort to blistering, the effects of which 
are more injurious than beneficial, tending to ossify in- 
stead of reducing the symptom. 

Great care should be taken as to the mouthing and 
breaking of young horses, an experienced hand being 



THE RACEHORSE. 149 

necessary for some time; for it too frequently happens that 
horses^ mouths are spoiled at the commencement, and^ once 
" made/' it by no means follows that they are properly made 
— quite the contrary. They very often become so hard and 
uneven on one side or the other^ through having had a 
"bad hand^' in the breakings that they can seldom^ if ever, 
be made as they should be — proving most injurious in their 
racing career, particularly on round or oval courses, such 
as Chester and Manchester. A steady man or boy is the 
proper person to select — not too heavy — who will not 
ruffle or "fight" with the young horse during the course of 
his breaking, which is not an uncommon occurrence ; the 
consequence being loss of temper and fretting, which pre- 
vents the animal feeding during the period he most re- 
quires nourishment and strength. In short, too much 
kind treatment cannot be shown at this particular stage ; 
such as speaking to, and tapping with the hand ; the re- 
verse of which leaves an impression, tending in some cases 
to cause vice, in others want of confidence : the latter of 
which is as essential as the former is ruinous. Horses, 
like their masters, if taught bad habits when young, 
seldom forget them ; for, to train anything, there is 
nothing like bending the sapling when young and tender. 
Without temper, and confidence, which usually accom- 
panies it, a racehorse is useless. At home, in his private 
trials, he may be tried so highly as to convince his trainer 
that his coming engagements are certainties; when he 
appears in public, in a crowd, with the silk racing-jacket, 
and light, tight-fitting, racing-saddle, to which he has not 
been, perhaps, before accustomed, or, on the other hand, 
knows too well from experience, meetiug a crowd of strange 
horses — not only strange, but equally unaccustomed to the 



150 TURF TOPICS. 

usual bustle and noise of a racecourse, at the very moment 
when a practical demonstration of all his qualifications is 
demanded, and all his powers are called in question — he is 
not only rendered unable to finish and display them, but, 
in point of fact, never begins. Hence it frequently happens 
that experienced trainers win with inferior animals, beat- 
ing others possessing qualities far superior to their van- 
quishers. It is really astonishing the extent to which faint- 
hearted horses prove not only unserviceable, but injurious 
to their owners. 

A curious instance of the sagacity of horses was 
manifested some years ago at a country meeting. A hack- 
race having been " got up,^' some strange animals con- 
tended. Amongst the number, one belonged to a certain 
ex-member of the P. R. In the outer ring, where he had 
been backing his nag, one man laid him several wagers 
against him in crowns. The horse was winning the race, 
and suddenly stopped at the distance. Upon our hero 
making inquiries, it turned out that the layer knew he had 
been in a milk-cart, and cried at the top of his voice, 
^' Milk!" The owner vowed to punch his nose ! 

Want of heart in the racehorse is fatal, and often caused 
by harsh treatment when training. Amongst the errors 
practised, a fatal one being that of trying and training 
horses continually on the same ground, the very approach 
to which becomes obnoxious to them. Upon this subject it 
is right to observe, that when training or running at so early 
a period, and for such short courses, generally about half- 
a-mile, the great point to be practised is quickness in 
getting off, or, more properly speaking, in racing parlance, 
"jumping off,^' as a great deal depends thereupon. Then, in 
order to carry out this principle, and bring the two-year- 



THE RACEHORSE. 151 

old to the post, it is most desirable to teach him how to 
leave it, with the silk jacket, colours, and racing- saddle 
he is about to carry; accustoming him to crowds, noise, 
and bustle. In very many instances, two-year-old races are 
won by animals thus trained and taught ; beating others 
in reality far their superiors. I knew a very strange 
instance to happen to two parties who were joined in 
some horses. One had, however, a two-years-old exclu- 
sively his own, which was engaged against another of the 
other party ; a very superior animal, and backed for a heap 
of money, whereas the other was merely backed by his 
owner at extreme odds. The latter offered not to run if 
he received his own stake, which was declined. He started, 
and won in a common canter, simply because he was a 
good "beginner." 

The object of parties seeking to win early engagements 
with two-years-old, should be to render them as precocious 
and advanced as possible ; therefore, no sort of stratagem 
should be left unheeded to bring them to perfection. 
They should be ridden into market-places, fairs, and 
crowds of every description, as noisy as possible ; a little 
music, in the shape of kettledrums and fiddles, will prove 
most serviceable for a future day. Only fancy a " green '' 
two-years-old (many of which are frequently seen), never 
having seen or heard crowds, or the noise and bustle of 
Epsom Hill on a Derby day, or any other day ; at what con- 
clusion can that sagacious animal arrive, except that he is 
in danger and about to lose his life, being thereby deprived 
of the confidence necessary? Who can expect it at so 
early a period of life, to be properly developed to the 
extent required in the young animal about to make his 
debut amongst such scenes and commotions ? 



152 TURF TOPICS. 

The earlier you require the two-year-old the sooner 
you must begin to teach him that which he is about to 
perform ; for although he may naturally possess the gift, 
it is the duty of the trainer to teach him how to display it^ 
for many good ones have been lost to the owner, parted with 
for a mere song, while possessing qualities undeveloped, 
which, if placed in proper hands, might have been ^'stars^' 
on the turf. Just as many eminent men have been in their 
youth or schoolboy days put down as blockheads. The 
reader must understand, that when I refer to two-year- 
oldsj I mean from the time of being backed or put into 
training — say October, as yearlings — up to their appear- 
ance in public for the first time. 

There are many scientific trainers who can "wind 
horses up^' to perfection, for certain races; and whose 
skill is derived from extensive practical knowledge and ex- 
perience. Yet there are some of these very artistes who 
almost gallop their animals to death, regardless of their 
nature, constitution, or breeding; for there are certain 
strains of blood which will not run light, or which require 
half the work of others. I have known instances where 
horses have shown good form, which induced the owners to 
try their hands at " higher game ; " believing that, when 
some of the " stars " of the profession had run the rule over 
them, and " given them the polish," they would do won- 
ders: the result was, that they could not beat "any- 
thing;'^ yet, when brought back to their old quarters, and 
given a few weeks' gentle exercise by the side of a hedge, 
some rest, a little of "Doctor Green's" remedy, in the 
shape of some cool green-meat, their "poor feet" attended 
to, and cooled also, have recovered the effects of the " skin- 
'cm-alive" principle, and absolutely come back to their 



THE RACEHORSE. 153 

former real form ; having had less work and more corn. 
The jaded and dried-up condition of some horses is truly 
wonderful — literally galloped almost to death. 

A certain Irish trainer (now deceased, who in his 
younger days trained ' Harkaway/ ^ Rust/ ' Barkston/ 
and many renowned horses), most experienced, but eccen- 
tric in his character and manner, many years ago trained 
for me and others. He was remarkably averse to over- 
drawing horses, and especially fond of the ' Birdcatcher' 
blood, which, he very properly remarked, did not generally 
require as much work as others. Nothing used to annoy 
him more than my wishing to have horses '' rattled along.^^ 
As for "trials,'^ it was next to an impossibility to get 
him to consent. If I called to the boys, when at exercise, 
to "go along,^^ he would reply, " Oh, blur an' ounds, 
youHl burst them!" at the same time raising his hand 
and roaring aloud, " Hould hard!" And turnnig to me 
would add, " Tare an' agers, this 'II never do !" 

Having afterwards become private trainer to a certain 
deceased and lamented nobleman, who, in common with 
all who knew him, entertained a very high opinion of him, 
and being a first-rate horseman across country, a certain 
celebrated steeple-chase was about to come off, in which 
he was to ride a renowned horse, a great favourite. The 
night previous to the chase his lordship, who happened 
to be stopping at the hotel in the neighbourhood of the 
course with some friends, was startled by an announce- 
ment that a messenger in great haste wished to see him 
on urgent business ; and having asked him the nature of 
his errand, in a most excited manner the latter exclaimed, 
" Och, my lord, there's murther down the town ! Larry" 
(the trainer and intended rider) "has had a dhrojj too much. 



154 TURF TOPICS. 

and has been wallopin' some Peelers with a flail/' " Has 
he been taken ? " " Faith, not he, my lord ; he got his 
back agin a wall in the barn, and stretched them as they 
cum on." Larry, nothing daunted, and regardless of the 
risk of being arrested by the Peelers; who were on the 
look-out for him, being determined to witness his horse^s 
running next day, repaired to the course in female dis- 
guise, and from the top of a corn-stack witnessed his suc- 
cess. He used to take the pledge for a year and a day, 
and on the expiration thereof no Father JMathew could 
prevent him having a "^ spree;" during one of which, in 
the time of the famine in Ireland, he commenced a letter 
to me, — " Awful Sir ; " and addressed it at bottom, " Awful 
Times, Esquire." 

One of his principal objections was to small hoi'ses. 
Upon one occasion a horse of mine, ' Chief Baron,' 
(brother to ' Micky Free,') had just left the starting-post, 
amongst others, against a very large mare called ' The 
Baroness' (sister to ' The Baron'), belonging to Mr. Watts. 
As we were riding across the course towards the winning- 
post he remarked, looking back towards them, " She'll 
murther the poor little fellow with that awful stride." He 
was, however, agreeably surprised to find old ' Denny 
Wynne' win by a head, to the dismay of Mr. Watts; 
who remarked that his colours won : at which Larry re- 
marked to me, " Tell him they're yours, too." 

Many horses are overloaded with clothing, and kept 
in perfect hot-houses; the results being most injurious 
in many respects. Amongst others, from causing liability 
to colds and distempers. For horses engaged, or about 
to run very early, and especially to those inclined to 
long, or heavy " coats," there is nothing better than 



THE RACEHORSE. 155 

the system of clipping, or removing the winter coat. It 
improves their condition in many ways, and they thrive 
much quicker. 

Horses are frequently too much hurried in their train- 
ingj through the anxiety of owners to run them for cer- 
tain engagements ; the consequence being most injurious. 
Many owners fancy they can be got fit to run in half 
the time really required. A young beginner on the turf 
having sent a horse to be trained, with instructions that he 
should be ready in a month to fulfil a certain engagement, 
although at the time a mountain of flesh, upon the eve 
thereof visited the trainer's establishment, and having 
been shown round the stables, requested to see his own 
horse, as he was in a hurry to catch the train — he hap- 
pened to be in his horse's box at the time. " That is your 
horse, sir ! " remarked the trainer. *' What ! do you mean 
to tell me I am a fool ? That my horse, indeed ! "WTiere 
is my horse ? That is not the one I sent you ! " The 
trainer reiterated the assurance that it was ; the owner, in 
a fit of laudable indignation, exclaimed, " Why, sir, that's 
not the half of him !'' and adding, "that he had better 
secure the remaining half while he could," immediately 
removed him. 

It is quite true, that the preparation for such a race as 
the Derby tests to the utmost the skill and intellect of 
the trainer; the object being, in most cases, to bring off 
that event upon the " winding-up " principle : or, in many 
instances, risking the ruin of the animal ; as if his services 
never would be required again. The consequence is, that 
more valuable horses are broken down from this cause, 
when training for this race, than many of the others put 
together. " Such a horse will never stand a Derby pre- 



156 TURF TOPICS. 

paration ! ^' Why ? Because he is frequently galloped 
to death, and the owner, on the eve of the event, politely 
informed that his horse has broken down. No doubt 
the Derby course is about the most severe and trying 
in England, for legs, condition, &c. But that fact 
should be especially borne in mind; and while studying 
the muscular condition of the frame, the preservation of 
the legs should not be forgotten, which frequently happens. 
It is quite true, that to bring the former to perfection 
good legs are indispensable. " The trainer naturally 
says, You must give me good-legged ones." How many 
Derby winners are never afterwards heard of, except at 
stud! 

The manner in w^hich some animals vary in form, 
during even one season, is extraordinary, yet can be ac- 
counted for in various ways. Like every other animal, 
they are not at all times well, and in the same vigour of 
health, from various causes. Sometimes, through exces- 
sive work ; at others, through simple, perhaps slight dis- 
temper, under which they are frequently labouring, even 
when running races : yet it does not absolutely break out, 
or appear visible, perhaps^ until the day after the race. 
Moreover, many " mares" towards the end of the season, 
when casting their coats, become weak, and do not show 
their real form for a certain period ; just as fowl become 
weak when moulting.* 

* It is believed by most people that what is termed " turning 
horses up," or taking them out of work, injures and lessens 
their action. That is a point admitting of doubt. There have 
been instances where horses and mares have won, and over long 
courses, after being put to stud. A stallion, called 'De Vere,' 
many years ago, and a superior horse, won cups and Queen's 
plates, four miles, after being at stud 5 and, if I mistake not, 



THE RACEHORSE. 157 

Some legs last much longer than others^ and in many 
instances doubtful-looking ones prove the best. 

Wlien purchasing yearlings and entering them for en- 
gagements^ a great deal should depend upon their shape, 
size, breeding, and the distance of the courses ; the great 
mistake, in my opinion, being that they are frequently too 
heavily engaged : for any experience I may have had in 
such matters, induces me to recommend owners to wait 
until they know whether they are worth engaging, at 
least, before entering too deeply. Moreover, not only the 
accidents, but diseases and chances to which young horses 
are subject, are numerous, and only known to those who have 
paid for their experience : for instance, take the late Lord 
George Ben tinck's entrances for the Hippodrome stake — 
eleven in number — seven of the lot died before the day. 
Another instance of the '^ glorious uncertainty," and more 
especially as regards hazard of "matchmaking," was 
borne out in the case of three yearlings that had been 
matched against each other to inin at two years old. 
Having matched a yearling of mine, ' The Maid of Moor- 
field,' (by * Magpie,' out of sister to ' Irish Birdcatcher,') 
against one of the late Marquis of Waterford's, for five 
hundred sovereigns a-side, he naming a filly by ' Coranna/ 
out of ' Repartee,' also matched against the late Lord 
Caledon's brother to ' Shylock,' for a similar amount, the 
result was as follows : — The last-named was shot in his 
paddock shortly afterwards, by some recently discharged 

for more than one season. And I have known mares to win 
Queen's plates, four miles, within three months after foaling, the 
produce being reared by hand. It would be well for many if they 
were turned up occasionally ; for, in my opinion, it would bring 
their lost action back, at least in some instances. 



158 TURF TOPICS. 

servant; Lord "VVaterford^s filly broke her back a fort- 
night before the match ; and mine died within a few days 
thereof, of distemper.* 

Although I write against the prudence of match- 
making, it is rather curious that in such I proved more 
fortunate than in other engagements, having made a good 
number, and never lost but upon one occasion. Still, 
to run for public money is more judicious, profitable, 
and less precarious, except when horses are fit and well, 
when it is probably as desirable as any course. 

There is no age at which horses can give so much 
w^eight to others as at two years old; the earher they 
are tried the greater the disparity will appear : the causes 
can best be traced to the following reasons : — The 
difference as to size, shape, power, speed, breeding, early 
condition ; in short, artificial as well as natural ad- 
vancement in the respects required. Take, for instance, 
such contrasts as are frequently witnessed, where some 
of those speedy flying fillies, well trained, and taught 
to "jump off," not only by nature, but through prac- 

* It would indeed be an act of ingratitude to omit mentioning 
the noble and generous manner in which his lordship acted upon 
the occasion, as he did upon other similar ones with me. His filly 
had just run in a race, and although a very small, and, indeed, 
inferior animal, still she was sound and well within a fortnight of 
the match. I asked, " What will you give, mj' Lord, to be off 
now?" To which he replied : " Lord Caledon's is dead; is yours 
yet, as I know she is, near it ? " " Very nearly, my Lord. Then 
what will you take?" " I'll leave it to yourself Anything you 
like." I handed him fifty pounds : it was half forfeit. " Now," 
said he, " I shall run this mare again." He did so, and she broke 
her back. Mine died within three days of the match, — the best 
filly I ever tried : better than ' Early Bird ;' the same age, and as 
nice a mare as ever was looked at. 



THE RACEHORSE. 159 

tice and attention in the way of training and trying, so 
frequently bestowed by some trainers for early engage- 
ments, the distance being half a mile or under; let them 
be opposed by others — fine, slashing, overgrown horses 
— what chance can the latter have, as a general rule ? 
The chief cause, taking two-year-olds in the general run, 
is simply that some are so much better reared, fed, and, 
in fact, forward in every respect. 

Horses, during their racing career, arrive at their best 
form, and display their powers in their greatest perfection, 
according to their breeding, shape, the period at which 
they have been in strict training, and the amount of 
work they have done. Some are of an improving breed, 
and " train on ; " others are " fliers," at two and three 
years old, and as they grow old, get worse — no better, 
certainly, after three years old. But to my mind many 
of the regular-class racehorses, trained and treated in 
a fair way, according to the general run of the first 
class in the present day, are nearly, if not quite as 
good, at three years old in October, as ever they are, say 
for two miles : that is to say, if they have been racing 
much at two and three years old, and provided they are 
kept at racing weight in October. This remark does not 
apply to animals of certain blood, that may have been 
judiciously kept from severe work at two years old, and 
have been kept over ; because any animal if thus treated 
must improve, and be better at four or five years old. Of 
course there are exceptions, especially where there is fine 
size, substance, power, &c. : but my remarks are with 
reference to horses as they are generally worked in the 
present day, the efi"ects of which tell so that I believe 
"the clock has been wound up to te last link of the 



1C)0 TURF TOPICS. 

chain," as a general rule, in October, at three years. 
The "stamina" may increase, but the " speed" begins to 
slacken ; indeed, many Derby and St. Leger winners are 
never afterwards heard of except at stud. Amongst 
others, ' Faugh-a-Ballagh^ and 'The Baron' furnished 
proof of the fact. 

Many hasty conclusions are formed as to the de- 
ficiency in staying powers of certain horses. They are 
sometimes considered " half-milers," because they have 
been tried and trained for that distance, and having shown 
speed, are frequently set down as "non-stayers," engaged 
accordingly, and because they win at such a distance 
the "name sticks to them;" like the man, who had the 
name of "getting up very early in the morning, yet 
used to remain in bed all day." The consequence is, that 
because they have shown speed, they are considered animals 
without staying powers. I have known instances, and 
have myself purchased horses from " flash stables" where 
they were thus condemned, and had run solely for half- 
mile races ; and yet their forte was a distance, and four 
miles would have suited them better than half a mile : 
they won over two miles and upwards, beating good 
horses, very much to the astonishment of their previous 
owners and trainers. 

If horses naturally possess speed, it is wonderful what 
time and training will accomplish ; as to staying, if they 
have it not, no time or care can place that gift where it 
has been denied by nature. The large, perhaps leggy, 
overgrown two-year-old, even if he can run but a few 
hundred yards, will with time make wonderful progress 
as to staying. At the same time it invariably follows, that 
where animals are possessed of speed to an extraordinaiy 



THE KACEHORSE. 161 

degree, they are invariably deficient in staying powers, 
their shapes as well as action being difi^erent to those of 
stayers ; indeed, to a certain extent, the two qualities, if 
shown in any extraordinary degree, are incompatible, al- 
though the latter may be gifted with moderate or " good" 
speed. My remarks refer merely to those very short, 
compact, half-mile fliers. 

If the ashes of Alexander, or the cruel Caligula, were 
to rise from the grave and witness the wonderful exploits 
of some horse-tamers of the nineteenth century, how 
they would stare ! There can hardly be a question that 
the iron-bondage system would be resorted to, and the 
practitioners asked how their joints felt after a month's 
trial. Probably, the sentence might be a tar-barrel rolled 
from the top of the hill towards the starting-post at 
Epsom. 

Even the Zebra could be tamed by domestication and 
proper treatment, in time ; but he has not been considered 
worth the trouble. One generation might not prove suffi- 
cient. Like the lion-tamers and performers, it might also 
astonish the reader to learn that the real tamer could be 
found in a very humble situation as ostler, not one 
hundred miles from Brompton, London; his implement 
being a hot iron bar. 

The horse appreciates kind treatment, when shown to 
him, far more than his ungrateful master does. Take, for 
instance, the trained circus horse : does he not perform ac- 
cording to the dictates of his trainer ? Ought not even this 
simple fact be sufficient to convince any party that kind- 
ness on the one hand, and, when necessary, chastisement 
on the other, should be observed ? Then, as before stated, 
the time to commence is when they are young. The ill- 
si 



162 TURF TOPICS. 

treatment to wliich they are sometimes subjected fre- 
quently leads to vice and bad temper. Surely such 
beautiful creatures were not formed to be '' walloped/' as 
his lordship's Larry did the " Peelers ?" 

That noble animal the racehorse, generally and so 
justly prized by man, although so cruelly treated by 
some, is docile by nature, and more capable of appreciating 
kindness than many of those who turn him to mercenaiy 
and useful purposes. There is more gratitude in one hair 
of a horse's tail than in half mankind. He is noble, not 
alone in appearance, but by nature and instinct. His 
perfections and superior qualities are seldom so clearly 
discovered and confessed as when, in his majestic form, he 
stands the scrutiny of the admiring crowd upon the 
occasion of " weighing in;" when, as far as a dumb animal 
can give expression to his feelings, whether of gratitude or 
contempt, he gives his backward kick, as much as to say,. 
"That for your opinions ! where is the corn-bin ?" His 
symmetry, his muscular development, his beautiful head, 
eyes of flashing fire, heated veins, and extended nostrils, 
then call forth most laudable ebullitions of admiration 
from spectators; while the owner calmly calculates the 
addition to his coffers by the victory so gamely struggled 
for and gained. But unfortunately, in too many instances, 
that noble steed, that once, when in bloom, had so well 
served his master, serves also as a sad example of the 
latter^s ingratitude ; and having reaped many laurels, like 
the faded flower withered and forsaken, is cast from the 
breast of the spoiler, and replaced by a blooming rosebud — 
forgotten until, perhaps, at some future day, again re- 
cognised by his former master when safely lodged at a 
railway station in a Hansom, on his journey to a race- 



THE RACEHORSE. 163 

meeting. So unlike the testimony of attachment placed by 
his owner, Sii' Gilbert Heathcote, in memory of ' Amato/ 
or Orlando to his dying horse, his faithful steed that long 
had served him well, — 

" ' My much -loved steed, my generous friend, 
Companion of mj'^ better years ! ' he said, 
' And have I lived to see so sad an end 
Of all thy toils, and thy brave spirit fled ? 
O pardon me if e'er I did offend, 
With hasty wrong, that mild and faithful head.' " 



164 



THE 



SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 



" The tainted branches of the tree, 

If lopped with care, a strength may give, 
By which the rest shall bloom and live, 
All greenly fresh and wildly free." 

As the subject of Sires appears to occu])y so mixcli of the 
attention of the sporting public, and as even deputations 
wait upon the Government vv^ith the view of devising means 
of improving the breed of horses in general, I venture to 
make a few remarks thereupon. 

We find that there are now some hundreds of stallions 
at the service of the public in Great Britain and Ireland. 
To deny that the greater portion are descended from 
first-class blood would be absurd ; yet there are very many 
other necessary qualifications which demand the attention 
of' breeders, according to the object they may have in 
view — whether it be to become possessed of a useful 
animal for general purposes, oi-, on the other hand, to 
run that well-known risk which admittedly accompanies 
every endeavour to breed a racehorse. 

Allowing that there are many whose blood is equally 
fashionable and faultless, still there are some which may 
possess extra recommendations as to size, strength, shape, 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 165 

colour, and performances, either during tlieir racing career 
or as stud-horses. And when discussing the merits of 
tried sires, it by no means becomes so necessary to look to 
their own merits as racehorses, as to those of their sons 
and daughters ; for many inferior racehorses have proved 
good sires, and vice versa. Still the chances must be 
naturally in favour of those as near perfection as possible, 
and with the least drawbacks. A very great difference of 
opinion exists, in the present day, with regard to the staying- 
powers, speed, and other qualifications of certain strains of 
blood ; the partisans of each, no doubt, advancing strong 
arguQients in favour of their respective views, although 
occasionally in a rather prejudiced manner: without taking 
into consideration the various circumstances which may 
have tended towards increasing or diminishing the prestige 
of each. Such, for instance, as the number and quality of 
the brood mares. As regards the former, it by no means 
follows (even if the animal should be standing at fifty 
guineas, and his subscription full) that he has had abetter 
chance than another with perhaps half the number, for the 
following amongst other reasons : viz. every owner of a good 
brood mare is not at all times so flush in funds as to place 
him in a position to pay that sum of fifty guineas, together 
with the incidental expenses of travelling, &c. Whereas 
there are many w^calthy noblemen and gentlemen, whose 
purses or properties are more extensive than their know- 
ledge of horseflesh, who at times keep a very inferior 
class of brood mares, and who, from some whim or fancy 
(perhaps the mare having on some previous occasion 
jumped over a donkey^s cart, a five-barred gate, or carried 
her ladyship brilliantly with hounds), do not hesitate to pay 
the large figure ; the consequence being, that the sire is 



166 TURF TOPICS. 

believed to have had chances which he really never had ; 
while another^ equally well bred, and otherwise desirable, 
has been patronised with a lesser number : the property, 
perhaps, of experienced judges, as well as parties who pay 
every attention, and leave no stone unturned to bring to 
perfection the produce. The consequence is, that the 
casual reviewer of the statistics, generally recording the 
number of foals, winners, &c., forms a hasty conclusion as 
to their respective merits and chances. 

We frequently see instances, where what are termed 
unfashionable sires have produced first-class racehorses; 
the fact being, that they have been unpafronised, although, 
in many instances, their superior blood, as well as first- 
class performances, entitled them to it : amongst others 
may be mentioned ' Ivan/ a horse of undoubted blood, as 
well as a first-class racehorse, as his performances with 
' Vindex' and others will testify. Besides, we have 'Van 
Galen,' ' Syphon,' another 'Van Tromp ;' a striking proof 
of the value of the ' Lanercost' strain, especially for stout- 
ness, evidenced in their respective sons, 'Union Jack' and 
'Tim Whiffler.' 

There can be no greater proof of the lottery of breeding 
than the success or failure of sires ; for no matter of what 
blood, or how they may have distinguished themselves as 
racehorses, still, in many instances, the most signal failures 
and disappointments are experienced, where the perform- 
ances, as well as high breeding, would lead one to ex- 
pect most successful results : for instance, ' Cotherstone,' 
'Pyrrhus the First,' 'Charles the Twelfth,' 'Surplice,' 
' Launcelot,' &c. : yet they sometimes produce one or two 
first-class racehorses : for instance, ' Cotherstone,' sire of 
' Stilton,' and ' Pyrrhus,' of that extraordinary mare 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 167 

'Virago' (whose trainer believed her to be about ten pounds 
better than ' Crucifix'). In fact, the failure of such horses 
as those mentioned, with all the chances they have had at 
stud, is one of those things which, as Lord Dundreary 
says, " No fellah can understand," still it may to a great 
extent be accounted for, in various ways : the most frequent 
and fatal mistake being too much " stall-feeding," and in- 
sufficient exercise, the groom not unfrequently sitting over 
the fire, smoking his pipe, when he ought to be exercising 
his horse. However, it is perfectly absurd to think that 
any man can properly attend to the number of animals 
that some owners fancy they can. Some grooms have 
about three times more to do to than they should 
have. To attend properly to one sii'e is enough for any 
man, during the season and while preparing for it. It is 
almost impossible to give a stallion too much exercise by 
hand; yet it must be very hard work walking for hours 
and leading a restless sire, which is much more judicious 
exercise than that in the ring. 

If possible, the best way a stallion could get his 
work, or exercise, is simply by being ridden ; and in 
summer, when done his season, let him have his paddock 
to exercise in (although I am aware many will diff'er in 
this view, on variovis grounds) : but, with all deference 
to those who adopt the "stall-feeding" principle, even 
in the dog-days, my humble opinion is that the large, 
loose, well-ventilated box and well-enclosed paddock, 
would prove more beneficial, and would tend much to save 
the lives of many that die from inflammation, brought on by 
confinement and want of proper exercise. How frequently 
do wc hear of sires becoming roarers after being put to stud, 
where even the very suspicion of such an infirmity never 



168 TURF TOPICS. 

existed, up to the end of their racing career : and why ? 
Simply because one-half do not get sufficient exercise, whilst 
some get none at all, at any period of the year, but are turned 
up and overfed. Taking into consideration the fact that 
such animals have but recently ceased not only natural, 
but artificial and overstrained work, it is hardly to be won- 
dered at that the sudden cessation of such exercise, as well 
as the different and fattening nature of the food which they 
receive, should tell its tale. But from whence do. such 
reports derive their origin ? From servants sent with 
mares, who inform their masters that " they heard the 
horse roar;" which, in point of fact, was nothing more 
than a grunt like swine, produced by sudden exertion 
and from being so full of fat inwardly, which in many 
cases would gradually disappear if the horse were again 
brought back into his former racing condition. Another 
most injurious consequence of want of exercise and over- 
condition is the uncertainty of produce ; for there is no doubt 
that the most certain foal-getters are the common travelling 
stallions, who are engaged almost the entire day in walking 
from place to place. JMany instances have been known, 
and come within my own knowledge, where mares, barren 
for years to other " made-up " sires, have had produce the 
very first time they were sei"ved by this class. A gentle- 
man some years ago purchased a young stallion from me 
(brother to ' Shylock ^) at four years old; the horse had 
never been tried while in my possession, or to my know- 
ledge previously. He had a large number of mares 
subsequently, but none proved with foal. Yet, as well as 
I remember, the horse being afterwards put to work during 
certain periods of the year, turned out fruitful. 

A similar case happened with a young prize bull which 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 169 

I purchased at a cattle-sliow for a large price. Being 
housed and kept in high condition, out of nearly fifty 
cows, there were but two or three calves. When turned 
out he was quite fruitful. 

Many persons fancy that the cause of roaring is a 
thickness or swelling of the glands or muscles of the 
throat, whereas it is exactly the contrary. It is the wasting 
or withering away on the one side thereof, the other 
remaining in its natural state. If any one consults a 
competent veterinary surgeon on the subject of a horse's 
wind, even if the animal be in light condition, he will 
have the horse about to be examined, if possible, "galloped" 
for a considerable time, before he can arrive at a positive 
conclusion as to his soundness. It is hardly likely, 
therefore, that persons can easily come to a decision 
as to the soundness of a stall-fed stallion. Some of the 
soundest, best-winded, and longest runners, make a sort of 
snorting noise through their nostrils, even when going 
half speed. The principal reason why some owners keep 
their horses in high condition is, because they very natur- 
ally believe they look better to the eye of most people ; so 
they do — and the occasional '' flatcatchers,'' in the shape 
of fancy head-collars, &c., have their effect in the eyes of 
many. Few men know how an inch off a horse's tail can 
add to his substance and lessen his height, &c. A certain 
noble Lord, B*l*d*re, once told my grandfather "he did 
not like a certain horse's tail." "Oh ! " replied the latter, 
" it is not on his tail you ride ! " 

If the breeder has plenty of capital, and can afford to 
speculate, he could not do better than pick up some extra- 
ordinarily well-bred young one, of good shape and promise 
— suppose a three-years-old, that has been unsuccessful 



170 TURF TOPICS. 

as a racehorse, if let out at a small figure, or even gratis, 
to tried mares, for one season or two, might in time 
establish for himself a name worthy of his ancestors : 
for instance, such a horse as ' Petruchio' by ' Orlando,' 
out of ' Virago/ This animal, if he has grown into 
what he promised when a yearling, with fine propelling 
power, and good-looking enough for anything, would 
be the sort to select, " for blood will tell." It has been 
said by many experienced judges, that speed is the great 
point to look for in the brood mare, and it is to be pre- 
sumed the same rule ought to apply to the sire. Whether 
this opinion is correct, and I for one concur therein (in- 
asmuch as however time, training, and good management 
can make horses "train on" and stay, no power or skill 
can put sjjeed into a horse unless he naturally possesses the 
gift), yet there are, and have been, very many instances 
where mares having proved worthless as racehorses, still 
have turned out tip-top brood mares; and there is no 
reason why it should not prove the same with stallions, 
provided always they have the shape, soundness, size, 
and above all other recommendations, " that they belong 
to a running family," although perhaps, from some cause 
or accident, they may have proved of no value on the 
turf. 

There are many extraordinaiy instances in the lot- 
tery of breeding, and perhaps none more so than where 
we find such horses as * Cotherstonc,' ' Coltsterdale,' and 
others, although racehorses, comparative failures as sires; 
and yet their own sisters, ' Mowerina' and ' Ellerdale,' not 
only good but first-class brood mares : for example, they 
not only produced each a really good animal, but abso- 
lutely proved successful with many strains of blood, pro- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 171 

duclng sucli animals as ' West Australian/ 'Ellington/ 
' Gilclennine/ ' Wardermarske/ ' Summerside/ ' Eller- 
mire/ &c. Must not this fact go a great length towards 
proving that the good green pasture and exercise served 
the dams_, and that the dried-up system observed with the 
sires had the contrary effect ? 

Taking into consideration that such a horse as 'Pe- 
truchio' (bred as he is, with probably the most high- 
sounding pedigree of any horse living) did not turn out a 
racehorse, do we not find a fact more to be wondered at 
than if he should hereafter prove the sire of first-class horses, 
if he should get the chance ; particularly bearing in mind 
that he has gone to stud a fresh young horse, with con- 
stitution unimpaired by training, and probably otherwise 
sound? As far as this animal is concerned, I know nothing 
as to whether he has had any chance as yet, nor anything 
further regarding him ; I merely cite him as an example. 
If we take the winners of the three great events, viz. 
Derby, Oaks, and St. Leger, for the last thirty years, and 
contrast their success at stud, either as sires or brood 
mares, the results will prove anything but encouraging 
to breeders — with very few exceptions indeed. And it is 
also worthy of remark, that the winners of the St. Leger 
have proved far more successful as sires than those of the 
Derby ; while the Oaks winners have likewise, with very 
few exceptions, been perfect failures : although, as a 
natural consequence of their success for these events, they 
had far better chances of distinguishing themselves than 
were offered to others. 



172 


TURF TOPICS. 






Derby. 


Oaks. 


St. Leger. 


1834. 


Plenipotentiary. 


Pussy. 


Touchstone. 


1835. 


Mundig. 


Queen of Trumps. 


Queen of Trumps. 


1836. 


Bay Middleton. 


Cyprian. 


Elis. 


1837. 


Phosphorus. 


Miss Lctty. 


Mango. 


1838. 


Araato. 


Industry. 


Don John. 


1839. 


Bloomsbury, 


Deception. 


CharlestheTwelfth 


1840. 


Little Wonder. 


Crucifix. 


Launcelot. 


1841. 


Coronation. 


Ghuznee. 


Satirist. 


1842. 


Attila. 


Our Nell. 


Blue Bonnet. 


1843. 


Cotherstone. 


Poison. 


Nutwith. 


1844. 


Orlando. 


Princess. 


Faugh-a-Ballagh. 


1845. 


Merry Monarch. 


Refraction. 


The Baron. 


1846. 


Pyrrhus the First. 


IMendicant. 


Sir Tatton Sykes. 


1847. 


The Cossack. 


]\Iiami. 


Van Tromp. 


1848. 


Surplice. 


Cymba. 


Surplice. 


1849. 


The Flying Dutchman. 


Lady Evelyn. 


Flying Dutchman. 


1850. 


Voltigeur. 


Rhedycina. 


Voltigeur. 


1851. 


Teddington. 


Iris. 


Newminster. 


1852. 


Daniel O'Rourke. 


Songstress. 


Stockwell. 


1853. 


West Australian, 


Catherine Hayes. 


West Australian. 


1854. 


Andover. 


Mincemeat. 


Kt. of St. George. 


1855. 


Wild Dayrell. 


Marchioness. 


Saucebox. 


1856. 


Ellington. 


Mincepie. 


Warlock. 


1857. 


Blink Bonny. 


Blink Bonny. 


Iniperieuse. 


1858. 


Beadsman. 


Governess. 


Sunbeam. 


1859. 


Musjid. 


Summerside. 


Gamester. 


1860. 


Thormanby. 


Butterfly. 


St. Albans. 



With tlie exception of the success of the 'Whalebone' 
strains, very few of the above have proved valuable or 
successful as sires^ and most of the mares have almost in- 
variably been useless. 

In choosing the blood to commence with^ on the sides 
of sire and dam, it would be absurd to be prejudiced to 
too great an extent, either one way or the other ; although 
the breeder for sale must, in a very great measure, go with 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 173 

the times and fashions of the day ; and in attempting to pick 
out a favourite strain of blood, with so many to choose 
from, one, to a great extent, becomes (like a lady selecting 
a dress or a bonnet) bewildered, and unable to fix upon 
any particular choice. However, I shall, without favour 
or prejudice, express my humble opinion on the blood and 
crosses generally, and lay before the reader my ideas. But 
before doing so, I beg to express my opinion with regard to 
the course which a breeder should take, as to keeping his 
own sires or hiring those of others. To my mind it is an 
error for an owner of a lot of mares to tie himself to any 
particular stallion or stallions ; if he keep his own, he is 
frequently led away, by prejudice perhaps, to sacrifice too 
many of his mares in the hope of establishing the sire; 
and year after year he may repeat this course, which, 
although it may turn out successful, still is increasing the 
risk of breeding to too great an extent : especially as he 
may be damaging the prestige of his brood mares while 
trying to accomplish his other aim — thus undertaking, 
in fact, a mere risk as to profit or loss, between enhancing 
the value of the sires or mares, both of which, quite pos- 
sibly, might prove successful. Although we find instances 
of own brothers and sisters turning out well, such as 
'Whalebone,'' Whisker,' ^ Wire' and 'Web,' ' StockwelP 
and ' Rataplan,' ' Touchstone' and ' Launcelot,' ' Mountain 
Deer,' * Sylphine,' ' Champagne' and 'Claret,' as well as 
'Irish Birdcatcher' and ' Faugh-a-Ballagh,' besides the 
late Mr. Watts's lot, the produce of his little mare 
'Clari,' viz. 'Chat,' 'Chatterer,' 'Chatterbox,' 'Chit- 
chat,' and ' Third of May,' own brothers, still there are 
very many counterbalancing instances, where the dam has 
produced very indifferent animals — own brothers and 



174 TURF TOPICS. 

sisters : take, for instance, ' Vanderdecken/ brother to 
' The Flying Dutchman;' and yet, when she was changed 
to 'Lanercost,' she produced that extraordinarily good 
horse ' Van Tromp : ' ' Crucifix,' dam of ' Surplice,' pro- 
duced ' Pontifex,' an own brother, who turned out badly, 
and when put to ' Lanercost' she no doubt failed to 
improve the quality of her produce in ' Crozier.' There 
are numerous other instances of the kind. 

Before referring to the merits of modern sires in 
particular, let us glance over those of some of their 
ancestors, without unnecessarily tracing back too far. 
Let us commence with the renowned ' Whalebone ' blood, 
in favour of which so great a prejudice naturally exists 
in the minds of breeders and purchasers ; a prejudice 
which, no doubt, has its origin in the fact, that it fur- 
nishes more winners, and consequently, with more speedy 
returns, brings more " grist to the mill " than any other, 
whether at sale as yearlings or tried subsequently : but, 
to a very great extent, such successes are attributable to 
the vast number of the scions of this family who contend 
for races, and who are so extensively patronised in other 
respects, for upon reference to the catalogue of sires at 
present at the public service, we find that on one side or 
other, within two generations, three-fourths can claim 
near relationship to this blood, some being, on either the 
side of sire or dam, a 'Birdcatcher' or a 'Touchstone,' 
while at the same time other valuable strains are almost 
discarded in toto ; a state of things leading to the sup- 
position that we may shortly expect to find breeders 
adopting a system, in respect to some blood, approaching 
the old Egyptian custom in the days of Cleopatra, while 
some appear likely to share the fate of the Kilkenny cats. 



THE SHIES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 175 

Before, however, entering into the respective merits 
of the two extraordinary animals referred to, ' Touchstone ' 
and ' Irisli Birdcatcher,^ whose relative merit as race- 
horses or at stud it would be difficult for any unpre- 
judiced person to decide on, a retrospective glance at ' Sir 
Hercules,' the sire of ' Irish Birdcatcher,^ and probably 
* Whalebone's' most valuable son, may not be out of 
place. 

'Sir Hercules, '^ by 'Whalebone;' dam 'Peri,' by 
'Wanderer,' 'Alexander,' 'Rival,' by 'Sir Peter,' &c. 
The extraordinary merits of this horse, as a sire, hardly 
require comment. It m.ay not, perhaps, be generally 
known, that he was forgotten for many years, and left to 
serve half-bred mares belonging to farmers, at Summer- 
hill, in Ireland, at a figure in amount about equal to the 
groom's fee chargeable for other sires ; and to this day 
there is hardly a half-bred colt sold at Irish fairs that 
the owner will not trace back to ' Ould Sir Hercules.^ He 
is certain to be by ' Young Hercules,' or his dam by the 
"ould horse," particularly if he has the grey or silver 
hairs in his tail, or on his quarters or flanks, which is 
invariably the case where there is a drop of the ' Sir 
Hercules' blood. His son, the renowned 'Irish Bird- 
catcher,' shared a similar fate, having — although let out 
at a very small figure — obtained little patronage; and 
were it not for the liberality displayed by his owner in 
reducing the small figure at which he stood, he would 
not even have paid the expenses of his keep, although his 
stock had won repeatedly in Ireland ; and he might have 
been completely lost to the country had he not been 
hii-ed to serve in England. From ' Sir Hercules ' are 
descended in a direct line the following sires, besides 



176 TURF TOPICS. 

many others : — 'Irish Birdcatchcr/ ' Faugh-a-Ballagh/ 
' Lifeboat/ ' Guuboat/ ' Gemma di Vergy/ ' Stockwell/ 
* Rataplan/ ' Saunterer/ ' The Marquis/ ' Leamington/ 
'Ethelbert/ 'Big Ben/ 'Wonnersley/ &c. His colour 
black, with grey hairs in his flanks and tail, appears to 
be handed down to his son 'Saunterer/ a horse in other 
respects very much resembling his grandsire, and one 
most likely to prove a very great loss to his country, for, 
although he was not a very large horse, he was of that 
caste and metal best described as " steel : " all bone, 
sinew, and muscle — no lumber. 

' Touchstone,' as everybody knows, during his racing 
career, proved himself an undoubted racehorse ; defeating, 
amongst others for the St. Leger, the Derby winner, 
' Plenipotentiary' (at the time surnamed ' The Lion of 
Doncaster'). His numerous successes at the stud require 
no comment, further than a reference to the Racing 
Calendars; as they would be too numerous to detail, 
except by mentioning a chosen few of his sons and 
daughters : such as ' Cotherstone,' ' Orlando,' and ' Sur- 
plice/ winners of the Derby ; ' Mendicant,' winner of the 
Oaks; 'Blue Bonnet' and ' Newminster,' winners of the 
St. Leger; as also the following good animals — 'Moun- 
tain Deer,' ' Champagne,' ' Sylphine,' ' Claret,' ' Rifle- 
man,' ' Typee,' ' Lord of the Isles' (winner of the 2000- 
guineas stake), ' The Marionette,' ' De Clare,' ' Ithuriel,' 
'Adamas/ 'Ambrose/ and 'Annandalc;' besides his 
grandsons and granddaughters, 'Teddington/ 'West 
Australian,' 'Beadsman,' and 'Musjid,' winners of the 
Derby; ' L-is' and ' Marchioness/ winners of the Oaks; 
' Imperieuse/ ' Gamester,' ' The Marquis,' and ' Lord 
Clifden/ winners of the St. Leger ; ' Fazzoletto,' ' Long- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 177 

bow,' 'Marsyas;' and though last, not least, '^ Dundee/ 
The generality of this horse's descendants are in colour, 
almost without exception, dark, or rich bay or brown; 
with a very few black, or a veiy peculiar dark mealy- 
brown, with a white spot, sometimes blaze, on the fore- 
head and nose ; and more or less white about the legs : 
the shoulders being low and muscular, presenting an ap- 
pearance of roundness or heaviness (which many of the 
' Orlandos' also display), with length, especially behind 
the saddle; muscular and powerful loins, well-arched 
quarters and thighs, well-turned under, with clean hocks, 
denoting great propelling power ; yet with a flatness and 
shallowness of the ribs, especially the back ones, and 
hollowness between the latter and the hips, and an un- 
usual display of the white portion of the eye. 

' Irish Birdcatcher,' the son of ' Sir Hercules,^ and 
' Guiccioli,' by ' Bob Booty,' out of ' Flight,' by ' Escape,' 
like his rival sire, could take his part on the racecourse 
as well as in the harem. 

" When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war." 

The wonderful performances of this animal are un- 
known to many supporters of the turf in the present day ; 
almost forgotten by others who have witnessed them — 
a reference to "The Racing Calendar" is recommended 
to the reader, should he wish to arrive at a conclusion as 
to the respective merits of these two horses. The extra- 
ordinary speed of the animal in question reminds me of 
an incident which happened during a race at the Curragh, 
many years ago, in which the best horses of the day con- 
tended. A trainer having stationed himself within half- 
a-mile of the winning-post, in order to watch the progress 

N 



178 TURF TOPICS. 

of the race, and, if necessary, give his jockey instructions 
— upon seeing the latter pass him, several hundreds of 
yards in the rear, shouted at the top of his voice, "Purshue 
him! Purslme him!" — pursuit at the time being hopeless. 
But, before entering into a detail of his brilliant career 
as a sire, it is but right to observe that had both he and 

* Touchstone' being favoured with what is so frequently 
heard of at a hazard-table, as equal main and chance, it 
would be a nice point to decide between them as to merit, 
in any shape or form ; for it must not be forgotten, that 
while the " Bird" was trying to "pick up his crumbs" in 
his own country, with very little chance of success, the old 
"Gem" was being patronised by the " pick of the harems" 
of all countries, and reaping a rich harvest therefrom ; his 
subscription being full almost before publication: but 
whatever their respective merits may have been, it is quite 
certain 

" No future day will see their names expire." 

Before referring to the descendants of * Birdcatcher, ' 
it is but just to observe that, with regard to England and 
the great "events," the Derby, Oaks, and St. Leger, 
^Touchstone' had about ten years' start, as to chances. 
If ' Launcelot,' his own brother, won the St. Leger in 1840, 
the respective merits of the two animals in question 
are, as far as * Birdcatcher' is concerned, by no means 
lessened by the success for the same race of ' Faugh- 
a-Ballagh,' in 1844; nor yet by that of 'The Baron' 
in the following year. Then, in 1852, we find his son, 

* Daniel O'Rourke,' winner of the Derby; his daughter, 

* Songstress,' winner of the Oaks ; and his grandson, 
' Stockwell,' winner of the St. Leger. In 1854, his son. 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAV. 179 

* Knight of St. George/ winner of the St. Leger. In 
1856, his son, 'Warlock/ winner of the St. Leger; and 
his grand- daughter, ' Mincepie/ winner of the Oaks. 
In 1858, his granddaughter, ' Sunbeam,' v.'inuer of the 
St. Leger. In 1860, his great-grandson, ' St. Albans,' 
winner of the St. Leger, In 1861, ' Kettledrum,^ winner 
of the Derby; and 'Caller-Ou/ of the St. Leger. In 1862, 
his grandson, 'The INIarquis,' winner of the St. Leger; 
and in 1864, the past year, his great-grandson, 'Blair 
Athol,' winner of the Derby and St. Leger ; besides the 
following good animals — his sons and daughters: *Caw- 
rouche,' ' Chanticleer,' ' Early Bird,^ ' Saunterer,^ ' Exact,' 
' Habena/ and others too numerous to mention; not for- 
getting ' Justice to Ireland,' a much better animal than 
he was generally supposed to be, his powers (like many 
of Erin's other productions) not having been fully de- 
veloped. 

The colour of 'Irish Birdcatcher's ' stock is principally 
chestnut, occasionally bay, with grey or silver hairs on the 
flank and tail, with the same white marks as the ' Touch- 
stones:' their fault in shape for racing purposes being 
sometimes deficiency in length, with occasionally a slight 
inclination to curby hocks. They possess plenty of sub- 
stance and symmetry all over, being extremely well " ribbed 
up," with very little space from the back ribs to the hip; 
very good behind the saddle ; many of them, like their 
sire, however, being rather flighiy in their temper : but it 
is an undoubted fact that they could all " run a bit," and 
were always remarkable for extraordinary speed and 
quality. 

While upon the subject of the ' Whalebone ' blood, a 
few remarks upon the descendants of his own brother. 



180 TURF TOPICS. 

' Whisker/ may be admissible. Who that remembers his 
grandson ' Harkaway ' (by ' Economist '), his brilliant per- 
formances as a racehorse, will hesitate to admit that it is 
a very nice point indeed, as to whether we have since seen 
his superior on a racecourse, although, like most " nine- 
day wonders," his victories have been comparatively for- 
gotten in the anxiety of parties to patronise some of the 
" mushrooms " of more recent date ? ' Harkaway ' had 
more of the ' Godolphin^ blood' in his veins than, perhaps, 
any other sire of his day. Luckily, there is at the service 
of the public a splendid son of a renowned sire, likely to 
sustain in every respect the prestige of the old " King of 
the Curragh," namely, ' King Tom.^ A greater confirm- 
ation of the value of the 'Economist^ line and the double 
cross of the ' Whalebone ' blood we can hardly find, than 
in the case of ' The Baron ' (sire of ' Stockwell ' and ' Rata- 
plan^). 'The Baron' by 'Irish Birdcatcher,^ by ' Sir Her- 
cules^ by 'Whalebone,^ his dam ' Echidna,' by 'Economist,' 
by 'Whisker' (own brother to 'Whalebone'), bears out 
the truth of the remark I have so frequently heard made 
many years ago by the " old heads," " that there was no 
cross like the double one of the ' Whalebone."' Indeed, 
every day we find convincing proofs of the success of it, 
in such instances as ' Asteroid,' ' Audrey,' ' Miner,' and 
various others ; whereas ' Cotherstone ' formerly furnished 
an example of its success, being by ' Touchstone,' dam 
'Emma,' by ' Whisker.' However, to end the subject as 
to ' Whalebone's ' descendants, one could hardly do better 
than reply, as the late Mr. John Day used to, when inter- 
rogated by the inquisitive public as to which was the best 
of his Derby lot, "They are all good;" so, merely re- 
ferrins; to the fact that 'Whalebone' himself won the 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 181 

Derby in 1810, his own brother 'Whisker^ in 1815, and 
that his descendants in the immediate line have won 
thirty-six Derbies, Oaks, and St. Legers, we may leave 
this illustrious family " alone in their glory .^^ 

The ' Sweetmeat' or ' Gladiator ' blood appears to have 
caused quite a sensation, as well as called forth from the 
" authorities " upon such subjects their respective opinions, 
which appear to differ very considerably, the principal 
question at issue being as to the staying powers of his 
stock. 

' Sweetmeat,' by ' Gladiator,' dam ' Lollypop,' by 
•^ Starch,' or 'Voltaire.' — In order to arrive at a fair and 
proper conclusion as to a horse's merits, one would natur- 
ally suppose that they should be founded, not upon mere 
prejudice or imagination, but plain matter of fact ; then, 
who that has ever made breeding and racing his study, 
taking for granted that he possesses a reasonable amount 
of the gift of discernment or understanding, will show 
that this horse w^as not only a combination of some of 
the best-proved blood in the world, and the stoutest, 
too, but also during his racing career shone forth a 
most brilliant star, having run twenty-four times, at two 
and three years old, and been but once defeated ; having 
met the best animals of the day, amongst others ' Alice 
Hawthorne,' for the Doncaster cup, which, one would 
imagine, ought to be a test of the staying qualities of 
a three-years-old, particularly when opposed by such an 
animal as the lengthy and everlasting stayer, 'Alice Haw- 
thorne,' the heroine of so many contests. 

Then, with regard to his staying blood on his sire's 
side, we have had very many samples of its success ; such, 
for instance, as ' Blink Bonny,' whose dam was by ' Gla- 



182 TURF TOPICS. 

diator : ' and we must also bear in mind, that if the ' Kings- 
ton ' or ' Venison ' blood can stay, the fact of ' Gladiator ' 
being by the same sire, ' Partisan/ should prove no draw- 
back; nor should that of ' Glaucus/ being also by that 
horse, for we have most convincing proof of the staying 
powers of this blood in 'TheNob,' 'Nabob,' 'Trouncer,' and, 
though last not least, that magnificent specimen of " a 
horse,^' ' Nutbourne.' A certain doubt must exist as to 
whether ' Sweetmeat's' dam was by 'Voltaire' or 'Starch ; ' 
if she were by the former, there can be little doubt that her 
relationship to ' Voltigeur ' ought not to deteriorate from 
her son's merits as a stayer. Be that as it may, upon the 
latter point one would imagine that the success of his 
stock in the Derby and Oaks, over the severe hills of 
Epsom, coupled with the fact that ' Dundee,' one of the 
stoutest horses of the day, even as a two-years-old, is the 
produce of a ' Sweetmeat ' mare, ought to be powerful 
and convincing proofs as to the staying powers of his de- 
scendants : as instances of which we have ' Macaroni,' 
'Mincemeat,' 'Mincepie,' 'Citron,' ' Sweetsauce,' 'Car- 
bineer,' and many others. With regard to ' Sweetmeat's' 
shapes, his general outline was a subject for an artist, 
being symmetry all over, from his beautiful head to his 
tail, without a particle of lumber, but genuine bone, 
muscle, and sinew; if anything, leading one to the idea that 
he was slightly deficient in substance : his colour was a 
rich bi'own. My opinion is, that his dam was by ' Starch,' 
from my perfect recollection of the appearance of the 
latter animal when he stood at Walker's Horse Repository 
in Dublin, some thirty years ago, and, strange as it may 
appear, frequently in the company of a small brown bear : 
for, like ' Harkaway ' and his Newfoundland, 'Phryne ' and 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 183 

lier goat, ' Kingston ' and his cat, ' Starch ^ a}3peared very 
partial to Bruin's company. 

In forming opinions as to the staying powers and 
other qualities of any horse's stock, it frequently happens 
that persons completely overlook the fact that the dams 
have something to say to the merits or demerits ; yet 
people are inclined to forget it, and attribute the want of 
staying powers to the sire alone, totally overlooking the 
fact that the dam may have been a wretched, soft-hearted 
weed; or, even if a fine slashing mare, may inherit the "soft 
drop,'' from some strain totally different from that of the 
sire. It is likewise truly wonderful to what an extent people 
become prejudiced, and form hasty conclusions as to the 
distances certain animals can stay. How frequently some 
are led merely to confine the test of horses' qualities to 
the distance their respective blood or families may have 
"the name" of being partial to; and thus keep them 
year after year trained for, and engaged in, stakes of a 
short course — simply because, at tivo years old, they have 
"shown speed" — overlooking the probability that trained 
on they would improve, &c. The consequence is, owners 
and trainers frequently follow like a " flock of sheep," 
and are carried away by prejudice, and never give the 
chance which their animals' character entitled them to, 
although their reputation denied. 

With regard to the crosses which have appeared to 
suit this 'Gladiator' or 'Sweetmeat' blood, we have 
' Dundee' (by ' Lord of the Isles,' out of ' Marmalade,' 
by ' Sweetmeat'), whose extraordinary performances, as a 
two-years-old especially, ought to satisfy any reasonable 
person as to his staying powers, as wxll as that the 
' "Whalebone' and ' Sweetmeat' cross is desirable; other 



184 TURF TOPICS. 

instances of which we find furnished in ' Mincepie* 
(winner of the Oaks) by * Sweetmeat/ dam ' Foinualla/ 
by 'Irish Birdcatcher ; ^ ^Crater' by ' Orlando/ dam ' Ve- 
suvienne/ by ' Gladiator;^ ' Ledbury^ (a remarkably nice 
horse, and a good one too) by ' The Cure' or ' Sweet- 
meat/ dam ' Themis/ by ' Touchstone ; ' and, though last 
not least, that first-class racehorse at all distances, ' Sweet- 
sauce,' whose successes for the Stewards' and Goodwood 
cups, &c., beating large fields and the best hoi'ses of the 
day, in the commonest of canters, stamp him as a horse 
of extraordinary merit. His dam, the ' Irish Queen,' was 
by ' Harkaway,' grandson of ' Whisker.' 'Blink Bonny' 
furnishes an instance of where the ' Gladiator' and 'Mel- 
bourne' cross seemed to suit; and, strange to say, it has 
not been followed up. 

There can be no question that in this blood, as in 
many others, there have been other successful alliances : 
but if the object be to test where it best suits, it follows 
that it must be by taking those cases where first-class 
racehorses have been the produce, not where a lot of mo- 
derate animals have " run a bit:" for instance, in the 
case of ' Sweetmeat,' we have proofs in favour of ' Touch- 
stone' (which appears to suit with any other), 'Pantaloon' 
(which I believe a first-rate cross for any other), and 
the ' Whalebone,' whether through ' Irish Birdcatcher/ 
' Touchstone,' or ' Economist.' It strikes me that a 
cross between ' Sweetmeat's' sons and 'King Tom' mares, 
or ' King Tom' and ' Sweetmeat's' daughters, would suc- 
cessfully rival any other. ' Citron' was, perhaps, for any 
distance, one of the best mares ever foaled (her dam, 
* Echidna,' also dam of ' The Baron,' was by ' Econo- 
mist') ; and although reared by hand (her dam having 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 185 

died when foaling), was a first-class racehorse; and if she 
fail to produce one I shall be very much surprised, espe- 
cially in the possession of her present owner, who never 
better displayed his judgment than when he purchased 
this mare — to my mind, worth as much money as any 
untried brood mare living. 

The value of the ' Pantaloon' blood is undeniable, 
having furnished so many proofs, not alone as to speed 
(which I believe is their forte) and staying, but " running 
strain : " for, although some others occasionally produce 
one or two first-class animals, still few can compete with 
that in question as to number. Amongst others, in 1841, 
his son, 'Van Amburgh,' ran second to ' Coronation' for 
the Derby ; and ' Satirist,' another of his sons, won the 
St. Leger, beating 'Coronation' and 'Van Amburgh,' his 
daughter ' Ghuznee' winning the Oaks in the same year ; 
to which may be added ' Cardinal Puff,' ' Elthiron,' ' Mi- 
serrima,' ' Hobbie Noble,' 'The Reiver' (who ran second 
to ' West Australian' for the St. Leger), ' The Libel,' 'Her- 
nandez' (winner of the 2000-guineas stakes), ' Leger- 
demain,' 'Clarissa,' 'Windhound,' &c. : the latter, there 
can hardly be a question, being sire of ' Thormanby;' 
' The Libel,' grandsire of ' St. Albans,' &c. 

With regard to the crosses with other blood (inde- 
pendently of those proofs in a direct line), 'Dundee' would 
appear to favour that between 'Pantaloon' and ' Sweet- 
meat,' 'Lord of the Isles,' dam ' Fair Helen,' being by this 
horse; as also 'Macaroni,' winner of the Derby, whose dam, 
' Jocose,' is by him. Then, with regard to 'Thormanby' 
(supposing him to be by ' Windhound,' which I for one 
believe to be the case), ' Pantaloon' seems to mix success- 
fully with the ' Muley Moloch' blood. My reasons for 



186 TURF TOPICS. 

believing that ' Thormanby' is by ' Windliouud/ not by 
' Melbourne/ are these : His colour (which is that of 
'Pantaloon') — a contrast of his shapes (head and ears 
especially) with those of 'Oulston' (also a son of 'Alice 
Hawthorne'), by 'Melbourne' — the fact, that at the 
time the question of the latter's impotency was very 
much canvassed ; and, finally, because, it" I mistake 
not, the mare was last served by 'Windhound:' which, 
however, does not follow as a conclusive proof, as mares 
frequently are with foal from first service. JMoreover, 
there is none of the ' Melbourne' plainness or ap- 
pearance about 'Thormanby' in any respect. It seems 
strange that 'Windhound' has not been better sup- 
ported, for his family could all run ; and I believe he 
was considered by his owner and trainer no exception, 
and would have proved so, had he not met with an ac- 
cident. It appears he is now in the countiy, where stal- 
lions (like bacon-pigs) are plenty, and probably some of 
them as fat likewise. 

Another circumstance worthy of remark, as regards 
the mixture of the ' Pantaloon' blood with that of 
' Touchstone' (of which the Marquis of Westminster 
thought so highly), is, that 'Alice Hawthorne' produced 
by ' Touchstone' a horse called ' Findon' (whose pe- 
digree would have led me to expect wonders) ; yet he 
never distinguished himself on the course, and probably 
will never get the chance of doing so at stud, although he 
might succeed, for " blood will tell." Then we find 
' Thormanby,' out of the same mare, by a son of ' Panta- 
loon,' dam ' Phryne,' by ' Touchstone,' showing the value 
of the " mixture." 

Before closing my remarks upon this " running fa- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 187 

tnily" — instances, his own bi-others, ' Elthiron/ ' The 
Reiver/ and ' Hobbie Noble' — I must express my sur- 
prise at ' Hobbie's^ not having, ere now, more highly dis- 
tinguished himself; my belief being, that even now, like 
' Suri)lice^ and others, there must be some extraordinary 
cause : for there are frequently many, which it is not my 
place or intention here to allude to. However, there is one 
patent fact, viz. that he was really a good and a first-class 
two-years-old ; and a much greater proof could hardly be, 
than that 6000 guineas were paid for him to win the 
Derby : a feat which, however, he failed to accomplish, 
although every precaution was taken, a guard of honour 
having accompanied him to Epsom, reminding one of the 
history of Caligula and Incitatus. 

' Leamington's' superior qualities furnish proof of the 
excellence of the cross between ' Pantaloon ' and ' Sir 
Hercules,' being by ' Faugh-a-Ballagh,' dam by ' Panta- 
loon,' as also ' The Marquis' (winner of the 2000-guineas 
stakes and St. Leger), whose dam, ' Cinizelli,' is by 
' Touchstone,' dam ' Brocade,' by 'Pantaloon.' The dams 
of 'Toxophilite' and the 'Prime Minister' are also by 
him, as well as the dam of ' Young Melbourne' (sire of 
'General Peel'), as also 'Emily,' the dam of ' Irish Queen;' 
showing that this blood appears to suit with various strains, 
but more especially with ' Whalebone.' To my mind, 
' Pantaloon' blood cannot be excelled. 

The ' Voltaire' blood appears to have formed one of the 
subjects of recent discussion, especially as regards the merits 
of his son ' Voltigeur.' In these days of warfare, the 
fanciers of horseflesh appear to have their diflferences to 
solve, from the manner in which the war has been carried 
on by the partisans of this blood, and that of ' Gladiator' 



188 TURF TOPICS. 

or 'Sweetmeat;^ the respective champions put forth by 
each being 'Voltigeur' and 'Sweetmeat.' If the quahty 
of staying be so great a desideratum (which doubtless it 
is), surely 'Voltaire' and his stock have furnished ample 
proof of their excellence in this respect ; instances of 
which we find in the following: — 'Charles the Twelfth,' 
winner of the St. Leger after a dead heat with 'Euclid/ 
also winner of the Doncaster and Goodwood cups twice ; 
' Voltigeur,' winner of the Derby and St. Leger (curiously 
enough, also, after a dead heat with 'Rusborough' for the 
latter, a son of ' Tearaway,^ by ' Voltaire'). ' Tearaway,^ 
who proved himself one of the very best horses ever foaled, 
under enormous weights, and for any distance ; and sire 
of 'Kingstown,' who ran second to 'Wild Dayrell' for the 
Derby ; ' Semiseria,' whose performances were first-class, 
having beaten ' Nutwith,' ' The Cure,' and many others ; 
' Buckstone,' by ' Voltigeur ; ' ' Cavendish^ (a remarkably 
good, and good-looking one) ; ' Skirmisher,' winner of 
the gold cup at Ascot, and various other races ; ' Har- 
tington,' winner of the Csesarewitch, 1862, &c. ; not for- 
getting my especial favourite, that superior racehorse 
' Vedette,' an animal upon which I purpose making a 
few remarks at the close of my observations upon my 
selection from the sires of the present day. 

The descendants of 'Voltaire' are in general what may 
be best described as fine, slashing specimens of the race- 
horse, with plenty of length and racing shapes, being in- 
variably of a rich dark-brown colour, with fine fi-eedom 
of action and propelling power. Their staying qualities 
can hardly for one moment be questioned ; and as to the 
idea entertained by some that they are deficient in speed, 
with great deference to the opinions of such parties I 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 189 

must take the liberty of differing with tliem, founding my 
right to do so on simple matters of fact, and on reference 
to the racing records, which so repeatedly and distinctly 
bear testimony to the truth of my statement : for one 
fact appears to escape the recollection of so many persons 
— that because certain horses happen to possess staying 
qualities, it does not therefore follow that they must be 
deficient in speed, although it is quite true that there are 
many 'Hialf-mile squibs" that cannot stay one yard 
beyond their distance. 

With reference to the strains of blood which seem to 
cross successfully with the one in question, it would ap- 
pear that the 'Whalebone' (which appears to ''bend" 
well with any) has best suited: instance 'Vedette' by 
' Voltigeur,' dam by 'Irish Birdcatcher;' 'Tearaway' by 
' Voltaire,' dam 'Taglioni' by 'Whisker;' 'Rusborough' 
by 'Tearaway,' dam 'Cruiskeen' by 'Sir Hercules;' 
'Cavendish,' ' Hartington,' and ' Buckstoue's ' dams by 
'Touchstone,' 'Zetland' by 'Voltigeur,' dam 'Merry 
Bird,' by ' Irish Birdcatcher,' besides many others. No 
doubt it would be desirable to cross with speedy mares, 
such as 'Birdcatcher.' An addition in proof of the 
staying qualities of this blood is found in the fact, that 
'War Eagle's' dam, 'Valentine,' was by 'Voltaire;' which 
horse's merits will be referred to under the head of 
' Lanercost ;' ' Piccaroon,' grandsire of 'Old Calabai-,' &c. 

' Lanercost,' by ' Liverpool,' dam ' Otis,' by 'Bustard,' 
was no doubt a great horse ; remarkable for his weight- 
carrying, staying powers, which he has so well trans- 
mitted to posterity, and which do not appear to be losing 
any of the prestige which is attached to his blood. As 
a racehorse he was of the first class, and as a proof of 



190 TURF TOPICS. 

the estimation in whicli his merits were held he was 
handicapped to give to the renowned ' Alice Hawthorne ' 
51 lbs. when she was a four-years-old : a nice undertaking, 
no doubt, to accomplish ! Amongst his descendants 
we find ' Van Tromp,' winner of the St. Leger, Don- 
caster, and Goodwood cups, beating the best horses of 
his day ; ' War Eagle,' winner of the Doncaster cup, 
beating the ' Hero ;' he ran second to ' Cossack' for the 
Derby, second to ' Peep-o'-Day Boy' for the Chester cup, 
giviug him 20 lbs. at the same age; and second to ' The 
Widow,' aged for the Cambridgeshire, giving her 17 lbs., 
beating thirty-four horses, to all of whom he gave weights 
— to several of his own age as much as three stone, being 
the 'Yellow Jack' of previous days. '^ Catherine Hayes' 
(his daughter), winner of the Oaks, 1853, proved her- 
self otherwise an exceedingly good animal; 'Ellerdale' 
(another of his daughters), a very good mare, dam of 'El- 
lington' (winner of the Derby); 'Gildermire' (second for 
the Oaks after a dead-heat with 'Governess'), 'Warder- 
marske,' ' Summerside' (winner of the Oaks), 'EUer- 
mire,' &c. Then we find 'Ivan' (by 'Van Tromp'), that 
probably, as a racehorse, was about the best of his day, of 
which his running with ' Vindex' and others bears testi- 
mony; then come 'Van Galen,' sire of 'TimWhiffler;' 
' Union Jack,' by ' Ivan ; ' also ' llapparee,' whose dam, 
'Lady Alicia,' is by 'Lanercost;' ' Colsterdale,' own 
brother to ' Ellerdale.' As to the crosses which appear to 
suit this blood, we find ' Union Jack' bears proof in favour 
of that with the ' Sir Hercules ' strain, through ' Caprice,' 
whose sire was ' Coronation ;' ' Rapparee,' by ' Rataplan,' 
dam ' Lady Alicia,' by ' Lanercost.' Then, in favour of 
that with ' Melbourne,' we find ' Fairwater,' by ' Loup- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 191 

Garou' (a son of 'Lanercost'), dam 'The Bloomer/ by 
' Melbourne,' half-si&ter to ' Ely/ both the property of 
that thorough sportsman Mr. Cartwright. 

'Ion' is now represented by ' WildDayrell/ 'Tadmor/ 
' Pelion/ 'Buccaneer/ and ' Horror.' It is hardly neces- 
sary to state, that the most fashionable and most deserving 
of pati'onage is the first-named. For size, racing shapes, and, 
in point of fact, for every other qualification that can be de- 
sired in the racehorse, * Wild Dayrell' is unsurpassed by any 
animal living. There can be no question as to his having 
had a very fair chance up to the present time, and it is 
equally true that his stock have to a great extent upheld 
the renown of their sire ; amongst which we find ' Buc- 
caneer,' '"Wild Agnes,' 'Avalanche,' ' Hurricane,' ' Horror,' 
' Investment,' ' Dusk,' ' Wildman,' and others. Further 
remarks upon this animal will be found in a special article 
hereafter. ' Pelion ' by ' Ion,' dam ' Ma-Mie,' by ' Jerry,' 
was perhaps one of the best (if not the best) mile-horses of 
his day, and is worthy of far more patronage than he appears 
to have received, being an exceedingly good-looking horse, 
of a beautiful dark-brown colour, and in other respects pos- 
sessing those qualifications which ought to have induced the 
public to have supported him for their own sake. Full well 
I remember, without reference to any racing calendar, his 
running at Chester, when three years old, where I hap- 
pened to have a mare named ' The Deformed,' engaged in 
the same race, which was won by ' Exact.' Few 7-eaUi/ 
knew the superiority of these three animals. For my 
part I cannot understand why ' Pelion ' has not received 
more patronage, and confess a great prejudice in his 
favour ; and, without entering into a rigmarole dissection 
of his shapes, pronounce him, in my humble opinion, one 



192 TURF TOPICS. 

of the best-looking horses in the kingdom. It would take 
a great deal to persuade me, that if ' Peliou ' had had as 
good a chance as others he would not have distinguished 
himself quite as highly as many other sires, that are 
thought more highly of; even with the limited chance he 
has received he has produced animals that could run. 
Although they have been confined to short distances they 
have been, like many others, condemned as milers or half- 
Qiilers, because they have never been half trained or tried 
the distance : instances of which I have so frequently wit- 
nessed. His own brother ' Poodle,' and others, could stay. 
My remarks upon ' Buccaneer ' will be found hereafter. 

With regard to the most successful crosses with the 
' Ion ' blood, one patent fact presents itself, viz. that the 
'Bay Middleton' or 'Sultan' suits — of which Wild Day- 
rell' bears a striking proof. 

'Bay Middleton' by 'Sultan/ dam 'Cobweb,' by 
' Phantom,' ' Sultan ' by ' Sehm.' — Competent judges 
appear to differ very much in their estimation of the 
qualities, perfections, and imperfections of this blood; 
some maintaining that ' Bay Middleton's ' descendants are 
leggy, tall, overgrown, and weak, and in many instances 
roarers, their only forte being speed ; others differing 
materially in their opinions as to their merits. 

It can hardly be denied that he had a very great 
chance of distinguishing himself amongst others afforded 
by his late noble owner, who purchased him for the large 
price of 4000 guineas as a sire, and also a very large stud 
of brood marcs for the purpose of breeding from him ; yet 
the records of racing cannot furnish any great evidence of 
his success as a sire ; on the contrary, like a great number 
of other really first-class racehorses, he was a comparative 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PKESENT DAY. 193 

failure: for with the exception of 'The Flying Dutchman/ 
' Andover/ and 'The Hermit/ none of his produce proved 
first-class {' Vanderdecken/ own brother to ' The Dutch- 
man/ being a very weak-leggy and indiflferent sample), 
whereas very many were really worthless. He was himself 
a magnificent specimen of the racehorse ; according to the 
opinion of most experienced judges, about the best horse 
that has appeared in the present centuiy : be that as it 
may, it by no means follows that his sons and daughters 
may not prove most valuable and successful at stud. 
As to the racing merits of his stock, a few instances are 
furnished in 'Flying Dutchman/ 'Andover,^ 'Autocrat/ 
and 'Fly-by-Night' (a much better animal than generally 
supposed). Then as to stud, ' Ellen Middleton ' (dam of 
'Wild DayrelP), 'Ennui' (dam of ' Saunterer,' and gran- 
dam of 'Liddington'), 'Blister' (dam of 'Mainstone'), 'Bri- 
dal ' (dam of Special License,' a long runner), ' Sunflower ' 
(dam of ' Sunbeam '), ' Rose of Cashmere' (dam of ' Wild 
Rose '), were all his daughters. ' Haggish' (grandam of 
'The Hadji'), was also by him. 'Pocahontas' (dam of 
' Stockwell,' &c.), was by ' Glencoe ' (son of ' Sultan ') 
and ' Mainbrace ' (dam of ' Fisherman '), was out of a 
* Bay Middleton ' mare. The grandams of ' Scottish 
Chief,' 'Rupee,' and 'Stampedo, 'were by 'Bay Middleton.' 
In my opinion, his sons and daughters will prove the fact 
that, as in many similar cases, they fail to prove race- 
horses ; yet they inherit and hand down their superiority 
to subsequent generations : such, for instance, as in the 
case of ' Pylades ' (son of 'Surplice'), sire of 'North 
Lincoln,' an extraordinarily good animal for his distance. 
Mr. Goodwin of Hampton Court, whose great experience 
must entitle his opinion to the highest respect, says, " He 

o 



194 TURF TOPICS. 

believes ' Bay Middleton ' was a long way the best horse 
we have seen in this century," and adds, 

" ' He was a horse ; take him for all and all, 
We shall not look upon his like again,'"* 

Amongst the various strains of blood, few will be 
found with more adherents than these ; and justly so, 
for reference to "The Stud-Book," and "The Racing 
Calendar," must convince any impartial reader that they 
have proved most successful. ' Melbourne ' especially 
has proved most valuable, being sire of 'West Austra- 
lian,' winner of the double event, Derby and St. Leger, 
and one of those animals justly entitled to compete, with 
a few others, for the title of " Champion," as the best 
horse of modern days. 'Melbourne' was also sire of that 
magnificent mare ' Canezou ' — to my mind the "finest," 
if not the " best," we have seen for many years : for, 
although defeated by a head by * Surplice' for the St. 
Leger, had she not lost a plate at the " Red House," the 
result might have been different. Be that as it may, her 
other performances (under enormous weights) proved her 
a wonderful mare ; and, to my mind, we have not seen a 
grander specimen of one. 

' Melbourne ' being descended from ' Comus,' entitles 
him, to a certain extent, to claim credit for the perform- 
ances of ' Hetman Platoff' (the lattei-'s grandson) : as 
evidence of the value of this blood, ' Cossack,' by ' Het- 
man Platoff,' won the Derby. The dams of ' Daniel 

* Query — 'West Australian,' 'Stockwell,' 'Flying Dutch- 
man,' 'Vedette,' ' Faugh -a-Ballagh,' ' Harkaway,' 'Melbourne,' 
(by ' Humphrey Clinker,' dam by ' Cervantes,') and ' Hetman 
Platoff,' by ' Brutandorf,' ' Don John's ' dam by ' Comus.' 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 195 

O'Rourke/ winner of the Derby, and of ' Knight of 
St. George/ winner of the St. Leger, were also by him. 
' Gamester/ by ' Cossack/ won the St. Leger. ' Special 
License^ was also by him. 'Springy Jack/ second for 
the Derby (to 'Surplice'); 'John Cosser/ and ' Nea- 
sham/ winners of the Northumberland plate, were also 
by ' Hetman Platoff.' 

The value of the ' Melbourne' strain has been won- 
derfully exemplified in later days by the following 
proofs : — His daughter, 'Blink Bonny,' winner of Derby 
and Oaks ; ' Thormanby,' by ' Melbourne ' or ' Wind- 
hound;' 'The Wizard,' winner of the 2000 -guineas 
stakes, and second in the Derby, by 'West Australian;' 
' Blair Athol,' winner of the Derby and St. Leger, dam 
'Blink Bonny;' 'Cymba' (winner of the Oaks, 1848), 
'Marchioness' (Oaks, 1855), both by 'Melbourne;' and 
' Summerside' (Oaks, 1859), by 'West Australian;' 'Sir 
Tatton Sykes' (winner of the St. Leger, 1846), by 'Mel- 
bourne.' The dams of ' Lord Clifden' (St. Leger, 1863), 
'The Slane' and 'Limosina' ('Charity'), were also by 
him. In addition to the above there are innumerable 
proofs of the value of this blood : amongst others, ' Hul- 
ston/ son of 'Alice Hawthorne,' besides Lord Glasgow's 
promising 'Young Melbourne,' sire of 'General Peel,' 
winner of the 2000 guineas, and second in the Derby 
and St. Leger ; ' Rapid Rhone,' &c. 

'Melbourne's' sons and daughters are remarkable for 
their great size, substance, and soundness, large bone, 
wide hips, and immense power, but racing- like, with 
plenty of length ; their contovr is plain, their heads in- 
variably large, plain, clean, and bony, and their ears fre- 
quently 'lopped.' Judging of things as they stand in 



196 TURF TOPICS. 

the present day, the blood of ' Melbourne ' ranks second 
to none. 

As to the crosses which appear to have best suited with 
'Melbourne,' we have in the 'Whalebone' line 'Blair 
Athol,' ' West Australian ' (both very much alike as to 
breeding), ' Lord Clifden,' ' Fazzoletto,^ ' Stockade,' * Li- 
niosina,' &c. ; and in that of ' Gladiator ' or ' Sweetmeat,' 
' Blink Bonny,' &c. : a strange fact being that the latter 
cross has been almost totally disregarded, although the 
symmetry of the ' Sweetmeats' alone would suit the 
other strain, ' The Nob,' by ' Glaucus,' dam ' Octave,' by 
' Emilius,' grandam ' Whizgig,' by ' Rubens.' 

While estimating the value of the numerous strains of 
blood, it would, indeed, be an oversight to omit referring 
to this one, especially when it can hardly be denied that 
stayers are " few and far between." For size, shape, power, 
and endurance, it is very questionable if there rank any 
preferable. It is an admitted fact, that " good big ones 
will beat good little ones ; " and it is remarkable that all 
the stock of this horse are of fine size ; and when we look 
at 'Nutbourne,' as one instance, probably it would be 
very difficult to find in Europe a more magnificent sam- 
ple of the powerful thoroughbred, particularly when it is 
remembered that even at two years old, an age at which 
such large animals do not display their leal forte, or 
powers, and at a distance more suited to early light-framed 
horses, he cut down the very best of his year, and had he 
not met with a contretemps in the Derby, was doubtless the 
most dangerous opponent to the winner ('Thormanby'), 
although the course was anything but suited to a horse of 
his heavy frame, especially that part of it where he met 
the accident ; which was not, however, one that might be 



THE SIRES OP THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 197 

termed natural, or one arising from any infirmity in his 
legs, but in reality from having jumped across the road 
after descending that trying hill. 

' Rupee ' was by ' The Nabob.' We have also had 
proofs of the quality of this horse's descendants. Even 
in the present year, ' Vermuth/ winner of the grand prize 
at Paris, defeating the winners of the English Derby and 
Oaks, ' Blair AthoP and 'Fille de I'Air ;' besides, 'Bois- 
Roussel' (winner of the French Derby) is by ' The Nabob,^ 
son of 'The Nob;' as was 'Trouncer,' an extremely good 
horse at all distances, and under heavy weights, to cai'ry 
which he was so well formed. 

In my opinion it is very questionable if there be at this 
moment any breed more desirable, especially for the im- 
provement of the horse in a general point of view, than 
the one in question ; for it must be borne in mind that 
this strain has been sadly neglected and unpatronised, 
while the wholesale run has been upon others. Seldom 
have French connoisseurs better displayed their judgment 
than when they purchased 'The Nabob;' and yet the 
British public seem surprised that the principal prizes 
should be snatched from them by horses whose ancestors 
have been purchased regardless of price, and offered at 
figures to the public service which must encourage breeders. 
The natural result will doubtless be, that ere long the 
French division will be generously and gratefully offering 
an "allowance" to English-bred horses, in return for the 
courtesy and leniency which has for years been extended 
to them. For with a better climate, as good provender, 
and as good trainers, it appears strange that they should 
be held in less esteem than British-bred horses. 

' Weatherbit,' by ' Sheet Anchor,' dam ' Miss Letty,' 



198 TURF TOPICS. 

by 'Priam.' — This strain of blood appears to be very 
much fancied, by certain Northern breeders especially. No 
doubt he has handed down some very valuable samples of 
his quality ; the best of which appear to be ' Beadsman/ 
' Appenine/ ' Prince Arthur,' and ' Neptunus,' as race- 
horses. ' Sheet Anchor/ his sire, has done good service 
at the stud ; ' Mainbrace,' dam of ' Fisherman,' being his 
daughter ; as also ' Yard-Arm,' dam of those sound and 
good brothers, 'Gunboat' and * Lifeboat' — a class of 
animal not to be found every day : being a great contrast, 
in a general point of view, to the very weedy, light-boned 
horses, with which the country is so overrun : besides 
' Netherton Maid/ grandam of 'Big Ben/ and 'Skiff,' 
dam of 'Cymba' (Oaks, 1848). This blood appears to 
have hit well with that everlasting and elastic ' Whale- 
bone,' through the animals above named : the dam of 
'Beadsman' being by 'Touchstone;' and the "two bro- 
thers" being by ' Sir Hercules.' The fact of ' Weatherbit' 
having the ' Priam' strain in his veins, should be a further 
recommendation. ' Cymba' is a proof of the success of 
the cross with 'Melbourne.' 

In addition to the various strains of blood which have 
been referred to, there are some others which have of late 
years being gradually dying out: 'Priam' especially; al- 
though ' Surplice,' ' Beadsman/ and ' Chevalier d'lndus- 
trie' retain it. The two latter are, no doubt, not on so 
large a scale as many of the sires of the present day; still 
they are nice, wiry, racing-like horses, and are most 
likely to prove successful at the stud, especially if crossed 
with good-sized mares. But the very great competition 
in the present day renders it almost an impossibility that 
all the sires deserving of support can receive it : for 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 199 

while that prejudice in favour of the double cross of the 
'Whalebone/ "the ready-money cross/' exists, breeders 
are hardly likely to increase the risk which attends such 
speculations : therefore, as a natural consequence, many 
valuable sires are likely to pass away, without even a 
moderate chance; for where, according to the records of 
each at present at stud, there are not more, on an average, 
than about six mares to one sire ; in addition to which 
fact, that "the run" is all upon a chosen few, and, as a 
matter of course, the picked mares are sent to those 
horses, — how can all have a fair chance ? 

As an instance of how frequently valuable sires are 
passed over, that promising young one, ' Ivan,^ imported 
to Ireland by the late Mr. Courtney, would in all proba- 
bility have never had a chance, had he not produced 
'Union Jack;' and would have but taken old 'Sir Her- 
cule's' post — "improving the half-bred stock in Ireland." 
It has been stated by many, that "in-and-in" breeding 
tends to diminish, not only the stamina and powers of 
endurance, but the size also. Every day furnishes proofs 
to the contrary; at least so far as "the double mixture" 
of ' Whalebone.' Take ' Asteroid,' ' Big Ben,' ' Audrey,' 
' The Marquis/ and, of more recent date, 'The Miner;' 
besides numerous others. Still, there are innumerable 
proofs whei'e that incessant cross between 'Stockwell' 
and ' Touchstone,' and similar mixtures of the same 
strains, have merely turned out " short runners." For in- 
stance, 'Exchequer/ 'St. Alexis,' and that splendid mare 
' Emily,' and a host of others : whereas when crossed 
with other blood, such as ' Lanercost' ('Caller-Ou,' for 
instance), and other staying strains, they have invariably 
proved stout. 



200 TURF TOPICS. 

Having glanced over the various sires^ whose de- 
scendants seem in the present day to occupy the atten- 
tion of breeders and purchasers, I shall proceed to lay 
before the reader a few remarks upon a chosen (ew, se- 
lected from the vast number at present at the public ser- 
vice ; admitting that there may be, and are perhaps others, 
equally deserving of patronage. However, every person 
is entitled to have his own opinion; and the following 
comprise those which, to my mind, are best calculated to 
benefit the breeders or purchasers of thoroughbred stock. 
From the number of horses bred annually, it would be 
idle to suppose that there must not, as a necessary con- 
sequence, be many deserving of notice ; for, as the adage 
goes, " there are as good fish in the sea as ever were 
caught." However, as there are at pi-esent about three 
hundred advertised, I shall proceed to select and recom- 
mend the following : forming my conclusions as to their 
merits on the grounds of their general recommendation, 
taking into consideration breeding, size, shape, substance, 
and performances, as well as the other qualifications re- 
quisite in the racehorse, and more especially " running 
families." 

'Amsterdam.' 

A bright bay horse, nine years old, by ' The Flying 
Dutchman;' dam * Urania,' by * Idleboy,' by * Satan;' 
her dam, ' Venus,' by ' Langar,' out of ' Vesta,' by 
* Governor.' 

'Amsterdam' is remarkable for his symmetry, wonder- 
ful length, and racing shapes otherwise ; his hind-quarters 
being beautifully formed and placed. If speed be the 
great desideratum in a racehorse, he certainly was gifted 



THE STRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 201 

with it to an extraordinary degree ; for it is very question- 
able if (especially at five years old) there was an animal 
in training that could have beaten him, at even weights, 
one mile : in proof of which, any dubious reader has but 
to refer to the records of racing to satisfy himself of the 
fact, which is there most distinctly recorded, that carrying 
the top-weight, exceeding, in many instances, nine stone, 
he beat and gave weight to the very best horses of the 
day, including 'Twilight^ (to whom he conceded 6 lbs.), 
* Zuyder Zee,' * Starke,' ' King of the Forest,' ' Lady Tres- 
pass,' ' Atherstone,' ' Crater,' ' Comforter,' ' Prelude,' 
'Libellous,' 'Lord Berkeley,' and many others. 

His outline and contour, at a glance, display the true 
shapes of the racehorse, and if he possessed a slight 
shade more substance he would be perfection : still he is 
of that steely, wiry frame, totally void of a particle of 
lumber or coarseness, which sometimes makes an animal 
at first sight appear deficient in substance. There can be 
hardly a doubt that, with a fair chance, which he is likely 
to get in his present harem, he will prove the sire of nice 
stock j especially if crossed with mares of substance : 
which sometimes require a horse of this stamp to fine 
down coarseness, as well as improve deficiency of length. 

' Artillery.' 

Ey 'Touchstone;' dam 'Jannette,' by 'L'ish Bird- 
catcher;' grandam ' Perdita,' by ' Langar.' A bay horse, 
with the usual white marks of his sire's stock, and good 
size. He was a racehorse, although not so fortunate as 
might have been expected from his blood (which is a com- 
bination of the best strains), as well as having good looks. 



202 TURF TOPICS. 

Having been hired to run out his engagements in 
the Derby, &c. his career was not a brilliant one ; still, he 
ranks far before many others as worthy of patronage at 
stud, that are, in reality, mere " squibs,^^ when compared 
to him in any respect; although supported by breeders 
merely on account of the prestige of victory, which does not 
at all times test the true merits of either men or horses. 

'Artillery' can hardly fail, with a fair chance, to get 
racehorses. He bears a striking resemblance to ' Mountain 
Deer' (also by ' Touchstone') in many respects ; although, 
perhaps, not so lengthy or powerful in his hind-quarters 
and thighs. 

Exception has been taken to him by some, in regard 
to his being rather flat or light in his back-ribs : but that 
is a peculiarity to most of the ' Touchstones,^ and by no 
means so objectionable in the racehorse, especially when 
counterbalanced by fine loins, &c,, which he possesses; 
being like almost all the breed, both on the side of sire 
and dam, remarkably good behind the saddle. It was 
also thought, that when about to contend for some of his 
engagements he appeared as if he had exhausted all his 
" ammunition;" which partly left the impression of the 
deficiency referred to. 

If he do not share the fate of ' Irish Birdcatcher' 
until the close of his career (in whose box he probably now 
stands), he cannot fail to get racehorses. 

'Beadsman.' 

Nine years old : a brown horse, by ' Weatherbit ; ' dam 
'Mendicant,' by 'Touchstone;' grandam ' Lady Moore 
Carcw,' by 'Tramp;' great grandam 'Kite,' by ' Bus- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 203 

tard;' 'Weatherbit/ by 'Sheet Anchor;' dam 'MissLetty' 
(winner of the Oaks), by 'Priam/ 'Orville/ 'Buzzard.' 

This horse must rank amongst my chosen few, not 
merely because he is recorded amongst the winners of the 
Derby, but from other qualifications, which must entitle 
him to the highest consideration. He is a model of a 
racehorse, without a particle of lumber ; a wiry, neat 
animal, his colour of the richest brown, and his blood for 
every requisite, speed, stoutness, "running family," both 
on the sides of sire and dam, such as cannot be surpassed : 
for, through his sire, he inherits the immediate blood of 
'Priam' (rather deserted of late), while that of his dam 
requires no comment, nor do her performances as a race- 
horse. If one could wish to add in any respect to the 
many qualities which must recommend this horse to the 
breeder, it might be a little more size, if the object were 
to breed for general purposes; yet, although there are 
others on a larger scale, his superior is hardly amongst 
the imtried division : and I shall be very much surprised 
if ' Beadsman' does not turn out as successful at stud as 
be did during his racing career. 

' Weatherbit' (his sire) being so much fancied by cer- 
tain Northern breeders of judgment and experience, it is 
unnecessary to remark that this horse's dam being ' Men- 
dicant,' will at least not lessen his value in their esti- 
mation, or render him less deserving or likely to take his 
sire's place at a future day. Taking into consideration 
that the success of animals for the Oaks must bear great 
testimony in favour of their quality, it should not be for- 
gotten that the following mares by 'Priam' won that 
race,— 'Miss Letty/ in 1837; 'Industry,' in 1838; ' Cru- 
cifix' and 'Welfare,' first and second, in 1840. 



204 turf topics. 

' Big Ben/ 

Six years old, by 'Ethelbert;^ dam 'Phoebe/ by 
' Toucbstone;' grandam ' Netherton Maid/ by 'Sheet 
Anchor/ 'Tantivy/ ' Myrtilla.' 

A fine horse, and, as far as size, most appropriately 
named, being an animal of great power, and his blood 
undeniable — a combination of the winning strains of the 
day. His performances were very good, which will ap- 
pear upon reference to the racing records, beating large 
fields, comprising such animals as ' Dundee,^ ' Fairwater,' 
' Dictator,' ' Walloon,' ' Folkestone,^ and others, highly 
tried and fancied by their owners. His fine size, sub- 
stance, shapes, and breeding, must highly recommend 
him for any purpose, as he is one of the few stallions of 
the present day possessing that extra power and size so 
very desirable, and so seldom found. 

'Buccaneer.' 

A dark-bay horse, seven years old, by ' Wild Dayrell ; ' 
dam ' The Little Red Rover' mare (also the dam of the 
well-known 'Cruiser'). 

A great number of animals come fairly under the de- 
nomination of racehorses, but thei'e are others that, if it 
were possible to find a higher term, are justly entitled to 
it; and pre-eminent amongst these stands forth 'Buc- 
caneer.' His performances as a racehorse were first-class ; 
and but for an accident might, and doubtless would, 
have been more distinguished. The field of horses which 
he beat at Ascot, including such as ' Pretendant,' 'Cos- 
mopolite,' 'Lava,' 'Amsterdam,' 'Fravola,' 'Mainstone,' 
' Nutbush,' ' Gabrielle d'Estrees,' ' Elcho,' besides many 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY, 205 

others, independently of bis other victories, must place him 
in the first rank against the most dangerous opponents, 
where I have little doubt he will at stud, as at racing, 
take his part as successfully as his namesakes always did. 
He has plenty of length, substance, and racing shapes ; 
which I do not pretend to dissect, as I merely write 
from recollection of the animal, only adding that, in my 
opinion he will prove at stud a worthy son of his mag 
nificent sire. 

' Caractacus.' 

A bay horse, five years old, by ' Kingston ; ' dam 
' Defenceless,^ by ' Defence j ' her dam by * Cain,^ out of 
' Ridotto,' by ' Reveller.' 

This horse appears now to be at least the most fash- 
ionable, as well as the most desirable representative of the 
' Venison ' blood ; the spirited proprietor of the great 
Middle Park stud having some time ago experienced a 
loss by tlie death of his favourite, ' Kingston,' the seri- 
ousness of which has become subsequently more appa- 
rent through the successes of his sons and daughters, 
' Queen Bertha,' winner of the Oaks, &c. A very curious 
prejudice seemed at first to exist in the minds of many 
that the ^Kingstons' could not stay, simply because two 
or three of them showed extraordinary speed, yet defi- 
ciency in the other power; but that circumstance was 
attributable to certain causes, which are frequently over- 
looked, or never understood by many, viz. that the im- 
perfections or failings of dams must have a certain 
influence, whether arising from natural or constitutional 
causes, as well as the fact that horses hammered about 
as he was, running the most severely - contested and 



206 TURF TOPICS. 

longest distances, most gamely, and always to form, as 
Goodwood cups and Northumberland plates bear testi- 
mony of; such horses can hardly be expected to be in 
their proper stud form for some time, after having been 
dried up for years, in racing condition. 

'Kingston^ was, in every respect, bred to stay; his 
sire, 'Venison,' proved himself a horse of undeniable 
stoutness ; and it is worthy of remark, that during his 
career as a three-years-old he travelled on foot his cir- 
cuit, which the more modern wonders, * Fisherman ' and 
* Rataplan,' accomplished by rail ; as it is stated upon 
reliable authority that he walked upwards of nine hun- 
dren miles, ran fourteen, and won twelve times. So 
much for ' Venison's ' season ! It seems strange that a 
belief should exist that the 'Venisons' display a sort of 
reciprocity of taste as to fondness of human flesh : pro- 
bably from recollections of ' Cruiser,' ' Cariboo,' and 
' Vatican.' A circumstance worth relating happened, 
with regard to ' Kingston/ when about to run for the 
Derby ; all sorts of rumours being in circulation, amongst 
others that he was a " man-eater ! " An acquaintance of 
mine, who had backed him, and who professes to be a 
judge of racehorses (and one who has a wonderful flow 
of the phraseology), became alarmed; having been in- 
formed by some " wiseacres " that such was the fact, he 
took care to have a look after the horse at exercise (as 
well as his money), and having repaired to the necessary 
quarters for the purpose, on his return informed me that 
he found him, after his usual work, walking as quietly as 
a lamb beside his boy, with his head almost resting on 
the lad's shoulder. Of the docility of ' Kingston ' I have 
been a frequent witness, when he was in training and at 



THE SIRES or THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 207 

stud. As to his son ' Caractacus/ he is iu every way- 
most worthy the notice of breeders, who fancy the 
^Venison' and 'Defence' blood, (and who could object, 
to the latter especially ?) more particularly as he, as well 
as bearing a marked resemblance to his handsome sire 
in other respects, has a good temper, which the other 
was possessed of to perfection ; proving the fact, that good 
and kind treatment has its effects with such animals, as 
with most others. 

' Caractacus's ' performances were — independently of 
his winning the Derby — good; his success for the latter 
being a surprise, no doubt, to many, and stamping him 
as a very superior racehorse. lie is not one of the large 
stamp ; but, like his sire, a nice-sized, level-made horse, 
with plenty of quality and racing points, and most likely 
to get racehorses. 

' Cavendish.' 

A dark-bay horse, eight years old, by ' Voltigeur ; ' 
dam ' The Countess of Burlington,' by ' Touchstone ; ' 
her dam ' Lady Emily,' by ' Muley Moloch,' out of 
* Caroline,' by ' Whisker.' 

This horse is, and at all times was, an especial favourite 
of mine. I have a perfect recollection of him just pre- 
vious to his first race at York (which he won very easily), 
when he struck me as being an extraordinarily good-look- 
ing two-years-old. His blood is undeniable, and it will 
surprise me if he does not prove a successful sire, 
although his career on the turf was of short duration; 
from what cause I know not, but most probably one of 
those accidents to which horses are so liable, however 
well formed or sound they may be by nature. His com- 



208 TURF TOPICS. 

bination of blood is first-class, especially for staying 
qualities ; in proof of which we have his own brother 
' Hartington ' (winner of the Cfesarewitch), and numerous 
other instances : besides, upon reference to the blood of 
' Vedette/ they would appear almost full brothers in 
blood, both being by * Voltigeur/ — the one out of a 
'Touchstone,' the other an 'Irish Birdcatchcr' mare; 
and if there were any drawback on the side of either as 
to the grandam's pedigree, it certainly is not on that of 
* Cavendish.' His own performance as a two- years-old 
proved his speed ; and as to his general contour, he 
was as good-looking a two-years-old as one could wish 
to see. 

'Chevalier d'Industrie.' 

A chestnut horse, ten years old, by 'Orlando;' dam 
'Industry,' by 'Priam;' grandam 'Arachne,' by'Filho 
da Puta,' ' Treasure,' by ' Camillus.' 

This is a remai'kably nice horse; the superiority of 
his blood is unquestionable, being a combination of the 
very best, and more especially as his dam (' Industry,' 
winner of the Oaks) was by ' Priam.' He proved him- 
self a racehorse, and is a very wiry, level, lengthy animal, 
without lumber. He is closely allied in blood to ' Sur- 
plice,' but is of a totally different stamp to the latter in 
many respects; 'Surplice' being upon a much larger 
scale, although perhaps not possessing, in various points, 
the racing shapes of ' The Chevalier,' who is a nice, neat 
specimen of the racehorse. His ancestors on his sire's 
side, as also on that of the sire of the dam, have all for a 
number of years, with the exception of * Camel,' won the 
Derby or St. Leger; viz. 'Orlando' (Derby, 1844), 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 209 

'Touchstone' (St. Leger, 1834), by 'Camel/ by 'Whale- 
bone' (Derby, 1810), by 'Waxy' (Derby, 1793), 'In- 
dustry,' by 'Priam' (Derby, 1830), by 'Emilius' (Derby, 
1823), by 'Orville' (St. Leger, 1802), by ' Bening- 
brough' (St. Leger, 1794). 

' Claret.' 

A brown horse, twelve years old, by ' Touchstone ;' dam 
' Mountain Sylph,' by ' Belshazzar,' out of ' Stays;' own 
sister to 'Incognita,' by 'Whalebone.' He is own brother 
to 'Mountain Deer,' 'Champagne,' and 'Sylphine;' all good 
animals, and descended from the most running strains to be 
found in the records of racing : he was himself a very fair 
horse; his brother 'Mountain Deer,' and his sister 'Syl- 
phine,' ranking in the first class. To my mind, ' Mountain 
Deer ' is about the best-looking horse I ever beheld, and 
is a very great loss to the country ; as he had proved him- 
self (considering the chances he had) more successful than 
many sires that have had better opportunities, and are 
of longer standing ; and my conviction is, that he would 
have replaced his sire in due time, had he remained in 
England. Claret is free from white (which some dislike), 
being of a rich, dark-brown colour, has already produced 
some winners, and with a fair chance is likely to supply 
more. 

' Crater.' 

A bay horse, seven j'ears old, by 'Orlando;' dam 
Vesuvienne,' by 'Gladiator;' her dam 'Venus,' by 'Sir 
Hercules,' out of 'Echo,' by 'Emilius.' 'Crater' proved 
himself, no doubt, a superior racehorse, beating very large 



210 TURF TOPICS, 

fields ; for instance, in the Hunt cup at Ascot, wherein he 
defeated horses of all ages, giving away a great deal of 
weight, although his performances were principally con- 
fined to a mile ; still, although only third in a large field 
for the Amport stakes at Stockbridge, it was hardly to be 
expected he could give 20 lbs. to such a horse as ' Northern 
Light,' who was the same form as ' Cape Flyaway ; ' nor 
yet the year and 7 lbs. to ' Ariadne.' In shape, size, 
&c., he is good-looking enough for anything, and he 
struck me at all times as being an exceedingly true and 
good-tempered animal : both horse and trainer furnishing 
perfect specimens of knowing their business. As to his 
pedigree it equals any on record, being of the same mix- 
ture of blood as 'Dundee;' there are few (if any) of the 
untried division more likely to produce racehorses. 

' De Clare.' 

A bay horse, twelve years old, by ' Touchstone ; ' dam 
' Miss Bone,' by ' Catton ; ' ' Franby's ' dam by ' Orville.' 

This horse's breeding is undeniable ; as to shape he is 
a fine specimen of the racehorse, and was an undoubted 
good one, although unfortunate, having been, up to within 
a few hours of the race for the Derby, first favourite at a 
ridiculously short price, but meeting with an accident he 
did not even start — a sort of fatality appearing to prevent 
the noble owner gaining the prize bearing his name. ' De 
Clare' is a horse of great power and length, with plenty 
of bone and substance ; and coming from such running 
strains, not alone on his sire's side, but through his dam 
(likewise the dam of such first-class horses as ' Longbow,' 
'Boiardo,' &c.), with a fair chance, he can hardly fail to 
prove successful at the stud. Exception has been taken 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 211 

to the formation of his shoulders, which, however, is a 
peculiarity in many of the ' Touchstones/ Had this horse 
been recorded amongst the winners of the Derby, he 
would have received more patronage as a sire, as many 
breeders attach more importance to that fact than in 
reality it merits, however it may naturally add to the 
prestige of any sire. ' Longbow,' to my mind, was about 
the best mile-horse under heavy weight of modern days ; 
and as for length, power, and muscle, combined in one 
animal, I never saw his equal, without that top-heavy 
appearance so common in large horses. 

^ Drumour.' 

A chestnut horse, ten years old, by ' Weatherbit,' or 
' Big Jerry ;' dam ' Elspeth/ by ' Irish Birdcatcher,' ' Blue 
Bonnet/ by ' Touchstone.' This horse in different races 
proved himself a very good one indeed, and ought to be 
successful at the stud ; yet it seems almost impossible that 
the number of sires at present at the service of the public 
can all receive support, taking into consideration the com- 
paratively small number of mares, coupled with the fact 
that the picked sires obtain such large patronage, con- 
sequently very many good animals, such as ' Drumour/ 
are frequently passed over ; still, I fancy breeders might 
do worse than give him a chance. His grandara was 
'Blue Bonnet,^ winner of the Doncaster St. Leger. 

' Dundee.' 

A bay horse, six years old, by ' Lord of the Isles / dam 
'Marmalade/ by 'Sweetmeat;' grandam ' Theano,' by 
' Waverley,' out of ' Cherub,' by ' Hambletonian.' 



212 TURF TOPICS. 

It almost amounts to absurdity to attempt to eulogise 
the merits of this animal ; or, as Shakespeare says, — 

" To gild refined gold, to paint the lily ;" 

whether as to his breeding, shapes, or quality as a race- 
horse, for each and all must be fresh in the memory of 
the sporting public; still, a slight "refresher" may not 
be out of place. His blood speaks for itself, and has told 
its tale ; which, with such an example, must dictate to the 
breeder the prudence of following in the same course. 
His fine size, racing symmetry, with substance, without 
a particle of coarseness, plenty of length, temper, and 
soundness, cannot be questioned ; his performances at 
two years old, over the shortest as well as the longest 
courses contested by two-year-olds; contending against 
horses of all ages and of proved speed; such as 'Ment- 
more,^ ' Maggiore,' and others; racing under penalties, 
and winning with ridiculous ease, as well as proving his 
gameness, by doing so after a dead heat with a three- 
years-old. and so far beyond the usual T. Y. C. distance, 
must stamp him as one of the best and stoutest horses of 
modern days. It is remarkable that he always had to 
contend with first-class animals, the very cream of the 
year, and over their own courses ; for, whether it was * The 
flying Little Lady' over her short half-mile, or the old 
ones over their favourite distances, they all had to suc- 
cumb. Each were alike to him; yet the ti'uth of the 
running, as well as the superiority of the class, was proved 
in every respect : that beautiful mai'e, ' Brown Duchess,' 
who ran second to him at Liverpool (merely getting her 
allowance for her sex), winning the Oaks, and otherwise 
proving herself, what she looks all over, about as perfect 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 213 

a model of perfection as, in racing parlance, " ever looked 
through a bridle/' ' Dundee/ howevei*, through meeting 
with an accident, which frequently attends a Derby pre- 
paration (and which the nature of the course, as well as 
the usual state of the ground at that period of the year, 
so materially adds to), only managed to get second for the 
Derby, which he did upon two legs ; having lost the use 
of one at Tattenham Corner, the other at the distance, 
and being only just defeated, for a race run in the 
shortest time on record, namely, in two minutes, forty- 
three seconds : beating ' Diophantus,' winner of the 
2000 guineas ; ' Aurelian,' ' Imaus,' ' Dictator,' * Klari- 
koff,' ' Atherstone,' and many others. This horse bears a 
great resemblance to 'West Australian,' in his general 
appearance and outline. 

His performances were as follows: — At the Epsom 
Summer Meeting, 1860, he won the Woodcote stakes by 
three lengths ; beating ' Blisworth,' 'Walloon,' and thir- 
teen others. At Stockbridge, June same year, won a 
piece of plate, beating ' Damascus,' ' Mentmore,' ' Bir- 
mingham,' ' Marionette,' and five others, seven furlongs, 
carrying 8 lbs. extra, all ages. At Liverpool, July 1860, 
won the two-years-old plate, beating 'Brown Duchess,' 
' Damascus,' ' Pardalote,' and ' Longshot.' At Good- 
wood, July same year, won the Findon stakes, beating 
' Nemesis,' ' Brown Duchess,' ' Knight of St. Patrick,' 
and six others. At York, same year, he defeated ' Mag- 
giore,' three years old, one mile, at one stone, and three 
others, after a dead heat with the former for the Eglin- 
ton stakes. At the Newmarket first October Meeting, 
same year, won the Hopeful stakes, defeating ' The Little 
Lady,' 'Walloon,' ' Queen of the Vale,' and 'Evenhand;' 



214 TURF TOPICS. 

at three years old, ran second to 'Kettledrum' for the 
Derby ; after which he did not start, and was put to stud. 
If there be a virtue in properly crossing particular 
strains of blood, the breeder of ' Dundee' evidently proved 
it ; and if the object of others be to arrive at the summit 
of superiority, it would be difficult to select a better course 
than that of adhering to ' Lord of the Isles ' and ' Sweet- 
meat^ mares; or, taking a wider range, to 'Touchstone's' 
and ' Gladiator's' descendants : for, admitting there are 
many examples of other successful alliances (which have 
been already referred to), still it would be very difficult to 
find a better than the one in question. 

' Ellington.' 

A brown horse, eleven years old, by ' The Flying 
Dutchman;' dam ' Ellerdale,' by 'Lanercost;' grandam 
by 'Tomboy;' 'Tesane' by 'Whisker/ out of 'Lady of 
the Tees,' by ' Octavian.' 

' Ellington' proved himself a racehorse ; having at two 
years old, when amiss, won the Champagne stakes at 
Doncaster, beating a good field. He also won the Derby 
easily, beating the unfortunate ' Yellow Jack,' ' Cannobie,* 
' Fazzoletto,^ and many others. In his fore-action he 
walked and galloped with the 'Tomboy' peculiarity. 
His blood is undeniable, and his family could all run. His 
dam being by ' Lanercost,' should add very much to his 
merit, as likely to get not only speedy, but stout stock. 
He is of a magnificent colour, the richest dark brown ; 
and is probably about the soundest and cleanest-legged 
horse at stud : and as he stands in his stall, is a perfect 
picture, his arras and thighs being a mountain of muscle. 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 215 

' Gildermire/ his own sister, ran second to 'Governess* 
for the Oaks, after a dead heat ; which race was won in 
the following year by his half-sister, ' Summerside.' His 
family ai'e of a most running strain, his dam having, in 
fact, proved successful with every cross ; and being one of 
the very best brood mares of modern days — so very dif- 
ferent are cases of chance produce ; one good, the rest 
useless. 

'Ellington' gained the prize of 100 sovereigns at the 
Royal Agricultural Show at Battersea, in 1863; a further 
proof of his perfect soundness, and superiority of shape 
and action. His temper is most docile. 

Tazzoletto.' 

A bay horse, eleven years old, by 'Orlando;' dam 
'Canezou,' by 'Melbourne;' grandam 'Madame Pelerine,' 
by 'Velocipede.' 

He is a horse of immense frame, large bone, and 
plenty of substance, and being descended from such fine 
running strains on both sides, of sire and dam, can hardly 
fail to get good marketable stock. His dam was one of the 
best mares ever foaled, and about the finest specimen of a 
thoroughbred mare that ever galloped : she was, indeed, a 
noble animal. Her performances, under enormous weights, 
and giving away "lumps'' to racehorses — in the New- 
market handicap, for instance — besides her good second in 
the Doncaster St. Leger, won by ' Surplice,' after a severe 
contest, in which she lost a plate at the Red House, stamp 
her as an animal of extraordinary merit. ]\ly opinion is, 
that ' Surplice' never recovered the effects of that race. I 
perfectly remember him after it was over, and seldom saw 
a horse more distressed. 



3] 6 TURF TOPICS. 

' Fazzoletto ' himself was a very fair racehorse, for 
although he did not win the Derby, he ran very re- 
spectably, and I believe quite as well as was expected, for 
the course was by no means suited to a horse of his frame 
and action. He is of the same mould as ' Toxophilite,' 
and others of the Knowsley stamp — a fine slashing horse, 
but bearing a rather top-heavy, unwieldy appearance. He 
ought, however, to get some fine stock, which, up to the 
present time, he has not appeared to have done ; probably 
from want of the chance : nevertheless, I fully expect to 
find some day a few slashing samples of this sire. 
'Ackworth,^ a fair horse, is by him. 

' Gemma di Vergy.' 

A brown horse, ten years old, by ' Sir Hercules ;' dam 
'Snowdrop,^ by ' Heron ;^ her dam Tairy,^ by Tilho da 
Puta,' out of 'Britannia,^ by 'Orville.'' 

'Gemma di Vergy ^ proved himself a very good horse, 
and his blood (being now one of the three only remaining 
stallions by ' Sir Hercules '), together with his well-pro- 
portioned outline, elastic springy action, and rich dark- 
brown colour, must render him deserving the patronage 
of breeders. He has, uo doubt, had a fair chance, con- 
sidering the number of rivals in the market, and he may 
yet prove more successful than he has done; for it 
must be borne in mind that, like other sires that have 
run severely-contested races, and been " wound up " to 
the last pitch of condition, he has barely had time to 
distinguish himself. He is, however, well-bred, and 
good-looking enough, and possibly may yet fill the place 
vacated by some of his ancestors. His Chester-cup 
running, when three years old, candying 6st. 11 lbs,, was 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 217 

first-class ; for althougli he did not win, or perhaps would 
not have won, having met with a contretemps at the dis- 
tance, he would have been very handy. He is a remark- 
ably handsome horse, his peculiarity consisting in the 
shape of his hind-quarters, which he inherits from his 
sire ; as many ' Irish Birdcatchers/ and others of the 
same blood, are remarkable for being rather drooping 
towards the tail — by no means objectionable in a race- 
horse, as they are generally better turned under and 
possess more propelling power. 

' Gunboat ' and ' Lifeboat.' 

Both dark-brown horses, own brothers, aged re- 
spectively ten and nine years, by 'Sir Hercules;' dam 
' Yard-Arm,' by ' Sheet Anchor,' out of ' Fanny Kemble ' 
by ' Paulowitz,' ' Loyalty ' by ' Rubens,' ' Pennyroyal ' by 
' Coriander.' 

These two sons of ' Sir Hercules ' are both worthy 
scions of their renowned family, having proved during 
their racing career very sound, good, true, and game 
animals, over all distances, and under heavy weights, 
which they are both peculiarly adapted to carry. They 
are of fine size, plenty of substance all over, and their 
blood on the side of their dam, as well as of their sire, 
must strongly recommend them to breeders, more es- 
pecially as their stock ought to prove valuable for any 
purpose, if unsuccessful as racehorses. Few sires of the 
present day possess more recommendable qualities, in 
every shape and respect, and with fair chances they 
ought to distinguish themselves at stud, especially as the 
sons of ' Sir Hercules ' (' Irish Birdcatcher ' and ' Faugh- 



218 TURF TOPICS. 

a-Ballagh ') have proved so successful as sires. Both these 
horses are really very fincj souud samples of the powerful 
thoroughbred, and bear a striking contrast to the raiser- 
able specimens with which the country is overrun. 

' Ivan.' 

A brown horse, thirteen years old, by 'Van Tromp^' 
dam ' Siberia,' by ' Brutandorf,' by ' Blacklock.' 

The 'Lanercost' blood, so remarkable for its staying 
qualities, is, no doubt, well represented in the subject of 
these remarks ; for 'Ivan' was not only himself a race- 
horse, which the racing records bear testimony of, but he 
appears likely to prove a first-class sire, having, with a 
very limited chance, produced ' Union Jack,' probably 
about the best of his year. 'Van Tromp' (his sire), 
winner of the St. Leger, Doncaster, and Goodwood cups, 
was a very superior animal, and it seems fortunate that 
the blood, which is at present so scarce, should at least 
have one representative so likely to uphold its character. 

' Kettledrum.' 

A chestnut horse, with white marks, six years old, by 
'Rataplan;' dam ' Hybla,' by the 'Provost;' her dam 
' Otisina,' by ' Liverpool,' ' Otis,' by ' Bustard.' 

Here is a fine sample of what may be expected from 
the loins of the renowned ' Old Hatty,' the hero of so 
many contests, resembling his sire in many respects, not 
alone in shape and colour, but in action and temper. 
He won the fastest Derby on record when he defeated 
' Dundee,' ' Diophantus,' ' Dictator,' the unfortunate 
' KlarikofF,' who, according to the idea of his friends. 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 219 

always ought to have won, &c. Any admirer of ' Stock- 
well ' and ' Rataplan ' can hardly hesitate to acknowledge 
the claims of this horse to every support, as from his 
running blood, good looks, and likeness to those ani- 
mals, nothing but the great uncertainty attending such 
speculations can possibly interfere with his success. On 
both sides of sire and dam he comes from first-class 
strains, his dam having also produced ^ Mincemeat,' win- 
ner of the Oaks, 1854. In addition to his victory in the 
Derby, when two years old he beat ' Dictator,' ' Phemy,' 
colt, 'Matador,' &c. At three years old he ran second 
to 'Diophantus' for the 2000 guineas, and second to 
that wonderful mare, ' Caller-Ou,' for the St. Leger at 
Doncaster — beaten by a head; and. ran a dead heat with 
* Brown Duchess' (winner of the Oaks), for the Don^ 
caster cup : for which he, according to compromise, after- 
wards walked over. A curious coincidence, the Derby 
and Oaks witmers in same year running a dead heat. This 
horse having previously, during the same week, ran so 
severe a race for the St. Leger, and carrying a penalty, 
is further evidence of his stoutness, 

' King Tom.' 

A bright bay horse, with white marks, thirteen years 
old, by 'Harkaway;' dam 'Pocahontas,' by ' Glencoe,' 
out of ' Marpessa,' by ' Muley.' 

As to his colour, it is said he is a bay, but according 
to my recollection he is a chestnut. In comparing his 
breeding with that of his half-brothers, 'Stockwell' and 
' liataplan,' it may not be out of place to mention an 
oversight made by some parties with regard to their 



220 TURF TOPICS. 

breeding, viz. that picking one in preference to the 
other amounts almost to making a distinction without a 
difference, which a reference to their pedigree will show. 
In the first place, ' Stockwell' and 'Rataplan' are by 
' The Baron,' by ' Irish Birdcatcher ; ' dam ' Echidna,' by 
' Economist.' ' King Tom' is by * Harkaway,' by ' Eco- 
nomist;' therefore the latter is, in point of fact, almost 
full brother in blood to the "two brothers." 

Then, suppose we take 'The Baron' and 'Harkaway' 
on their mei'its, not only as racehorses but in every 
respect as animals, and without prejudice view them 
and their performances even as sires, — how can any 
judge, who really has a recollection of them, conscien- 
tiously pronounce 'The Baron' was a superior animal 
to ' Harkaway ?' for, although the latter did not win the 
St. Leger (for the best reason in the world — because 
he was not in it), which invariably adds so much to the 
prestige of any animal, in my humble opinion he was 
not only a far better horse, but "proved" himself su- 
perior, as well as quite as good a sire. It is all very 
well to remember 'The Baron's' victories, and in doing 
so to forget those of the animal that proved himself 
about the best horse in the memory of the present 
generation. Leave ' Stockwell,' 'Bataplan,' and their 
descendants out of the question, and then let the admirers 
of 'The Baron' furnish a list of his descendants to boast 
about, notwithstanding the extraordinary chances he had 
for many years, and contrast them with the despised and 
forgotten old ' Harkaway,' who reigned as the " King of 
the Curragh" in his day; vanquishing every opponent 
that came in his way, distancing racehorses of first class 
in England as well as in Ireland, where there really were 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 231 

first-class horses, and yet died, comparatively speaking, 
without a chance: yet left ' King Tom' as a reminiscence 
of his quality, as well as ' The Irish Queen ^ (dam of 
' Sweetsauce,' probably the best horse of his year for any 
distance), 'The Horn of Chase,^ ' Chaseaway,^ ' Blucher,' 
' Peep-o'-DayBoy,' ' Idleboy,' 'Ballinafad,' ' Sabroan,' &c. 

Many of 'Harkaway's^ daughters have proved most 
successful at stud. Amongst others, 'Thorn,^ dam of 
' Sprig of Shillelagh,^ &c., ^ Queen Bee,' &c. It has been 
hinted that there was a "flaw" somewhere in ' Harkaway's' 
pedigree, on his dam's side. All I can say on that point 
is, I should like to be owner of a few like him, bred with 
a similar flaw, taking into consideration that this animal 
could run any distance, carry any weight, and distance 
racehorses. It may not be generally known, that such 
was the furore caused by his extraordinary performances, 
that he was exhibited at a very stifi" figure in Dublin for 
a considerable time, and vast numbers went to see him, 
believing him to be one of the " wonders of the world." 

I remember during his racing career, amongst his 
performances, he was only just defeated for a four-mile 
Queen's plate by a horse of merit, called ' Bonte Bock,' 
who got about a quarter of a mile start, ' Harkaway' 
having been late at the post, according to the rules; 
his eccentric owner, however, calling out to his jockey, 
" Go after him ; you can give him to the Hare Park and 
win ; " a distance of about one mile and a half. The issue 
was well contested. 

As to ' King Tom's' individual merits, he is no doubt 
a hopeful son of a worthy sire ; he is as good-looking a 
horse as any connoisseur can wish to look at ; the thickness 
and substance of his frame leading some to fancy that he 



222 TURF TOPICS. 

is a shorter horse than he really is, for when in racing 
form he hardly presented that appearance. 

'King Tom^ has proved more fortunate and success- 
ful as a sire than as a racehorse ; which is proved by his 
' Old Calabar/ ' Wingrave/ ' Queen of the Vale/ ' King 
of Diamonds/ ' Mainstonc/ ' Breeze/ ' Prince Plausible/ 
'Tomato/ 'Linda/ &c. If his stock have up to the 
present time contended for short races^ that fact may 
be attributed to the simple reason that about one 
half the owners and trainers sometimes underrate what 
their horses really can do, and how long they can 
stay; and in many instances, because when half fit, or 
when two years old, they happen to show speed, confine 
their engagements to short courses, whereas in many 
cases their real forte is staying : yet they are very fre- 
quently condemned as half-mile split-tails, when perhaps 
four miles over the Beacon Course would suit them 
better. 

With regard to the crosses which would best suit 
' King Tom,' one patent fact must convince the reader 
that ' Sweetmeat,' ' Irish Birdcatcher,' or ' Touchstone,' 
mares (although the latter, on the " in-and-in" principle), 
would be most likely to hit successfully ; and the daughters 
of this splendid animal, if properly bred on their dam's 
side, ought to, and no doubt will prove, most valuable as 
brood mares : especially bearing in mind that they will 
inherit the blood of that mine of value, the queen of brood 
marcs, ' Pocahontas ; ' and if crossed with the sons of 
* Sweetmeat,' should turn out most profitable to their 
owners. As instances in favour of the "mixtures" re- 
ferred to, we have ' Sweetsauce,' an extraordinarily good 
horse for anv distance, and ' Dundee/ a second edition of 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 223 

the former^ besides numerous others ; but if excellence be 
the object of the breeder^ one would fancy the above 
samples, with ' Sweetmeat/ &c., ought to satisfy any 
" epicure." If a deviation were made, it might be de- 
sirable to try the 'Sir Hercules' or 'Irish Birdcatcher' 
sires with 'King Tom^ mares; such as ' Saunterer/ 
' Wonnersley/ ' Lifeboat/ or ' Gunboat/ in favour of 
which we have ' Stockwell' and ' Rataplan/ ' Citron' was 
another instance in favour of the ' Sweetmeat' and 
'Economist' alliances, for she was an animal for any 
distance, seldom equalled if (in my opinion) ever ex- 
celled : a fact which is known to very few, for the simple 
reason that, after a few brilliant performances, she met 
with an accident, 

' Knight of Kars.' 

A bay horse, ten years old, by ' Nutwith,' dam ' Po- 
cahontas' (also dam of ' Stockwell,' ' Rataplan,' ' King 
Tom,' &c.), by 'Glencoe/ grandam ' Marpessa,' by 'Mu- 
ley.' The fact of this horse being one of the very supe- 
rior sons of the above mare should alone recommend him 
to the notice of breeders, and render him a most likely 
stallion to prove serviceable at stud. But he has likewise 
all the other qualifications, as far as size, substance, shape, 
power, and colour, &c. He was a racehorse; and although 
never "up to the mark" in condition, his performances 
were of the first class, and there is no reason why his 
career at stud should prove an exception to the remark- 
able success of his half-brothers. 

Amongst those horses who had to succumb to him 
were ' Gamester' (winner of the St. Leger), and ' Ignora- 



224 



TURF TOPICS. 



mus;' and his race with ' Saunterer' at Doncaster, which 
was a very well-contested and near one, indeed stamps 
him as a horse of very high merit, and, as a sire, most 
likely to get valuable stock for all purposes. ' Nutwith ' 
(his sire) won the Doncaster St. Leger, beating, amongst 
others, the renowned ' Cotherstone,' winner of the Derby, 
2000 guineas, &c., and more money in stakes than any 
three-years-old on record. ' Nutwith^ did not start for 
the Derby. 

^ Leamington,' 

A dark-brown horse with a white star, eleven years 
old, by ' Faugh-a-Ballagh ;' dam by 'Pantaloon;' her 
dam ' Daphne,' by ' Laurel.' 

He is one of the best representatives of what a race- 
horse ought to be, with great length, i-acing points all over, 
and wonderful propelling power, the shape, muscular 
power, and position of his hind-quarters being perfection, 
and such as cannot fail, at a glance, to strike the eye. In his 
general formation and appearance he somewhat resembles 
his sire, and in many respects 'Buccaneer,' although 
more commanding in his general style ; being, in fact, a 
perfect specimen of the fine slashing racehorse — just what 
might be expected from his relationship to ' Pantaloon,' 
whose descendants invariably present such an appearance. 
His sire's fame is world-wide ; indeed, by many he is be- 
lieved to have been the best horse ever foaled — a question 
which no doubt admits of serious consideration, as well 
as doubt. Be that as it may, that ' Leamington' looks all 
over a fine model of a racehorse ; that he proved himself 
''which is better than mere appearance, which is often a 
fallacy) a genuine first-class animal, as well as a perfectly 



TUE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 225 

sound and wear-and-tear one^ cannot be denied, for al- 
though his name is not recorded amongst the Blue Riband 
or St. Leger winners, his performances justly entitle him 
to the confidence and support of breeders, which would be 
badly rewarded by patronising, as a rule, some of the 
winners of those great events ; for although the Derby, 
Oaks, and St. Leger, may be generally very good tests of 
quality, it by no means follows that there arc not, in 
many instances, far better horses of the year than the 
winners — some never even entered. Taking into consi- 
deration the fact, that the country has lost his sire, 
' Leamington ' must be looked to as the most promising 
son of that renowned animal best qualified to fill his place, 
and uphold untarnished the prestige of his ancestors; 
which, with a fair and reasonable chance, there can hardly 
be a doubt he will do, for he is from head to tail a " noble, 
fine animal," and one most likely yet to stand at the same 
figure as his relative, ' Irish Birdcatcher.' The fact that 
he has the ' Pantaloon ' blood in his veins is an additional 
recommendation, for it is questionable if there flows in any 
animal better : the very best runners, and the grandest 
specimens of the noble thoroughbred, are descended 
from ' Pantaloon.' I believe that ' Leamington,' as 
viewed upon a racecourse, walking with his majestic 
yet steady air, presents at once the appearance of the 
most level-made, lengthy sample of a racehorse, that 
we have seen for many years; every shape and point 
being where they should be, and his "propellers" always 
doing their duty; being placed so beautifully for the 
purpose. Although his career at the stud has, as yet, 
but commenced, he has begun well; and is, to my mind, 
certain to finish better. The running of ' Fille de I'Air,' 



226 TURF TOPICS. 

that extraordinary mare (a daughter of 'Faugh-a-Ballagh'), 
is further proof in favour of the chance of ' Leamington' 
proving successful. 

' Lord of the Isles.' 

A bright bay horse, with the usual white marks of 
his family; eleven years old, by 'Touchstone;' dam 
* Fair Ellen/ by ' Pantaloon ;' out of ' Rebecca/ by ' Lot- 
tery/ ' Cervantes/ ' Anticipation/ by ' Beningbrough.' 

'Lord of the Isles' blood cannot be excelled on either 
side, being a combination of speed and stoutness. In 
his general contour he bears a sti'iking contrast to his 
successful opponent, ' Wild Dayrell.' Probably no two 
animals of such merit could be more dissimilar, not only 
in shape and general appearance, but in action ; proving" 
the truth of the opinions so frequently expressed, that 
"they run in all shapes." He is neither a lengthy nor a 
short horse, but of average size; his 'Touchstone,' mus- 
cular quarters, his well-knit frame, being well-propor- 
tioned, give him the appearance of a fair-sized, compact 
animal : he possesses the usual propelling power of the 
' Touchstones,' and in other respects the quality requi- 
site in the racehorse. During his career he won the 
2000 guineas, beating ' St. Hubert,' who had been highly 
tried, and others, after one of the closest and most 
severely-contested races on record ; then meeting for the 
Derby that splendid specimen of the racehorse, the home- 
trained ' AYild Dayrell;' besides a few animals of very 
moderate pretensions. It can hardly be questioned that, 
on that day, 'Lord of the Isles' was not up to the mark, 
but rather beyond it ; for I perfectly remember that, early 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 227 

on that morning on tlie Downs, when he was at exercise, 
and endeavouring to come down the hill at Tattenham 
Corner, he reminded one more of the action of a rabbit 
than of a racehorse; regularly "^ stumped up," evidently 
suffering from sore shins, as well as from not having 
recovered the effects of his severe race for the 2000 
guineas. He could not move on that day, nor did he 
appear quite at home during the race; being beaten 
for second place by an animal not far removed from a 
*' leather-plater." However, whatever may have been 
his qualities as a racehorse, he has given good proof of 
his value as a sire ; for, before we can give the preference 
to others, we must see the superior of ' Dundee.^ Besides 
which he has furnished ' Scottish Chief,' ' Donna del 
Lago,^ and others ; in addition to which there are num- 
bers of his young stock of great promise, fine size, and 
racing symmetry ; and it will surprise me if we do not 
hear of his ranking even higher than at present in the 
estimation of breeders. 'Dundee^ is a proof in favour of 
crossing with ^Sweetmeat' mares. 

' The Marquis.' 

A bay horse, six years old, by ' Stockwell ;' dam 
^Cinizelli,' by 'Touchstone;' grandam 'Brocade,' by 
'Pantaloon,' out of 'Bombasine,' by 'Thunderbolt.' A 
greater proof of the success of the " double mixture " can 
hardly be found than in 'The Marquis;' showing the 
excellence of the 'Touchstone' and ' Birdcatcher ' (or 
rather ' Stockwell ') cross ; which is also borne out so 
plainly in the cases of ' Asteroid,' ' Audrey,' and others. 

As to size, shape, and power, he is good-looking enough 



228 TURF TOPICS. 

for anything ; his performances were first-class ; and 
there can be little doubt he will distinguish himself as a 
sire. 

During his racing career, at two years old, he won the 
Champagne stakes at Doncaster, beating Teu-de-Joie^ 
(winner of the Oaks^ 1862), ' Imperatrice' (second for the 
Oaks, 1862), and others. At three years old he won the 
2000-guineas stakes, defeating ' Caterer,^ ' Alvediston,' 
' Wingrave,' &c. ; and the Doncaster St. Leger, beating 
' Buckstone,' * Hurricane,' ' Johnny Armstrong,' ' Caris- 
brook,' &c. He was beaten only once, and then by a 
neck for the Derby, by ' Caractacus.'' 

' MUSJID.' 

A dark -brown horse, nine years old, by ' Newminster / 
dam 'Peggy,' by * Muley Moloch;' grandam 'Fanny,' by 
' Jerry,' ' Fair Charlotte,' by ' Catton,' ' Henriette,' by 
' Sir Solomon.' 

As a winner of the Derby, this horse is entitled to the 
highest consideration ; for he not only won that race like 
a racehorse, but by sheer gameness. He is a very fine 
animal indeed, and his pedigree comprises some of the 
real old, although neglected, strains; and differs very 
much from the everlasting, every-day, hackneyed names we 
read. It is refreshing to see a Derby won now-a-days by 
an animal with a pedigree like that of ' Musjid.' He has 
in his veins the blood of those two wonderful mares, 
'Beeswing' and 'Alice Hawthorne;' no mean recommen- 
dations: and it is highly probable he may prove as suc- 
cessful at the stud as he did on the racecourse. 



the sires or the past and present day. 229 

' Newminster.' 

A bay horse, seventeen years old, by ^Touchstone;' 
dam 'Beeswing/ by 'Doctor Syntax;' grandam by 'An- 
drossan/ 

The merits of this horse are so thoroughly known and 
tested, both on the racecourse and at stud, that any at- 
tempt to expatiate upon them would be like sending 
coals to Newcastle. He is a gem of the first water; and 
his fine son, ' Lord Clifden,' the beau ideal of a racehorse, 
alone entitles him to the high estimation in which he is 
held, as well as the fact that he is descended from the 
renowned ' Beeswing.' He won the Doncaster St. Leger 
in the commonest of canters ; and his success at stud is so 
universally known, that it is merely necessary to leave the 
public to choose between him and his rivals in the 
" known world/' — ' Stockwell,' ' Rataplan,' ' King Tom,' 
' Voltigeur,' ' Lord of the Isles,' and 'Wild Dayrell.' 

'NUTBOURNE.' 

A dark chestnut horse, eight years old, by 'The 
Nabob;' dam 'Princess,' by 'The Merry Monarch ;' gran- 
dam 'Queen Charlotte,' by 'Elis;' great grandam by 
* Tramp/ out of ' Fillagree,' by ' Soothsayer,' out of 
'Web,' by ' Waxy.' 

Who that ever saw a splendid specimen of the horse 
can deny that ' Nutbourne ' is one ? Take him "all in 
all " as he stands, and where is his superioi-, in a 
general point of view ? A mountain of muscle — a race- 
horse even at two years old — an age at which such large 
animals seldom show their real form, he met and beat. 



230 



TURF TOPICS. 



not only the best horses of his year, but probably the 
best that had appeared for years. His blood is a mixture 
of most of the best crosses for speed and stoutness. His 
performances at two years old were sufficient to stamp him 
as a first-class animal; and judging of them in a fair and 
impartial manner, and taking into account the fact, that 
such large horses generally improve wonderfully from two 
to three years old, as also that when running for the Derby 
he met with an accident when '^pulling double" (the 
race being won by ' Thormanby,' whom he had previously 
defeated at two years old), leaves little doubt that, but 
for the contretemps referred to, 'Nutbourne' would have 
proved the most dangerous opponent to the winner. 
It appears strange that the medal should have been 
lately awarded to another, in opposition to this horse, at 
the show: however, "doctors differ;" and every man 
has an equal right to his opinion, which must be received 
and taken for what it is worth. 

In my humble opinion, if all the horses in England 
were brought to an exhibition, and the medal was offered 
for the " finest sample of a thoroughbred stallion, for 
general purposes, taking breeding, performances, sound- 
ness, size, shape, and, in fact, all qualifications into 
consideration," and if a doxen experienced judges in such 
matters were appointed, 'Nutbourne' would wear the 
medal in opposition to any other, and be justly entitled 
to do so. I have previously referred to this horse's blood, 
under the head of ' The Nob.' 

* Old Calabar.' 
A bay horse, six years old, by 'King Tom;' dam by 



THl;; SIRES OF THE PAST AND PKESENT DAY. 231 

' Piccaroon ;' grandam ' Jemima/ by ' Count Pozzo ;' ' Mrs- 
Suggs,' by 'Crispin.' 

The best son of ' King Tom/ with plenty of size and 
substance, looking all over what he proved himself, " a first- 
class racehorse;'^ but, having met with an accident, one 
whose career was but short on the turf. He may some day, 
or perhaps now, rank amongst the unfashionable division, 
because he did not win the Derby, and because his owner 
may not deem it worth while to take the trouble of 
convincing breeders that they would be studying their 
own interests in giving him a trial. To my mind he is 
one of the most promising untried sires of the present 
day, grounding my opinion on the merits of the animal 
in every respect, as to breeding, size, shape, and per- 
formances ; and believing that (bar accidents) he would 
have proved himself the best of his year at three years 
old, which he did as a two-years-old. How many others 
untried are more likely to prove stars at stud, notwith- 
standing the medley of unfashionable names which his 
pedigree displays ? 

At two years old ' Old Calabar ' was not beaten, having 
won four times j namely, the Triennial produce stakes at 
Newmarket; first October meeting, beating 'Hurricane' 
and others ; the Clearwell, beating ' Wingrave ' (also 
by 'King Tom'), 'Knight of St. Michael,' and others; 
* The Criterion,' beating ' Nottingham,' ' Alvediston,' 
' Wingrave,' ' Feu-de- Joie,' ' Zetland,' ' Bertha,' and 
others ; and the Glasgow stakes. 

' Orlando.' 
A bay horse, twenty-four years old, by ' Touchstone,' 



23.2 TURF TOPICS. 

out of ' Vulture/ by ' Langar/ out of ' Kite/ by ' Bus- 
tard/ 

The sire of many speedy animals, and very few stout 
horses, 'Teddington' and 'Imperieuse' being the best, 
having had for a number of years the best chance of 
any stallion that ever lived, he won the Derby in the 
memorable year of ' Running Rein/ 

' Oulston/ 

A bay horse, thirteen years old, by ' Melbourne j' 
dam 'Alice Hawthorne,' by ' Muley Moloch,' out of 
* Rebecca,' by ' Lottery/ 

* Oulston ' is a peculiarly-shaped animal, a sensible, 
" steely-looking gentleman,'' without a particle of lumber, 
and with particularly black points, resembling " the old 
mare" in many respects, as well as colour; although 
very round-ribbed, with a deep girth, like his dam, 
rather shallow, which, however, is made amends for 
by a good back and loins ; his hind-quarters well placed, 
which, like ' Old Alice,' he could use to perfection : 
he has very lopped ears, for which many of the 'Mel- 
bournes ' are remarkable, — ' Sir Tatton Sykes,' &c., to 
wit. 

As a racehorse he was of the highest order, his 
performances being of so brilliant a character that he was 
sold for (about the highest price on record) 6000 guineas, 
which, no doubt, does not at all times prove the intrinsic 
v^alue, so much frequently depending upon the ideas, 
sagacity, and talents of buyers and sellers. I have sold as 
good for a sixth of the pi-ice, with wonderful expectations 
of contingencies. However, it cannot be denied that 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 233 

* Oulston ' was a first-class racehorse, and might have 
probably shown more of his quality had he not been 
occasionally seized with a slight distemper on the eve of 
his engagement. His running was very much of the in- 
and-out kind, still many circumstances occur in racing 
which can account for this ; for instance, amongst others^ 
horses are not and cannot be always fit, and up to the 
mark. As far as ' Oulston ' is concerned it is very 
questionable if he was not the best horse of his year, not 
even excepting the great ' Wild Dayrell / and it was 
very fortunate that the former was not up to the mark, 
and that ' Rifleman ' was not " primed and loaded/' on 
the Derby day, or he might have taken down ' Wild 
DayrelFs ' colours. ' Fandango ' and ' De Clare/ being 
hors de combat, also made the coast pretty clear for the 
great gun. It is extraordinary that this horse has not 
been better supported at stud ; but, as before stated, it is 
impossible to give all a chance, where there are so few 
mares in proportion to sires. And probably a report as to 
an infirmity in ' Oulston ' having got wind, has more or 
less injured him ; although it has been, and is stated by 
proper authority, that there are no grounds for such a 
rumour. There is one patent fact, viz. that his sire 
and dam, and their descendants, in fact all his family, are 
remarkable for their soundness in that respect, but are 
likewise so for their great staying powers ; and ' Oulston ' 
himself could run any distance, and distance horses : and 
even, if there were any ground for such a report, the 
infirmity, if it does or ever did exist, must have had its 
origin in some distemper, and, therefore, cannot be here- 
ditary or constitutional. This horse has literally had no 
chance at stud, and it will by no means surprise me to see 



234 TURF TOPICS. 

his stock some day astonishing the talent, and bringing 
up reminiscences of bye-gone days. 

' Petruchio.' 

A chestnut horse, eight years old, by ' Orlando ;' dam 
'Virago,' by ^ Pyrrhus the First;' grandam 'Virginia,' 
by 'Rowton;' great-grandam ' Pucelle,' by ' Muley.' 

Here is a son of the great ' Orlando,' as well as the 
selling stake ' Virago,' whose qualities the talented Mr. 
Topham appeared to estimate beyond leather -plating 
form, when he treated her to seven stone, three-years- 
old, for Chester cup ; yet how truly was his well-known 
judgment displayed ! — the mare being considered by her 
trainer about ten pounds better than 'Crucifix.' It ap- 
pears to me tbat ' Petruchio,' who was a very good- 
looking young one, with capital propelling power, ought, 
with a fair chance, to prove more successful at stud than 
he did otherwise; for if high pedigree can recommend 
any horse, surely he possesses it. His success at stud 
(if he has grown as one would have expected, and is 
sound, &c.) would not be a greater cause for wonder 
than his failure as a racehorse ; for, like many others 
that were not racehorses, yet turned out valuable and 
successful at stud, he may yet prove " that blood will 
tell." 

'Prime Minister.' 

A brown horse, seventeen years old, by ' Melbourne;' 
dam ' Pantalonade,' by ' Pantaloon ; ' grandam ' Festival,' 
by ' Camel.' 

This horse possesses many qualifications to recom- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 235 

mend him to the notice of breeders ; amongst others, 
his being a combination of the most running and win- 
ning strains of blood, inferior to none. As a racehorse 
he was very bighly tried previous to the Derby, and was 
backed by his partisans to win as much money as would 
have purchased half Manchester. He is a very level, 
racing-like animal, and has proved as successful at stud 
as could have been expected, taking into consideration 
that he has not had as much patronage as others less 
worthy of it, although more " cracked up." He has, 
however, proved his high quality as sire of several good 
animals; amongst others, ' Farfalla/ 'Lord Burleigh,' 
'Light,' 'Lustre,' 'Pastime/ ' Sporting Life,^ ' Tesane,' 
&c., and doubtless will yet add to the number. 

The fact of possessing the ' Pantaloon,' 'Melbourne,' 
and ' Camel ' mixtures, should especially recommend him 
to the notice of breeders. His stock appear remarkably 
sound, wiry, and racing-like in every respect. 

'Rataplan.' 

A chestnut horse, with white marks, fifteen years old 
(own brother to ' Stockwell'), by ' The Baron •' dam 
' Pocahontas,' by ' Glencoe, out of ' Marpessa,' by 
' Muley.' 

His iron constitution, with the strength of an ele- 
phant and temper of a lamb, together with the fact of 
his having proved himself a racehorse under any weights, 
and for any distance, must render ' Rataplan,' commonly 
called ' Old Batty,' invaluable for stud purposes ; and 
having begun well with his ' Kettledrum,' ' Miner,' 
' Tattoo,' &c., there can be little doubt he will play to 



236 TURF TOPICS. 

perfection with other instruments a more prominent part 
ere long. What a temper ! It sometimes required the 
aid of the late Mr. Hibburd's cob (so well known to 
frequenters of the racecourse) to set him going ; but 
once the steam w^as on, it was like " Hell-fire Jack's " 
engine from Didcot to London, whose fondness for pace 
and keeping time is so well known to travellers on the 
Great Western. The extraordinary number of races (and 
those over the most severe courses) won by this wonderful 
horse, and his successful career, is in a great measure to 
be attributed to the almost incomparable, and certainly 
unexcelled experience, skill, and talents of the " Squire 
of Wantage;" by whose instructions, and under whose 
practised eye, his trainer no doubt brought ' Old Ratty ' 
out much oftener than he could have appeared, if under 
the usual style of continual racing and training at the 
same time : for this horse, like the everlasting old * Fisher- 
man,^ together with others, after the Wantage style, was 
trained by running races and winning money, or, as the 
adage is, "killing two birds with one stone,'^ getting, 
however, that rest at intervals which some wretched worn- 
out skeletons never do, w^hose trainers think it necessary, 
whether at home or abroad, to keep them continually 
galloping : the consequence being, their early retirement 
to the stud or Hansom. ' Rataplan ' is a perfect rock of 
strength, a little plain in the shoulders, rather short in 
his fore -action, which stayers frequently are (flash-goers 
the contrary). He is not so tall or commanding in his 
appearance as his brother ' Stockwell,' nor did he pro- 
bably possess his speed : still, it is hardly possible to ex- 
aggerate his good qualities ; for however frequently we 
find holiday-flyers, or even stayers, still wx have seldom, 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 237 

if ever, seen a more genuine sample or combination of all 
the requisites in the racehorse than he affords. " He was 
all, and always there." It is but reasonable to suppose, 
that having already produced a Derby winner, besides 
others that could run, and not only stay, but show great 
speed, his reputation as a sire ought to, and doubtless 
will improve; especially taking into consideration the 
fact that he had been so long in training, and conse- 
quently had done so much work, and that time must, 
as with most horses when put to stud, prove beneficial to 
' Rataplan.' 

Amongst his performances, his winning the Man- 
chester cup, literally in a canter, with such a heavy weight 
(Q st. 4 lbs. as well as I remember), beating ' Typee ' and 
other first-class animals, stamps him as one of the best 
horses of modern days. He is, indeed, one of the few 
samples of a "genuine racehorse:" his stock must prove 
useful for general purposes, and I believe it is a question 
admitting of some doubt whether he will not yet rival his- 
brother, especially as a sire of stayers. 

* St. Albans.' 

A chestnut horse, eight years old, by ' Stockwell ;' dam 
' Bribery,' by ' The Libel ;' grandam ' Splitvote,' by ' St. 
Luke ;' great-grandam ' Electress,' by * Election.' 

As to size, shape, and other recommendations, it 
would be difficult to select a better style of racehorse; 
he is one of the several fine specimens of his sire's stock, 
most of which appear to stay as well as show speed. This 
horse very much resembles his sire in his style and shapes, 
and is another of the many proofs of the value of my 



238 TURF TOPICS. 

favourite blood, ' Pantaloon.' \Yhether judging from his 
blood, shapes, or performances, there are few of the untried 
stallions of the present day can compete with ' St. Albans,' 
or are so likely to prove successful at stud. His perform- 
ances were really first-class, having won the Metropolitan, 
the Chester cup, and the Doncaster St. Leger. As to the 
Chester cup, my conviction is that he would have won 
with two stone more on his back, especially if well held 
together, which no boy living of five stone could do round 
such a course as Chester, and for such a distance. ' St. 
Albans ' resembles his sire very much, and if he fail to 
get racehorses it will be one of the extraordinary anomalies 
of breeding. He is a fine animal, and destined, in my 
opinion, to be the ' Stockwell ' of a future day ; at least, of 
those of that sire's sons at present at stud, for if 'Asteroid' 
were a rival he would be a very dangerous one. 

' Stockwell.' 

A chestnut horse, sixteen years old, by ' The Baron ;' 
dam ' Pocahontas,' by ' Glencoe ;' grandam * Marpessa,' 
by ' Muley.' 

The merits of this superb sire hardly require comment; 
he stands at fifty guineas (and likely shortly to do so at 
one hundred guineas), and his subscription full every year 
is demonstrative of his superiority. As instances of his 
quality we have the four St. Leger winners, ' St. Albans,' 
' Caller-Ou,' ' The Marquis,' and ' Blair Athol ;' as also 
his sons and daughters, ' Audrey,' ' Asteroid,' ' Stockade,' 
' Comforter,' ' Thunderbolt,' 'Bertha,' 'Caterer,' 'Bath- 
ilde,' ' Lady Augusta,' and numerous others. The cross 
between this horse and ' Touchstone ' mares bears extra- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 239 

ordinaiy proof of the excellence of the double cross of the 
' Whalebone ' blood, as also that with ' Pantaloon/ the 
latter being, to my mind, " an improvement to any strain." 
Nothing is more absurd than commenting on subjects 
which are universally proved and known, therefore any re- 
marks from my pen upon the merits of * StockwelP are 
unnecessary, especially as they have been so well and ably 
described elsewhere^ by competent judges and writers upon 
the sires of the day. 

'Surplice.' 

A bay horse, twenty years old, by ' Touchstone ; ' dam 
' Crucifix,^ by ' Priam.' 

One of the most striking, as well as extraordinary in- 
stances of the lottery of breeding, is furnished in this 
horse, a winner of the double event, Derby and St. Leger, 
possessing all the size, shape, and power, of the true race- 
horse, even on a grand scale ; plenty of length and sub- 
stance; a pedigree composed of the very essence of good 
blood; still a perfect failure as a sire. He beat in the St. 
Leger that magnificent mare 'Canezou ' (who lost a plate at 
the Red House), piloted by that splendid horseman the late 
Frank Butler — notwithstanding whose determined efforts 
poor "Nat" succeeded in landing the yellow jacket, although 
many were of opinion that, but for the loss of her plate, 
the mare would have w^on. But why has this horse been 
so unsuccessful at stud? One of the causes, I fancy, 
must have been, that he did not get the right stamp of 
mares, for his stock were generally immense, tall, leggy, 
unweildy, and top-heavy in their appearance, and even 
when walking seemed to drag their legs behind, as if they 
did not belong to them ; they were mostly like a giblet 



240 TURF TOPICS. 

pie, " all legs and wings," with action like an ostrich, yet 
without the speed of that bird. The fact is, it so hap- 
pened that ' Surplice ' was unfortunate in the class or 
stamp of mares sent to him ; probably he had not nice, 
compact, average-sized mares, like the ' Sweetmeats ^ or 
* Irish Birdcatchers,' for it appears to me absurd to suppose 
that an animal of his class, quality, and other recommea- 
dations, could possibly, after a period of nearly fifteen 
years, pass into oblivion without having more brilliantly 
upheld at stud his great fame as a racehorse ; and even 
now, in my opinion, if some of those experienced breeders, 
who take care of their stock and spare no expense, would 
send some of the class of mares referred to, there is little 
doubt they would find that there is yet a chance for ' Sur- 
plice,^ especially if crossed with ' Sweetmeat ' mares : for 
' Dundee^ bears proof in favour of the ' Touchstone^ and 
' Sweetmeat ' alliance ; and the facts that the ' Sweetmeat ' 
mares are shortish, compact animals, whilst ' Surplice ' is 
as long as a man of war, and that the latter's blood is that 
of * Lord of the Isles' (sire of 'Dundee'), are so strong 
that I should then, in case of failure, despair of the mag- 
nificent son of ' Touchstone ' and ' Crucifix ' ever raisins: 

o 

himself from his present fallen position. The fact is, mis- 
takes are made in breeding from such large horses with 
very large mares. 

' Flax,' dam of ' Queen Bertha ' (winner of the Oaks), 
is by ' Surplice,' and I fully expect to see his sons and 
daughters prove, like those of ' Bay Middleton ' and others, 
more valuable at stud than on the turf. Writing about 
this horse calls up reminiscences of that worthy specimen 
of the sensible English trainer, the late respected Mr. 
Isaac Day, with his large cigar and his string of ostriches. 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 241 



' Thormanby/ 

A chestnut horse, eight years old, by ' Melbourne/ or 
'Windhound;' dam 'Alice Hawthorne/ by 'Muley Mo- 
loch / grandam ' Rebecca/ by ' Lottery/ ' Cervantes,' 
'Anticipation,' by ' Beningbrough/ 

It has been said that there is an eloquence in silence, 
which course might be adopted with regard to this horse, 
as he has already given such proof of his quality. It is 
hardly necessary to remind those who have made racing 
their source of amusement, profit, or loss, of the great 
merits of 'Thormanby.' If ever there was an instance 
of genuineness, and a sterling proof of the value of keep- 
ing to the running strain, here is one furnished in the son 
of the old mare — a recollection of whose name, and wiry, 
racing-like form, will never die while racing exists ; her 
deep girth, her racing shape, with length and strength 
where they ought to be in the racehorse, unencumbered 
by a particle of lumber, have been handed down by 
Nature to her son ' Thormanby.' She was not a float- 
horse, nor was she framed like one ; she was formed as a 
weight-carrying racehorse ought to be (for action carries 
weight); and if she was light in her back ribs, many of 
the best and longest runners have been so likewise, and 
especially animals that have fine propelling power and 
hind action, which is seldom seen with those well ribbed- 
up, however strong they may be for other purposes. 

As to the " double sire," ' Melbourne,' or ' Wind- 
hound,' there can hardly be a question on that point. 
Where are the "lopped Oulston ears?" How many 
'Melbournes' were chestnut? What colour was 'Panta- 

R 



212 TURF TOPICS. 

loon' (sire of ' Windhound') ? Are not the ' Melbournes' 
invariably plain, and broad across the hips (no doubt all the 
better for the latter) ? But who can find the least resem- 
blance between 'Oulston' and 'Thormanby' in any re- 
spect whatever, except that they were both just what 
might be expected from such a dam — first-class animals ? 
Although it by no means follows that because the mare 
had been last served by a particular horse, he must neces- 
sarily be the sire of the produce, still it generally is the 
case ; and it must be borne in mind, that at the time the 
question of the impotency of ' Melbourne' was very 
much canvassed. 

' Thormauby' looks all over a * Windhound,' although 
not of his colour. Still he is that of ' Pantaloon.' His 
good length, especially from hip to hock, he takes from 
his dam. His sensible ideas of taking things as they 
came were wonderful ; when saddling, running, weighing, 
or feeding subsequently, all appeared alike to him. He 
could run at two years old as often as he was required, 
which was frequently; he could let his opponents get a 
good start and beat them afterwards (he was not a very 
good beginnei") ; he ran and won over all distances, up- 
setting pots that had been boiling, the contents of some 
having been almost eaten before they were cooked. Many 
of the wizards imagined he was " a perfect cure; " but they 
should not have been surprised, for the simple reason that 
the second in the Derby ('The Wizard') beat all the rest : if 
he did stop, he was defeated by an animal that would make 
" many a Derby winner remember the Derby day," and 
refuse his corn in the afternoon. How can this horse fail 
to be a successful sire ? No matter from what animal 
he is descended, whether from the sire of ' West Austra- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 243 

lian'or ' Windhouud' (the son of 'Pantaloon'); liis dam 
was 'Alice Hawthorne.' 

During his racing career he had a medley of good and 
bad luck. He always met first-class animals^ and at 
times was not up to the mark. Where is the trainer who 
can ensure and keep a horse fit ? Soon ripe, soon rotten. 
Constant dripping will wear a stone. What splendid con- 
tests may the lovers of the turf not anticipate between the 
produce of the very animals which contended with this 
horse during his racing career — 'Thunderbolt/ 'St. 
Albans/ ' Nutbourne/ and 'Buccaneer?' Like 'Volti- 
geur/ 'Thormanby' was rejected by all the connoisseurs 
during the yearling sales at Doncaster, and was subse- 
quently purchased by his trainer, Mr. Matthew Dawson, 
for three hundred and fifty guineas : a proof of his well- 
known judgment and experience. 

' Thunderbolt.' 

A chestnut horse, eight years old, by * Stock well ;' dam 
* Cordelia/ by ' Red Deer ;' grandam ' Emilia,' by 'Young 
Emilius;' great grandam 'Persian,' by 'Whisker.' 

Here is a horse of extraordinary power and substance, 
with most wonderful loins and quarters ; a perfect rock 
of strength, and, in fact, as fine an animal as ever was 
foaled. During his racing career, it often struck me that 
an oversight must have caused his owner to confine his 
engagements to short distances : the reason, as well as I 
remember, assigned was because of some infirmity in his 
feet or legs, which interfered with his training. Be that 
as it may, for the distances he contended he was an out- 
and-out good animal ; and the example of ' The Baron,' in 



244 TURF TOPICS. 

his races for the Madrids, with ' Highwayman ' and 
others, often led me to fancy that the same shght cause 
may have interfered with ' Thunderbolt/ viz. his feet ; 
and that the addition of the piece of leather, which Mr. 
Watts so judiciously and successfully applied in ' The 
Baron's^ case, might have had the desired effect with 
' Thunderbolt :^ for, to judge from the latter's breeding, 
shapes, and other recommendations, one would be slow to 
question his powers to stay any distance. He certainly 
was a first-rater for those for which he did contend, 
and as he stood while his jockey was weighing in, it 
would puzzle a judge to find a grander specimen of a 
thoroughbred horse ; and it is questionable if his superior 
be amongst the untried stallions of the present day. His 
giving 29 lbs. to 'Brown Duchess' (who in Doncaster 
cup ran a dead heat with the winner of the fastest Derby 
on record), for the year and sex, at Newmarket, so late as 
the month of October, showed his wonderful speed, besides 
his other very great performances : such as in October, 
1860, when he defeated 'Buccaneer' and ' King of Dia- 
monds,' in the Select Stakes at Newmarket, one mile ; at 
Warwick Spring Meeting, 1861, where he won the Trial 
stakes, one mile, with 8 st. 9 lbs., beating ' Lady Clifden,' 
' Lifeboat,' * Twilight,' and others. The Stamford plate, 
Newmarket, three-quarters of a mile ; beating ' Stam- 
pedo,' '■ Maggiore,' ' Twilight,' and others. His defeating 
' Fravola,' ' Maggiore,' and others, easily ; and his run- 
ning at two years old, in which year there were many 
first-class horses, such as ' Thormanby,' ' Nutbourne,' 
'Buccaneer,' &c. — stamp him as a horse most appropriately 
named. There can be little doubt that, with a fair 
chance, he Avill distinguish himself at stud. He is, in my 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 245 

humble opinion, about tbe best-topped horse in England 
(and perhaps the best we have seen, for a certain distance, 
for many a day) : and it would take a great deal to per- 
suade me that his ailment was not in the feet — a second 
edition of ' The Baron,' "thin soles /^ which, being a heavy 
horse, affected him perhaps more than it otherwise might 
have done, especially on hard ground. His stock ought 
to be very fine, and with such a capital mixture of staying 
blood they should run as long as those of any other sire 
living. 

' TOXOPHILITE.' 

A dark-bay horse, ten years old, by ' Longbow ; ' dam 
'Legerdemain,' by 'Pantaloon;' grandam 'Decoy,' by 
' Filho da Puta ; great-grandam ' Finesse,' by ' Peruvian.' 

This horse is one of those fine slashing samples which 
so frequently represent the descendants of ' Pantaloon,' 
differing so much from other short " trussed -ixp ones." 
His sire (although a musician) was one of the most 
powerful and best horses of his day, with great length, 
wonderful substance ; his arms, shoulders, and thighs, a 
mass of muscle. His performances over the mile course, 
and occasionally a little beyond it, are probably unsur- 
passed : his winning the Stewards' cup at Goodwood, 
carrying 9 st. 4 lbs., beating cleverly an immense field, 
placing him at the top of the tree. His son ' Fox,' as 
he was usually called, proved himself a first-class race- 
horse ; for althouglf beaten for the Derby, he ran a very 
good horse, although the course was by no means suited to 
an animal of his shape and action, he being very much of 
the same stamp as ' Fazzoletto,' and what might be termed 
" top-heavy." He is, however, a fine specimen of the 



246 TURF TOPICS. 

racehorse^ and, with such running blood in his veins, 
most likely to prove successful at the stud. 

His dam proved her staying qualities, and ' Feu-de- 
Joie/ winner of the Epsom, and Yorkshire Oaks, and of 
the York cup, shows that although ' Longbow ' himself 
(the most muscular, lengthy, and powerful horse I ever 
saw, and on short legs), was a " miler," his stock can 
stay; and there is no reason why 'Tox' should not 
furnish Derby, Oaks, or St. Leger winners, should he get 
a fair chance ; and if ever one owner more than another 
deserved to v/in the three events, as well as breed the 
winners, it is the noble proprietor of ' Toxophilite,^ whose 
success would no doubt, upon all sides, be justly hailed 
with ovations never before equalled, certainly never better 
merited, as the victory of the greatest, gamest, and most 
staunch sample of the noble, true, and thoroughbred 
sportsman. If ' Tox^s ' sons prove their staying qualities 
as well, they will do ! 

'Vedette.^ 

A rich brown horse, eleven years old, by ' Voltigeur;' 
dam by ' Irish Birdcatcher,' out of ' Nan Darrell,^ by 
inheritor,' out of 'Nell/ by 'Blacklock.' 

The prejudices which are entertained by parties for 
their respective favourites are various. I candidly confess 
that my "weakness" is in favour of 'Vedette,' in pre- 
ference to any untried sire of the present day (with one 
exception, 'Dundee'), if exclusively confined to racing 
purposes; although no doubt there are others, upon a 
grander and more commanding scale, and preferable, as 
fine specimens of the horse, in a general point of view. 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 247 

My remarks are, however, principally confined to his merits 
as a racehorse, and my belief is, that he is good-looking 
enough in other respects. 

With regard to his general conformation he is a very 
fair-sized horse, with good length, standing about 15 
hands 3 inches. Whatever his other merits may be, 
however he may have occasionally suffered from a sort of 
rheumatic affection (of the nature of which I am ignorant), 
he made an impression on my mind which few others 
ever did. Whatever his " private " trials may have been 
(they are frequently mere moonshine), his "public" ones 
satisfied me as to his excellence ; and I believe, without 
exception, the best horse I ever saw gallop two miles 
was ' Vedette.' I have seen old ' Harkaway,' ' Mount 
Eagle,' ' Skylark,' ' Irish Birdcatcher,' ' Faugh-a-Ballagh,' 
and many of the "stars" of bygone days, and from 
childhood have made horses my study. I have never been 
sanguine about the success of particular animals; on the 
contrary, have been a believer in the old adage, "there 
are as good fish in the sea as ever were caught ; " still, 
when 'Vedette' was about to start I looked upon his 
success as a foregone conclusion. Who that ever saw 
true action (when set going), could exaggerate the beau- 
tiful level stride of this animal, with the " propellers " so 
regularly and powerfully doing their duty like a steam- 
engine, when his superior, yet unassuming jockey, 
Johnny Osborne, used to pass the winning chair, 
sitting as cool as a cucumber, and returning to scale 
amid the congratulations of the patrons of the " spots," 
and the public in general, with his usual imperturbable 
countenance, while some of his scattered opponents were 
straggling in, having found pursuit hopeless. True, he 



248 TURF TOPICS. 

was not in the Derby (a lucky circumstance for the lot) ; 
even granting that, perhaps, it might not have proved 
exactly the course for him : but take the " bunch " that 
that ran in his year, and let them try conclusions with 
' Vedette,' over York, Doncaster, or New^market racecourse, 
even for the Derby distance, what would he have done 
with the lot ? and if two miles, or " Csesarewitch distance," 
he must have won, "hands down as usual." A sheet 
would have covered five or six of the front rank in that 
Derby, and what earthly chance could such horses as 
' Strathnaver,' * Anton,' &c., have had with the animal 
in question ? ' Faugh-a-Ballagh,' according to the usual 
nine-days' wonder principle, was believed by many to 
have been the best horse ever foaled : for my part, if it 
were possible that both could have met at even weights 
over the Csesarewitch course in their best day, I verily 
believe 'Vedette' would have won, notwithstanding the 
wonderful opinion formed and run away with about the 
great 'Wonder of Erin,' a great portion of the nine- 
day fever originating in the fact that he was the first 
Irish horse that ever won the St. Leger. His success 
was like "Moses and Co.," the outfitters — well adver- 
tised. 

' Vedette ' not happening to be even entered for the 
Derby, must consequently, according to the opinions of 
some, be comparatively inferior. 'Faugh-a-Ballagh' only 
beat ' The Cure ' by a head for the St. Leger, the latter 
having swerved across the course : this horse not only won 
his races, which were of the first order, and in which he 
was opposed by the best of his day, but literally walked in. 
Take his running in the 2000 guineas with 'Anton' and 
others, and that of the latter in the Derby (although a 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 249 

small horse), the mile being in his favour and against 
'Vedette/ then, again, ' Saunterer's' form (not in the 
Derby, as he was notoriously amiss) in the Cambridgeshire, 
and the Goodwood cup, ought to convince any impartial 
judge that ' Vedette ' was by far the best horse of his 
year. It has been asserted by some that ' Skirmisher' 
was nearly as good in private — he failed to prove it in 
public : for when both met over York racecourse, and 
ran in different interests, the result was a very hollow 
affair indeed, for my pet won in his usual style; and 
if my memory serves me, ' Saunterer ' formed one in 
the field. Then if we look at ' Skirmisher's ' Ascot- 
cup victory, it only confirms the fact, that in the great 
' Blink Bonny ' year there was no horse within lengths 
of 'Vedette,' especially over a reasonable distance of 
ground. If there were one near him it was ' Sprig of 
Shillelagh,' an overgrown two-years-old, that when dead 
amiss, coughing, and meeting a serious accident ten days 
previously, during which time he was physicked and walk- 
ing, beat ' Blink Bonny ' at Chester. Whatever the suc- 
cess of this animal at stud may be, my opinion of his 
superiority as a racehorse will remain unaltered, and I 
believe he will (with a fair chance), as certain as I pen 
these remarks, prove more successful at stud than his 
sire. Notwithstanding the fact that his dam is by ' Irish 
Birdcatcher,' my selection of blood in mares to cross 
with ' Vedette ' would be ' Touchstone,' ' Sweetmeat,' 
'King Tom,' and 'Orlando.' 

' VOLTIGEUR.* 

A brown horse, eighteen years old, by ' Voltaire,' out 



250 TURF TOPICS. 

of 'Martha Lynn;' by 'Mulatto/ out of 'Leda/ by 
' Filho da Puta/ 

It appears strange that parties should pick out this 
horse to condemn and disparage, for as far as his blood 
is taken into consideration it cannot be excelled : his per- 
formances are a matter of record. One of the few horses 
that won the " double event/' Derby and St. Leger, and 
the only animal that ever vanquished * The Flying Dutch- 
man/ His colour is a beautiful rich dark brown, with 
legs like jet, plenty of size, and racing shape; in short 
he has, both on the racecourse and at stud, given such 
unmistakable proofs of his quality that further remarks 
are quite superfluous. Probably those who find fault 
with ' Voltigeur,' or his blood, on either side, either as a 
racehorse or at stud, would favour the public by explain- 
ing what may be their definition or ideas of a racphorse 
and his blood, and what they ought to be. No doubt 
his stock are remarkable for their fine, improving, and 
staying qualities, but it by no means follows that they are 
so deficient in speed, although the former may be and 
is their admitted forte ; and a very good one it is, and 
seldom found in other strains. I have previously re- 
ferred to the crosses with this blood elsewhere. 

* Warlock.' 

A roan bay horse, twelve years old, by ' Irish Bird- 
catcher;' dam 'Elphine,' by 'Emilius,' out of 'Varia- 
tion ' (winner of the Oaks in 1830), by ' Bustard.' 

The sire of this horse, and the sire of his dam, 
stood each at the figure of fifty guineas, demonstrating 
the high estimation in which they were held. He won 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 251 

the Doncaster St. Leger, and from his high breeding 
ought to prove successful at the stud. He is an average- 
sized animal, his great peculiarity being in his colour, 
which he takes from his sire ; with, however, much more 
of the grey or " silver " hau-s than are usually found in 
the other descendants of 'Irish Birdcatcher.' 

'Wild Dayrell.' 

A brown horse, thirteen years old, by 'Ion;' dam 
'Ellen Middleton,' by 'Bay Middleton; ' grandam 'Myrrha/ 
by 'Malek;' great-grandam 'Bessy,' by 'Young Gouty,' 
* Grandiflora,' by ' Sir Harry Dimsdale.' 

To describe the general outline and shapes of this 
magnificent animal is a task which, I candidly confess, has 
been better accomplished by some of those gentlemen who 
have already offered their useful, and unquestionably ex- 
perienced hints, to the admirers of horseflesh. In common 
with most people, I always like to see a fine specimen of 
the lacehorse ; and do not hesitate to state that I never 
beheld the superior of ' Wild Dayrell,' as far as his out- 
line and general formation — (although there are others 
with more muscular development and greater power) — 
putting aside his performances in toto. Take him, as he 
walked beside the 1600-guineas 'Jack Sheppard' (who 
was purchased to lead him to work) on the morning of the 
Derby on Epsom Downs. A casual passei'-by would fancy 
he was looking at a horse and a pony ; there was as much 
difference in their length and size as between a railway- 
train returning from a race-meeting and a donkey's cart. 
Poor ' Jack Shepherd,' as he walked beside his magnifi- 
cent companion, had all the appearance of having been 



252 TURF TOPICS. 

well kept to his work ; and certainly bore evidence against 
the supposition, " Jack's as good as his master." ' Wild 
Dayrell/ with his grand, lengthy walk and stride, showed 
an almost indescribable superiority in comparison to 
poor Jack, who looked as if he had been carrying his 
namesake, and hunted to death for a month by a troop of 
dragoons. 

The contrast in his size, shape, and action, even with 
those of his opponent, ' Lord of the Isles,' was very pecu- 
liar ; the former being of that grand, unequalled length, 
stride, and sweeping style ; while the latter is, in point of 
fact, although a true-shaped, muscalai-, and well-knit 
racehorse, of a totally different stamp : in action, likewise, 
very dissimilar. On the morning of the race, as already 
mentioned, the two opponents reminded one of a grey- 
hound and a hare ; so much so, that previous to the race 
I told a party, who informed me that he stood to win a 
large sum on ' Lord of the Isles,' " that he had as much 
chance of beating * Wild Dayrell' on that day, as he (the 
backer) had of being Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland." The 
fact was, 'Lord of the Isles' could hardly move; having 
been evidently suffering from the effects of sore shins ; 
and had not recovered his severe race for the 2000 guineas 
with ' St. Hubert.' To compare any horse of the present 
day, as far as outline and general racing appearance, to 
' Wild Dayrell,' is, with great deference to those who 
differ, a mistake. If he could be improved upon (and I 
believe no horse ever was foaled that could not be), it 
might be as to the formation of his hocks and hind- 
quarters, as to strength and position, in proportion 
to his frame : but animals of his great length and 
general outline are seldom so well " turned undei-," 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 253 

in that respect, as those compact and moderate-sized 
horses; such as the 'Touchstones/ ' Birdcatchers/ and 
' Sweetmeats/ 

* Wild DayrelP bears, in many respects, a striking re- 
semblance to that fine sample of the racehorse, 'Bay 
Middleton,' his grandsire on the dam's side ; and if the 
former had the hind-quarters and form of ' Leamington,' 
in that respect he would be perfect. 

The fine mixtures of various strains of blood, which 
flow in his veins, cannot be surpassed; and contrast 
strangely with the in-and-in system of the present day ; 
his size bearing proof, to a great extent, tlmt the latter 
course tends to diminish the powers and size : an opinion 
which has heretofore been entertained by many, although 
hardly borne out by specimens in the present day. 
As to 'Wild Dayrell's' success for the Derby, the fact 
is he won, and could have won, when, where, and how 
he hked. In my opinion, he would have won with 8 st. 
7 lbs., the rest 7st.; the second being a slow, game, but 
moderate animal. 

The 'Ion' blood is most valuable, both for speed and 
stoutness; he was himself a first-class racehorse, havino- 
won the Clearwell and other stakes ; and ran second to 
'Amato' for the Derby; beating 'Grey Momus ' and 
others : and second to ' Don John ' for the Doncaster St. 
Leger; beating ' Lanercost ' and others. His son, ' Ionian,' 
ran second to ' Orlando ' for the Derby. 

'Pelion' (his son) was a first-class horse, especially 
for a mile; and 'Poodle' (own brother to 'Pelion') was 
a very game one. 'Buccaneer ' and others also prove its 
value. On the dam's side, the ' Bay Middleton ' strain has 
been well tested and proved ; instance ' The Flying Dutch- 



254 TURF TOPICS. 

man/ ' Andover/ ' Anton/ ^ The Hermit ' (winner of the 
2000 guineas), ' Fly-by- Night ' a much better horse than 
generally supposed^ although not on a large scale, but a long, 
low, deep-girthed one; who afforded such unmistakable 
proof of what a little time will accomplish in condition : 
his running ia the Derby and at Ascot within three weeks, 
to wit. He showed great speed up the Choking Hill on 
Epsom Downs, when 'Bartholomew,' in black, appeared 
one hvmdred yards ahead, although as far behind at the 
finish. Had the Derby been run during Ascot week, 
there would have been few, if any, before bim. 

' Wild Dayrell ' has produced several winners, as set 
forth — 'Avalanche,' 'Hurricane,' 'Buccaneer/ 'Horror,' 
' Dusk,' ' Tornado,' ' Wild Agnes,' and several others ; 
besides some reported flyers in the back-ground. Still 
this horse, considering the chances he has had, has not, so 
far, proved a nonpareil. 

'Windhound/ 

A brown horse, eighteen years old, by ' Pantaloon ; ' 
dam ' Phryne,' by 'Touchstone;' gi'andam 'Decoy,' by 
'Filho da Puta ;' great-grandam * Finesse,' by 'Peruvian.' 

There can hardly be a doubt as to this horse's being 
the sire of ' Thormanby,' for the reasons before mentioned. 
His relationship to that running family, ' Hobbie Noble,' 
' The Reiver,' and 'Elthiron' (his own brothers), as also 
the fact of his being a son of ' Pantaloon,' and his dam 
by ' Touchstone,' should recommend him to the notice of 
breeders. He never started, having met with an accident, 
but was tried and believed to be a Rood horse. 



the sires of the past and present day. 255 

'Yellow Jack/ 

A chestnut horse^ twelve years old, by ' Irish Bird- 
catcher ;' dam '^ Jamaica/ by 'Liverpool/ out of ' Preserve/ 

There can hardly be a greater proof of the " glorious 
uncertainty'^ of the turf than that furnished upon re- 
ference to the career of this horse, probably unexampled 
for disappointments, he having run second for the Derby, 
second for the Chester cup, besides his other engage- 
ments. Had he been " fii-st'^ upon these occasions, what 
an extraordinary difference it would have made ! not 
only as to the amount which would have been won by 
stakes, &c., but as to his celebrity subsequently as a sire. 

It seems strange, how frequently breeders become pre- 
judiced in favour of absolute winners of such races, disre- 
garding in toto the merits of " seconds/' and overlooking 
many valuable qualities in which the latter, in numerous 
respects, even excel their victors. Here is an animal, 
comparatively speaking, unpatronised, because he did not 
absolutely win all his engagements; and at the same time 
he possesses many good points as to shape, as well as 
most fashionable strains of blood, which should entitle 
him to the notice of breeders. He is of good size, length, 
and very racing-like in his general contour. He could 
stay beyond question, and was, although unfortunately 
notorious for " seconds/' a very game horse ; as was also 
' Cariboo,' his half-brother, who could run for a month. 

It is, however, impossible that many valuable and 
promising sires, in the present day, can have a fair chance, 
the country being overrun with indifferent stallions and 
bad judges, who look to pence and throw away pounds. 
' Yellow Jack ' cost when a yearling, at auction, one thou- 



256 TURF TOPICS, 

sand guineas, and looked as well worth the money as any 
yearling ever sold. 

'ZuYDER Zee.' 

A dark-bay horse, eleven years old, by ' Orlando ; ' 
dam ' Barbelle' (dam of ' Flying Dutchman,' ' Van 
Tromp/ &c.), by ' Sandbeck.' 

Probably few sires are more deserving of notice than 
this one ; and, although the last in the alphabet, is by 
no means less worthy of the support of breeders, or less 
likely to become a first-class sire ; for although he was 
not blessed with the best of tempers, still it can in him 
hardly be looked upon as natural to his family on either 
side — quite the contrary; and may have had its origin in 
very trifling, although common circumstances. Nor is 
such a drawback so hereditary in the sire as in the dam. 
That he was a first-class racehorse cannot be denied ; that 
he comes from running families, both on the side of sire 
and dam, is equally true. In shape he is a remarkably 
handsome racehorse all over, with good size, length, and 
substance ; and was an exceedingly sound animal, training 
on and lasting, with good clean legs : his colour a beau- 
tiful rich dark bay. His performances were of the first 
class, having beaten, amongst other good horses, and car- 
rying heavy weights, ' Saunterer,' ' Gemma di Vergy,' &c. 
He won the Chesterfield cup at Goodwood, carrying the 
top weight ; the Fitzwilliam stakes at Doncaster, carrying 
9 St. 6 lbs.; theGranby handicap, cai'rying list. 4 lbs., &c.; 
and ended his racing career, at six years old, as few others 
ever do, perfectly sound. 

There can be no possible reason why ' Zuyder Zee' 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 



257 



should not prove a first-class stallion ; and, to my mind, 
few others are more deserving of patronage. 

The following would appear the best representatives 
of their tried sires, and most likely to distinguish them- 
selves at stud ; — 

Chanticleer Vengeance. 

Ethelbert Big Ben. 

Faugh-a-Ballagh Leamington. 

Flying Dutchman Ellington and Amsterdam. 

Irish Birdcatcher Yellow Jack. 

Kingston Caractacus. 

Longbow Toxophilite. 

Lord, of the Isles Dundee. 

Melbourne Oulston, Prime Minister, and Cannobie, 

Nabob Nutbourne. 

Newminster Lord Clifden. 

Orlando Crater, Fazzolctto, and Zuyder Zee. 

Rataplan Kettledrum. 

Sir Hercules Gunboat, Lifeboat, and Gemma di 
Vergy. 

Stockwell Asteroid, Blair Athol, Marquis, St. Al- 
bans, and Thunderbolt. 

Sweetmeat Macaroni and Sweetsauce. 

Van Tromp Van Galen. 

Voltigeur Vedette and Cavendish. 

Weatherbit Beadsman. 

Wild Dayrell Buccaneer and Horror. 

In addition to the above, there are several young 
stallions more likely to prove successful if they get a 
fair chance, than they are to obtain that chance; amongst 
others, ' Adamas,' ' Cannobie,^ * Drogheda,' ' Horror,' 
' Marionette,' ' Marsyas,' ' M.D.,' ' Mainstone,' ' Sed- 
bury ' (a nice horse), ' Sugar-Plum,' ' Vengeance,' by 
' Chanticleer ' (one of the nicest and best horses of the 

s 



258 TURF TOPICS. 

lot), and ' Lambourne,' a beau ideal of a racehorse, if on 
a larger scale ; but he is multum in parvo — all muscle, 
and a "beauty.'^ 

Having glanced over a few sires which most take my 
fancy, and without drawing any invidious comparisons 
— on the contrary, admitting that there may be many 
others equally desirable — I have merely to add that, ac- 
cording to the official returns, there are not more than 
about 2200 thoroughbred mares at stud at present ; those 
statistics being compiled with great care and labour : the 
number of sires being about 300 — some of them having 
their subscriptions full. Then, how can the others pos- 
sibly have a fair chance, and how can they pay ? To 
this fact may be traced the causes of now and then 
finding a really good animal set down as the produce of 
an unfashionable sire. Why unfashionable ? Because he 
has not done impossibilities — got racehorses without the 
chance of doing so ! 

It really seems strange that people who take such a 
deep interest in breeding should confine their attention 
and remarks almost exclusively to the merits of the sire, 
in many cases totally disregarding those of the dam. 
How often are wretched brutes sent to valuable sires ! 
And what is the consequence? The owner of the sire 
has frequently the gratification (?) of hearing, — "Oh, 
there is a pretty specimen of So-and-So^s stock!" 
" The cross docs not suit ! " &c. I know a pai'ty who 
is at this moment hiring stallions, and, in my opinion, 
he has as good of his own, if not better ! 

To what are the causes of failure frequently attri- 
butable, although the crossing, the value of animals, and 
in a great measure the lottery of breeding, are overlooked ? 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 259 

Some arc half-fed; some half- starved ; some stall-fed, 
like oxen, and never exercised, although called upon 
at so early an age to display their agility and freedom of 
action. It is positively amusing to behold the speci- 
mens that are bred by some persons; yet if one were 
candidly to give his opinion to the proprietors, he would 
seriously jeopardise his chance of an invitation to dinner: 
for few like to hear their horse abused, although many 
remain silent listeners to the slander of their absent 
friends by the tongue of the dastardly maligner. 

The fact is, that horse-breeding, like horse-racing, is 
to a great extent a game of chance. But how in reason 
can a stallion, getting perhaps half-a-dozen mares (half 
the number being brutes), be expected to produce as 
many good animals as those fashionable ones (some of 
the latter, taking their chances into consideration, perfect 
impostors)? Then, again, the "rage" is all after cer- 
tam picked ones; and during the temporary "mania," 
which recent success on the turf may have caused, in 
favour of a young beginner, he may be deserted because 
he did not at once prove successful at stud ! Take, for 
instance, ' Marsyas,' the vanquisher of ' King Tom ' at 
two years old; where is there a nicer-bred horse ? Was 
he not a racehorse ? His stock are very large and power- 
ful; for example, 'Money-Spinner,' out of a mare that I 
sold to the proprietor of the magnificent monster stud at 
Middle Park ; ' Calcavella,' by ' Irish Birdcatcher,' out of 
' Burgundy's' dam ; for although she did not produce well 
to other sires, still, owing to the patience of the breeder of 
' Caractacus,' she, as well as ' Marsyas/ furnished one 
that could run. 

Amongst the su-es of the day we have some very 



260 TURF TOPICS. 

fine specimens, yet differing wonderfully in character 
and shape generally, each breed resembling the other in 
their particular peculiarities and qualities : for instance, 
' Stockwell/ ' Rataplan/ ' St. Albans/ ' Thunderbolt/ 
' Kettledrum/ ' The Marquis/ and many others, descend- 
ants of ' The Baron,' are remarkable for their immense 
fine frame and substance ; being, in fact, mountains of 
muscle, like ' Nutbourne,' who is of a similar class, as 
well as ' Big Ben,' and other sons of ' Ethelbcrt.' Then 
we find horses of a totally different stamp, yet by no 
means inferior as racehorses, being more lengthy and 
racing-like to the eye at first sight : there are others 
differing from both, being the really true-made racehorse, 
of medium size, with great symmetry, fine racing points, 
level made, not possessing too much power in one respect 
and deficient therein in others, rendering the former 
more injurious than beneficial. ' Lord of the Isles,' 
' Newminster/ ' Voltigeur,' ' Vedette,' ' Beadsman,' ' Ca- 
ractacus,' ' Cavendish,' ' Crater,' and others, come under 
this class; and again, of the lengthy, slashing, race- 
horse style, ' Wild Dayrell,' ' Leamington/ ' Thor- 
manby,' ' Buccaneer,' and ' Dundee.' ' Toxophilite,' 
son of the splendid 'Longbow/ is one of those, like 
' Fazzoletto,' and others — great, large animals, presenting 
the appearance of being top-heavy and unwieldy, demon- 
strating the fact " that they run in all shapes." Still, 
I incline to think they are more frequently racehorses, 
and stay longest, and that their legs last and wear better, 
when they are of medium size — "long and low." 

Some people purchase racehorses like victuallers in an 
oxen marl<et, by weight. With respect to crosses, and 
the arriving at conclusions that particular ones suit, I ap- 



THE SIRES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT DAY. 261 

prehend that the proper way to test that point is to take 
the cases where the fo'st -class racehorse has been the pro- 
duce ; for, in my humble opinion, if all the crack sires of 
the present day and all the brood mares were turned loose 
into a park, and the produce taken up and trained, 
amongst the number would be found plenty as good as 
all the skill of some breeders has furnished : for really 
their failures, taking into consideration the number of 
animals they breed, are marvellous. Any boy who has 
learned the rule of three must know, that if a mare by 
' Sweetmeat' has produced by a son of ' Touchstone' the 
best horse of his year, that she is, consequently, likely to 
produce another good one by the same sire ; still it does 
not follow that, because that produce was the best of his 
day, he might not be improved upon : for it might be 
like the little schoolboy, who informed his father that he 
was " third " in his class, but, unfortunately for the 
father's pride, it turned out that there were only "three'' 
in it.* 

As to in-and-in breeding, every day proves that it is 
moonshine to object to it, until somebody furnishes proofs 
against it. As to size and staying, let us look at the 
best performers of the day ; amongst others ' Asteroid,' 

* Upon the subject of turning stallions and mares into a field, 
a curious experiment was tried by myself and a friend in the 
following manner, and in consequence of the following scene: — 
A neighbour of mine, who was owner of a stallion, happened to 
witness 'Mountain Deer' (when he had just been put to stud, and 
was very difficult to command), break loose from his groom, and the 
men in charge of the mare let her head free, which caused a scene 
that appeared likely to terminate in certain injury to either, or 
both, if not prove fatal to one. Upon speaking of it, I agreed, after 
some difference on the subject, to try the experiment, he providing 
the sire and I the mare ; and the result plainly proved that 



263 TURF TOPICS. 

one of the very finest specimens, and one tliat can run 
any distance.* 

Shape is the principal point to have regard to in order 
to amend faults of sire or dam ; and almost every person 
who likes a horse, and has any experience, knows what 
good shapes are. The grand secret is to know when they 
are properly put together, and to discover where the screw 
is loose in the machinery which renders the whole useless. 
In my opinion, many persons fail in breeding and amend- 
ing faults in large mares, by breeding from overlarge sires, 
or vice versa; in fact, by endeavouring to amend defects 
on either side by having recourse to too many counter- 
balancing requisites. 

Having thus endeavoured to place before the reader 
certain remarks, which I trust may prove of some service 
at least, and hoping he will make allowance for any errors 
which may have crept in, or delusions under which the 
writer may labour — a failing to which all men are more 
or less liable — I have only to conclude these notes by 
trusting that they have been rendered in at least an intel- 
ligible manner, and that the advice of the poet has been 

taken, — 

" In fine, to whatsoever you aspire, 
Let it be simple and entire." 

nothing whatever occurred more than if they had been reared 
together. Both were turned out loose into a large field, although 
the sire had been stabled, and they were not permitted even to see 
each other previously, the mare being left far off in the field, the 
horse (a racehorse) turned perfectly loose. The accident re- 
ferred to was the more likely to end injuriously, the mare being 
" hobbled," and having fallen down, as well as the sire — some- 
what resembling a Spanish bull-fight. 

* If some of those enterprising breeders should feel disposed 
to improve upon the in-and-in system, &c., they might succeed, 
like Christopher Columbus. 



263 



BROOD MAUES. 



" Oft expectation fails, and most oft there 
Where most it promises ; and oft it hits 
Where hope is coldest, and despair most sits." 

There can be little doubt that the object of all classes 
following the pursuit of horseracing or breeding, is to 
bring to perfection, as nearly as possible, their efforts to 
produce the best animals. The question, therefore, for 
consideration is simply, how they are to accomplish it ? 
The brood mare is the foundation upon which success 
principally depends — the fountain from which it must 
flow; it therefore becomes necessary to observe every 
caution in order to carry out the wishes of the breeder, 
and bearing in mind the very great competition in the 
present day, as also the very remunerative prices paid for 
first-class yearlings, &c., the breeder with capital should 
not hesitate to invest in the best animals possible (and if 
he have not capital, leave it alone), for the expenses of keep 
are quite as heavy, no matter what their quality or value 
may be ; and as the country is overrun with moderately 
classed ones, they hardly can be expected to pay, for, 
taking into consideration the chances of missing and 
other losses, exclusive of the regular expenses attending 



264 TURF TOPICS. 

them, it really requires a yearling to realise a pretty round 
price to the owner to make amends for the disappoint- 
ments and expenses attending breeding. At the same 
time the prices sometimes paid for untried brood mares 
(because they are fashionably bred, and have proved win- 
ners) are quite absurd ; the long purse frequently taking 
the place of practical knowledge or real judgment : for 
there are some who follow this pursuit who will not be 
instructed, through prejudice or obstinacy, more some- 
times through the absence of natural taste or judgment, 
verifying the fact that, — 

*' Some men in life assume a part 
For which no talent they possess, 
Yet wonder that, with all their art, 
They meet no better with success." 

Then my advice to a beginner is to select the brood 
mare from the most fashionable, and, of all things, the most 
running families, with constitution, shapes, youth, temper, 
and speed. The question then is — How is a purchaser to 
select a brood mare ? That query is answered thus, — Deal 
or try where you will, at best it is a lottery ; but in order 
to reduce the risk as far as possible, the reader should 
adopt the following course : — 

The running blood on both sides ; and there we find 
them in all shapes. Some are prejudiced in favour of large 
mares (generally termed " roomy " mares), and the idea is 
right to a certain extent ; but, assuming that the owner is 
desirous to breed a " racehorse," my opinions are hereafter 
conveyed as to the sort of mare from which he should elect 
to breed. Tall mares are not the more desirable because 
they are tall : as a general rule, the deep-girdled, large- 



BROOD MARES. 265 

bodiedj sliort-legged marCj with wide hips and length, of 
moderate height — say fifteen hands and a half (many 
first-class and tried mares have not exceeded fifteen hands), 
if anything resembling, when in stud form, more the 
draught mare than the light thorough-bred — is the sort to 
breed from : for instance, a better illustration could hardly 
be afforded than old ' Echidna/ dam of ' The Baron,' (sire 
of ' StockwelF and ' Rataplan'), who was more like an 
animal that had been drawing a float or an omnibus all 
her life, than breeding St. Leger winners, as she walked 
about the paddocks at Jockey Hall, with a head like a 
fiddle-case, with room for the bow on each side in the 
shape of a pair of ears, which her owner was so wont to 
explain as extraordinary and peculiar to her family, as to 
the manner in which they were set on, a peculiarity best 
seen when standing exactly in front of her descendants ; to- 
gether with the prominent forehead so apparent in ' Stock- 
well,' &c. as in his sire. There was 'Echidna/ the 
daughter of ' Economist,' the dam of * The Baron,' and 
his own brother ' Bandy,' who afibrded so curious a proof 
of the freaks of nature — foaled a cripple, without the use 
of his hocks, literally resting on the ground, like a hare in 
her form, and about to be destroyed, yet grew up, with 
time and strength, until the malformation almost entirely 
disappeared, and he subsequently proved the sire of race- 
horses. And why not? It was not hereditary; it was 
simply " a freak of nature ! " One might as well argue, 
that because the mare exhibited some thirty years ago at 
Donnybrook fair and elsewhere had eic/ht legs, all her 
produce should, as a natural consequence, have the same 
number. There was never a greater mistake than to sup- 
pose that breeding, no matter how scientifically carried 



266 TURF TOPICS. 

out, is not a lottery ; still, much depends upon many 
incidental circumstances^ which are frequently taken no 
notice of. 

Before digressing from the subject of shape, I wish 
to refer to a stamp of mare (before partly referred to), of 
which I am particularly fond, and recommend the reader 
not to disregard, viz. the short-legged, moderately-sized 
animal, as to height, &c.; with good shoulders and 
plenty of length, and otherwise possessing the necessary 
shapes of the racehorse (elsewhere described), especially 
avoiding a short neck, which I detest in any horse or 
mare. From the form described many first-class animals 
have been bred, and it has only to be tried to be proved to 
the satisfaction of any dubious breeder ; for, to my mind, 
want of average size is frequent on the part of the sire. 
In proof of which I could mention many cases, having 
seen more of the finest horses (certainly the most level 
and racing-like), not only in class as racehorses, but with 
good size, the sons of such mares. Most assuredly the 
great, tall, weak-leggy animal, seldom if ever comes from 
the mare described. Whereas a mare of moderate size, of 
say fifteen and an inch, with substance, will produce by a 
stallion of say sixteen hands, an animal as to size a medium 
between the two, without the top-heavy appearance, &c. 
In my opinion, many mistakes are made in breeding from 
those over-fine or over-large mares, with very large sires. 
The produce may be extremely large in proportion, still we 
seldom see those horses over-good, finish, stay, or wear as 
long as the other stamp. They are generally top-heavy, 
and finish " like a ship in a storm." It is said, " a 
good big one will beat a good little one." True : but 
how many are there in proportion ? 



BROOD MARES. 267 

The next necessary qualification calling for the atten- 
tion of the breeder is "temper;" a recommendation 
essentially requisite, for there is hardly one failing more 
hereditary. We seldom find mares that have been na- 
turally bad-tempered or fretful that were not, to use a 
racing term, ''soft-hearted jades" during their career on 
the turf — a drawback which their produce too frequently 
inherit. No matter how game the sire may be, his re- 
putation frequently becomes injured through the pi'oduce 
showing the softness of the dam. With regard to 
temper, I have observed that bad-tempered mares are 
more frequently chestnut than of any ether colour. 

A difference of opinion exists as to whether the pro- 
duce takes, as a general rule, more after the sire or the 
dam ; many persons believe the latter to be the case : 
in which opinion I concur, especially where the constitu- 
tion of the mare is strong and unimpaired, and has not 
been affected by disease, heavy distemper, or over-training : 
that is to say, the produce, as to perfections or imperfec- 
tions in shape, colour, and temper, as well as the other 
qualities, will, in the majority of instances, more resemble 
the dam than the sire; yet not unfrequently, through 
freaks of nature, will bear a much greater resemblance 
to some of their ancestors, as far removed, perhaps, as 
two or three generations : for instance, as to colour, we 
frequently find a black colt or filly by a chestnut or bay 
sire and dam : in which case the anxious owner diligently 
seeks and traces back the pedigree, being naturally de- 
sirous to ascertain " where the colour " comes from ; and 
he, no doubt, believes the produce "takes after" the 
most " distinguished " of his ancestors. For instance, one 
would naturally assume that ' Saunterer,' a black horse, 



268 TURF TOPICS. 

inherited his colour from 'Sir Hercules^ (his grandsire). 
Another instance is ' Thormanby ' (whose sires, ' Mel- 
bourne^ or ' Windhound;' the former was bay, the latter 
brown; his dam, 'Alice Hawthorne/ bay): one would 
fancy he took his colour from ' Pantaloon,' sire of ' Wind- 
hound;' a horse of the very same colour. 

The most important question to be considered, and, 
as far as possible, to be solved, is, how far that admitted 
fact, that " like begets like," holds good iu breeding 
racehorses; and what perfections and imperfections are 
most hereditary ? Let us take, for example, the cases of 
the "mule'' and the "jennet." The former, as eveiy- 
body knows, is the produce of a mare by an ass; the 
latter, that of a mare-ass by a horse, or pony. Then, do 
they not bear testimony, to a great extent, in favour of 
the argument, that the produce, in the usual course of 
horse-breeding, must follow more the qualities of the 
dam ? for it can hardly be argued that the colour of the 
mule, which, in ninety-nine cases out of one hundred, is 
brown, or the darkest bay, is not that of the dam : the 
dark-brown ass being seldom seen, in proportion to the 
other. Then as to the jennet, it has always more of the 
black streaks or stripes on the arms and legs, and along 
the back, than the mule — a further illustration and proof 
in favour of the dam; the colour invariably being of a 
lighter hue, more approaching that of the ass. 

Then, again, as to size; who ever saw a jennet as large 
as a mule ? the latter being occasionally as large as a 
horse. It is equally true that the jennet is invariably got 
by a small pony. Moreover, we have seen even racehorses 
with the dark streak along the back, when the colour is 
bay, either light or dark, approaching that of the jennet. 



BROOD MARES. 2G9 

And where we find a sort of cream^ mealy^ bay colour, 
those streaks become more numerous and marked, upon 
the arms especially, resembling the zebra. I had one, 
many years ago ; and, curiously enough, he was not only 
thus marked, but appeared to have a most peculiar 
temper, resembling in his ways and acts the mule in 
many respects, with wonderful endurance : and although 
he was marked exactly like, and of the precise colour of 
the jennet, still he was an average-sized horse, of about 
fifteen-and-a-half hands high. It has been stated that 
the produce of a mare, having previously had produce by 
an ass, has been known to have borne the marks and 
streaks referred to for several seasons subsequently, which 
have gradually died out. There is one thing quite cer- 
tain, we frequently find even racehorses with the black 
streak along their back, even to the very root of the tail : 
' Wild Huntsman,' by ' Harkaway,' for instance — (not 
that I mean to insinuate anything derogatory to 'The 
Huntsman,' who was a very good horse, indeed) — and 
there are many others besides with this peculiarity. 

It a well-known and proved fact, that there is nothing 
like the tried brood mai'e, of fashionable running family ; 
still, admitting the fact, it is not so easy to become pos- 
sessed of them without paying, in many instances, exor- 
bitant prices : therefore, a beginner would do well to 
secure some of the descendants, say daughters, of such 
mares, provided they have no drawback and are sound, 
and got by horses of running and fashionable blood. For 
it is truly astonishing how frequently owners put such 
valuable mai'cs to brutes of no pretensions either to first- 
class strains or running family. The "poison" thus 
sown does more mischief than at first imagined, and it 



270 TURF TOPICS. 

requires generations of superior crossing to eradicate it. 
As to shape and size, as before remarked, plenty of length, 
with stiength combined, about fifteen-and-a-half bands 
high, neither too short nor too long in the leg, with good 
length of " arm,'' and muscular, although appearing to 
the eye at first sight, and when in stud form, rather 
shorter in the leg than otherwise ; with good, clean sinews, 
and sound, well-formed feet : for there is nothing more 
fatal nor hereditary than small, contracted feet, which 
render the finest animal, in other respects, worthless.* 

.Although the plain-looking mare of plenty of sub- 
stance is the one to choose, still, with the " plain" appear- 
ance through the frame, the quality will be found in the 
head, neck, and shoulders of the well-bred mare; although 
some of the best blood, when at stud, present the appear- 
ance of common draught mares, being a peculiarity to 
their respective breeds. And I confess that I, for one, am 
not an admirer of those over-pretty-headed animals for 
pecuniary purposes, however useful and desirable they 
may be for Rotten How. 'Teddington^ was the pret- 
tiest-headed horse I ever saw for a good one. I have seen 
few " pony-headed horses " of the first class. Give me a 

* A friend of mine had bred for seven years from a very fine and 
well-bred mare, and had put her to several different sires, and yet 
the produce were all literally useless for any purpose. In speaking 
with him on the subject, and offering to purchase her, he accepted 
of fifty pounds as her price. I had not seen her during her 
career at stud, but when delivered she was in a wretched condi- 
tion — a perfect skeleton. Having given her every care during 
the winter, and put her to ' Mountain Deer,' she produced the 
following years two colts, both of which turned out very good 
racehorses, the dam herself growing into a splendid mare, her 
former owner absolutely not knowing her the following year. 



BROOD MARES. 271 

clean, good, bony head, of fair size and average beauty ; 
with a sensible, steady eye, clear and bright, and not 
flighty ; for nothing shows signs of the temper more than 
the eye, especially in mares. Although we sometimes 
find those wiry, light mares, successful at stud, still, as a 
general rule, the others are the sort, especially to breed 
stout stock. A tall, leggy, overgrown mare, is by no 
means the class of animal to breed from : for their stock 
invariably, though possessing height, and, at first sight, 
of commanding appearance, do not represent the level, 
muscular, and equally-proportioned points of the true- 
made racehorse ; but when trained, and the flesh neces- 
sarily reduced, frequently turn out top-heavy, weak, 
and worthless, not possessing the stamina of animals 
bred from the class of mares before described. As 
an instance of the success at stud of mares of the 
stamp referred to, ' Clari ' was a most striking one. She 
was the property of the late Mr. Watts, who bred ' The 
Baron,^ and other goodJiorses, This little mare produced 
by ' Magpie ' (son of ' Young Blacklock '), ' Chat,^ ' Chat- 
terer,' 'Chit-Chat,' 'Chatterbox,' and 'Third of May,' 
and others, all of fine size, and good runners. She re- 
sembled more a little hack-mare than the dam of race- 
horses. 

However prejudiced the writer may be in favour of the 
moderate-sized mare as a general rule, he by no means denies 
that the produce of a large mare, provided she be equally 
proportioned, is not more desirable, and in certain in- 
stances more likely to turn out " first-raters,'' the produce 
of such mares being invariably very good or very mode- 
rate. These remarks merely refer to the class of mare 
which produces most frequently good stock. 



272 TURF TOPICS. 

With regard to the mare that has proved herself of the 
first class during her racing career, let us contrast the pro- 
bable success of her produce, and, for argument sake, 
take any of the first class of the present day that have 
so distinguished themselves; put those mares to the 
crack sires of the day : then, on the other hand, select an 
equal number of the daughters of such mares, assuming 
that they are fresh, sound, and of equally fashionable and 
running blood on their sires' side, and possessing the 
average shapes, &c., yet, through accident or other causes, 
may not have ever started, or perhaps ever have been 
trained. What would be the chances against the produce 
of the young ones as a lot, beating those of the old, by 
the same sires, taking for granted that there was no draw- 
back as to breeding and shapes on the side of the young 
mares, and assuming that their dams had not previously 
produced winners ? I, for one, would select the produce 
of the young ones in preference ; and why ? Because we 
have innumerable instances where mares that have been 
the best of their day as racehorses, have proved the most 
signal failures at stud; and, at the same time, we have 
seen the best runners the produce of mares of no note as 
racehorses. And why ? Because the constitution and sys- 
tem of the old and valued servant has been too frequently 
impaired ; and if she does produce a son or daughter 
worthy of her, it does not frequently happen until she 
has had considerable time to recover her lost natural 
vigour of constitution, which seldom entirely returns : yet 
she hands down to her offspring, in the young fresh mare, 
her racing qualities, as far at least as blood, shape, &c., 
unimpaired by excessive exercise or over-drawn develop- 
ment necessarily attending her racing career. Take old 



BROOD MARES. 273 

^ Beeswing/ for instance ; one would have expected the 
best vintage from her alliance with ' Sir Hercules/ yet, 
although the produce was ' Old Port/ it was not good; as 
also ' Lord Fauconberg/ by ' Irish Birdcatcher/ out of 
' Alice Hawthorne.' Then, of more recent date, we find 
those magnificent mares, ' Maid of Masham,^ ' Virago, ' 
'Lady Evelyn,^ and many others, comparative failures; next 
that extraordinary mare ' Crucifix,' although she did pro- 
duce one first-class horse, ' Surplice,' still her other pro- 
duce being so very inferior, with the exception of ' Cowl,' 
one could hardly arrive at any other conclusion than that, 
to a very great extent, it had its origin in the exhaustion 
of the constitution. Suppose that she or any other of the 
dams of celebrated horses, having, like her, done so much 
work upon the turf, had, from accident or other causes, 
never been trained at all ; there cannot be a shadow of 
doubt that the produce would have been even superior, and 
the dams WQuld have lasted longer, and produced more 
successful stock. 

Moreover, one of the reasons why more winners are 
descended from those mares of celebrity on the turf than 
many other untried ones, is this ; that owners more fre- 
quently give them every chance than they do to others 
less celebrated, although probably better adapted for the 
purposes of breeding. How many valuable mares have 
never had any chance ? I have, on many occasions, even 
in the Hansom cabs of London, been struck with the 
shapes, qualities, and other recommendations of mares, and 
in some instances taken the trouble to ascertain all par- 
ticulars relating to their antecedents, when they have 
turned out to be some of the best blood in England. If 
I were asked to-morrow to select one hundred mares (not 

T 



274 TUllF TOPICS. 

confining the order to thorough-brecl alone, but for gene- 
ral purposes to improve the breed of useful horses), the 
post I should select would be the thoroughfares of Lon- 
don. I have seen some extraordinarily well- shaped and 
useful mares in those cabs. The idea may appear far- 
fetched; yet the fact is so. On the subject of constitution, 
I would simply recommend the breeder cautiously to avoid 
any mare that does not possess a thoroughly sound and 
unimpaired one ; for let their racing merit have been 
ever so great, they are literally useless for breeding if 
they are not thoroughly sound in this respect. Many 
a time I have remarked, that the dams of "really 
good horses" feed much better than others (one of 
the best proofs of sound constitution in any animal) ; 
indeed I have known some that appeared never to cease, 
and moreover, showed it ; which is not always the case. 
On the other hand, there are mares naturally of fine frame 
and substance ; in short, everything to look at that 
the most fastidious judge could wish for — apparently 
full of flesh and vigour — and yet they are in reality 
impaired in constitution ; and although their produce 
may, like themselves, have an outward show of health 
and condition (although not good feeders), you will 
find them either diminutive in size and substance, in 
proportion to the dam, sire, and ancestors, or otherwise 
deficient in staying powers or endurance ; and this rule 
will apply equally to the produce of mares or sires that 
may have for years produced the finest stock, and possessed 
the soundest constitutions, but, becoming worn out by age 
and natural causes, have ceased to retain that power and 
vigour necessary in the brood mare. Even here there are 
exceptional cases, such as 'Faugh-a-Ballagh's' dam. 



BROOD MARES. 275 

' Guiccioli/ who was far beyond twenty years old when 
she produced him ; and according to the records of bi*eed- 
ing and racing nominations, subsequently had not only 
produce, but produced twins — a colt and a filly — own 
brother and sister to ' Faugh-a-Ballagh/ (as if a halo of 
glory had been cast around her by the success of her 
renowned son), neither of which, however, appears to have 
proved very successful at stud or otherwise, especially the 
colt called ' Thanamadowl : ' a curious instance of the 
" uncertainty of breeding." The fact of this mare having, 
at so late a period of life, produced twins, is a very strong 
argument against the doctrine which I have endeavoured 
to support. 

As before stated, one of the many essential qualities, 
as well as being one most hereditary, is temper, and there- 
fore especial regard should be had thereto ; the want of it 
being easily discovered requires no comment, further than 
to assure the reader that, without this necessary qualifica- 
tion, any animal is not only worthless, but a perfect 
nuisance, and always unprofitable. Such being the case, 
it behoves the speculator to have regard to the fact and 
learn, if he does not happen personally to be in possession 
of it from knowledge of the mare's antecedents, that on 
this score she is desirable as a brood mare, having during 
her racing career possessed such a character : for it must 
be patent to any person, with even a simple knowledge of 
such matters, that when one invests his capital in such 
precarious undertakings no chance should be thrown away, 
inasmuch as it is like taking a lease of a house, where a 
tenant or purchaser cannot be at all times found; the 
entire value of the produce of the animal depending not 
only upon her own performances as a racehorse, but upon 



276 TURF TOPICS. 

those of her produce. Then, as experience has proved (at 
least to those who have had it practically) that nothing is 
more hereditary than temper, the want of it should be 
strictly avoided. 

When an owner has proved successful with any par- 
ticular animal, his keeping to " the bridge that has carried 
him safely over" is, perhaps, far more deeply displayed by 
a repetition of the purchase of the "next of kin," than by 
his gratitude to his fellow-man for far greater services other- 
wise rendered : for it is truly amazing with what tenacity 
(in competition at auction, or otherwise) he adheres to a 
brother or sister to one that may have done good service ; 
consequently, in many instances absurd prices are realised, 
even about three times their real value — to the great, 
although unexpressed, delight of the breeder, who, no 
doubt, in many instances, has more brains than the pur- 
chasers or bidders. This proves the necessity, at least for 
selling purposes, of adhering to the " tried" brood mares ; 
for there is, as a general rule, nothing like it, although we 
have instances where some display a patience, when dis- 
appointed, almost rivalling that of Job, and then have 
succeeded : and if in this respect there is now a living 
representative of that patriarch, we are bound to believe 
he is to be found in the person of the enterprising pro- 
prietor of Middle Park Stud Farm, the breeder of ' Carac- 
tacus,^ 'Queen Bertha,' &c., who appears, when purchasing, 
to set outlay and competition at defiance, and who really 
must become a second Croesus, if he obtains for the off- 
spring of his increasing and unsurpassed stud, prices 
commensurate with his expenditure and liberal views 
when purchasing. Upon the subject of " like begetting 
like," every person who breeds seeks to produce (if pos- 



BROOD MARES. 277 

sible) a facsimile of the sire or dam. Such being his 
attempt, then the question is how to do so, and how far 
his expectations are likely to be realised ? Let him re- 
member that 

" Birds breed not vipers, tigers nurse not lambs." 

The idea of the uncertainty of breeding has, to a very 
great extent, its origin in the following facts : In the first 
place, many men make the attempt without the slightest 
taste, much less knowledge, practical or otherwise, of the 
animal ; they consult others, who are equally ignorant in 
such matters, and breed from bad animals. Secondly, 
others, who know, perhaps, very little more, and pretend to 
a great deal more, are too fond of their money to send to 
the best sires, or select the best mares. Lastly, there are 
those wdio have both mares and means, and, as far as they 
are concerned, would spare no expense, but who having 
still to know how such animals should be attended to, 
are in very many instances deceived : for it is truly 
incredible to what an extent they are neglected, even 
at the time they appear to ordinary observation to look 
well and in good condition, as most observers would 
fancy; yet, to a judge, the stamina upon "handling^^ is 
not there. The crest or neck of a brood mare, and her 
condition otherwise, to insure the "tip-top" produce, 
should be not only in a fleshy state, but, comparatively 
speaking, as firm as if in training, although proportion- 
ably treble as to thickness. Another proof of the well-fed 
mare will be seen about the end of March or beginning of 
April, when the long old winter coat not only commences 
to, but rapidly falls oiF, in a sort of wool (if the term may be 
applied), much darker or lighter, according to the colour 



278 TURF TOPICS. 

of the mare^ than the fresh coat ; when here and there, in 
patches, the short, bright coat of summer will present itself, 
indicative that the soil underneath, in the shape of good 
food, has been well tended, and that the crop is accordingly 
early. The old hair, with one stroke of the hand, will 
come from a well-fed mare more freely than with a curry- 
comb and brush from a dozen half~fed ones, and months 
earlier. In a few words, the time to lay the foundation 
for the futui'C of the foal is while the dam is carrying 
it ; or, in Irish vernacular, to make him a racehorse " you 
must do so before he is bom," because in racing, in all 
countries, they contend when very young, and cannot 
afford to throw any chance away. 

Many brood mares are neglected as to health, some 
persons believing that, as long as they are on good pas- 
ture, &c., that is sufficient ; wdiereas it frequently hap- 
pens that they are in bad health through some inward 
ailment, which medicine could remedy. We frequently 
see mares on the best pasture, still they do not thrive 
and are completely without flesh, and " staring" in their 
coats. There is no medicine so successful, yet harmless, 
as linseed oil. 

With regard to soundness in brood mares, admitting 
that to have it to perfection would be most desirable, as 
in every other case, still many valuable mares are rejected 
for mere trifling blemishes or nominal unsoundness. It 
may astonish many admirers of horseflesh to learn, that 
many of the best-tried brood mares have been spavined, 
blind, and otherwise unsound, and yet not one of their 
produce inherited their disease ; and why ? Because, in 
most instances, admitting the many diseases to which 
horseflesh is heir, more of them are the effects of acci- 



BKOOD MARES. 279 

dents, ill-treatment, or want of proper attention, than 
natural causes. Amongst others, the dam of '^ Burgundy^ 
was spavined on both legs, yet none more sound than her 
produce. I do not mean to recommend the animal with 
even an eyesore, in preference to, or as desirable as those 
without it, but most decidedly to maintain, that there are 
innumerable instances where we shall find most extraor- 
dinary exceptions to the rule of perfection in shapes, or 
soundness, in favour of mares that, to the inexperienced 
eye, present the appearance of cart-mares or hacks, with 
various blemishes, apparently lessening their value ; yet, 
in reality, such mares, for breeding purposes, may be 
quite as valuable, although in many instances purchased 
for merely nominal prices. 

It is extraordinary how some sires have a fancy for 
certain mares in preference to others. I have known in- 
stances where they have refused to serve some ; and 
although the mares have been disguised over and over 
again in various ways, still, after the usual signs, &c., 
they have returned to their manger. On the other hand, 
I have known in other cases, where it required double 
force to restrain the sire on the appearance of certain 
mares. 

Some short time since a correspondence appeared in 
the public sporting journals upon the subject of certain 
artificial means of insuring the produce of brood mares. 
The operation is as old as "Kate Kearney's cat," and 
has proved a perfectly true and successful one. The 
practice of firing off a pistol immediately after service is 
likewise so. It is equally true that it can be easily told 
if a mare be with foal when half gone. I have had both 
tried with perfect success, and no possible danger with 



280 TURF TOPICS. 

either. The former is especially useful with young bar- 
ren mares, or those that have missed a season ; and 
many of the former missings are from not adopting the 
practice, which, however, is better let alone, if possible, 
as there is nothing like leaving everything to Nature. 
But, of all things, an experienced " Kand" is required, 
otherwise there might be dangerous results. Another 
"old fashion" is, that of turning the mare immediately, 
within view of the sire — probably after the daguerreotype 
principle. A friend of mine sent a mare that had missed 
for several years to other sires to a horse of mine, with 
orders that no artificial means should be resorted to. 
The lad who brought the mare was sent on an errand pur- 
posely, and both the pistol and other operation resorted 
to : the mare had produce. The owner subsequently de- 
clared against the system as useless, until I undeceived 
him upon the point. The fact is, there can be no doubt 
upon the subject. 

Upon reference to the statistics of brood mares, it 
would appear that there are about two thousand annually 
returning the following results : — On an average one 
year with the other, about one-third of the number 
^'miss,^' or are ''^ barren;" and of the produce about one 
hundred die as foals. In the first instance, the opera- 
tion referred to would have the effect of diminishing the 
number in an extraordinary degree ; and as to the death 
of foals, many of those that have been lost could have 
been saved if properly attended to; and when the usual 
purging appeared, a little castor oil administered. The 
attendance which young mares require during the period 
of their service far exceeds that supposed by many per- 
sons, and to the annoyance, want of quietness, and want 



BROOD MARES. 281 

of being kept from others during that period, can be traced 
a great deal of the failure of produce; a large number 
of mares, as mentioned, being frequently "bundled toge- 
ther," and fresh ai'rivals causing disturbance amongst the 
whole lot. 

No one but those who have experienced it can have an 
idea of the enormous quantity of grass, hay, corn, bran, 
&c., consumed by brood mares, especially in winter, when 
with foal, or during the period they are suckling; in 
fact, they appear never to cease or be satisfied. And 
while upon the subject of the quantity, it may be as well 
to offer a few remarks upon the quality and nature of the 
food most desirable, and what has been found from practical 
experience best suited. In the first place, a great deal 
depends upon the period of the year. During the sum- 
mer months, if there be plenty of sound pasture, the 
brood mare, with her foal, will require but a couple of 
feeds of oats, and occasionally a little bran swelled or 
moistened, daily. The barren mare will not require any 
oats during that period, provided she has plenty of good 
pasture. During the winter they should both have — the 
one, three feeds of oats, bran, carrots, and occasionally 
linseed, mixed warm, at night. The barren mare should 
get at least two feeds daily from the time the grass begins 
to become scarce — say, end of October, during which 
period Swedish turnips strewn over the pasture in a 
sound state, and uncut, will be found most beneficial, and 
very much relished by mares, as well as a fine substitute 
for grass, particularly after foaling, as they tend to in- 
crease the milk. Boiled barley is also a fine nourishment 
for mares, with linseed and oatmeal drinks, during foaling 
time; for which purpose a large boiler should be con- 



282 TURF TOPICS. 

tinnally kept in use, and turnips boiled and mixed occa- 
sionally with bran and oats, linseed meal, &c., all of 
which are most useful — a change in diet being de- 
sirable. The mares should be served according as they 
appear to relish any particular food. The stud-groom 
should be careful as to weather and the period of service ; 
for in severe weather — snow or frost, for instance — 
there is nothing better at night than a good warm mash 
of bran and oats, and various other drinks (during the 
time of foaling, and previous and subsequent thereto), 
such as linseed, oatmeal, &c., given barely warm, having 
been previously left steeping from a boiling state. 

Attention should be paid to young mares, especially 
just out of training, as they are generally dried up from 
the effects of training, and are frequently almost " hide- 
bound,^^ like the bark of a tree, and not in a fit state 
for stud purposes, and prove a perfect nuisance to the 
proprietor of sires ; in numbers of instances proving bar- 
ren the first, if not the two first seasons, through not 
having been properly "softened" in condition. While 
upon the subject of the service of mares, I would re- 
commend the breeder to have his mare tried by the 
stallion she is about to be served by, and not by the 
usual "attendant" upon crack sires — there being many 
reasons which dictate the propriety of this course, as 
well as that of giving exercise to the sire just previous to 
service. Another mistake is frequently made, through 
ignorance of the fact that young mares, when really 
in season, do not, when brought near over-boisterous or 
fresh young sires, or "noisy" old ones, appear so, but 
display every symptom to the contrary ; for, between the 
causes referred to, and the usual application of the " rib- 



BROOD MARES. 283 

binders," supplied by ignorant servants, with a stick or whip 
during the trial, the young animal becomes unmanageable. 

From the first of January up to the 1st of ]\Iay is 
the principal period which requires the attention of the 
stud-groom, during the time of foaling, and their service. 
The object should be to replace the deficiency of ordinary 
grass, and have, as a substitute, a field of early rye-grass, 
which can be preserved and forced during the winter and 
spring; and being cut with the scythe and given to the 
mares, will prevent its being trampled upon in the field, 
and otherwise wasted. A field of Swedish turnips should 
also form part of every breeding establishment : they are 
most nourishing, as well as economical, and less likely to 
cause diabetes ; and when, as stated, strewn over the bare 
pasture, the mares seem to enjoy licking the particles of 
clay which are attached to the vegetable. I have fre- 
quently noticed them for a considerable time indulging 
in doing so. It may seem strange — there is no accounting 
for taste, although it appears extraordinary — that animals 
so remarkable for delicacy and fastidiousness in diet 
should display such a fancy ; however, to a great extent 
they should be accommodated with what they relish, as 
it is natural to suppose they will thrive best upon it : 
although it by no means follows that man cannot im- 
prove it, for whatever they eat most of might not agree 
with them, no more than lampreys did with Henry I. ; 
for an epicure or gourmand might eat himself into apo- 
plexy. Oxen like clover, but I have known them to eat 
until they absolutely burst. 

The corn and feeding supplied to all horses should be 
well cleaned and sifted, and free from sand, &c. Many 
animals have died from neglecting the cleansing of the 



284 TURF TOPICS. 

corn^ &c. ; and when opened (as already stated) immense 
balls, as large as cannon-balls, have been extracted, being 
the cause of death, and have been preserved by veterinary 
surgeons, at whose establishments they are to be seen in 
London, resembling a piece of beautifully-grained and 
polished marble, and equally heavy; having been forming 
for years in the intestines, and being composed of sand, 
straw, hay, &c. The immense size and weight of those 
specimens are almost incredible, and make them worth 
inspecting as curiosities. 

It is as necessary for the breeder, therefore, to secure 
the services of an intelligent and experienced stud- 
groom, as it is for the purchaser of a racehorse to provide 
himself with a proper trainer ; and the more practical skill 
each can boast of in the veterinary art, the better : for it 
is wonderful in how many cases, and how frequently, their 
knowledge will be called in question, and put to the test. 
Fancy a breeder having one of his valuable mares, or 
young stock, taken suddenly ill — perhaps the dam of some 
Derby or St. Leger winner, or an own brother or sister 
to one — 'probably at an hour of the night, and at a dis- 
tance from the residence, which would render veterinary 
assistance almost impossible : the matter becomes serious, 
when perhaps thousands are at stake. At the same time 
many very great mistakes are made, and the results fatal, 
through too much interference with nature during foaling ; 
as a most experienced and well-known veterinary surgeon 
of fifty years' practice (who bred some of the best horses 
ever foaled) informed me, " that more mares and foals 
were lost through interference, and not leaving nature to 
perform its own duty, than people had any idea of." 
These remarks were made upon the occasion of my having 



BROOD MARES. 285 

called his services in question^ in a most extraordinary case, 
with one of my own mares, and in which the soundness 
of his judgment was proved; for although I believed (as 
did my stud-groom also) that the mare could not possibly 
live, she, without any interference or assistance, produced 
a fine foal, and both were perfectly well in the course of a 
few minutes. The veterinary during the time laughing at 
the idea of danger, and relating the opinion expressed; 
although he admitted it was an extraordinary case, and 
that, had the usual course of interference with nature 
been adopted, nothing could have saved the mare. 
Brood mares should not be disturbed, but kept quiet, 
and in a properly-fenced pasture, free from the annoyance 
of other horses ; especially during the period of foaling, 
or while they are going through their ti'ials : any neighing, 
or interruption from other strange animals, having a most 
injurious effect, tending to make some "pick^^ foul; 
preventing others proving with foal. One of the most 
dangerous nuisances about a breeding establishment is a 
pack of hounds, or harriers. I have known mares to 
gallop about for hours, and the entire stud driven into a 
perfectly frantic state, at the " music " of the dogs. A 
mare of mine, own sister to ' The Baron,^ " picked ^^ foul 
to 'Melbourne^ through this cause; and others in the 
same neighbourhood suffered in a similar manner. 

When mares have had their summer's run on sound, 
well-drained pasture, comprising not only the usual grass 
seeds, but a mixture of the other various seeds to which 
they are so partial, clover, yarrow, &c. — and which can 
be so much increased by occasional top-dressing; and 
when the period for weaning the produce arrives, great 
care should be taken, not only of the foal but of the dam. 



286 TURF TOPICS. 

As to the latter, with regard to her milk, which the foal 
has ceased to relieve her of; and then as to the removal 
of the foal, for many accidents ha])pen, if care be not 
taken to have the latter well secured, and completely re- 
moved from any possibility of fraternising with the 
dam j as accidents frequently occur through attempts on 
the part of either to regain each other's company. 

Before closing my remarks upon the feeding of the 
mares, it is right to observe that the brood mare, with a 
foal at foot and another coming, both draining the con- 
stitution, will require extra nourishment and stamina, 
even during the summer months; and oats, &c., morning 
and night, should be supplied. If any breeder fancies 
it is economy to stint a brood mare in any manner, it 
would be more advisable for him to leave the breeding of 
racehorses to others, and " amuse " himself otherwise ; 
for he must, in the present day, either feed properly, breed 
properly, or leave the matter in the hands of those who 
do so : unless he wishes to amuse himself, get rid of his 
money, or swell fields of horses without a possibility of 
success or profit. 

The proper time to wean the foal depends, to a great 
extent, upon the age, health, and condition, not only of 
the foal itself, but of the dam ; for many reasons : in the 
first place, the dam may be old or weak, or perhaps not 
of a very strong constitution, and a bad nurse, so that 
milk becomes more injurious to the foal than beneficial : 
in which case it is better to wean the produce and gradu- 
ally accustom it to sound diet, giving cows' milk, and other 
nourishing food.* The usual time allowed for suckling 

* Cows' milk should be strained to avoid hairs, which have 
frequently formed a large ball in the intestines, and killed foals. 



BROOD MARES. 287 

being from six to seven months in ordinary cases ; when 
at weaning, the object should be to replace, as far as 
possible, the loss the foal natm-ally experiences, and by 
degrees train it to partake of the nourishment substituted : 
this, for a certain time, until accustomed to it, will be 
anything but relishable, more especially the cold water 
in lieu of the warm milk, which it is, in many instances, 
necessary to force the foal to drink, when suffering from 
excessive thirst, leaving it in a fixed reservoir in the 
corner of the stable, but especially avoiding (as hereafter 
mentioned) buckets with iron hoops, which are most 
dangerous; warm oatmeal drinks, mashes of bran and 
bruised corn, mixed frequently, given in small portions, 
are desirable, reducing by degrees, until the foal becomes 
accustomed to the usual diet. Also a few chopped carrots 
mixed with the corn, but not too much, as they tend to 
cause diabetes. Change of food is requisite, and of all 
things, repeatedly a soft mash of bran left soaking in 
boiling water, covered and mixed well, with a little bruised 
oats, supplied when barely warm. 

When medicine is required, which is frequently known 
by the coat staring, and when young animals are not 
thriving as the owner would wish, the best possible remedy 
is a proper quantity of linseed oil. Some people give 
castor oil, which is good for very young foals, but I have 
tried and proved the linseed oil to be an extraordinarily 
efficacious remedy, when yearlings or animals eight or ten 
months old, or at any age, have been thus staring in their 
coats, dull and heavy, and not doing well. I have seen 
them, in an incredibly short period, with their coats 
laid down, and the improvement beyond description; 
moreover, it is a very harmless medicine : but in any case. 



288 TURF TOPICS. 

and at any period of the year, it is advisable to keep them 
shut up during the time they are under physic, supplying 
warm drinks, mashes, &c. 

It is really marvellous the manner in which some 
people not only stint, but absolutely starve their brood 
mares, yet expect to breed racehorses. I have witnessed 
(of course in silence) the miserable, unnatural practice 
of such persons, some of whom were men who ought to 
have known better; indeed, there can be no doubt they did, 
but they remind one of the remark of the old Athenian, v^ho 
said that his countrymen knew what was right, but that the 
Lacedemonians practised it. One instance I cannot easily 
forget. Upon my introduction to a stud-farm I there 
beheld, amongst a few others, a mare once celebrated, and, 
to my mind, one that ought to be one of the best brood 
mares in the world (for she and all her family could run). 
There she was, a miserable spectacle to behold, especially 
when one bore in mind her brilliant performances on the 
racecourse — a miserable spectacle even in summer: there 
was not enough of grass in the field to graze a goose ; 
and, as the clever and witty "Argus" said, in describing 
the appearance of an animal some years ago, " The poor 
mare^s astonishment at the sight of a feed of oats would 
best be compared to that of Robinson Crusoe when he 
saw the footmark in the sand." Yet such men expect to 
breed with success. The hungry, half-starved appearance 
of that beautiful mare, as she anxiously approached, made 
a deep impression upon me, leading me to suppose she 
had been in the habit of occasionally receiving food from 
some humane hand : all I can say is, if she was, neither 
she nor her companions showed it ; for they one and all 
might well be compared to the skeleton of Jonathan Wild 



BROOD MARES. 289 

on the gibbet on Clapliam Common. Of course her 
owner will be grievously disappointed at her not pro- 
ducing a Derby winner : she will " turn out a bad brood 
mare/' By-the-bye, the person referred to used to breed 
for sale, and I believe has prudently abandoned the pur- 
suit, as he found it did not pay. The prices realised were 
amusing, although by no means encouraging to breeders 
Q,nd feeders, in general varying from ten to fifty guineas : 
the latter price being the top of the lot, which resembled 
more a pack of half-starved Shetland ponies, fed upon 
furze-bushes, than animals bearing the name of thorough- 
bred yearlings. 

Upon the occasion of purchasing a yearling some 
years ago (very early in the season), in very low condition, 
having remonstrated with the breeder upon his want of 
wisdom in having the colt in such a state, he replied, 
*' He had frequently sent sacks of oats to the man, the 
care-taker of the farm where the colt was reared, but the 
only way in which he could account for the matter was, 
that the old woman kept a great number of hens/' Be 
that as it may, the animal made speedy improvement, and 
subsequently turned out a very good horse ; of which fact 
*' The Racing Calendar " bears testimony. 

There can be no doubt (as before stated), that the 
time to begin to feed the foal is " before it is born : " by 
giving the dam the best of every care, the produce inva- 
riably shows, when dropped, the attention she has re- 
ceived. I have seen some, when a few hours old, with 
skins like satin, muscular loins, quarters, &c., and full of 
spirits, jumping and kicking about as if a year old : 
whereas the produce of the half-starved mare has neither 
strength, condition, nor activity, being dull, staggering, , 

u 



290 TURF TOPICS. 

and weak on its legs, staring and long in its coat, with 
other signs indicative of the hardships or want of care 
experienced by the dam. 

Some people fancy that the produce of a fat or high- 
conditioned mare is never so large as that of others. No 
doubt, when dropped, it may not be so large, or appa- 
rently "tall,^^ yet the improvement in growth and muscle 
subsequently tells and gains gradually : in short, the pro- 
duce shows in every respect where the proper care and atten- 
tion have been paid as regards the dam ; as an illustration 
of which I relate the following instance : — A mare of mine, 
named ' Ariadne,^ by ' Irish Birdcatcher,' a particularly 
healthy animal, produced by *The Mountain Deer' a beauti- 
ful foal, named ' Highland Laddie;^ in about an hour after 
he was dropped I happened to put my hand upon his hind 
quarter, remarking the extraordinary muscle it presented 
(so frequently developed in the 'Touchstone' quarters); 
when putting his ears back like an old horse when being 
dressed over, and jumping forward with the agility of an 
antelope, he kicked back with both legs, with force that 
was really wonderful. The late Marquis of Waterford 
purchased this foal with his dam, but it did not prove a 
fortunate speculation, for although as promising as any 
animal in every shape (the picture of his sire), he died; 
and upon a post-mortem examination proved to be full 
of worms, which is by no means uncommon with such 
animals. Curiously enough, he furnished a proof in 
favour of the opinion expressed by many, that cows' milk 
tends to create worms ; for he had had a quantity of it 
during the summer, and although he grew wonderfully 
in every respect, and appeared in fine health and spirits, 
still he did not put up flesh, and generally appeared 



BROOD MARES. 291 

rough and dull in his coat^ which many times caused me 
to "blow up" the stud-groom. 

Upon the subject of worms, with which foals are re- 
peatedly troubled, a few remarks may not be misplaced. 
It is admitted that "prevention is better than cure;" so it 
becomes most necessary, the moment any symptoms pre- 
sent themselves, that the proper powders, which can be 
obtained at any veterinary establishment, should be ad- 
ministered, as the animal never thrives ; on the contrary, 
dwindles away, and frequently becomes too weak to with- 
stand the eflfects of the medicine necessary to get rid of 
the nuisance. It has been stated, that they have their 
origin from the small yellow insects which so frequently 
cover in swarms the arms and legs (especially the former) 
of brood mares, and being licked off become trans- 
formed. 

On the subject of feeding, I mentioned that previous to, 
and after foaling, a few turnips would prove beneficial; and 
why? Because they increase the milk (as with the cow), as 
well as being otherwise beneficial towards health. It has 
been stated by some that they have a tendency towards 
causing mares to " pick " or " slip " foal : such is not the 
case; the argument on the other side being, that oats 
prove a preventive. Notwithstanding such objections, my 
advice to the breeder is to try the system of strewing 
over the pasture, at the period referred to, during the day- 
time, sound turnips, in their usual state, uncut, which is 
less dangerous than when chopped or cut in pieces, and 
which, in the absence of grass, will be found most service- 
able, and a very good and nourishing substitute at such a 
period : the principal object being to produce as much 
milk as possible for the nourishment of the produce. 



293 TURF TOPICS. 

Such being the case, there can be no doubt the vegetable 
referred to ought to be not only most approved of, but is 
more economical than others of the kind, such as carrots, 
&c. These remarks, of course, merely refer to the winter 
and spring season, the periods at which grass is so 
scarce. 

With regard to the treatment of brood mares in general, 
during the summer season, whether barren or otherwise, 
taking for granted they have good pasture, with the addition 
to the mares with produce of oats, twice or thrice per diem 
according to circumstances, it is most desirable to have 
sheds or shelter, where they can retire from the annoyance 
of flies or the excessive heat of the sun at certain hours 
of the day, for nothing annoys them more, prevents them 
feeding, or otherwise interferes with their comforts. The 
paddock -house should, even at that period of the year, be 
supplied with some sweet, well-saved hay, of which the 
mares will partake during the heat of the day, as well as 
fresh-cut soil. Variety in diet proves as acceptable, bene- 
ficial, and doubtless as palatable to such animals, as it does 
to human beings ; therefore " change and variety," to a 
certain extent, is desirable. 

Then, as to the weaning of the foal — the care necessary 
to be observed as regards its dam, and the period at which 
it becomes necessary, to a great extent depends upon the 
age, as well as the strength and health of the produce ; 
the usual time allowed for suckling (as already stated) 
being about six or seven months : for it must not be for- 
gotten, in the anxiety of the owner to afford the foal at foot 
every chance, that the dam is perhaps carrying another, 
and that her constitution requires all its vigour and 
strength to do justice to it. At the same time, the milk 



BROOD MARES. 293 

which she can produce to the foal at foot reduces not 
only in quantity but in quality, leaving the mare's con- 
dition only sufficient to support, according to nature, the 
wants of the coming offspring; for, after having suckled 
for six or seven months, she requires time and reasonable 
rest to strengthen the system. The strictest attention 
sbould be observed, and every precaution taken, during 
the period the foal is being weaned, in order to prevent 
accidents, as I have already observed ; the young animal, 
in its anxiety to rejoin the dam, will hardly hesitate at any 
obstacle: in pi'oof of which, I relate a circumstance which 
came within my own knowledge some years ago. At 
the late Mr. Graydon^s sale (the breeder of 'Roscius,^ 
'Clincher,^ and others), who was a very eccentric and most 
extensive breeder, as well as a good judge of crossing 
(but an indiflFerent feeder), I happened to purchase two 
filly foals, the one own sister to 'Clincher,' the other, 
' Allegrette,' grandam of ' Anfield.' Having called re- 
peatedly the attention of the auctioneer and his attendants 
to the danger which might follow the removal of the 
dams, which had been purchased by other parties, and 
even taken the trouble to bring them and explain the con- 
sequences which might accrue, upon calling the next day 
I was informed that the first-named had jumped over the 
half-door, nearly four feet high, which had been left 
open contrary to my directions (although I had seen it 
locked on the evening previous) ; the foal, worth five 
hundred guineas, coming in contact with a harrow 
opposite the door, was killed — the spike of the harrow 
having entered its heart. The other filly, however, proved 
a very good mare ; and if her grandson 'Anfield' takes 
after her, he will test the staying qualities of a good 



294 TURF TOPICS. 

many : she could " run for a week," as could her dam old 
'Alba,' by 'Dandy.' 

So many accidents occur to those animals, it is ad- 
visable at all times to reduce the risk as much as pos- 
sible ; therefore, I should recommend the reader, if his 
brood mares wear head-collars, to take care that they are 
of a size, and made in a shape, which will prevent the 
possibility of a foal, or the mare herself, getting the 
feet into them, or otherwise fastened. It is really absurd 
the size we sometimes see those collars — literally about 
to fall over the mare's nose. The mares sometimes 
scratch their heads and ears ; the foals continually jump 
on the dams, pawing and playing : then, again, the 
former, frequently, looking in over a gate, get fast. I 
have seen them do so, and in attempting to relieve them- 
selves pull down the gate and receive serious injury. 
Such gates should not be made use of, and, of course, 
would not in a properly-appointed establishment. 

Some owners and managers of breeding establish- 
ments adopt a system which appears to me a most extra- 
ordinary one, viz. even in the middle of summer shutting 
the mares up early in the evening, and turning them out 
sometimes late in the morning. They may be right. 
My advice is to adopt quite a different course, which I 
have always found successful, viz. to give them the shed 
or loose box during the heat of the day, with nice cool 
soil, turning them out in the afternoon, and leaving 
them at certain periods of the year out all night ; but, 
most certainly, never during the summer season shutting 
them up before dusk, and always taking care that they 
should be out at sunrise — for those are the very periods 
at which they feed best, and at which their foals play about 



BROOD MARES. 295 

and take their own exercise ; moreover, the latter course 
makes the produce more hardy and healthy. The most 
desirable bedding during the day-time in summer is 
turf-mould ; if it cannot be had, tan : the latter I am not 
so certain about, never having tried it. I merely fancy it 
should, or ought to be, a good substitute for the former, 
which is cooling, and otherwise beneficial to the feet. As 
proof in favour of the system recommended, any visitor 
will find that brood mares feed better at night than at 
any other time, for he will hear them literally mowing 
the grass like a scythe ; whereas at mid-day he will find 
them under a hedge, covered with flies, teasing and 
biting them. One would fancy such symptoms would 
dictate the propriety of adopting the " shutting-up " 
system during the day, and vice versa. I have seen 
mares at celebrated establishments, absolutely in mid- 
summer, locked up for the night at five o'clock in the 
afternoon. 

The contrast in the ideas of parties as to prices and 
value of brood mares is not only extraordinary, but most 
amusing. Several years ago a gentleman in Ireland took 
it into his head to breed thoroughbred horses for sale, 
although he knew as much about the animal, in any 
shape or form, as Heliogabalus did about economy : his 
idea being, that he ought to get di few good ones for one 
hundred pounds, as they had done racing. " I see no 
reason," said he, " why I should not breed, and make 
it pay." One fine day certain persons, resolvdng upon 
having a "lark," caused a letter to be written by a 
friend in Liverpool, stating that he had little doubt he 
could procure for him the dam of the magnificent ' Ca- 
nezou' (then in the zenith of her glory), heavy with foal 



296 TURF TOPICS. 

to ' Melbourne/ for fifty pounds. The would-be breeder 
came to consult his friends, and after mature delibera- 
tion replied, — "That if the mare were delivered in Dub- 
lin free of expense, and with foal, he should not mind 
giving thirty pounds for her." It is hardly necessary 
to mention the reception any proposal to purchase at 
any price would have met with at Knowsley, if such 
a subject had been broached. Our hero spent the in- 
termediate anxious moments in informing his circle of 
acquaintances "that he was about to add this valuable 
animal to his stud of brood mares !" To my perfect 
knowledge, the person referred to would not afford his 
animal the opportunity of consuming a sack of oats quar- 
terly, yet he would talk for hours of his expectations of 
being recorded amongst the most fashionable breeders 
of the day. As a matter of course, from that hour to 
the present he has never bred one that could win a 
saddle. 

At the same time there are plenty of valuable mares 
to be had for moderate prices. Amongst others I pur- 
chased the following at the sums named: — 'Dawn of 
Day ' (dam of ' Twilight ' and ' Rising Sun,' &c.), when 
a yearling, and perfectly sound, for 20/. ; ' The Countess,' 
own sister to ' The Baron,' a splendid mare fdam of 
' Lady Kingston '), four years old, and perfectly sound, 
] 50/. ; ' Thorn ' (dam of ' Sprig of Shillelagh,' &c.), seven 
years old, and as sound as when foaled, with a yearling 
by ' Irish Birdcatcher,' and a colt foal at foot, 150/. for 
the lot ; ' Queen Bee,' six years old, and sound (dam of 
* Roman Bee,' &c.), with a colt at foot, for 40/. ; ' Devo- 
tion' (dam of 'Mount Zion,' and 'The Druid'), 50/. 
All the foregoing as fresh and sound as the day they 



BROOD MARES. 297 

were foaled. A great deal depends upon the market one 
goes to, &c. 

However people may differ upon other questions re- 
lating to breeding and the various strains of blood, it 
can hardly be denied that, at the present time, 'The 
' Touchstone,' ' Melbourne,' ' Irish Birdcatcher,' and 
'Sweetmeat' mares, have proved very superior, not only 
in point of numbers, but in quality ; I have already 
remarked upon the successful results of the close al- 
liances between the 'Whalebone' pair: yet still, although 
we find those auimals winning frequently over short 
courses, and, no doubt, occasionally over long ones, it by 
no means follows that a very great improvement, espe- 
cially in the latter respect, might not be made by crossing 
more frequently with some other strains of blood, such 
as ' Lanercost,' ' Voltigeur,' and their sons. The prin- 
cipal object, however, of breeders at pi*esent appears 
to be (and a very natural one, too), to ensure a quick 
and almost certain return, rather than to incur risk by 
speculation. 

If in-and-in breeding be so desirable, why not go the 
whole hog and test it ? But then comes the question, 
Who will forfeit the "bird in the hand" to look for "two 
in the bush ?" My reply is, Those who can afford the 
risk, and who in all other respects spare no expense : 
they are few, it must be confessed ; yet there are a few. 
And this hint is merely offered for their consideration as 
an experiment, as well as that of adopting the course 
exactly opposite, and trying what a good "mixture" 
would accomplish; for admitting, if we go back a few 
generations, we find most of the animals of the present 
day nearly allied, through one strain or other, still there 



298 TURF TOPICS. 

are many distinct and equally valuable and distinguished 
within the past thirty years, whose lamp of life and 
patronage has been for a long time flickering, and ap- 
pears likely to be shortly extinguished, notwithstanding 
its having in its day shone most brilliantly. An in- 
stance of in-and-in breeding is found in ' Manoeuvre ' 
(dam of '^ Wallace' and 'Lioness'), being by 'Rector,' 
son of ' Muley,' and her dam by ' Muley.' 

It is the fashion to talk of crossing, with a view to 
shapes, &c., that would suit blood, and so forth. All 
things, in the present " sensation " times, which used to 
be termed " days of reform," go with the fashion of the 
day. Formerly, experienced judges would laugh at the 
close alliances which we find now-a-days to prove most 
successful; and really, taking into consideration the 
" curious " things we see and hear of, day after day, we 
must not be surprised if we find the old system I have 
referred to revived. 

In ofi"ering a few suggestions as to the brood mares 
of the present day, both tried as racehorses and at stud, 
and also upon those as yet untried in the latter re- 
spect, I merely do so, as far as the former are concerned, 
with a view to point the reader's attention to cases of 
failure, as well as to those where they have proved success- 
ful : as also to remind him, that the descendants of those 
mares ought to be worthy the notice of breeders, whenever 
an opportunity is offered to purchase. With regard to the 
untried division, I simply select them from memory of 
their shapes and qualities; a few especial favourites of 
mine having struck me, during their racing career, as 
animals of superior merit, and most likely to prove suc- 
cessful at stud, not alone as to pedigree and performances, 



BROOD MARES. 299 

out in every other respect : freely admitting that there 
may be many others equally good. 

The tried mares require little comment from me, 
further than to refer the reader to their pedigree, and the 
"principal" produce, which will show what crosses of 
blood have proved successful. I shall venture, however, 
a few remarks generally upon " my chosen few," of the 
yet untried young mares of the present day ; which, in 
my humble opinion, will be heard of to advantage at a 
future day, not far distant. 

In making a selection of the picked, " tried," brood 
mares, it does not require much study or consideration to 
arrive at the conclusion that the following call for especial 
notice, many having distinguished themselves at stud, and 
many during their racing career ; although it will be seen 
that some have not proved successful on the turf, yet did 
so as brood mares : a fact not at all to be wondered at. 
Amongst other reasons, because they have, in many in- 
stances, gone to the harem fresh and sound, and in a 
proper, vigorous, and healthy condition. 



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S ::::::::::::::: : : : : : : 



BROOD MARES. 311 

The brood mares now at stud, according to official 
returns, number about 2250. The foregoing table re- 
presents some of the tried mares, which number about 
100 ; many of them having merely produced animals of 
moderate form ; and very few having distinguished them- 
selves as dams of first-class animals. If we except about 
twenty of the tried division, the others will be found 
either to have been perfect failures, or with but one recom- 
mendation ; having produced what may be termed " chance 
produce." And many of those at stud, that do not rank 
according to the rules of breeding and racing, as tried 
brood mares, are and have, in point of fact, proved them- 
selves far superior; for although their stock may not be 
qualified as winners of even a fifty-pound plate, yet they 
have been "seconds," and otherwise proved themselves 
superior animals in far better company. If we select — 



Pocahontas 
Alice Hawthorne 
Ellerdale 
Barbelle 
Cinizelli 
Mountain Sylph 
Hybla 
Eulogy 



Midia 
Equation 
Espoir 
Palmyra 
Queen Mary 
The Arrow 
Wiasma 
Canezou, 



we have about the only ones that can be looked upon 
as really successful during their career at stud, or as 
entitled to be viewed in the light of " really good brood 
mares;*' for they have been successful in producing not 
only several winners, but have done so from various sires 
and difi'erent crosses. 

There are about one hundred ' Touchstone ' mares at 
stud — double the number of any other, which must partly 



312 TUKF TOPICS. 

account for tlieir success. Others appear to have pro- 
duced one first-class racehorse each ; the rest being very 
inferior, although crossed with various strains, and the 
best blood and most fashionable sires of the day — namely, 
'Ellen Middleton/ 'Bribery/ 'Burlesque/ 'Wizard's' 
dam, ' Defenceless/ ' Fair Helen/ ' Hawise/ ' Irish 
Queen/ ' Jocose/ ' Mainbrace/ ' Miss Twickenham/ 
' Peggy.' 

Then, again, there are several that have been perfect 
" stars " during their racing career, and have so far proved 
perfect failures at stud. Perhaps a more extraordinary 
instance of the lottery of breeding cannot be furnished, 
than ' Virago.' She has been put to stud since 1856. 
Since which period she has been put to ' Orlando,' ' The 
Flying Dutchman,' ' Stockwell,' ' Kingston,' &c. (a fair 
chance, no doubt) ; and yet we have not heard of any 
successful result. 

Another extraordinary instance of failure is the ' Maid 
of Masham ; ' one of the best, and certainly as sweet a mare 
"^as ever looked through a bridle." (I just missed being 
her owner at five hundred guineas, " by one post,"" 
having wiitten to accept her then owner's terms ; but 
she had gone the day previous.) She has been at stud 
since 1852 ; and although put to ' Birdcatcher,' ' Orlando,' 
' Teddington,' ' West Australian,' ' Young Melbourne,' &c. 
she has not proved successful so far. And if ever there 
was one instance, above any other, that could make an 
impression (at least on my mind) of the "lottery," 
this is the one : for a more perfect specimen of a brood 
mare in every shape, form, and respect, I never beheld, 
and expect and hope yet to hear of her proving more suc- 
cessful at stud. 



BROOD MARES. 313 

There are innumerable other instances where such 
splendid mares have failed at stud ; and, curiously enough, 
the Oaks winners have proved most unsuccessful : for, 
commencing with the renowned ' Queen of Trumps,^ with 
very few exceptions, indeed, they have been perfect 
failures. 

Some mares appear to have proved more successful 
where a change from one sire to another has been made : 
as an. example, 'Barbelle' produced 'The Flying Dutch- 
man^ by 'Bay Middleton;^ 'VanTromp,^ by 'Laner- 
cost;^ ' Zuyder Zee,' by 'Orlando:' yet ' Vanderdecken,' 
own brother to ' The Dutchman,' was a very sorry sample, 
indeed, in every respect. 'Blue Bonnet' (winner of the 
Doncaster St. Leger, and by 'Touchstone') furnishes 
another instance of comparative failure at stud ; for, 
although a first-class racehorse, notwithstanding every 
chance she only produced one really good animal, ' Mary 
Copp,' by 'The Flying Dutchman;' her other produce 
(some by the same sire) being comparatively moderate : 
and yet it is more than probable her sons and daughters 
will revive the good qualities of the family, more especially 
' Mary Copp,' whose wonderful speed and other good 
qualities are most likely to render her a valuable addition 
to the stud ; her daughter, ' Marigold,' having already af- 
forded proof of her dam's good qualities (although got by 
that game racehorse, yet moderate sire, ' Teddington'). 
And if she does not further " give a good account of 
herself," I shall be much surprised, as she will, in my 
opinion, turn out one of the very best brood mares of 
the present day. Her forte was great speed ; and if 
crossed judiciously, she can hardly fail to furnish some 
worthy scion of her distinguished race. She is one of 



314 TURF TOPICS. 

my especial favourites. Her Goodwood running cannot 
easily be forgotten. 

Suppose those extraordinary mares that have so dis- 
tinguished themselves as racehorses had never been trained, 
but turned out at three or four years old to stud, what 
would have been the result ? Can it be argued that their 
racing career tended to improve their valuable qualities as 
brood mares ? The fact is, many superior ones are passed 
over, simply because they have not won an Oaks, a thou- 
sand-guineas stakes, &c., and are doomed to draw a White- 
chapel cart, or condemned to some other uses vile. Some 
of the plainest-looking, moderate-sized mares, produce not 
only the best stock but the truest and best- shaped ; for 
although they may not themselves exceed 15 hands 
high, or a little over, still, if put to stallions of general 
size and substance, &c., their produce is as large as 
others, and seldom, if ever, of that great, top-heavy, un- 
wieldy form, coming so frequently from great, large mares. 
However good they may have proved during their racing 
career, the produce of the latter are seldom stayers, but 
come rolling in from one side of a course to the other, 
like a ship in a high sea, as tired as their pilot, without 
ballast, or the level, well-proportioned shapes of the pro- 
duce of the moderate-sized, lengthy mare, " long and 
low." 

In cases where mares pi'oduce different stock by the 
same sire, one perhaps a first-class racehorse, the rest 
bad, though all have been equally attended to and 
received proper care, — such, no doubt, are the instances 
which best supply proof of the uncertainty of breeding. 
Still, frequently the lottery is increased through neglect, 
mismanagement, and various causes ; sometimes through 



BROOD MARES. 315 

" freaks of nature/^ to which all other animals are like- 
wise subject. One might fairly ask, if ' Pyrrhus the 
First' could get such a mare as ^Virago/ ' Bay Mid- 
dleton' such animals as the 'Flying Dutchman^ and 
'Andoverj' or as to brood mares, if 'Beeswing' should 
have produced such an animal as ' Newminster/ ' Alice 
Hawthorne ' ' Thormanby/ and ' Oulston/ why should 
they have otherwise proved so unsuccessful ? Again, how 
is it that other sires and brood mai'es have been crossed 
with almost any other strain, and have proved so suc- 
cessful ? There must be some reason. It is natural to 
assume that in the same hands the produce have been 
equally cared for. The very fact that in many instances 
some of these animals, when first put to stud, appear not 
to breed so well, yet improve with time, would in itself 
partly go to prove that severe and long training is the 
cause ; but in any case there cannot be a question that 
there are certain " running strains,^' and that in those few 
instances where there is one ''first class,^^ the rest bad, 
or very indifferent, such animals are what may be termed 
" chance horses." 

Without wishing for one moment to offer a remark 
in any way tending through prejudice to deteriorate the 
merits of sires, I cannot help expressing a very great 
dislike to ' Pyrrhus the First,' as a stallion, and believing 
a few more like him would be no acquisition. The late 
Sir Tatton Sykes, one would fancy, " assisted '^ towards 
advancing his prestige, having had a great number of his 
daughters in the harem, which did not prove more suc- 
cessful than his twenty -one Hampton and fifty-two 
Sleight-of-Hand mares — no doubt, as to numbers, suffi- 
cient in themselves to have laid the foundation of brilliant 



316 TURF TOPICS. 

future success; still, consuming as much as an equal 
number of ' Touchstones/ ' Birdcatchers/ ' Sweetmeats/ 
and doubtless affording the owner quite as much amuse- 
ment — it is to be regretted they did not likewise afford 
so thorough and popular a sportsman an opportunity of 
escorting their produce (as he did his namesake) into the 
Doncaster enclosures, which would have been hailed with 
an ovation sufficient to cause York Minster bells to ring : 
for, great as would have been the demonstrations in 
honour of the victory by a certain Scotch nobleman, the 
Baronet would have given him weight in Yorkshire. 
When parties commence breeding there is nothing like 
getting into a good strain, for it is extraordinary how 
they are carried on year after year (if they have got into 
a bad breed), rather than make a bold attempt to open 
the doors and get rid of the lot at any sacrifice, the first 
loss being at all times the best ; yet they require moral 
courage, not frequently displayed, especially in regard to 
horseflesh. 

Having referred to the tried mares, I now beg to place 
before the reader a few of my special favourites, as yet 
untried at stud ; my opinion of their respective qualities 
being formed not on any particular grounds as to pei'- 
formances alone, but taking into consideration the combi- 
nation of shapes, blood, and all the qualifications which 
may render such animals valuable and desirable to the 
breeder. They are as follows : — 





BROOD MARES. 


317 


NAME.t 


SIRE. 


DAM. 


GRANDSIRE 


*Ayacanora 


Irish Birdcatcher 


Pocahontas 


Glencoe 


Brown Duchess 


The Flying Dutchman 


Espoir 


Liverpool 


Cantatrice 


Irish Birdcatcher 


Catherine Hayes 


Lanercost 


Citron 


Sweetmeat 


Echidna 


Economist 


The Deformed 


Burgundy or Harkaway 


Welfare 


Priam 


Emily 


Stockwell 


Meeanee 


Touchstone 


Fravola 


Orlando 


Apricot 


Sir Hercules 


Governess 


Chatham 


>> 


Laurel 


Habena 


Irish Birdcatcher 


Bridle 


The Saddler 


Katharine Logic 


Flying Dutchman 


Phryne 


Touchstone 


Lady Hawthorne 


Windhound 


Alice Hawthorne 


Muley Moloch 


Lady Palmerston 


Melbourne 


>> 


Pantaloon 


*Marchioness d Eu 


Magpie 


Echidna 


Economist 


Mincemeat 


Sweetmeat 


Hybla 


The Provost 


Nemesis 


The Nob 


The Arrow 


Slave 


Overreach 


Irish Birdcatcher 


Virginia 


Rowton 


Pandora 


Cotherstone 


Polydora 


Priam 


Peri 


Irish Birdcatcher 


Perdita 


Langar 


Queen of the Vale 


King Tom 


Agnes 


Pantaloon 


Rambling Katie 


Melbourne 


Phryne 


Touchstone 


*Rosabel 


Newminster 


>i 


Jereed 


Rosa Bonheur 


Touchstone 


Boarding-school Miss 


Plenipotentiary 


Rupee 


Nabob 


Bravery 


Gameboy 


Stockade 


Stockwell 


Sortie 


Melbourne 


Summerside 


West Australian 


EUerdale 


Lanercost 


Sunbeam 


Chanticleer 


Suntlower 


Bay Middleton 


Sweet Hawthorne 


Sweetmeat 


Alice Hawthorne 


Muley Moloch 


Terrific 


Touchstone 


Ghuznee 


Pantaloon 


Terrona 


Touchstone 


Alice Hawthorne 


Muley Moloch 


*Theodora 


Orlando 


Sultana 


Hetman Platoff 


Tunstall Maid 


Touchstone 


Tomboy Mare 


Tomboy 


*Typee 


Touchstone 


Boarding-school Miss 


Plenipotentiary 


Uzella 


Sweetmeat 


Welfare 


Priam 



With regard to the blood of brood raares of the present 
day, and the crosses which suit (without entering into any 
detail of crosses particularly), I would recommend the 

t Those mares marked with an asterisk (*) were in manuscript 
and selected before their produce won. 



318 TURF TOPICS. 

reader to adhere as far as possible to the following strains 
and mixtures, of course taking into account the running 
family in other respects; that is to say, as to other strains 
of blood a few generations back : first, to breed from 
' Touchstone,' ' Melbourne,' * Irish Birdcatcher,' ' Sweet- 
meat,' and ' King Tom' mares, in preference to others, as a 
general rule. No doubt the 'Bay Middleton' strain stands 
justly in the front rank, and has proved successful, con- 
sidering the chances, in proportion.* The daughters of 
' King Tom,' if fashionably bred on their dam's side, will, in 
my opinion, turn out most successful, and should be held 
in high esteem, not only from the value of ' The Whale- 
bone' blood through their splendid sire, but because in 
their veins flows the blood of the queen of brood mares, 
' Pocahontas ;'t and I venture to predict that the ' King 
Tom' mares will prove second to none. Were I to suggest 
a cross, it would be with the ' Sweetmeat' strain, of the 
value of which ' Sweetsauce' has furnished so plain and 
striking a proof : his dam, ' The Irish Queen,' being by 
the same sire as ' The King,' viz. * Harkaway.' * Dundee' 

* It is a curious fact that the ' Sweetmeat' and 'Melbourne' 
cross has been almost left entirely untried, although in the very 
few instances where an approach to it has been made, they have 
proved successful. The cross ought, in one respect at least, to be 
judicious ; viz. the symmetry of the one, with the fine bone and 
frame of the other, ought to prove successful. There is no strain 
can excel 'Melbourne' as fine samples of slashing racehorses — 
length, bone, &c ; and the blood is perhaps the best of the whole 
lot, in a general point of view. 

■j" She has done more towards improvement in the racehorse 
than any mare ever foaled, and with ' Guiccioli,' dam of ' Irish 
Birdcatcher,' and 'Faugh-a-Ballagh,' has proved a mine of wealth 
to the turf. 



BROOD MARES. 



319 



also comes from the same cross, being a mixture of 
'Whalebone' and ' Sweetmeat' strains. 

No matter how the breeder may cross, or what blood 
he may select to build his hopes upon, to my mind there 
is one above all others that will improve " the mixture,'* 
whether it be for speed or stoutness, fine, slashing, and 
racing shape, size and action ; and that strain is ' Panta- 
loon.' 

Once more, in concluding my remarks upon brood 
mares, &c., let me impress upon the reader the absolute 
necessity of avoiding the "penny-wise-and-pound-foolish" 
principle, and of adhering to the running family , instead 
of one or two solitary exceptions, and a bunch of rubbish ; 
and when he has got possession of them, to give them 
every chance — the very best feeding, care, and attention. 



320 



THE STUD-FARM : ITS REGULATIONS AND 
REQUISITES. 



There is not, perhaps, in any speculation, an element 
more precarious or expensive than that which forms the 
subject of the following remarks, which are made with a 
perfect consciousness that there are many persons more ex- 
perienced in sucli matters ; but still there are, no doubt, 
some who have not heretofore given their minds or atten- 
tion to the subject, who might derive a few useful hints 
therefrom. The first step which should be taken is to find 
good land, thoroughly drained, naturally of a dry and fer- 
tile soil ; the herbage mixed with clover, and the other 
various seeds to which the horse is partial : for if the 
reader will look at the coats (even in the middle of sum- 
mer) of mares fed upon a wet or insufficiently drained 
pasture (the colour of which is invariably a very dark 
green, as well as coarse and sour), they will find them cold- 
looking and staring ; and that, however abundant the crop 
may be, it does not possess that sweetness which renders 
it palatable to the animal, — a fact which becomes plainly 
visible and proved when we find certain portions of the 
pasture in long tufts untouched, and other spots eaten to 
the roots : therefore, the very first object of the breeder 
should be to select the best soil. Regard should be paid 



THE STUD-FARM. 321 

to comfort and necessaries in the shape of stabling, sheds, 
&c. ; and, independently of the usual houses, it is de- 
sirable — if the tract of land extends to any considerable 
distance, where the regular stables cannot at all hours be 
made use of — to have sheds erected at convenient spots, 
here and there, under which, during excessive heat in 
the day-time, according as the animals like, they can 
take shelter from the annoyance of flies — during which 
period they seldom feed — or from cold winds, &c. 

The formation or structure of stabling for breeding- 
purposes is a subject with which many are acquainted, 
and in the present day requires little comment, having 
been brought to perfection ; as will appear manifest to 
any visitor to the stud-paddocks at Knowsley, Eaton, and 
many other places. However, for the benefit of those 
who may not have had an opportunity of visiting these 
establishments, it may be useful to offer a few remarks. 

The stables should be roomy, as large and lofty as 
possible, well ventilated, the doors (which, during the 
animals' absence, should be kept as much open as pos- 
sible) being not only broad, but equally high in propor- 
tion, avoiding the possibility of accident to the animals 
when rushing suddenly in or out, through either striking 
their heads against the top, or otherwise injuring them- 
selves by coming in contact with the sides, to prevent 
which wooden or leather-bound rollers should be placed 
at each. Extra ventilators should be placed loiv doivn 
at each side of the door, in a slanting manner, about 
half-a-foot in width and one foot from the ground, to be 
made use of when necessary. The flooring should be 
formed in such a manner that the bedding would remain 
as dry and clean as possible. In constructing the roof, 

Y 



322 



TURF TOPICS. 



particular care should be taken to have a sufficient space 
between the slates and the ceiling, so as to prevent the 
excessive heat of the sun on the former causing heat, or 
the contrary effect during the cold in winter from frost 
or snow, as each have great influence thereupon. The 
walls should be occasionally whitewashed, to banish any 
nauseous smells or remains of distemper which might 
exist ; the mangers should be repeatedly cleansed from 
the remains of the various descriptions of food previously 
placed therein, and which become sour and disagreeable. 
The wood-work should be lined with tin or zinc, in order 
to prevent the animals biting, or learning to crib, or be- 
coming wind-suckers, to which they are much inclined. 

That the system of placing together a number of 
mares at any period of the year (and which, I have 
remarked, is frequently practised) is highly injurious, 
becomes apparent in many ways : therefore my idea is, 
that a reasonable tract of land allotted to a couple of 
mares, with their separate houses, is most desirable : in 
fact, the more horses and the more paddocks the better. 
Especial care should be taken, as far as possible, to prevent 
their connexion with strange animals, and that they 
should be as distant from thoroughfares as possible ; 
because every disturbance is to a certain degree injurious, 
especially at periods when mares are either about to foal, 
after foaling, or during the time they are going through 
their trials. 

Paddocks, if possible, should be formed in such a 
manner that many animals could not have access to, or 
their attention drawn towards others, especially when 
strangers are likely to appear; therefore, walls or banks 
are preferable to transparent palings or rails. When the 



THE STUD-FARM. 323 

latter form the partitions, tlie consequence is continual 
neighing; galloping, and annoyance to the whole establish- 
ment on the introduction of a new-comer : mares on the 
eve of foaling, yearlings full of flesh, galloping until they 
break their wind, spring curbs, or otherwise injure them- 
selves; sires neighing and roaring, — in short, the whole 
establishment becomes a perfect bedlam. 

Then, again, sires never should be kept near mares or 
young stock, but in some strictly private place, especially 
during the season, which is the most critical period for 
foaling mares, as well as for others : the continual noise 
attending the trials, and strangers perpetually coming 
and going, interfere most injuriously with the animals, 
preventing them from feeding, and in many instances 
from proving with foal, or probably causing some to pick 
or cast foal. One of the great objections to bundling a 
number of mares together, even in large tracts of pasture, 
is this : if they are on the eve of foaling, they frequently 
interfere with and annoy each other, rushing suddenly to 
bite, &c., for it is wonderful how they have their parti- 
cular friends amongst their number, and their enemies 
also, never losing an opportunity on their approach of 
showing their dislike, and in the most cunning and vicious 
manner in many instances ; for they keep on grazing until 
they get near enough, rushing at, biting, and kicking at the 
object of their dislike, causing the other to hastily jump 
round to avoid punishment, and perhaps receive serious 
injury, the foals also getting sometimes hurt. 

On the other hand, in the case of barren mares re- 
cently sent to stud, perhaps twenty or thirty are in one 
field, and others are continually going and coming, which, 
in addition to the process of bringing each back and fro 



324 TURF TOPICS. 

during their trials, results in frequent disturbance to 
the others, at a time when they should be kept as quiet 
as possible; each in turn, during a certain period, viz. 
before being done with their trials, going the round 
perhaps of the whole lot, teasing them, sometimes getting 
kicked for their trouble; from others finding a reciprocity 
of feeling, which proves equally injurious to both, under 
the circumstances. The question as to the size or shape 
of the boxes is quite a secondary consideration, provided 
they are moderately comfortable and properly ventilated, 
compared to that of the quality of the soil, for there and 
in feeding generally lies the foundation for bringing the 
racehorse to perfection. 

Perhaps the most important of all requisites in the 
stud-farm is good water and plenty of it, running streams, 
of course, being most desirable ; but where they are not 
found, large tubs should be placed in each field and kept 
continually supplied with soft water. A water-barrel on 
wheels is most useful for the purpose of filling such 
tubs. However necessary regular feeding-hours may be, 
such regularity becomes far more so as regards drinking 
(there is nothing so frequent as inattention on this parti- 
cular point); for brood mares especially, and more par- 
ticularly in the hot weather, are fond of wetting their 
mouths, and playing with the water. 

Mares fed upon good soil seldom fail to show it, if 
they are sound in constitution, free from worms, or in- 
ternal disease. When the condition is perfect, their coats 
in summer not only shine like satin, but bear a golden 
tinge, resembling that in the peacock^s feathers, although 
I must confess I have seldom seen brood mares' con- 
dition brought to such perfection ; which is owing, 



THE STUD-FARM. 325 

principally, to their own extraordinary health and sound 
constitution. 

Parties desirous of improving or rendering a tract 
of pasture more convenient, which is of a square form, 
and has not been previously sufficiently subdivided, 
could not do better than erect a square building in the 
centre thereof, dividing it into four equally proportioned 
boxes, with a door opening into each fourth part of the 
field ; the fences or divisions of which should not be trans- 
parent, as before mentioned, but should be formed of 
banks made from the earth at each side, with about three 
feet of the foundation breasted with common stone or 
bricks, gradually tapering towards the top, which should 
be at least eighteen inches wide, and sufficiently high to 
prevent the animals seeing or interfering with each other. 
It is, of course, more desirable to have brick or stone walls. 

Corn-bruisers and boilers are likewise most necessary 
in a stud-farm; bruised oats being desirable for all 
animals, and boiled barley, linseed, turnips, bran, &c., 
being frequently required, especially during certain periods 
of the year, when mares are about to foal, and during 
winter and spring. 

In a properly-conducted establishment there cannot be 
too much neatness or regularity as regards all the neces- 
saries. A room for head-collars, &c., should be kept 
regularly fitted out. As to head-collars great care should 
be taken that they fit properly, neither too large nor too 
small ; for it has frequently happened that, when horses 
scratch their heads with their hind legs, or otherwise, 
they become entangled and receive serious injury, in 
some instances breaking their necks, the head-collars 
being larger than necessary. Care should also be taken 



326 TURF TOPICS. 

not to leave in the stable buckets having iron hoops 
or handles ; for horses are inclined to paw at them, and 
frequently injure themselves, the foot and leg becoming 
fast between the iron hoop and the edges of the bucket : 
the latter falling, the horse becomes frightened, springs 
back, and by a sudden downward motion presses the iron 
against the skin. In the construction of the manger it is 
desirable to have a sort of bar at each end, about five 
or six inches from the extremities, to prevent the horse 
pushing the oats out, which he is most likely to do, par- 
ticularly when first placed before him, appearing to prefer 
eating them from the ground, but generally wasting a 
large quantity. 

Inasmuch as the period from which horses take their 
ages renders it desirable to have every precaution taken 
to be as forward as possible with nourishment, and 
the season of the year not usually supplying the quan- 
tity which might be wished for, care should be taken 
to have a field with a ivinter crop of rye-grass, which 
is much earlier than other pasture, and can be either 
mown by the scythe or otherwise supplied, and which is 
far more nutritious to the mare at foaling-time than 
dried hay : the great drawback to the early foal being the 
want of a sufficient quantity of milk, especially where the 
dam may not be a good suckler. Many expei-ienced 
persons maintain that an April foal is quite as good as 
one dropped very much earlier, assigning as a reason the 
want of a sufficient supply of milk or nourishment from the 
dam, believing that the foal becomes retarded in its natural 
growth : in short, all breeders should take care to have a 
field of early grass, which is not more expensive than any 
other, although far more desirable and profitable in every 



THE STUD-FARM. 327 

respect. In the paddock the addition of a contrivance 
(which admits of various forms) is most useful for the 
purpose of enabling the foal to take his bruised oats, 
occasionally with a little moistened bran, or cut carrots 
without the interference of the dam (who, no matter how 
good a nurse, is certain to devour the entire before the 
foal has time to partake of any). The most simple plan 
is to place the food in the centre of a fenced-in inclosure, 
where the foals can have access to it without such inter- 
ference, forming at a distance of about four feet a paling or 
obstruction to the mare; taking care at the same time that 
it should be well rounded, of proportionate height, so as 
not to injure the foal in passing under backwards and 
forwards. 

Bearing m mind the number of contagious diseases 
with which horses are so frequently attacked, it is neces- 
saiy to have, as far removed as possible from the general 
stabling, a sort of hospital, with well-ventilated and airy 
boxes, to which the horses upon the first appearance of 
sickness should be immediately removed, and the boxes 
from which they have been so changed should be forth- 
with whitewashed with lime and water, and otherwise 
cleansed and ventilated. 

The stud-groom should be provided with the usual 
medicines and instruments, which are so frequently and 
so suddenly required, and might not on an emergency be 
easily procured; the want of which might be attended 
with very serious consequences to the owner. Any stud- 
groom possessing reasonable intelligence and ordinary 
experience will soon understand how to treat those cases 
which are so common in horse-flesh, and about which so 
much ridiculous fuss is frequently made. 



328 TURF TOPICS. 

Having made these few general remarks upon the ab- 
solute requisites to a properly-conducted breeding estab- 
lishment — remarks which, no doubt, are superfluous to 
the numerous experienced parties who breed extensively, 
but which may prove useful to those who are about to 
commence, I would wish to impress upon the beginner, 
above all things, to be provided with those artificial or 
forced crops, nje-grass and turnips, which are likewise 
most desirable for brood mares at that season when they 
most require such nourishment : the latter strewn over 
the field are capital for producing milk; the former, 
being cut and placed before the mares, prevents its being 
trampled upon and wasted, at a period when it is so 
scarce and valuable. Boiled turnips mixed with bran, 
linseed, bruised oats, &c., by way of change at night, 
will be found most beneficial substitutes for the grass at 
that period of the year. 

Where outlay is no object, perfection cannot be too 
dearly paid for in obtaining all the requisites referred to, 
and I would strongly recommend a beginner to remember, 
that to be " penny wise and pound foolish " is bad 
economy, especially in horsebreeding, which from the 
competition in the present day, as well as the remune- 
rative prices realised by breeders, presents an open field 
for prosperous speculation. 

There is, indeed, no speculation to which these remarks 
are so applicable as to that of horse-breeding ; it is one 
which peculiarly requires liberal ideas, and an entire ab- 
sence of all petty considerations. 



329 



CONCLUSION. 



I FEEL it is now time to bring my observations on Turf 
Topics to a conclusion. In offering them to the public 
I am not influenced by any desire to acquire literary 
notoriety, or to be regarded as a successful author: 
my object is one far less egotistical, and I can with 
truth say, much more philanthropic. It is simply to ex- 
tend to those whose youth and want of knowledge in 
racing matters may render the information valuable, the 
results of a lengthened and costly experience — to warn 
them against the dangers which beset their path — and 
yet, at the same time, to encourage them (if their cu-- 
cumstances permit of it) in the pursuit of that pastime 
which, of all others, is most fitted to add power to the 
mind and vigour to the body. 

Even at the risk of being condemned as one prone to 
indulge in self-praise, I cannot refrain from adverting to 
the singular fulfilment of some of my predictions which 
has so recently taken place. 

I allude, amongst others, to the success of 'Gla- 
diateur' in the 2000-guineas race at Newmarket. If the 
reader will refer to the 142nd page of this Treatise, he 
will feel satisfied that the theories I there advanced have 



330 TURF TOPICS. 

beeu now proved to have been sound in their conception ; 
and that subsequent events have fully justified opinions 
which were the offspring of a judgment that has been 
matured, as well by disappointment as by experience. 

It may be that I have in some degree written so as to 
dishearten the man who truly loves the Turf; who is suf- 
ficiently favourecf by fortune to indulge in its pleasures ; 
but still who, from his peculiar idiosyncracy, may not be 
able to bear up against reverses. If I have done so, I 
did not intend it; and can only retrieve my error by re- 
minding him — 

" That the world is always turning on its axis; 
Mankind turns with it, whether heads or tails : 
We live and die, make love, and pay our taxes. 
And as the veering wind shifts, shift our sails." 



THE END. 



LONDON: 

Printed by Day & Son, Limited, 

Gate Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. 



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