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THE STEEPLE CHASE-PLATE V.: NOBODY NAMES TAE WINNER !"
J. F. HERRING, sen.
COUNTRY PRACTICE.- BY GELERT
Full Moon, 7 day, at 16 min. past 11 morning.
Sun Moon High WATER
rises and rises & London Bridge. D.
morn. I aftern. h. m. d. h. m. h. m. h. m.
Morning 1 T Salmon fishing begins. Louth r 7 41 8 1 20 7 25 7 53 2 F Candlemas Day. [STEEPLE CH. s 4 49 9 2 34 8 25 9 5 3 s
1 7 38 10 3 44 9 45 10 25 4 Septuagesima unday.
4 5311 4 4811 1011 45 5 M ASHDOWN CLUB COURSING M. r 7 3512 5 45 no tide 0 20 6T DIRLETON COURSING MEETING. S 4 56 13 6 33 0 52 1 20 7W CHELTENHAM STEEPLE CHASES.'r 7 32 F 1 48 2 10 8 T ALTCAR COURSING MEETING. s 5 015 6 36 2 35 3 0 9F East RETFORD STEEPLE CHASES r 7 28 16 7 48 3 20 3 40 10 S
s 5 417 8 57 3 58 4 17 Us Seragesima Eunday.
r 7 2518 10 3 4 35 4 54 12 M
s 5 71911 8 5 15 5 30 13 T BROCKLESBY Hunt STEEPLE C. r 7 21 20 Maruing 5 50 6 5 14 W St. Galentine, LYTIAM C. M. s 5 1121 0 11 6 23 6 40 15 T Batu STEEPLE CHASES.
r 7 1722 1 13 7 3 7 25 16 F
s 5 14 23 2 12 7 50 8 20 17 S
r 7 1324 3 8 9 0 9 40 18 Quinquagesima Sunday, s 5 18 25 4 010 2010 55 19M PEMBROKESHIRE RACES & S.C. rn 926 4 4711 34 notide 20 T Shrove Tu. MIDLOTHIANN C. M. s 5 2227 5 29 0 10 0 40 21 W Ash Wednesday. WAKEFLD.S.C. r7 528 6 6 1 0 1 24 22 T ARDROSSAN COURSING MEETING S 5 25 29 6 40 1 45 2 5 23 F
r 7 IN SETS.
2 23 2 42 24 S
s 5 29 1 7 24 3 0 3 20 25 % First Sunday in Lent. r 6 57 2 8 40 3 35 3 55 26 M
s 5 23 3 9 54 4 10 4 32 27 T WATERLOO (Altcar) Cour. M. r 6 53 411 94 50 5 10 28 W LiveRPOOL STEEPLE Cnases. s 5 46 5
5 30 5 52
STEEPLE CHASES IN FEBRUARY.
13 | Bridgnorth .....
14 Wakefield ........
15 Liverpool 13 | Pembrokeshire
19 21 28
COURSING MEETINGS IN FEBRUARY.
19 & 30 Ashdown Club (Lam. Alicar............... 8 & 9 Midlothian
........ 20 & 21 bourn).... 5&c. Baynham 9, 10 & 22 | Ardrossan
22 & 23 Working on (Spring).. 5 & 6 Border Club(Kelso).. 13, &c. Cockerham (Open) 22 & 29 Newmarket.
6,6 & 7 Cardington (Champion) Gisburne (Open).... 22 & 23 Diri ton.............. 6 & 7
13, 14 & 15 Waterloo (Altcar)
27, &c. Baldock....
7 & 8 | Lytham (Spring) 14, 15 & 16 | Huggate (Pocklington).. 28
Morpeth and Brough not fixed.
THE PROGRAMME OF THE SPRING RACING.
" My muse by no means deals in fiction ;
But mostly sings of human things and acts.
For too much truth at first sight ne'er attracts."
If the fate of the gigantic system of gambling which was got up in every nook and corner of this country during the past year, under the pretence of its relation to a great national sport, be any longer problematical, the temper with which any allusion to it is met by a certain class of commentators would be sufficiently ominous of what was about to befall. But the question is no longer at issue, and the tone of defiance with which the possibility of any interference with racing lotteries was once treated has dwindled into a howl of personal spite against those who denounced them as public nuisances.
" Still must I hear? Shall hoarse Fitzgerald bawl
His creaking couplets in a tavern hall,
And I not sing?" Were the snake despatched—not merely scotched—the subject would have been dismissed from these notices ; but though its head is crushed, the viper still menaces; it shall not sting, if we can help it.
The Sheet Calendar whiol was published on the 6th of last month came forth in gallant array. It was indeed a goodly note that all who run may read" with gratification, not alone as respects the sport they especially delight in, but with reference generally to the social aspect of rural England. Time was when Peace and Plenty dwelt under the vine and the fig tree: time is, when they find better shelter beneath the oak. It was not long ago that the Book Calendar was extended to two annual volumes—they will be substantial tomes when all the matter of the coming season finds record in their pagos. Within the last few years some of the leading stakes have increased three, four, and five hundred per cent. ; as, for instance, the Chester Cup, which in 1839 had forty-three nominations--in 1849, has two hundred and nine! The fact, which is thus prosented to us, is that there are a vast many more race-horses than there were ten years since, which should seem to augur that there are also more superfluous funds at the service of those who have a taste for the sport of horse-racing.
But this is a conclusion we are not warranted in jumping at too hastily. The entries also go to show that the turf has assumed more of a business character than it ever bore heretofore. There can be nothing
discourteous in assuming when we see an enormous racing establishment that the proprietor has some object more than ordinary in supporting it. Noblemen, and great lords of the soil, have a direct interest in promoting every
branch of rural policy ; they also surround themselves with the appliances of pomp and circumstance as parcel of their position. When persons not so circumstanced, and who are otherwise connected with sporting in a speculative way, set up studs superior to those possessed by the noblest and the wealthiest in the kingdom, not only in the number of animals, but in their intrinsic excellence, it is impossible to come to any conclusion than that such establishments are meant to pay their way. In the good old times the turf ranked foremost of all the contrivances for emptying the pockets of gentlemen of “enterprize and spirit ;" in the new era, a good many, not wanting in enterprize, make a living of it. Why should not a few make a fortune ? There has been a spirit of rivalry for some while extant between the two factions of the course—the amateurs and the professionals. pear at length prepared for the “ cast," their champions being Lord Clifden and Mr. Benjamin Green. As Sam Slick says, “ it's a caution" to see how they take the field for the approaching campaign. For the Chester Cup my Lord arrays a company of nine-Mr. G. throws down the glove with half a score. The commoner has four for the Metropolitan Stakes—the peer has five ; Green's half dozen for the Liverpool Cup will have to encounter Clifden's nine : and so they go through the Calendar “ hammer and tongs,” like Sir Charles Coldstream and Iron. brace in “ Used Up”—phrase unwelcome to the turfite's ear. With the command of trumps these two hands possess, what chance is there for the small cards ? One trusts to his superiority in honours—the other forces him and wins by the knave
“ Lay on Macduff,
(Exeunt-fighting.) In the Times newspaper of the 15th ult., there was a paragraph headed “ Defaulting M.P.'s," wherein it was stated that an honourable member was required by his constituents to resign his seat, in consequence of having neglected to pay his debts of honour. In Moore's “Life of Byron," the noble poet tells (by means of an extract from his journal) a very extraordinary story (for which it seems a miracle that the publisher escaped being called to the bar of the Lord's House of Parliament) of his being summoned from a ball as the casting vote on the Catholic Emancipation Bill in 1812. Here we have the civil and political privileges of five millions of people contingent on a gentleman of two or three and twenty being indisposed or unfitted for a country-dance. Conceive--and it is possible—the repeal of the Union lost because the member for the borough of Clonmel had made way for an Orangeman with his casting “ No!" all through his being in default in the sum of £100 to Mr. Higgins, “ without evincing any disposition to pay." What would the ghost of O'Connell say to such "hereditary bondsmen's" shades as it might happen to fall in with on such an occasion !
I cannot altogether reconcile it to my conscience to put instances of this sort in a mocking spirit. Like the ruin wrought among the railway ravers of '45, the misery occasioned by speculating in the odds is
only brought home to us when we miss a friend from his accustomed haunts, or hear of his removal to Coventry. A circular announcing the arrivals at that fashionable resort would—for more reasons than one-be a useful manual for persons concerned in betting. It was but a day or two back that asking accidentally after one of the best-hearted fellows in the world—the very soul of honour and honesty-I learnt that he had been “ unfortunate” towards the close of last season...." He won a large sum,” said my informant, “ from -, but he can't get it !” The loser thus referred to, in the language of a sporting lawyer, has been for the last two or three years “ lodging at the farthest house in Queer-street!” Imagine a man being considered “ unfortunate” in not being able to get a handful of hundred pound notes from a customer who at this particular point of time might as easily pay the national debt as “ settle with his laundress !” Has the vexed question-a debt of honour_been at last submitted to public arbitrament fairly and on its merit ? Persons in arrears for stakes or forfeits, by the rules of the Jockey Club, are absolved from the penalty of their default by discharging their obligations. So also with regard to bets—in so much as the Jockey Club has to do with them. Rule 41, after setting forth the penalties for such defaults, thus concludes" The Stewards of the Jockey Club will not entertain any claim emanating from a person who has received the above-named notice" (that is to say, of the racing privileges which he has forfeited) “ until the claims upon him shall be certified to bave been discharged.” But the affair has assumed a far more serious aspect. A member of Parliament is called upon to accept the Chiltern Hundreds because he has not paid certain hundreds of sterling stamp.” Will the Clubs of St. James's follow the Club of Clonmel? Will they be" more Irish” or “ less nice" ? Matters can scarce remain as they are ; in the meanwhile, those speculators who have demands on the face of their books against members of the Lower House will know how to strike the balance.
The day of “ reckoning" for the turf, as well as issues of a graver nature, is coming. The evil has had its run—the good deserves a turn at last. Sharp practice no doubt will continue to distinguish its traffic, but the monopoly of " tricherie" is on its last legs. The following postscript appeared to an account of an examination at Exeter last month, of two persons charged with an extraordinary mail robbery on the Great Western Railway--" The prisoner, Edward Nightingale, it is said, carried on the business of a horse-dealer, at Hoxton, near London. His father, George Nightingale, who has been dead about six months, obtained considerable notoriety by his gambling transactions at Goodwood and other places, where he alone was allowed to have a booth, and where he acted as banker.” If this be a fact, what a moral it supplies for the old saw" As the twig is bent, the tree's inclined"!....
Pending those arrangements, which either legislative enactment or some device of popular suffrage will at no distant day make the law of racing engagements, it is worth while to examine the schemes that now seek public favour as substitutes for the extinct " sweeps.” Foremost of these are certain establishments to which have been given the names of “ Racing Deposit Banks and Betting Offices.” The title is obscure : at all events, it does not convey the principle upon which their trade is transacted. It is, then, an opposition to the business of the old book