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King's racehorses : a history of the connection of His Majesty King Edward VII with the national sport / by Edward Spencer. Spencer, Edward, 1844-1910. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b98-42-41901158 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. King's racehorses : a history of the connection of His Majesty King Edward VII with the national sport / by Edward Spencer. Spencer, Edward, 1844-1910. John Long, London : 1902. xv, 204 p.,  leaves of plates : ill. ; 36 cm. Coleman "This edition of Japanese vellum consists of fifty copies all numbered." Marbled endpapers; gilt-edged pages. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1999. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PA-23166-98) ; SOL MN08449.03 KUK) s1999 gaun a Printing Master B98-42. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Horse racing Great Britain.Edward, VII, King of Great Britain, 1841-1910. This / (/itli'H 11 el /ape/t' ,7 tVi l/ st (f/]NJ tj coprs a,/ nIumbereol/. io. I THE KING'S RACEHORSES H.M. KING EDWARD VII. 4 . i : 4 4 TH E RAC E A HISTORY KING HO RS 's E S OF THE CONNECTION OF HIS MAJESTY KING EDWARD V1I. WITH THE NATIONAL SPORT: BY EDWARD LONDON SPENCER : JOHN I902 LONG Edinburgh: T. and A. CONSTAnBI, (late) Printers to Her Majesty PREFACE i ,N issuing this work, the writer Xt wishes to express his warmest thanks to LORD MARCUS BERESFORD, His Majesty's equerry and adviser, through- out, in all matters connected with his thorough- bred stud, for his great courtesy and kindness in supervising the proofs, and making many valuable notes and additions. It has been the author's endeavour to collect the principal facts in connection with His Majesty's patronage of the National Sport, and to place them before the public V THE KING'S RACEHORSES in consecutive order, as one, and it is hoped not the least important, of the souvenirs of Coronation Year. Airil 1902. Vi CONTENTS CHAPTER I ROYALTY AND THE TURF Sportsmanlike instincts of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales-His ancestor, the Prince Regent, as a Patron of the Turf-His jockey, Sam Chifney- Outspoken criticism on the part of Sir Charles Bunbury-Newmarket's loss Brighton's gain-The Pavilion in the olden time-Mr. Mellish lights the candle-The First Gentleman in Europe and his racing 'kit'- A little old Jew-King George iv. returns to the Turf-Purchase of the Colonel-Magnanimity of His Majesty towards Lord Chesterfield-A kind master and a true sportsman-Racing when the Second Henry was King-The Plantagenets encouraged the breed of horses on the higher standard-A layman, whose wife might wear a French bonnet, obliged, under a penalty, to keep a stone horse-Men ate oats, and horses bread and pease-pudding-Queen Elizabeth at Nonsuch Palace-Sporting pro- clivities of the Stuarts-' King Jamie' brings the Great Game from Bonnie Scotland-Passion of the Caledonians for horseracing and laying large wagers-The 'De Goncourt' Turf frauds-Admonitory law respect- ing farriers-The first Arabian horse known in England-The Duke of Newcastle's 'Treatise '-Mediocre galloping powers of the child of the desert-Shrewd but murderous methods of a former Asiatic Emperor- Making a certainty of it-Prompt decapitation of judge and jockeys- Heartrending fate of owner of winner-A possible 'get-out '-Special race- stands erected for the Shah on his visit to England-Racing in Hindustan -Ambition of rajahs to win the Viceroy's Cup-Natives in the saddle, at polo, and on the racecourse-Enthusiasm of the Bengali ba/'u for the Great Game-Indifference of Gallant Little South Wales to the national sport-A nice new racecourse for Swansea neglected-Rhonnda Valley miners Drefer scenery to steeplechasing-No more galloping down Swansea way-Racing a mere pretence during the disturbed reign of Charles i.-Clarendon's Bislory of the Rebellion-Meeting of Royalists b Vii THE KING'S RACEHORSES on Banstead Downs-March to Reigate-Stand of the King's troops between Nonsuch Park and Kingston-on-Thames-Repulse of the Par- liamentary forces outside the King's Town-Samuel Pepys on racing- The Merry Monarch restores the former glories of the sport-The Abbe Pregnani foretells winners by the aid of the stars-Development of Epsom as a fashionable and sporting centre-George, Prince of Denmark, a votary of racin;-Queen Anne encourages the sport in the North of England-Her Majesty's two greys, ' Pepper' and ' Mustard '-Act passed during the reign of George ii.-The Darley and Godolphin Arabianis-Death of King George iii-and of King George iv.-The Goodwood Cup of 1830-His Majesty William iv.'s horses are placed first, second, and third-King Edward vii-A Frenchman's opinions- His characteristics-force of character-and 'confessions,' . CHAPTER II SOME EARLY FAVOURITES A'st0ina lente'-Wisely and slow-A policy of moderation and patience- His Majesty as a sportsman, ashore and afloat-Erroneous and one-sided ideas of the Puritan on the subject of recreation-It is possible to own racehorses and yet keep unspotted from the world-The late Lord Chief- justice defends horse-racing-The morale of the Turf at the commence- ment and end of the nineteenth century-Racing conducted under theatrical circumstances-The ' tout' an ubiquitous institution-The Leviathan bookmaker missing from the scene-Means of information open to the general public-The registration of the Royal racing-colours -Their first wearer-Captain ' Venty' Hope Johnstone steers Leonidas to victory at Aldershot-' Fog' Rowlands of Pit Place-Alep, the Arab, is well beaten by Lord Strathnair n's Avowal at Newmarket-A chat about Pit Place-Lord Lyttelton's strange vision, and sudden death, as foretold -John Jones trains for His Royal Highness-Lord Marcus Beresford the guide, philosopher, and friend-The Scot and the Grand National Steeplechase-Voluptuary wins the race nightly at the national theatre, D)rury Lane-Hohenlinden wins the Grand Military Gold Cup-' Roddy' Owen-Magic does yeoman's service for His Royal Highness-The Prince determines to keep a few flat-racers-John Porter of Kingsclere, .V. . CONTENTS Hants-A chat about Ormonde-The pony upon which the sons and daughters of the Prince of Wales were taught to ride-Death of Counter- pane from heart disease on Stockbridge racecourse-The late Sir James Mackenzie and The Imp-The Jubilee Handicap at Keempton Park- First visit of the Prince to Kingsclere-Derby trial of Sir Frederick Johnstone's St. Blaise-Getting to windward of the New Journalists- His Royal Highness lunches at Park House-Delightful privacy of Kings- clere and its Downs-King Alfred's will-King John's Hill-Summary of races won for the Prince by horses trained by John Porter-Moderate winning score for 1889-Pierrette wins three races in x890-Perdita's first foal-In 1 89! the Royal luck begins to mend-Barracoutta, Perdita's second foal, wins the Champion Breeders' Foal Plate at Derby-The Royal horses leave Kingsclere for Egerton House, Newmarket, at the end Of 1892-Mutual regrets at parting, . . . . 37 CHAPTER III THE PRINCE'S LUCK Egerton House, Newmarket-Its advantages as training quarters-Vastness of the establishment-'Splendid isolation '-Richard Marsh as a steeple- chase jockey-His first master, the 'Red Duke '-Ambition of His Royal Highness to win the Derby with a horse of his own breeding-Porter purchases Perdita-Turning-point in the Royal luck-Establishment of the Sandringham breeding stud-The 'Royal Mascotte '-Her breeding -Her ddbMt is not encouraging-Perdita and St. Simon both run at the Goodwood Meeting of x883-Fred Archersteers each tovictory-Perdita wins another selling race at Newmarket-And is knocked down, for 560 guineas, to the bid of Matthew Dawson, acting for Mr. ' Benholm '-The filly wins the Chesterfield Nursery Handicap at Derby-Success in the Great Cheshire Handicap, Chester, and the Ayr Gold Cup-At four years old Perdita runs second six times out of nine races-John Porter pur- chases her, as a six-year-old. for the Prince of Wales for f9goo-Although a comparative disappointment on the Turf, Perdita proves one of the most successful brood-mares on record-List of her foals-She dies after foaling Nadejda to St. Simon-Winnings of her progeny-Threc sons and one daughter win, between them, , 72,847, 5s. -The Irish-bred ix THE KING'S RACEHORSES l'AlI horse, Barcaldine, her 'first love '-Performances of the invincible Bar- caldine-A 'mad' horse when at the stud-Herr Loffler, the subduer -Method in madness-Union of Perdita with St. Simon-Land at last !- The late Prince Batthyany buys the champion, Galopin, and breeds St. Simon, another champion-Awfully sudden death of Prince Batthyany -The Duke of Portland's luck-Purchase of St. Simon at auction for 16oo guineas - St. Simon's two-year-old performances - Archer the jockey and Archer the horse-Robert Peck's message to Matthew Daw- son-' Old Mat's' reply-Match between St. Simon and Duke of Rich- mond-One of the best John Porter ever tried-Another match with Tristan-A runaway affair-St. Simon retires from the Turf, sound but unable to stand more galloping- Matthew Dawson's estimate of the colt-Captain Horace Hayes on St. Simon-The marvellous beauty of his shoulders-A ' short-coupled' horse-Persimmon 'favours' his sire more than Florizel or Diamond Jubilee-The 'straight-dropped' hind leg-The late Mr. Joseph Osborne, author of the Horsebreeders' Hand- book, and the doyen of the Turf-Performances of Florizel-An overgrown, weak two-year-old-The writer's acceptation of the word 'luck '-Florizel as a stayer-Judiciously managed in his early youth, his record as a more matured horse is an excellent one-He wins the Prince of \Vales's Stakes at Epsom, the Prince's Handicap at Gatwick, the Manchester Cup, the Gold Vase at Ascot, and the Goodwood Cup-A creditable fourth in the Cesarewitch-A victory over None the Wiser in the Jockey Club Cup at Newmarket-Florizel retires to the stud after running once as a five-year-old-Two doughty and handsome sons of St. Simon make their appearance on the Turf in 1895-The Prince of Wales's Persimmon, and Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's St. Frusquin-Each difficult to train- Persimmon wins easily at Ascot-Triumphant career of St. Frusquin checked at Kempton Park-The two 'stars' meet in the Middle Park Plate at Newmarket-Doubts about starting Persimmon-The race- Its result, . . . . . . . . 73 CHAPTER IV PERSIMMON'S DERBY AND AFTER Persimmon and St. Frusquin difficult to separate in the matter of superiority -An easy time of it during the winter months-Inadvisable to prepare him for the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes-Teething troubles-Vast x CONTENTS improvements in the science of horse-dentistry-Brutality of the old methods-Bleeding, sweating, etc., how did the horses stand it -A horse needing dental attention twitched, gagged, and tortured-Ignorance of operators in days of yore-Herr Lotffler and his pupil, Mr. Joseph Marsh-Persimmon's disgrace in a trial gallop is entirely due to the torture of biting on 'loose' crowns in his lower jaw-Prompt removal of the offenders by the dentist-Opinions of an American expert-' No healthy horse was ever born vicious '-Persimmon's Derby trial is witnessed by the Prince and Princess of Wales and suite-The test proves that the horse still retains his fine speed-And that he is much the superior of his stable-companion, Balsamo-Subsequent trial with Safety Pin to test the endurance of Persimmon-Doings of the opposi- tion; St. Frusquin wins the Column Produce Stakes and Two Thousand Guineas Stakes-And becomes a strong favourite in the betting on the Derby-Difficulty in boxing the Prince's horse at Newmarket station- St. Simon also awkward before taking a railway journey-Only the two favourites considered to have chances in the great race-Starters, jockeys, betting, and description of the running-Enormous attendance on the Downs-Amusing incident at the starting-post-' No fun till 1 come '-Popular demonstration after the race-No such scene of enthu- siasm ever witnessed before-What Mr. John Corlett wrote about it- Foresight of the First Player in Haim/et-Mlr. de Rothschild, the owner of the second, unable to be present-It was a clever win, if not aln easy one-Unstinted praise for John Watts, the rider of the winner-And for Richard Marsh, his trainer, who has all the responsibility on his own shoulders-1)elight of His Royal Highness as he leads his horse through the unsaddling-paddock-Result of the Princess of Wales's Plate at Newmarket proves Persimmon and St. Frusquin to possess equal merit over a mile course-The Eclipse Stakes at Sandown is St. Frusquill's last race-He gives way in his suspensory ligaments-Lovely 'Ihais,' after winning the One 'T'housand Guineas, is unfortunate at Epsom and Ascot-Persimmon specially prepared for the l)oncaster St. Leger- Description of the race-The Cavourite runs lazily, but wins very easily -In splendid condition for the Jockey Club Stakes, which he runs away with from start to finish--Persimmon a magnificent four-year-old-He sets the seal on his fame by winning the Ascot Gold Cup-And winds up his career by taking the Eclipse Stakes-A chat about Eventail- Early performances of Diamond Jubilee-He runs sometimes mulishly, and sometimes gamely-His dislike to Mornington Cannon-He suffers from teething troubles like his brother-He is thrice beaten by the American gelding, Deemocrat-J. Tod Sloan's opinion of the last named xi THE KING'S RACEHORSES -Little Herbert Jones, his stable attendant, rides Diamond Jubilee-He wins the Two Thousand Guineas, the Newmarket Stakes, and Derby- But is beaten by Merry Gal in the Princess of WVales's Stakes-He wins the Eclipse Stakes and St. Leger, but is unplaced to Disguise later on -III-luck of 1)iamond Jubilee at four years old-By his deeds let him be judged-No 'coward ' or 'moderate' horse ever won so many important races-Table of winners of more than 20,000 in stakes- The ' record' score of Isinglass,. . . . . . CHAPTER V THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY Fondness of His Majesty for steeplechasing-Early attempts to win the Grand National Steeplechase-Magic the best of his jumping stud in the 'eighties'-The Grand National of 1863 takes place on the same day as the Royal wedding-Emblem 'pecks' at the final obstacle- Arhury a rare stamp of hunter-First visit to Aintree of His Royal Highness-Mr. John Nightingall's Shifnal is the winner-Conflagration bhneath the Royal balcony-Return visits in t88o and 1884-W1'hat became of V'oluptuary-An equine 'star '-Coquette unable to take part in the Cross-Country Derby owing to hard ground-The National Hunt Steeplechase-The Prince of Wales one of the first subscribers-Efforts of Air. Fothergill Rowlands-His Royal Highness attends the Cottenham fixture-And the following year visits Blankney when venue changed to Lincolishire-Bristol honoured with a Royal visit-The late Mr. John 1Frail-His graceful and patriotic speech-Lord Marcus Beresford rides the winner of the National Hunt Steeplechase in 1876-Purchase of Ambush-Ireland the birthplace of steeplechasing-The earliest record makes no mention of the winner of the historic match-Pedigree of Ambush - His sire also begat the celebrated flat-racer, Bendigo- Anmbush wins the Maiden Plate at Punchestown at four years old- 'akes part in the great race at Aintree in 1899, finishing seventh-He looks 'dried up' and 'stale'-'l'he following season the horse comes out 'like a giant refreshed '-And sets the seal on his fame by winning the Cross-Country Derby-W\ild enthusiasm of the multitude-Attempted assassination of His Royal Highness in Brussels four days later-Public horror changed to rejoicing-Ambush breaks down in training, . 155 xii CONTENTS CHAPTER VI SANDRINGHAM AND THE ROYAL STUD 'rhe Fen country between Ely and Wolferton-Suitable covert for alligators- The scene is changed as though by the wand of a fairy-Country around Sandriogham most picturesque-Ablaze with colour in the late summer -The Norfolk residence of His Majesty is only four miles from the sea -' The Wash '-Five parishes, with part of Dersingbam, form the Sand- ringham estate-WVell protected in the time of the Romans-A strong fortress mounted guard at Brancaster over the mouth of the Wash- Chain of hills running between Wolferton and Sandringham-Standing on Sandringham Heights-Infinite variety of the outlook-The only Royal deer-park existing in Norfolk in medireval days-John Vere, Earl of Oxford, was ranger of the Chase in the reign of Henry vil-Bluff King Hal 'swaps' the Chase and Castle Manor to the Duke of Norfolk -Evidence of John Jeffrey of Rising Castle, labourer-Dersingham in mediteval times an immense sheep tract-Its church, dating from the fourteenth century, remarkable for size and beauty-About the Great Bustard-Attempt to restore him in all his former glory-Beef or Bustards -Sandringhamii purchased for His Royal Highness at the time of his mirriage-O'iginal disposition of the estate-Lord Palmerston's suggestion-Determination to convert the mansion into a complete and attractive country seat-Principal entrance to the mansion-The Norwich gates made for the Great Exhibition of t862 from designs by Mr. Thomas Jekyll-A wedding-gift from the County of Norfolk and Corporation of Norwich-The shooting one of the most important features of Sandring- ham-The King an enthusiast in the sport-Partridges thrive better in Norfolk than elsewhere -The stud-farm-Unpretentious but compact -No crowding, and plenty of good pasture-The mares' boxes-Origill- ally devoted to Shorthorns and Shire horses-New boxes-Advantages of the old-fashioned thatch-The boxes for uitlander mares close to WVolferton station-Persimmon's quarters-Not the slightest risk of conveying infection- His Majesty's personal interest in his stud-farm- Lord Marcus Beresford exercises a careful supervision-Edmund Walker. the stud grooim-Formerly in charge of small stud of late Fred Archer Xiii THE KING'S RACEHORSES IAGF -The Sandringham stud card-Performances of mares when on the Turf-III-luck of Nonsuch-Worth of La Carolina, own sister to Energy, for breeding purposes-Laodamia, the best-looking in the world-Fan- chette, the oldest inhabitant of the boxes-Pierrette-The loss of Merrie Lassie a severe one-Fitzsimmons one of the Royal 'failures '-Better hick to Lauzun !-List of amounts won by descendants of St. Simon- Mammoth prizes - The 'Emperor of stallions' - Amounts won by descendants of Hermit-The Dailiy Telegraph on the King's thorough- bruls, . . 1 7 3 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS H.M. KING EDWARD VII. . Frontispiece LORD MARCUS BERESFORD . . . toface page lo GALOPIN . . . . . ,, 20 PERDITA 11. . . ,, 30 J. WATTS . . . 42 JOHN PORTER. . 52 M. CANNON . . . . ,, 62 RICHARD MARSH . . ,, 74 ST. SIMON . . ,, FLORIZEL 11. 92 PERSIMMON . . . . ,, 108 RACING STABLES, EGERTON HOUSE, NEWMARKET ,, 114 DIAMOND JUBILEE (H. JONES UP) I, 124 H. JONES 1.. . . . ,, 34 NADEJDA (PERDITA'S LAST FOAL) . ,, AMBUSH 11. (ANTHONY UP). . . ,, 56 STUD GROOM'S HOUSE, SANDRINGHAM. . 64 E. WALKER (STUD GROOM). . . . " 178 LAODAMIA AND FOAL . . . ,, 88 NUNSUCH AND FOAL . . . ,, 196 FACSIMILE: THE ROYAL STUD CARD FOR 1901 ,, i86 xv This page in the original text is blank. ROYALTY AND THE TURF 'The King's name is a tower of strength.' CHAPTER I ROYALTY AND THE TURF Sportsmanlike instincts of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales-His ancestor, the Prince Regent, as a Patron of the Turf-His jockey, Sam Chifney- Outspoken criticism on the part of Sir Charles Bunbury-Newmarket's loss Brighton's gain-The Pavilion in the olden time-Mr. Mellish lights the candle-The First Gentleman in Europe and his racing 'kit '-A little old Jew-King George [v. returns to the Turf-Purchase of the Colonel -Magnanimity of His Majesty towards Lord Chesterfield-A kind master and a true sportsman-Racing when the Second Henry w'as King -The Plantagenets encouraged the breed of horses on the higher standard-A layman, whose wife might wear a French bonnet, obliged, under a penalty, to keep a stone horse-Men ate oats, and horses bread and pease-pudding-Queen Elizabeth at Nonsuch Palace-Sporting pro- clivities of the Stuarts-' King Jamie' brings the Great Game from Bonnie Scotland-Passion of the Caledonians for horseracing and laying large wagers-The ' De Goncourt' Turf frauds-Admonitory law respect- ing farriers-The first Arabian horse known in England-The Duke of Newcastle's 'Treatise '-Mediocre galloping powers of the child of the desert-Shrewd but murderous methods of a former Asiatic Emperor- Making a certainty of it-Prompt decapitation of judge and jockeys- Heartrending fate of owner of winner-A possible 'get-out'-Special race- stands erected for the Shah on his visit to England-Racing in Hindustan -Ambition of rajahs to win the Viceroy's Cup-Natives in the saddle, at polo, and on the racecourse-Enthusiasm of the Bengali babu for the Great Game-Indifference of Gallant Little South Wakcs to the national sport-A nice new racecourse for Swansea neglected-Rhonnda Valley miners prefer scenery to steeplechasing-No more galloping down 3 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Swansea way-Racing a mere pretence during the disturbed reign of Charles L.-Clarendon's Histoiy of the Rek/lion-Meeting of Royalists on Banstead Downs-March to Reigate-Stand of the King's troops between Nonsuch Park and Kingston-on-Thames-Repulse of the Par- liamentary forces outside the King's Town-Samuel Pepys on racing- The Merry Monarch restores the former glories of the sport-The Abbe Pregnani foretells winners by the aid of the stars-Development of Epsom as a fashionable and sporting centre-George, Prince of Denmark, a votary of racing-Queen Anne encourages the sport in the North of England-Her Majesty's two greys, 'Pepper' and ' Mustard '-Act passed during the reign of George 11.-The Darley and Godolphin Arabians-Death of King George 111-and of King George Iv.-The Goodwood Cup of 1830-His Majesty William iv.'s horses are placed first, second, and third-King Edward vII.-A Frenchman's opinions- Royal characteristics-force of character-and 'confessions.' ' ,, 60 be neither unduly elated by success, g X nor dismayed by reverses, has al- N[7X1'- tv n ways been considered the first attribute of a good sportsman.' In these winged words did His _ Most Gracious Majesty sum up the situation, as Prince of Wales, nearly twenty years ago, after a noble owner of racehorses had been bewailing his own lack of success on the Turf. George iv., when Prince Regent, held equally sports- manlike opinions. Passionately attached to horse-racing, His Royal Highness had not to wait nearly as long as 4 ROYALTY AND THE TURF his grand-nephew has done before carrying off the ' Blue Ribbon of the Turf'; for we gather from the Racing Calendar that, in 1788, the Prince's Sir Thomas, by Pontac, ridden by W. South, was successful in the Derby, defeating ten opponents. At this time the Prince Regent was only in his twenty-sixth year-less than half the age attained by the royal owner of Persimmon on the day on which the 'purple and scarlet' jacket was vic- torious in the great racing prize of the year 1896. And although three years after winning the Derby the Prince Regent quitted the Turf in disgust, owing to what is historically known as 'the Escape scandal '-a horse named Escape, the Prince's property, was alleged to have been 'pulled' by his jockey in a race at Newmarket-it has been truthfully chronicled that the conduct of the First Gentleman in Europe with reference to the matter was straightforward and sportsmanlike from first to last. Rather than sacrifice his servant, the accused jockey, Sam Chifney, the Prince behaved like a prince and a man, and gave up temporarily his favourite amusement. He told Chifney he should not be likely to keep race- horses again; 'but if ever I do,' he added, 'Sam Chifney, you shall train and manage them. You shall have two hundred guineas a year all the same. I cannot 5 THE KING'S RACEHORSES give it you for your life, I can only give it you for my own. You have been a good and honest servant to me.' Early next year, the Prince Regent's racing stud was brought to the hammer, but though he ceased to run horses of his own he did not by any means lose his interest in the sport. He had determined not to visit Newmarket Heath again-after the outspoken utterances of Sir Charles Bunbury, a Steward of the Jockey Club, on the conduct of Chifney, the Royal jockey-and he kept his word. From that time until the day of his death he only once viewed the Heath, with its ghostly-white posts and rubbing-houses, from the London Road, as he swept past in his barouche, after sleeping all night at the Palace, in Mr. Douglas's time, on his return from a visit to Holkham. But Newmarket's loss was Brighton's gain. The well-known Tom Raikes, in his diary, gives a graphic description of Brighton on a race morning, when the Prince was in his meridian, and the ground was covered with 'tandems, beautiful women, and light hussars.' ' In those days,' writes the diarist, 'the Prince made Brighton and Lewes Races the gayest scene of the year in England. The Pavilion was full of guests, and the Steyne was crowded with all the rank and fashion from 6 ROYALTY AND THE TURF London. The "legs" and bettors, who had arrived in shoals, used to assemble on the Steyne at an early hour, to commence their operations on the first day, and the buzz was tremendous, till Lord Foley, and Mellish, the two great confederates of that day, would approach the ring, and then a sudden silence ensued, to await the opening of their books. They would come on, perhaps, smiling, but mysteriously, without making any demonstration. At last Mr. Jerry Cloves'- presumably the principal bookmaker of the period- 'would say, "Come, Mr. Mellish, will you light the candle and set us a-going" Then, if the master of Buckle would say, " I'll take 3 to X about Sir Solomon," the whole pack opened, and the air resounded with every shade of odds and betting. About half an hour before the departure for the hill, the Prince himself would make his appearance in the crowd. I think I see him now in a green jacket, a white hat, and light nankeen pantaloons and shoes, distinguished by his high-bred manner and handsome person.' The appearance of such a costume on the racecourse, or at Brighton, would hardly be appreciated by a modern crowd, inured to simplicity, and even severity, in the attire of mankind. 7 THE KING'S RACEHORSES 'He was generally accompanied,' continues that genial gossip, Mr. Raikes, 'by the late Duke of Bedford, Lord Jersey, Charles Wyndham, Shelley, Brummell, M, Day, Churchill, and ohl-extraordinary anomaly-the little old Jew, Travis, who, like the dwarf of old, followed in the train of Royalty. The Downs were soon covered with every species of conveyance, and the Prince's German waggon and six bay horses (so were barouches called when first introduced at that time)-the coachman on the box being replaced by Sir John Lade-issued out of the gates of the Pavilion, and gliding up the green ascent was stationed close to the Grand Stand, where it remained the centre of attraction for the day. At dinner-time the Pavilion was resplendent with lights, and a sumptuous banquet was furnished to a large party; while those who were not included in the invitation found a dinner, with every luxury, at the Club-house on the Steyne, kept by Raggett during the season, for the different members of White's and Brookes's who chose to frequent it, and where the cards and dice from St. James's were not forgotten.' In i826, six years after his accession to the throne, George iv. returned to the Turf, and, faithful to his 8 ROYALTY AND THE TURF promise, renewed his acquaintance with the Chifney family, two of whom were promptly retained to train and ride for His Majesty. Once fairly started, the King entered into the sport with as much interest as ever. The Colonel, purchased from the Honourable E. Petre, after running a dead heat with Cadland for the Derby of 1828, cost 4000 guineas, a large price for a horse at that period; but money was no object when the King was determined to win the Ascot Gold Cup. This was in the following year, and Zinganee was destined to foil the Royal ambition. Lord Chesterfield, who had made an offer for this horse after he had won the Oatlands Stakes on the previous Tuesday, not only mentioned the negotiation to King George that evening, but gracefully, and loyally, expressed his readiness to break it off, in order not to be in any way the instrument of depriving His Majesty of a trophy on which he had evidently set his heart. 'My dear Chesterfield,' was the frank, jovial answer, 'buy Zinganee, by all means; if you don't beat me with him, Gully will; I don't mind being beaten by you I' Such sportsmanlike and magnanimous sentiments foreshadowed those of his grand-nephew Edward vii., 9 B THE KING'S RACEHORSES in more refined and (let us hope) better times; but the great and gallant principle, noblesse oblige, is not for an age but for all time. George iv. afterwards bought Zinganee from Lord Chesterfield for 2500 guineas. But the horse was past his prime, and no good afterwards, although he carried the Royal colours for the Ascot Cup in 1830, coming in a 'bad last.' At that time the King was on his deathbed. But the ruling passion was so strong, that he despatched his factotum, 'Jack' Ratford, specially to Ascot, charging him to come back express with the result, immediately the race for the Cup had been run. The love of the sport was with him to the very last; hence, despite his faults, turfites still retain much affection for that Royal memory. Indeed, his connexion with the Turf is a relationship in which the character of George iv. stands out framed in a bright and pleasant setting; for when engaged in the national sport he was always seen at his best, jovial, frank, good-natured, fascinating-a kind master, and a true sportsman. It is not the intention of the writer to give, in these pages, a history of the British Turf, from Chapter i. Early horseracing can have been interesting only on account of the paucity of any other form of sport in 10 LORD MARCUS BERESFORD This page in the original text is blank. LORD MARCUS BERESFORD I 11` A This page in the original text is blank. ROYALTY AND THE TURF those days. The Ancient Britons were, probably, even more easily amused than were the friends of Mr. Magnus, casually mentioned in the pages of Pickwick. The first information we have as to the existence of racing in this country dates from the reign of Henry II. But there was no Derby Day at that period, and but little enthusiasm over the result of any race. The accursed spirit of gambling-of dispossessing each other of his, or her, savings had not then invaded the public mind; in fact, the chroniclers of the time are, probably, not deserving of blame for leaving no record of racing during that period-A.D. 1 154-I 18-when Henry Plantagenet held the reins; for that monarch had so much warfare and domestic misery-not to mention the martyred Thomas A'Beckett-on hand, that pastime of any description but rarely occurred. In good truth, racing did not flourish in England before the seventeenth century. Neither Henry vii. nor Henry viii. favoured the sport-even if they knew anything about it, which is more than doubtful -although during their respective reigns several Acts of Parliament were framed for the better encourage- ment of the breed of horses, more particularly to pre- vent their exportation to Scotland and elsewhere. II THE KING'S RACEHORSES There is an entry in the Lords' Journal, June 15, I540- 'At length the bill is read this day, for encouraging the breed of horses, of a larger stature, and despatched with unanimous consent, and without a dissenting voice.' The first law of King Henry viii. on this subject directed that every brood-mare should be at least four- teen hands high; and the magistrates to whose care the execution of this law was intrusted were empowered to scour the wastes and commons at Michaelmas, and put to death all stallions under the height specified by the Act, and all mares of insufficient size for breeding purposes. In this reign regulations were made to adapt and compel the breeding of horses upon a scale of rank and circumstance. Every archbishop and duke was obliged, under certain penalties, to keep 'seven trotting stone horses for the saddle, each to be fourteen hands high, and of the age of three years.' A graduated scale was set forth for other ranks, downwards, with every minute direction; amongst which we find that each person having a benefice to the amount of ioo a year, or a layman whose wife should wear any French 12 ROYALTY AND THE TURF hood or velvet bonnet, was obliged, under a penalty of 20, to keep 'one trottynge stone horse'; and all persons having parks, or proper enclosures, were directed to keep at least two brood-mares. 'The fostering and scrutinising care of this Parlia- ment,' observes Lawrence the historian, 'extended even to the bread the animals ate.' Concerning which matter certain regulations were made. For in those days, whilst the peasants staved off the pangs of hunger with the meal of oats, primitively ground, and stony cakes of rye, of different shades of blackness, horses were fed on baked wheaten bread, and pease were also much used; a fact which reminds us that granm-a pulse re- sembling the pea, dried-forms the staple food, as a substitute for oats, of the noble animal in Hindustan. But it requires to be well soaked before presented to the horse; otherwise the swelling of the pulse would take place in his interior. Queen Elizabeth did not patronise the Turf; but there is still standing, held together by many yards of barbed wire, some of the bark of 'Elizabeth's elm' in Nonsuch Park, under which tree Her Majesty is said to have taken up a position, on hunting days, to watch the chase of the stag. Her relative Queen Mary was 13 THE KING'S RACEHORSES chiefly occupied in the hunting of men and women who professed or practised the 'new religion '; in fact, until the accession of the Stuart dynasty the sport of kings does not appear to have had any proper consideration in Great Britain. That the Stuarts had sporting instincts, more or less developed, is certain. James i. of England-formerly James vi. of Scotland, and more familiarly known as ' King Jamie'-made Newmarket the fashion for testing the speed and endurance of the noble animal; and it was in his reign that we first find that 'scientific, accurate, and satisfactory trials, of the horses carrying stated weights, over measured and even ground,' took place. 'King Jamie,' indeed, brought with him from Scotland a strong predilection for the Turf, which must have prevailed to a considerable degree in that country, for during his reign there, before his accession to the throne of England, it was deemed necessary to restrain, by an express law, the passion of the Scots for horse- racing, and laying large bets on the events. By this law no person was permitted to win-whether daily or annually the writer cannot discover-more than loo marks; the surplus being declared the property of the poor. And even at this much later date it is doubtful '4 ROYALTY AND THE TURF whether the alleged 'cannie' nation has lost its taste for gambling. At all events, during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, at the time of the exposure of the 'De Goncourt Turf Frauds,' the majority of the letters seized by the police, and addressed to the par- ticipators in the profits of those frauds, undoubtedly came from the land of cakes and whisky. The following singular and admonitory law respect- ing farriers was in force in Scotland long before the reign of 'King Jamie.' It was enacted that every farrier who, in shoeing, pricked a horse's foot, through ignorance or drunkenness, should deposit the price or value of the horse, until he became sound, and in the interim furnish the owner with another horse. It was also enacted that in the event of the pricked horse not being cured the owner should be indemnified by the farrier. The fact is not stated, but may be assumed, that the trade of a blacksmith was not a particularly popular one, to which to apprentice the young, at that period. It is further recorded that a jockey in the employment of James i. purchased the first Arabian known as such in England, from a Mr. Markham (was he a descendant of our old friend Gervase ), a merchant, at the price '5 THE KING'S RACEHORSES of 5OO. The Duke of Newcastle, in his 'Treatise,' written some years afterwards, describes this Arab as a little bay horse of ordinary shape, and declares that he was good for nothing; because, having been trained and started, he could not race, but was beaten by every horse that ran against him. Yet it was not till near the close of the nineteenth century that it began to dawn upon the 'talent' in England that the Arab was no good for racing except amongst his relatives of the desert. As a charger he is nearly all that can be desired, and as a mount for a wild-boar hunt-com- monly called 'pigsticking'-he is facile hrinceps, but do not, oh I do not race him for pleasure or gain, gentle reader, except with his own class. There is a story-which it is to be hoped is not true, and probably is not-told of a former Emperor in Central Asia, who discovered a simple method of enriching himself whilst posing, at the same time, as a sportsman. Our own rulers of the past, the Planta- genets, had three methods of replenishing an im- poverished exchequer. First they would despoil the Church of the day; then the Barons had to bestow much of their abundance upon their monarch; and, thirdly, the fair land of France was invaded. But the i6 ROYALTY AND THE TURF methods of this Eastern potentate are said to have been much simpler. He fostered the playing of the 'Great Game,' and was a most enthusiastic votary thereof himself. And it paid him. One can hardly imagine that the system encouraged the breed of horses, or men either, in that district; but it was a simple way of 'raising the wind.' When any racing took place- the frequency of which depended entirely upon circum- stances-horses belonging to the Emperor usually won every race. And as the jockey was a slave, and the officials paid for their posts to the monarch's treasurer, no deductions had to be made from the royal winnings. But occasionally a strange thing, a sad accident, hap- pened. The Royal horse might not be at his best; or the bridle of one of his opponents might break; and the Royal horse might succumb, after looking all over a winner. Then there was amusement-for those not immediately concerned in the incident. The judge, the jockey of the winner, and the Emperor's jockey, were promptly decapitated; all the goods of the acting stewards of the meeting were confiscated; and as for the ill-starred owner of the winner, a lingering death was his portion, after the torture. The only way in which he could escape death was to sell all that he c 1 7 THE KING'S RACEHORSES had, to lay the realisation at the monarch's feet, and to submit to the deprivation of both ears. But, as observed above, this anecdote is not to be implicitly believed. The Shah of Persia, who visited England late in the last century, took very kindly to the sport of kings; and special stands-since devoted to the use of Royalty, or, in its absence, to that of the stewards-were erected for his accommodation. But no Eastern nation has 'enthused' more over horseracing than the more cultured inhabitants of the great continent of Hindustan. Most natives of that great country ride-something, from an elephant to a diminutive tat; until they get too obese for any other form of locomotion than that of the ekka, the pa/ki, or the glkarri. The native rajahs and princes, most of them, take a deep interest in trials of speed and endurance amongst horses; the summit of their ambition being to wvin the Viceroy's Cup at Calcutta. For this purpose they import, through agents, racehorses from Australia and England; and British-bred ones usually require at least a year in which to acclimatise; whilst some of these become worthless for racing purposes under the changed con- ditions of life. A few of the younger rajahs are not i8 ROYALTY AND THE TURF only enthusiastic and accomplished players at Polo- a game which we learned from the Sikhs, who got it from the Rajputs-but can ride a race with all the nerve, patience, and talent of a Cannon or a Maher. And the groundlings I One of the most picturesque crowds to be seen anywhere is furnished by the myriads of coloured gentlemen, of all creeds, who throng the maidan at Calcutta, at race-times. And in this respect the gorgeous East compares favourably with some of the more important centres of gallant little South Wales. The writer was present at the opening of a race- course, one August bank-holiday, close to Swansea. A big 'gate' was anticipated; but the miners of the district would have none of the racing. Instead of mounting the hill leading to the course, they went, in their tens of thousands, by the steam tramway to ' Mumble's Head,' a picturesque spot, on the borders of the Bristol Channel, with which they must all have been very well acquainted. And since that bank- holiday there has been no more racing near Swansea. But to return to our Stuarts. The following extract from Clarendon's History of the Rebellion will show that during the troubles of the unfortunate Charles i. 19 THE KING'S RACEHORSES races upon Epsom Downs were viewed as no uncommon occurrence. The extract is long, but is of great interest, so it is given here in its entirety, and it shows that horses were collected for the Royalist forces under the pretence of racing. 'Soon after the meeting, which was held at Guild- ford, i8th May 1648, to address the two Houses of Parliament, that the King, their only lawful sovereign, might be restored to his due honours, and might come to his parliament for a personal treaty, etc.-a meeting of the Royalists was held on Banstead (Epsom) Downs, under the pretence of a horse-race, and six hundred horses were collected and marched to Reigate. 'Sir Michael Levesey, who commanded a regiment of horse, having an intimation of their intention, sent Major Audeley from Hounslow, with three troops of his own regiment, to prevent the meeting, and take possession of Lord Monson's castle, at Reigate; but they were too late, and the Royalists arrived at Reigate before them. Audeley beat off their guard from Red Hill, a place about a mile east of the town; and when the Royalists marched out to meet him, neither party chose to begin the encounter, Audeley confessing that he thought 20 z 0 This page in the original text is blank. z 0 This page in the original text is blank. ROYALTY AND THE TURF them too strong for him; and he, therefore, sent for Sir Michael Levesey and Major Gibbons, to speed with all the force they could. 'It seems that Audeley rested on Red Hill, and the Royalists left Reigate and marched to Dorking without knowing of their motions; for Major Gibbons, arriving that night at Reigate with his own troop and two of Colonel Rich's, found neither friends nor enemies there. 'In the meantime the Royalists, being informed that the parliamentary forces had not entered the town, went the next morning with no intention to occupy it, but finding this additional force they marched for Kingston. About two hours afterwards the parliament's forces, which then consisted of five troops of horse, and three of foot from Levesey's regiment, two troops of Rich's, and Major Gibbons' own troops, marched from Red Hill in pursuit of them, Sir Michael himself being at their head. 'They made such speed that the horse overtook the Royalists before they reached Ewell, in which place there was a small skirmish; and six horsemen of the latter were taken prisoners, and some more near Nonsuch Park. 'On a hill, in the midway between Nonsuch and 21 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Kingston, the Royalists drew up and faced their pur- suers, but neither side began the attack; Levesey waiting for his rear division of horse. ' By way of prelude, however, each sent out some single men, wvho, says Audeley, played valiantly. At length a cornet in Rich's troop, with fifty horse, began the onset, and being followed by Gibbons and the rest of the divisions, the Royalists, after a gallant defence, and as sharp a charge as I ever saw in these unhappy wars, were routed; but they event on to Kingston in such good order, and having sent their foot on before, that the parliament's forces were repulsed at the entrance to the town.' There auras far too much plotting and counterplotting during the reign of the ill-starred Charles i. for sport of any kind to flourish; and the speed of a horse was used for purposes of charging, chasing, or being chased by, a fellow-countryman, rather than for purposes of gain. The Merry Monarch, soon after his restoration, re-established the races at Newmarket, which had been instituted by James i., but which had become dis- established since the death of that monarch. During the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, it is hardly neces- sary to call attention to the fact that all sports and 22 ROYALTY AND THE TURF pastimes were severely let alone; it being a crime, indeed, in the eyes of the powerful for a man to wvear a smiling face and anything approaching to gay clothing. It was Charles II. who divided such racing as the little town of Newmarket was ripe for into meetings, and substituted, both there and at other places, silver cups or bowls, of the value of one hundred pounds apiece, for the Royal gift of the ancient bells, which were in consequence generally dropped, both in name and effect. According to tradition, the Merry Monarch and James Duke of Monmouth thought a great deal of a certain ,system' for 'finding' race-wvinners by the aid of astronomy, in which art the Abb6 Pregnani, a secret agent of Louis xiv. at the Court of St. James, was a proficient. It wvas during the reign of Charles ii. that the little town of Epsom developed into a fashionable centre, owing to the discovery of a natural spring of parti- cularly nasty wvater, which it became obligatory upon all and sundry to imbibe in order to be considered of any importance in the gay world. The Monarch stayed here periodically, and in the intervals between scandal and scouring-water there was racing on the hill above, pretty generally miscalled, in the chronicles of the time, 23 THE KING'S RACEHORSES 'Banstead' Downs, although Banstead Downs are nearly two miles from the old racecourse, which, owing to the natural features of Epsom Downs, is still used to gallop over at race-time. But according to that indefatigable diarist and gossip, Samuel Pepys, man-racing was, at the time, just as fashionable as were equine contests. At that period it was customary for the nobility and aristocracy to keep their lacqueys in active training, both on and off duty. The running footman was frequently used by his employer as an instrument of gaming. And Pepys supplies the following informa- tion about a 'famous race' which he once saw:- ,The towne-talke this day is of nothing but the foote-race run this day on Banstead Downes, between Lee, the Duke of Richmond's footman, and a tyler, a famous runner. And Lee hath beat him; though the King and Duke of York and all men instead did bet three or four to one on the tyler's head.' On another occasion, a race at which Pepys had in- tended to assist was postponed ' because the Lords do sit in Parliament to-day.' Two centuries later it was the Parliament which was postponed. Horse-racing on Epsom Downs, in the olden time, took place in the morning; and after an adjournment 24 ROYALTY AND THE TURF to dinner, in the town below, sport was resumed in the afternoon, when cudgel-playing, wrestling, and foot- races were exhibited, with various other pastimes- including the catching of a soaped pig by the tail, the evenings being spent in kettledrums, routs, and card-parties. To quote Pepys once more, he further records in his Diary that in July 1663 he intended to go see a great horse-race, but being prevented by official duties he sent his servant 'Will, instead, to Banstead Downes.' Such a vicarious method of enjoying the sport of kings would hardly commend itself to the Government servant of to-day. William iii., 'the little Dutchman,' though not fond of the Turf, paid much attention to the breed of horses for martial purposes; and in his reign some of the most celebrated stallions were imported. George, Prince of Denmark, was a great amateur of horse-racing. He obtained from his royal consort, the apparently dull and plethoric Queen Anne, grants of royal plates for several places, amongst which, how- ever, Epsom is not mentioned. These plates were, in fact, given for the most part to meetings held in the North of England; and some historians give the credit for sporting instincts to the Queen rather than to the 25 1) THE KING'S RACEHORSES Prince of Denmark. She seldom won a race, but two greys of hers, quaintly named ' Pepper' and 'Mustard,' were each 'placed,' in 1712 and I713 re- spectively, for the York Cup. In the following year, on the very day that her Star won this valuable trophy, Her Majesty was seized with apoplexy, remaining un- conscious for forty-eight hours before her death. So poor Queen Anne did not derive much tangible or intellectual benefit from the pastime of monarchs. King George i. has not been handed down to the memory of posterity as a sporting character; but to- wards the latter end of his reign the change of the royal plates into purses of one hundred guineas each took place. In the thirteenth year of the reign of George xi. an Act, cap. 19, was passed, 'to restrain and prevent the excessive increase of horse-racing.' But for the fact that the Parliament of to-day cares for none of these things, a similar Act would be probably passed by them, with advantage to the sport. By the Act of George xx., after reciting 'that the great number of horse-races for small plates, prizes, or sums of money, had contributed very much to the encouragement of idleness, to the impoverishment of many of the meaner 26 ROYALTY AND THE TURF sort of the subjects of this kingdom, and to the pre- judice of the breed of strong and useful horses,' it was enacted that no persons should, thenceforth, enter and start more than one horse, mare, or gelding, for one and the same plate, prize, or sum of money. And that no plate or prize of a less value than 50 should be run for, under a penalty of 200. It was also by the same Act further laid down that at every such race, for a plate or prize of the value of ,45o and upwards, each horse, if five years old, should carry ten stone; if six years old, eleven stone; and if seven years old, twelve stone; and that the owner of any horse carrying less than the specified weight should forfeit his horse, and pay the penalty of 200- penalties which smack of Central Asia, in the good old times. At this period there were many capital thorough- bred stallions in England, the most celebrated of which were the famed Arabians Darley and Godolphin, from whom the best horses have been traced for a consider- able period. 'They produced stock of vast size, bone, and substance; and were, at the same time, endowed with such extraordinary, and before unheard of, powers of speed, as to render it probable that some of them 27 THE KING'S RACEHORSES have reached nature's goal, or ultimate point of perfec- tion.' Thus a chronicler of the period. From the Darley Arabian descended Flying Childers, vho is said never to have run in a race except at Newmarket, where he beat, with ease, the best horses of his time. ' In October 1722,' mentions the same historian, 'he beat Lord Drogheda's Chaunter, each carrying ten stone, over a six-mile course, for iooo guineas. At six years of age he ran a race, carrying nine stone two pounds, against Almanzor and Brown Betty, over the round course at Newmarket-three miles, six furlongs, and ninety-three yards-in six minutes and forty seconds; to perform which he must have moved eighty- two feet and a half in a second of time, or at the rate of nearly one mile in a minute. This is the greatest speed yet known of a horse. Many have approached, but not equalled it. The bay Malton, the property of the late Marquis of Rockingham, in 1763 ran at York four miles in seven minutes and forty-three seconds and a half.' Without wishing to pose as an habitual unbeliever, the writer may record his opinion here that the above alleged records are fairy-tales of the flimsiest and most 28 ROYALTY AND THE TURF misleading description. In the eighteenth century timing the speed of horses-or 'clocking,' as it is called to-day-was in its infancy. Over the Row- ley Mile at Newmarket, Persimmon or Diamond Jubilee would have 'lost' such a horse as Flying Childers. During the first half of the nineteenth century there seems to have been much indecent haste displayed in abbreviating the period of mourning for the Sovereign. King George the Third died January 29, i820, and the coronation of George the Fourth took place on July ic of the following year. At the period of his accession to the throne George the Fourth did not own any racehorses. He died on June 26, 1830, which was Saturday, and we find that races were run at Lancaster and Newcastle on the following Tuesday, and at Wells and Ludlow on the succeeding days; in fact, the death of the King does not seem to have made any difference. Within six weeks of the death of George the Fourth we find his successor running horses in his own name at Goodwood; and as showing that the period of mourn- ing was not long, we take the following from the Racing Calendar 29 THE KING'S RACEHORSES 'GOODWOOD, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST ii, 1830. THE GOLD CUP, value 300 sovereigns, and the surplus in specie. A subscription of 20 sovereigns each with Zioo added by the city of Chichester. Once round. (38 subscriptions.) His Majesty's b. m. Fleur-de-Lis, by Bourbon, aged, 9 st. 9 lb., . . . G. Nelson x His Majesty's b. h. Zinganee, 5 yrs., 9 st. io lb., J. Day 2 His Majesty's ch. h. The Colonel, 5 yrs., lo st., Pavis 3 Lord Exeter's b. f. Green Mantle, 4 yrs., 9 st. 3 lb., . 4 Mr. Grant's b. f. Lady Emily, 4 yrs., 8 st. 13 lb., . 5 The Duke of Richmond's b. f. Refuge, 3 yrs., 7 St. 1o lb., 6 Lord Jersey's b. g. Glenartney, 6 yrs., 9 st. 9 lb., . 7 Mr. Ridsdale's br. c. Tranby, 4 yrs., 9 st. 3 lb., . . 8 Duke of Richmond's b. c. Hindoo, 4 yrs., 9 st. 3 lb., . 9 ' Betting-3 to x against Zinganee, 7 to 2 against Fleur-de- Lis, 1l to 2 against Hindoo, 7 to I each against Lady Emily and Glenartney, and io to x each against The Colonel and Green Mantle.' Apart from the fact that the king ran first, second, and third with horses that two months before had run at Ascot for George iv., the race was a most extraordinary one. Green Mantle, for instance, won the Oaks, and Glenartney, it was said, would have won the Derby but 30 F- ca H This page in the original text is blank. H w This page in the original text is blank. ROYALTY AND THE TURF for the strength of his bridle. He was second to Mameluke, who was his stable-companion, in the race. Lord Jersey refused 5000 guineas for Glenartney, when he accepted Mr. Gully's offer of 4000 guineas for Mame- luke. Perhaps the most extraordinary horse in the Goodwood Cup, however, was Tranby, who was ridden most frequently by Squire Osbaldestone in his great match against time, when he covered two hundred miles on Newmarket Heath in seven hours nineteen minutes, and in bad weather. Each horse was ridden four miles, and he got on the back of Tranby four times. He did the sixteen miles in thirty-three minutes fifteen seconds, and this so dazzled the imagination of the Americans that he was at once secured for that country. On the death of William iv. the royal stud was brought to the hammer, and secured mostly by the Prussian Govern- ment. The brood-mares fetched 9568 guineas, the foals 2580 guineas, and the sires 3541 guineas-total 15,692 guineas. Persimmon alone is worth twice what this famous stud, which consisted of many lots, sold for. The top lot of the sale was The Colonel, who fetched 1550 guineas, Mr. Tattersall buying him on his own account. William the Fourth died on June 20, 1837. The day after his death the Northumberland Plate 31 THE KING'S RACEHORSES was run as usual, and won by the Duke of Cleveland with Wedge. Other owners who ran horses on that or following days were Sir W. Scott, Lord Eglinton, Mr. Merry, Mr. Orde, Mr. Jaques, and Colonel Thomp- son. As was the case in 1830, the death of the king made no difference whatever, and the races were run as usual. We do not betray such indecent, savage haste nowadays; and the proposal to hold a race-meeting within a month of the death of our well-beloved and revered Queen Victoria would have been resented as an outrage by each individual member of her bereaved and sorrowing subjects. And this brings us to King Edward vii., a monarch who, whilst possessing much of the simplicity of demeanour of his lamented mother, has with it all the force of character and intuitive knowledge of the right path to pursue, under all circumstances, which be- longed to his father, Albert Augustus, Prince of Coburg and Gotha, more generally known as 'Albert the Good.' Here it may be of interest to quote from the notes of a distinguished Frenchman, made when on a visit to the Royal stud-farm at Sandringham:- 'On sait quel a tdt au sicle dernier le r6le du duc 32 ROYALTY AND THE TURF de Cumberland, l'eleveur d'Herod et d'Eclipse, et le fondateur d'Ascot, et celui du prince de Galles-qui fut plus tard George iv.-qui gagnait le Derby de 1788 avec Sir Thomas; son fr&e, le roi Guillaume iv. a &d l'un des principaux " patrons du turf "; enfin, le prince Albert s'est toujours applique a favoriser par tous les moyens en son pouvoir lindustrie chevaline a laquelle il s'int&- ressait d'une maniere toute particulire. ' II est des lors tout naturel, que, fidele aux traditions et aux gofts de ces ancetres, son fils ait toujours aime tout ce qui touche au cheval. Aprouvant, instinctive- ment en quelque sorte, un goift naturel pour tous les sports dans ce pays of le sport est si fort en honneur, le turf devait forcdment l'attirer d'une maniere toute speciale, et c'est le turf qui devait lui donner l'une des plus profondes jouissances, l'une des plus grandes emotions qu'il ait jamais eprouvees.' It has been stated in a weekly newspaper, under date February 2, 19Io, that the following details of the then Prince of Wales's likes and dislikes were written some years before in the 'Confessional Album' of his eldest daughter, H.R.H. the Duchess of Fife; and it is hoped and believed that no disrespect is shown in republishing this confession at the end of this chapter:- E 33 THE KING'S RACEHORSES 'I am happiest when I have no public engagements to fulfil. When I can smoke a really good cigar and read (must I confess it) a good novel on the quiet. When I can, like plain Mr. Jones, go to a race-meeting without it being chronicled in the papers next day that "His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has taken to gambling very seriously, and yesterday lost more money than ever he can afford to pay." When I can shake hands with and talk to Sir Edward Clarke without it being rumoured that "the Prince of Wales is violently opposed to the present war." When I can spend a quiet evening at home with the princess and my family. I am unhappiest when I have a raging toothache, and have to attend some social function, where I must smile as pleasantly as though I never had a pain in my life.' SOME EARLY FAVOURITES Again the conflict they renew, Each noble heart is beating true, Each spirit scorns to yield; And head to head, and side by side, They pass the chair with equal stride, Before the broken field. So close, so desperate the strife, I cannot tell, for very life, The noble winner's name. So long they fought, so grandly well, Imperishably each shall dwell Upon the scroll of Fame.' CHAPTER II SOME EARLY FAVOURITES 'Festina lente '-Wisely and slow-A policy of moderation and patience-His Majesty as a sportsman, ashore and afloat-Erroneous and one-sided ideas of the Puritan on the subject of recreation-It is possible to own racehorses and yet keep unspotted from the world- The late Lord Chief-Justice defends horse-racing-The morale of the Turf at the commencement and end of the nineteenth century-Racing conducted under theatrical circumstances-The 'tout' an ubiquitous institution-The Leviathan bookmaker missing from the scene-Means of information open to the general public-The registration of the Royal racing-colours-Their first wearer-Captain 'Wenty' Hope Johnstone steers Leonidas to victory at Aldershot-'Fog' Rowlands of Pit Place-Alep, the Arab, is well beaten by Lord Strathnairn's Avowal at Newmarket-A chat about Pit Place-Lord Lyttelton's strange vision, and sudden death, as foretold-John Jones trains for His Royal Highness-Lord Marcus Beresford the guide, philosopher, and friend-The Scot and the Grand National Steeplechase-Volup- tuary wins the race nightly at the national theatre, Drury Lane- Hohenlinden wins the Grand Military Gold Cup-' Roddy' Owen- Magic does yeoman's service for His Royal Highness-The Prince determines to keep a few flat-racers-John Porter of Kingsclere, Hants -A chat about Ormonde-The pony upon which the sons and daughters of the Prince of Wales were taught to ride-Death of Counterpane from heart disease on Stockbridge racecourse-The late Sir James Mackenzie and The Imp-The Jubilee Handicap at Kempton Park-First visit of the Prince to Kingsclere-Derby trial of Sir 37 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Frederick Johnstone's St. Blaise-Getting to windward of the New Journalists-His Royal Highness lunches at Park House-Delight- ful privacy of Kingsclere and its Downs-King Alfred's will-King John's Hill-Summary of races won for the Prince by horses trained by John Porter-Moderate winning score for 1889-Pierrette wins three races in 1890-Perdita's first foal-In i8gi the Royal luck begins to mend-Barracoutta, Perdita's second foal, wins the Champion Breeders' Foal Plate at Derby-The Royal horses leave Kingsclere for Egerton House, Newmarket, at the end of 1892-Mutual regrets at parting. n 4SESTINA LENTE' has been the motto of our gracious King A throughout his experience as an owner of thoroughbred horses. Nothing has ever been further "- - o -""-" from the desire of the Sovereign than to be accounted a 'racing man ' in any sense of the phrase; one who, in the utterances of modern Pharisees and Puritans, is summed up as an inveterate and a reckless gamester, an 'habitual follower of the Turf.' The national sport, throughout its history, has attracted no votary who has approached it so cautiously, or played the game so judiciously, for the sport alone, and with no thoughts of gain or self-aggrandisement. Nobksse oblige I As a living exemplification of a sports- man -whether as a game-shot, in the hunting-field, 38 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES yachting, or on the racecourse-His Majesty has from his earliest experience stood alone. And although it has been written that the Turf levels all above as well as below it, this is a sweeping statement which it is very easy to qualify, or even to refute altogether. Although the modern Puritan may affect to class horse-racing as the most obnoxious and pernicious of all recreations, the ideas of the modern Puritan on the subject of recreation in the abstract are entitled to no considera- tion whatever, being based upon prejudice, selfishness, narrow-mindedness, and an affectation which regards life for everybody but himself from its gloomiest point of view. The national sport needs no defence from any historian; whilst many other people, in the pos- session of free souls and unfettered consciences, are well aware that it is quite possible to own racehorses and yet keep oneself unspotted from the world, in charity with all men, and respected by those whose respect is worth the having. There has probably never lived a man of stricter principles, nor with a more devout belief in the solid truths of religion, than the late Lord Russell of Killowen, Lord Chief-Justice of England; and he laid it down, as solemnly as he could give utterance to the principle, that 'there is nothing 39 THE KING'S RACEHORSES in the study of horse-racing which is incompatible with the character of a Christian.' The Field newspaper, in an article published at the close of the year igo9, calls attention to the contrast between the morale of the Turf at the beginning and at the end of the nineteenth century. Although the writer by no means agrees with the decking of our national sport with the pomps and circumstances of a theatrical performance, the article may be quoted in extenso:- 'It would be a pleasant thing for all concerned if racing could be conducted with the circumstances that attend our theatrical performances. There are some optimistic enough to look forward to a state of things so desirable, pointing out that the way they race in France is not far removed from such a realisation. But France is not England. The French are not a horsy nation, and, as now constituted, promise never to be. In the Paris streets no one talks horse, as is universal in London, where every tavern has its quota of tipsters, on one side of the bar or the other. The horse enters more into the nature of the Englishman, who either has a natural affection for it, or, having it not, feels it incumbent upon him to assume the 40 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES passion. Thus the Frenchman-and Frenchwoman, let it not be forgotten-goes to Auteuil, Longchamps, or elsewhere, in tens of thousands, to bet by means of the pari mu/tel with the least possible approach to the emotion which agitates English people. In France racing as a national sport is a comparatively new thing; with us it is centuries old; so before new ways can be adopted the old ones must be abandoned. Disreputable as are some of the practices connected with racing of to-day, there can be no question that the end of the nineteenth century marked a state of things so infinitely superior to those prevailing at its commencement as to make comparison impossible. For the purpose of contrast we should prefer a more recent period, commencing, say, between forty and fifty years ago. Many of the thousands now affecting racecourses have no cognisance whatever of those times, nor do the several chronicles relating to the period that have seen the light afford the information, since it is not of a nature that may be put into type, the law of libel being what it is. Even now the bookmaker is a power in the world he inhabits; then he was a law unto himself. The amassing of a for- tune was merely a question of supply in the matter 41 F THE KING'S RACEHORSES of victims, and the extent of their complaisance. In those days the tout had not become an ubiquitous institution, and "stiff-'uns" and "dead meat " played an all-important part in the operations of Leviathan book- makers. Nowadays there are no more Leviathans; the tout has eradicated him; and it will be a rare and at present unlooked-for combination of circum- stances which again puts men who began life with both feet in the gutter into possession of broad acres and other coveted worldly possessions, as has happened in the past.' 'Wisely and slowly' did Albert Edward, Prince of Wales venture on the slippery Turf. His racing-colours, ' purple body, scarlet sleeves, black velvet cap with gold fringe,' were registered some two years before they were worn by a jockey-i.e. in i875. Here it may be inter- polated that it was not until the year 1762 that colours were formally recognised and registered by the Jockey Club. King Edward vii. when Prince of Wales, on registering his colours in 1875, adopted those which George iv. used immediately before he ascended the throne, viz., purple body with gold braid, scarlet sleeves, and black velvet cap with gold fringe. In matters of uniform and dress George iv. was fastidious and change- 42 J. WATTS This page in the original text is blank. J. WATTS (44 li This page in the original text is blank. SOME EARLY FAVOURITES able, and, according to Mr. J. B. Muir, when he was Prince of Wales he altered his colours no fewer than five times. In 1783 they were 'crimson waistcoat with purple sleeves and black cap.' In 1790 they were altered to purple, white striped waistcoat, with scarlet and white striped sleeves, black cap. In 1792 an alteration was made to purple waistcoat, scarlet sleeves trimmed with gold, black cap. These lasted until i8oi, when crimson waistcoat, with purple sleeves and black cap, were adopted. In i8o6 they became as stated above, and these are the colours that were taken by Albert Edwvard, Prince of Wales, and carried by Persimmon and Diamond Jubilee. On becoming King an alteration was made by George Iv. to crimson body, gold lace, purple sleeves, and black cap. William iv. took for his colours, firstly, in 1830, blue body, red sleeves, and black cap; and, secondly, in 1831, the same that George iv. finally had as Prince of Wales. The first member of the Royal Family to register his colours was the Duke of Cumberland-of Culloden fame- who bred Eclipse. He ran his horses in a purple jacket and black cap. These colours were eventually taken by the Duke of York, and were carried by Moses when he won the Derby. Captain Wentworth Hope 43 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Johnstone-late of the 7th Hussars and 5th Dragoon Guards-was privileged to wear the colours of King Edward vii. (when Prince of Wales) for the first time. He rode a big brown gelding named Leonidas, by Lord Clifden or Adventurer. But the contest was an unimportant one; it was a military steeplechase at Aldershot; and the weather was very wet. His first real attempt at racing under Jockey Club rules was made by His Royal Highness with an Arabian steed named 'Alep.' This was just a year after the Prince had returned from a trip to the vast empire of British India, where much pleasure and sport were combined with a great deal of business-and important business, too; for it is beyond question that the mere sight of the first-born of their great white Empress did more to impress her myriads of dusky subjects-many of whom had been in open rebellion less than two decades before-with the importance and advantages of the British raj than all the derbars which the most in- defatigable of viceroys might preside at, and all the display of armed force which any commander-in-chief might put into the field, for sham fights and kindred demonstrations. 'Alep, the Arab' was prepared for the fray by the 44 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES late Mr. Fothergill Rowlands, who resided at Pit Place, Epsom, of which Mr. Edward Walford, M.A., writes, in his Tales of Great Families:- 'Pit Place is a plain, unpretending mansion, with pleasant lawns and gardens, and reminds one of a country rectory. Towards the close of November 1779, Lord Lyttelton had gone down from London to Pit Place for the purpose of spending a week or two in field-sports or other recreations, and he had taken with him a gay party of friends. On the 24th of that month he had retired to bed at midnight, after spending the evening at cards with his guests, when his attention wvas attracted by the fluttering of a bird, apparently a dove or a pigeon, tapping at the window of his bed- chamber. He started, for he had only just put out his light, and was about to compose himself to rest, and sat up in bed to listen. He had gazed and listened for a minute or so, when he saw, or at all events fancied that he saw, a female clothed in white enter- whether by the door or window, we are not informed -and quietly approach the foot of his bed. He was somewhat surprised, and not agreeably surprised, when the figure opened its pale lips and told him that three days from that very hour he should cease to live.' 45 THE KING'S RACEHORSES It is recorded that three days after the appearance of the vision, to the very minute, Lord Lyttelton died suddenly, whilst his valet was in the act of adminis- tering a dose of medicine to his master. But on the many occasions that the present writer has visited Pit Place, it has been quite free from ghosts, even in the 'Lyttelton chamber,' in which he has slept more than once. Mr. Fothergill Rowvlands, or 'Fog,' the name he was better known under, was, in his youth, a very celebrated steeplechase-rider, and a contemporary of such ' workmen between the flags' as 'Alec' Goodman, 'Jim' Mason, Lord Strathmore,and others, including the still-living Mr. Frank Gordon. Mr. Rowlands had a select little stable of horses to supervise, about the best of whom was The Scamp, the property of the late Sir John Dugdale Astley. Alep, as a racehorse, proved a failure. Matched against the grey Avowal-a very moderate galloper- at the Newmarket July Meeting i877, four miles, for 500 a side, the result is thus briefly summed up in Ril's Guide for that year:- 'Field-Marshal Lord Strathnairn's Avowal, 6 yrs., 9 st., T. Chaloner X H.R. H. the Prince of Wales's Alep, aged, 9 st., J. Jones o Betting-9 to 4 on Alep. Won by thirty lengths.' 46 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES This was the first and last appearance on the Turf of 'Alep, the Arab'; and sportsmen began to arrive at the conclusion that racing-at all events with English-bred horses-is not the Mdtier of the child of the desert. A few years later we find the Prince of Wales with some steeplechase horses under the charge of John Jones, trainer and jockey, formerly head lad at Pit Place, at Downs Cottage, Burgh Heath Road, Epsom, higher up the hill towards the breezy headlands than Pit Place; and, later still, at Priam Lodge, almost opposite William Nightingall's training establishment, nearly at the top of the hill, and also on the Burgh Heath Road. The master-mind which directed the destinies of the stable was that of Lord Marcus Beresford, fourth son of the fourth Marquis of Waterford, and late captain in the 7th Hussars. It is Lord Marcus who has from the first given advice to his Royal patron in the matter of the purchase of bloodstock, whether for the race- course or the stud-paddock; and only the tyro in matters relating to horses need be told that there has seldom been a Beresford who has not been conversant with most things connected with the noble animal. There have been few finer judges of the points of a horse than 47 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Lord Marcus Beresford within the last half-century; and for some years before the Royal colours were seen on the Turf his lordship's 'light-blue jacket and black cap'-worn, whenever practicable, by himself-were as familiar 'between the flags' as were his neat well-set- uip figure and shrewd, handsome face. Of the steeplechase horses which have been in the possession of His Majesty when Prince of Wales, The Scot first claims attention. This was a very good- looking chestnut gelding by Blair Athol, winner of the Derby of 1864, who was himself, in all probability, the handsomest horse that ever carried a saddle. The Scot had made two attempts-in one ridden by Mr. Arthur Coventry, and in the other by the late James Jewitt, his then trainer-to wvin the Grand National before he passed into the possession of His Royal Highness; and in the cross-country Derby of i884 started first favourite, at 6 to i. John Jones, his trainer, wore the Royal colours, but the horse was beaten some distance from the finish, and the race fell to Voluptuary, a well-bred gelding by Cremorne, once the property of the Earl of Rosebery, and some of whose declining days (or nights) were passed on the stage of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in the drama entitled The Prodigal 48 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES Daughter, in which, ridden by Mr. Leonard Boyne, the old horse jumped two fences on the stage (a hurdle and a water-trough) within full view of the audience. The Scot was not one of the Royal successes; and later on, in the same year (i884), he finished third, a long way behind the winner, in the great Metropolitan Steeplechase at Croydon. In brief, the horse was deficient in stamina. Far more of a credit to the colours was Hohenlinden, a bay gelding by Berserker, who won his Royal owner several more or less im- portant events. As a six-year-old, in 1887-' Jubilee year'-he won the Grand Military Gold Cup, 3 miles, at Sandown Park, ridden by the late Captain E. R. Owen, of the 20th Foot, one of the best and strongest cross- country riders who ever got into a saddle. And in the following year Hohenlinden was successful in three steeplechases out of the four in which he took part. At Kempton Park, in February, Captain Owen rode the bay to victory in the Naval and Military Steeplechase, his only opponent, Parthenia, having fallen. The Open Military Cup, at the Household Brigade Meeting, fell to His Royal Highness, by the same aid; and we next find the horse winning the County Stakes at the West Norfolk Hunt fixture, ridden this time by Mr. A. W. Jarvis. G 49 THE KING'S RACEHORSES In the same year Magic, a brown gelding, also by Berserker, did some good service for the Prince. He was a horse of a different stamp, with more 'wear and tear' in his composition, and was a very hard puller. A photograph in the possession of the writer repre- sents this horse, with his head as high in the air as the martingale will allow, at the starting-post before the Grand National Steeplechase of 1889, ridden by John Jones, and stationed next to Frigate, the ultimate winner. In i888 Magic, ridden by Arthur Hall (who usually rode him at home exercise), took the Burwvood Steeplechase at Sandown Park by fifty lengths, a very useful horse and safe jumper in The Saint being amongst those behind the Royal horse. The Grand Sefton Steeplechase at Liverpool fell to the lot of Magic, the following November, with Hall again in the saddle; and he wound up the year well by landing the Prince of Wales's Steeplechase at Derby on the old gelding, who was a good favourite in the betting. In 1889 Magic won an important and valuable prize in the Lancashire Steeplechase at Manchester, on Easter Monday, beating some high-class steeplechasers. His other essays that year were failures, and he sub- sequently passed into the possession of Captain Bewicke, 50 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES for whom he won several steeplechases. Take him for all in all, Magic was the best cross-country horse possessed by the Prince, until eleven years later, when in the Grand National Steeplechase Ambush carried the Royal colours to victory. Hettie, a light-chestnut mare, somewhat 'shelly' of appearance, by Sir Bevys (the Derby winner of 1879) from a mare named Emblematical (a descendant of that celebrated chaser, Emblem), won a race or two carrying the Royal colours. She was purchased from Mr. Ronald Mon- crieffe, and retired to the stud after her jumping career was over. She took part in two Grand Nationals, in one of which her stable companion Magic finished fifth; but in neither instance did Hettie finish, or, as it is technically termed, 'get the country.' But there is not much honour and glory to be got out of modern steeplechasing. Racing on the flat -although most of the 'poetry' has departed from the sport, with increasing civilisation and education- is still, as it has ever been, 'the sport of kings'; and the rough-and-tumble, 'flying i' th' air' business-as the late Mr. Frederick Swindell used to designate steeplechasing-were, perhaps, best left to commoners, human and equine. At all events, at the commencement 51 THE KING'S RACEHORSES of the 'eighties,' the Prince of Wales determined to have a few flat-racers; and soon afterwards we find him a patron of one of the most eminent trainers of his time, Mr. John Porter, of Kingsclere, Hants. A commodious range of red-brick buildings, not half a mile from the village, situate amid luxurious gardens and meadows, nestling beneath the shadow of a lordly range of mountains, forming part of the Highclere range-such is Park House, Mr. Porter's establishment. The stables are most commodious, with the perfection of ventilation; and from the 'sixties' to the present time the horses who have stood therein have won something like half a million sterling. The vriter has paid many visits to Kingsclere, which has always seemed to him impregnated with an odour of wvealth, luxury, and even sanctity-so highly desirable for the sons of men. From i868 to i899, inclusive, no less than six Derbies have fallen to John Porter's stable, besides many other highly valuable prizes; and Ormonde, who won the Blue Ribbon for His Grace of Westminster in i886, was not only subsequently galvanised himself for his 'roaring' infirmity, but may be said to have electrified the world of sport as well, 52 JOHN PORTER This page in the original text is blank. JOHN PORTER This page in the original text is blank. SOME EARLY FAVOURITES by his brave deeds. It was during 'Jubilee year,' and very shortly after the Duke's champion had run what was probably his best race-with his great rival, Minting, at Ascot-that the present chronicler was staying in the village of Kingsclere. And Ormonde- the vocal chord of whom no amount of electricity could clear-was despatched from Park House, in order to hold a levee, of humans, at Grosvenor House, London. The trainer, of course, went with the horse, and sub- sequently described the scene to deponent. The Prince and Princess of Wales were amongst the distinguished company assembled; and there were, in addition, four kings, two queens, several other princes and princesses, and a good sprinkling of much - bejewelled rajahs. Most demonstrative of the interviewers of Ormonde was Her Majesty the Queen of the Belgians, who fed him with lawn-grass and carnations; whilst some of the Eastern potentates had commenced pulling up geraniums, pelargoniums, and other choice exotics, as refection for the horse, ere the interview was over. In fact, so freely did the champion partake of green food and prize blooms that he altogether failed to 'eat up' the good Grosvenor hay and corn afterwards furnished for his refection. 53 THE KING'S RACEHORSES During the same visit to Kingsclere (1887), the writer made the following note:- 'The pick of the two-year-olds, as far as size and shape go, is undoubtedly the Prince of Wales's Loyalist, own brother to Paradox-who is probably the grandest- looking youngster ever foaled. Unfortunately, however, his too solid frame has hitherto proved too much for his joints, and both fore-fetlocks have been dressed with ossidine.' Alas! Loyalist never saw a racecourse. His joints would not carry his fine frame; and it was the same story with others of the progeny of Stirling. Another celebrity at Kingsclere in 1887 was the dear old pony on whom the trainer was accustomed to jog along to the Downs, at the rear of his string of thoroughbreds. This little animal was a present to John Porter from His Royal Highness, whose sons and daughters were all taught to ride on that pony, until too big for the mount. In order to provide him with a 'good home' the little old pet w"as sent to Kingsclere, and one only had to look at his sleek sides and thoroughly contented expression to realise that the good home had been found. During his early experiences at Kingsclere His 54 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES Royal Highness enjoyed by no means the best of luck; and especially hard was the sad fate of the two- year-old Counterpane, the first of the Prince's to come under Porter's care. In the early part of the year i886 the Prince had remarked casually, to a friend, words to the following effect:- 'To be neither unduly elated by success nor dis- couraged by reverses has always been considered the first attribute of a good sportsman. I have only won one race myself under Jockey Club rules, but so far from being discouraged, I still continue racing. I hope to own, some day, a Derby winner of my own breeding; although at the present time my luck is so bad, that it would seem probable that if a horse of mine were winning a race, it would drop dead before passing the winning-post.' Strangely and sadly prophetic were these words. The two-year-old Counterpane, carrying 6 st. 2 lb., with Thomas Loates wearing the Royal jacket and cap, was taking part in the race for the Stockbridge Cup, 6 furlongs, when a strange thing happened. The following is the description of the race, taken from a weekly paper:- THE KING'S RACEHORSES 'THE STOCKBRIDGE CUP, value 300 sovereigns, by subscription of io sovereigns each. T.Y.C. (33 subscriptions.) Mr. Craven's b. c. Campbell, by Camballo- Conspiracy, 4 yrs., 9 St. X lb., Mr. Manton's Gay Hermit, 3 yrs., 9 St. 3 lb., Lord Cadogan's Kaunitz, 3 yrs., 7 st. 13 lb., H.R.H. The Prince of Wales's Counterpane, 2 yrs., 6 St. 2 lb., . Mr. Abingdon's Cerealis, 3 yrs., 7 St. 13 lb., Mr. H. R. Combe's c. by Doncaster-Cauldron, 2 yrs., 5 St. 13 lb., . T. Cannon l F. Archer 2 G. Barrett 3 T. Loates o Smith o Southey o ' Betting-1 i to 4 against Gay Hermit, loo to 30 each against Counterpane and Campbell, 7 to 2 against Kaunitz, 1o to x each against the others. 'THE RACE.-Cauldron colt jumped off with a slight lead of Cerealis, Kaunitz, and Campbell, with Counter- pane and Gay HIermit last, and in this order they ran until halfway down the hill, when Counterpane rushed to the front, and seemed to have the others all settled. Entering the straight, Counterpane held an increased lead, but was soon after observed to reel, and was immediately passed by the others, of whom Kaunitz assumed the lead at the rails, but was challenged by 56 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES Campbell, who, getting the better of a pretty run home, won easily by a length and a half, half a length separating second and third. Cauldron colt was fourth, and Cerealis last, with the exception of Counterpane, who, just before reaching the winning-post, fell and died almost immediately, her jockey escaping serious hurt. A post-mortem examination, by order of His Royal Highness, was afterwards made by Mr. E. Smith of Midhurst, which proved that Counterpane's death was due to heart-disease.' -Equam mcnicnto rebus in arduis Servare mcnwnm,' sang dear old heathen Horace. And if ever Horatian philosophy were needed, it was surely after such a catastrophe. Yet His Most Gracious Majesty knew as well how to preserve a 'stiff upper lip' as the most stoical of his subjects; consequently we find him, during the next two years, running a few horses without profit, or, as it might be called, 'ploughing the sands.' But it should be remembered that the lack of success at this period refers only to the Royal flat-races; for Magic and Co. were winning sundry steeplechases at the same period. It was in i886 that His Royal Highness joined the Kingsclere stable; not so much with the idea of winning H 57 THE KING'S RACEHORSES important races, as to look about him, to 'feel his feet,' as it were. And meanwhile John Porter was on the search for some brood-mares for the Prince, towards the formation of the Sandringham stud. The filly Counterpane, above referred to, by Hermit, from Patch- work, and Lady Peggy, by Hermit, from Bella Agnes, vere the first two of the Royal horses that Porter had in training, and each was a winner-Counterpane securing a Maiden Plate at Sandown Park, which was the first flat-race won by His Royal Highness. The late Sir James Mackenzie attached himself to this stable at the same time, the most important race he won being the Jubilee Handicap at Kempton Park, with The Imp, who was subsequently sold to the Prince of Wales, for whom he won i 194 in stakes during the season of 1891. The first visit of the Prince to Kingsclere was paid in the spring of 1883, to witness the 'Derby trial' of St. Blaise; and an oil-painting of the scene on Cannon Heath Downs, after this gallop, with speaking likenesses of His Royal Highness, Lord Alington, and Sir Frederick Johnstone (the joint-owners of St. Blaise), and the trainer himself, hangs on a wall of the dining- room at Park House. 4 propos of this visit, the following may be quoted from Mr. Porter's book Kingsclere:- 58 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES 'It is appalling to conceive what might have been made of that Royal visit if the touts on the one hand, and the new journalists (female as well as male) on the other, had got scent of the Prince's simple undertaking I As it fortunately happened, His Royal Highness was enabled to run down into Hampshire, and invade the Kingsclere Downs, with just as much privacy as he would have enjoyed in making an informal morning call. He took the 9 A.M. train from Waterloo, like any ordinary passenger, to Overton, at which station Porter had a fly waiting, and was forthwith driven on to the Downs. The Prince was received, according to previous arrangement, by Lord Alington, Sir Frederick Johnstone, and Porter, who were waiting with the horses, and hacks upon which to mount the visitors. ... 'The sportsmanlike friendliness, the camnaradierie, of the trial, was not its least interesting feature. There is an etiquette in such matters which is not seldom enforced when a number of owners share the services of a trainer. After the trial H.R.H. the Prince of Wales lunched at Park House, and was then conducted by Porter over the stables. He made an exhaustive inspection-as is his wont-of the establishment, and expressed the warmest admiration for what he saw. 59 THE KING'S RACEHORSES That admiration was destined to have practical proof, of a nature flattering to the creator of Kingsclere, later on.' Later in the same book occurs the following:- 'His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, during the time his horses were under Porter's care, maintained the connection which the kings and princes of the reigning family have had for centuries with Kingsclere in a manner which is a pleasant memory at Park House and in the neighbourhood. Compared with the short step which His Royal Highness makes from Sandringham to Newmarket, an excursion from Waterloo to Overton was a journey. But it was easy, expeditious, and exclusive. A hansom from Marl- borough House, the i1.15 express from Waterloo Station, a fly at Overton, where the train was stopped, a hack waiting at an appointed place, and a canter on to the Downs. That was the usual procedure. The party which ordinarily met or accompanied the Prince was in no instance numerous, and the occasion always private. His Royal Highness was invariably enabled to see the horses at work, to witness a trial, or to canter about the Downs in company with his trainer, free from any kind of interference or interruption on the part of a curious public. Luncheon at Park House followed, 6o SOME EARLY FAVOURITES with a leisurely inspection of the horses in the stables, and then came the comfortable homeward journey. One is left to conjecture whether, even with all the con- veniences of Newmarket at his disposal, the Prince does not sometimes wish those pleasant days at Kingsclere back again, especially as, as we have said before, John Porter has the assurance of His Royal Highness that the change which was made in the custody of his horses was not made without sincere regret on his part. Sometimes, when the com- position of the Royal party was more elaborate than customary, the reporter got scent of it, and then a paragraph like the following made its appear- ance in the newspapers: "The Prince of Wales, accompanied by a brilliant suite of noblemen and gentlemen, arrived at Kingsclere, Hampshire, yesterday morning, and witnessed His Royal Highness's horses go through their gallops. The Prince and other visitors lunched at Park House, the residence of Mr. Porter." ' With reference to the allusion in the above to 'the connection of kings and princes with Kingsclere,' it is interesting to note that amongst the documents relating to that parish is King Alfred's will, in which that monarch bequeathed the town of Clere to his 6i THE KING'S RACEHORSES daughter, Ethelgiva, Abbess of Shalftesbury. Inas- much as Kingsclere continued to be a manor of the King's demesne throughout the whole of the Saxon period, one arrives at the origin of the distinguishing prefix 'Kings.' Of later British monarchs, King John was a frequent visitor to Kingsclere, for hunting pur- poses, and a hill in the neighbourhood is known as 'King John's Hill' to this day. The Duke of Cumberland-who at one time owned the celebrated racehorse Eclipse-had his horses trained on Kings- clere Downs; and, according to tradition, that famous horse did some of his work here. A brief summary of races won for His Royal Highness by horses under John Porter's care is appended- Year inners e Won Amount Won Total Winnings i886 2 2 322 1889 2 2 204 1890 2 4 694 1891 4 7 4148 1892 2 3 1424 C6792 12 8 62 M. CANNON This page in the original text is blank. M. CANNON N This page in the original text is blank. SOME EARLY FAVOURITES In the list of winning owners in i889, His Royal Highness's name appears as an owner of two winners, who accounted for stakes worth the meek and modest sum of 204. The year before, the Royal stud included the following yearlings:- GALLIFFET, a chestnut colt by Energy, from Fan- chette. SHAMROCK, a chestnut colt by Petrarch, from Skelgate Maid. ESTERHAZY, a black colt by Energy, from Hazy; and WILD AGNES, a bay filly by Mark, from Marie Agnes. Of these above, thirteen engagements were made for Shamrock, including the Derby of 1890; fourteen for Galliffet, including the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, the Newmarket Stakes, Electric Stakes (San- down Park), the Derby, and Doncaster St. Leger; three for Esterhazy, and one only for Wild Agnes. The last-named filly never carried a silk jacket, and Ester- hazy did not perform on the flat. Afterwards, when the property of Mr. J. E. Aikin, he showed up very indifferently in hunters' hurdle-races. The other pair, Galliffet and Shamrock, did better for their Royal owner, although neither was suffered 63 THE KING'S RACEHORSES to fly at high game. Galliffet made his public bow in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom-won by Surefoot-and failed to finish in the first three. After two more unsuccessful performances, the colt won a selling race at Goodwood, ridden by George Barrett, and was sold by auction, subsequently, to Captain Russell England, for 620 guineas. Galliffet does not appear to have run since-in Europe, at all events. Shamrock iI.-the numerals are appended to horses bearing a name which has been already appropriated: a clumsy system, unworthy of our Jockey Club-was a good third to Lord Hartington's (now Duke of Devon- shire) Marvel, on his first appearance; but the field behind was a moderate one indeed. He had two more unsuccessful essays, and then captured the Boveney Plate at the Windsor August meeting, after start- ing in very pronounced market demand. Sir Charles Hartopp bought Shamrock, under the hammer, and he subsequently changed hands more than once. At the end of his two-year-old career the colt won another selling race in the colours of that eminent horse-dealer, Mr. William Burton; and next season he took two races (including the Queen's Plate, two miles, at Lincoln) for Mr. 'Sam' Boughton. 64 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES During the season of 1890 the Royal 'purple and scarlet ' colours were successful in four races, the amount being 694; and here let it be impressed upon the inexpert reader that in these 'winning lists,' published periodically in the papers and in Ruf's Guide, the outgoings in forfeits which have to be paid are never deducted. And it frequently happens that the amount paid in forfeits exceeds the winning score. The number of entries made for the Prince's stud in 1890 showed a considerable increase on the previous year, all being two-year-olds. The list is a somewhat lengthy one. PIERRETTE, a bay filly by Mask, from Poetry. NANDINE, a bay filly by Wisdom, from Fanchette. MARGUERITE, a brown filly by Galopin, from Far- away. MRS. DODDY, a bay filly by Mark, from Marie Agnes -and consequently own sister to WILD AGNES. DERELICT, a brown colt by Barcaldine, from Perdita II. [This colt is chiefly remarkable for being the first produce of Perdita II., who afterwards bore FLORIZEL, PERSIMMON, and DIAMOND JUBILEE.] MUCH ADO, a chestnut colt by Wenlock, from Fluster. 65 I THE KING'S RACEHORSES MELESINA, a bay filly by Kendal, frorn Lilian. HAZE, a bay filly by Isonomy, from Hazy. A CHESTNUT FILLY by Petrarch from Cyclopaedia; and A BAY COLT by Wenlock, from Skelgate Maid. Of the above, only Pierrette, Nandine, and Derelict ran during the season of 1890, the first-named winning three races and losing three. She scored a clever victory in a Maiden Two-Year-Old Plate at the New- market July Meeting, fifteen other runners being behind her. She next took the Clumber Plate, for two- and three-year-olds, at Doncaster, winning readily; and finished the season with credit by winning the Criterion Nursery at Newmarket Houghton Meeting, carrying a heavy weight, and beating a field of eleven. Nandine (half-sister to Galliffet) scored a win in a selling race at Newmarket Second July Meeting, being afterwards bought-in for the Prince for 370 guineas. Her other eight ventures were unsuccessful ones, and she finished her two-year-old career by running fifth for another selling race at Newmarket Houghton Meeting. Still there can be no doubt but that Nandine could 'go' when she liked; and about her best form was exhibited when she ran Lord Gerard's Sweet Vernal to a head 66 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES at Newmarket. Nandine was afterwards purchased by Mr. John Porter, and bred St. Bris, the winner of the Casarewitch of 1896, by St. Simon. Derelict (Perdita's first foal) ran but once, in 1890, at Goodwood, where he finished a moderate third to the Duke of WVest- minster's Orion, in the Ham Stakes. The colt was, later on, sold out of the Royal stables after he had run third in the Cambridgeshire of 1891 to Comedy, from whom he was only beaten a head and a neck. He met his death in a hurdle-race. Of the above-named mares, Pierrette (who was always one of His Majesty's favourites) is still at the Sandringham stud, and was served in 1901, March 7, by the Australian horse, Merman. Fanchette, the dam of Nandine, is also a highly respected matron, in those pleasant paddocks, and after breeding a brown colt and a chestnut filly to Persimmon, she was put to him again on April 5, i1oi. The old mare is now in her twenty-second year, and has already borne such celebrities as Versailles, Mousme, and Eventail. In 1891 the Royal luck began to mend, and seven races, worth collectively , 4148, 15S., represented the Prince's winning score. Pierrette took such valuable prizes as the Esher Stakes at Sandown Park, and the 67 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Inauguration Stakes (ridden by Richard Chaloner, then a very light weight) at the new meeting at Portsmouth Park. The Imp, 4 years, a bay colt by Robert the Devil, also came well to the rescue. He had been purchased from Sir J. T. Mackenzie-who wvas not particularly keen on the sport of horseracing-shortly after winning the Jubilee Stakes at Kempton the previous year, and won such important races for his new owner as the De Trafford Handicap at Manchester, the High-Weight Plate at Ascot, and the Drayton High-Weight Plate at Goodwood. Later on he passed into the possession of Lord Rosslyn, and was bought-in for 370 guineas after winning the Mandale Selling Plate (1892) at Stockton-on-Tees. But the most valuable stake won by His Royal Highness during the season of 1891 was the Champion Breeders' Foal Plate at Derby, worth Xio64, 15S., which fell to the share of Barracouta, a bay two-year-old filly by Barcaldine, from Perdita, and consequently own sister to Derelict. This was Barracouta's solitary essay of the year, and she must be classed in the cruelly long list of those animals who commence well but turn out badly: for Barracouta's subsequent form was bad in the extreme, and she did not long remain in 68 SOME EARLY FAVOURITES training, being sold to go to Belgium, on account of her extreme nervousness. The following were the early entries made by the Prince for the season of 1892:- MARMITE, bay filly, 2 years, by Marden, from Nell Cook. PETTIFOGGER, bay colt, 3 years, by Isonomy, from Hazy. BARRACOUTA (described above). TURIDDU, bay colt, 2 years, by Hampton, from Welfare. SERPA PINTO, bay colt, 2 years, by Galliard, from Pinbasket. DOWNEY, chestnut filly, 2 years, by Hagioscope, from Lenity. THE VIGIL, bay or brown filly, by Ben Battle, from Vesper. YVETTE, bay filly, 2 years, by Retreat, from Fluster. ALFIO, chestnut colt, 2 years, by Hampton, from Fanchette. SANTUZZA, brown filly, 2 years, by St. Gatien, from Marie Agnes. Succts, chestnut colt, 3 years, by Petrarch, from Welfare. 69 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Of the above, only Marmite, Barracouta, Turiddu, Serpa Pinto, Downey, and The Vigil competed; and the solitary race won by the Royal colours was the Stand Nursery at the Newmarket Second October Meeting, in which The Vigil beat a field of thirteen pretty easily. At the end of this season the Prince of Wales's horses, together with those belonging to the late Baron Hirsch and Lord Marcus Beresford, were removed from Kingsclere to Newmarket. Whatever may be the advantages of the Hampshire training quarters, they are somewhat difficult of access, and a trip from London there and back means a long day's outing. Taking, as he alwvays had done from the first, a great interest in witnessing the preparation of his horses, the Prince, as soon as he could find quarters at Newmarket-which is within easy reach of Sandringham-reluctantly deter- mined to have his rapidly increasing string of thorough- breds transferred from Kingsclere to the little town in Cambridgeshire. So to Egerton House, the palatial establishment of Mr. Richard Marsh, went the Royal stud; and this naturally brings us to a new chapter. THE PRINCE'S LUCK 'Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by the sons of Simon.' CHAPTER III THE PRINCE'S LUCK Egerton House, Newmarket -Its advantages as training quarters - Vastness of the establishment-' Splendid isolation'-Richard Marsh as a steeplechase jockey-His first master, the 'Red Duke'-Ambition of His Royal Highness to win the Derby with a horse of his own breeding-Porter purchases Perdita-Turning-point in the Royal luck -Establishment of the Sandringham breeding stud-The 'Royal Mascotte'-Her breeding-Her dibs4t is not encouraging-Perdita and St. Simon both run at the Goodwood Meeting of 1883-Fred Archer steers each to victory-Perdita wins another selling race at New- market-And is knocked down, for 560 guineas, to the bid of Matthew Dawson, acting for Mr. 'Benholm'-The filly wins the Chesterfield Nursery Handicap at Derby-Success in the Great Cheshire Handicap, Chester, and the Ayr Gold Cup-At four years old Perdita runs second six times out of nine races-John Porter purchases her, as a six-year- old, for the Prince of Wales for 9oo-Although a comparative dis- appointment on the Turf, Perdita proves one of the most successful brood-mares on record-List of her foals-She dies after foaling Nadejda to St. Simon-Winnings of her progeny-Three sons and one daughter win, between them, 72,847, 5s.-The Irish-bred horse, Barcaldine, her 'first love'-Performances of the invincible Barcaldine -A 'mad' horse when at the stud-Herr Locffler, the subduer- Method in madness-Union of Perdita with St. Simon-Land at last! -The late Prince Batthyany buys the champion, Galopin, and breeds St. Simon, another champion-Awfully sudden death of Prince Batthyany-The Duke of Portland's luck-Purchase of St. Simon at auction for i6oo guineas-St. Simon's two-year-old performances- Archer the jockey and Archer the horse-Robert Peck's message to K 73 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Matthew Dawson-'Old Mat's' reply-Match between St. Simon and Duke of Richmond-One of the best John Porter ever tried-Another match with Tristan-A runaway affair-St. Simon retires from the Turf, sound, but unable to stand more galloping-Matthew Dawson's estimate of the colt-Captain Horace Hayes on St. Simon-The marvellous beauty of his shoulders-A 'short-coupled' horse-Per- simmon 'favours' his sire more than Florizel or Diamond Jubilee- The 'straight-dropped' hind leg-The late Mr. Joseph Osborne, author of the Horstbrreders' Handbook, and the doyn of the Turf-Performances of Florizel-An overgrown, weak two-year-old-The writer's accepta- tion of the word 'luck'-Florizel as a stayer-Judiciously managed in his early youth, his record as a more matured horse is an excellent one -He wins the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Epsom, the Prince's Handi- cap at Gatwick, the Manchester Cup, the Gold Vase at Ascot, and the Goodwood Cup-A creditable fourth in the Cesarewitch-A victory over None the Wiser in the Jockey Club Cup at Newmarket-Florizel retires to the stud after running once as a five-year-old-Two doughty and handsome sons of St. Simon make their appearance on the Turf in 1895-The Prince of Wales's Persimmon, and Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's St. Frusquin-Each difficult to train-Persimmon wins easily at Ascot-Triumphant career of St. Frusquin checked at Kempton Park-The two 'stars' meet in the Middle Park Plate at Newmarket -Doubts about starting Persimmon-The race-Its result. _ ONVENIENTLY situated, within a couple of miles of the Newmarket i;:g RPost Office, Egerton House pos- sesses peculiar advantages as an : ,. establishment for the training of racehorses. With its avenues of Scotch firs, and light, sandy soil, there is no touch of 74 x c_ This page in the original text is blank. x In D :5 CZ D x u Ix This page in the original text is blank. THE PRINCE'S LUCK dampness or malaria in the atmosphere, which is but little affected by fog. Better built house or stables it would be impossible to devise, with all the latest improvements in drainage, lighting, and ventilation: and on going round the boxes and stalls the casual visitor cannot help being struck with the vastness of the establishment, which is, notwithstanding, replete with every comfort for man and beast. There is but little danger of an epidemic spreading here, and as the property is not surrounded by other training establish- ments-as is frequently the case in Newvmarket-the dangers of infection being taken in are reduced to a minimum. Richard Marsh, who started as a trainer in a much smaller way at Lordship Farm, at no great distance from his present habitation, in the 'seventies,' was formerly a steeplechase jockey of note, his principal employer-both for riding and training-having been the 12th Duke of Hamilton, whose memory is revered nowhere more than at Egerton House, where, on a wall of the study, is a fine oil-painting of the gallant grey, Scot Guard, a horse which, although he never took honours in a Grand National Steeplechase, was at the same time possessed of a good turn of speed, and knew 75 THE KING'S RACEHORSES no such word as fall. At the time when the Prince of Wales's racehorses were moved here from Kingsclere, together with those of the late Baron Hirsch, Marsh also had the supervision of a few from the studs of the Duke of Devonshire and Mr. Broderick Cloete, his list of patrons being afterwards increased by the names of Lord Wolverton, and Messrs. A. James and Larnach. And here it becomes necessary for the writer to change the scene from Egerton House to the Sandringham Stud Farm, in order to describe the incidents connected with this simple history in their proper order. As has been noted before, it had long been the ambition of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, to win a Derby with a horse of his own breeding. And although the filly Counterpane-the first of the Royal racehorses trained by John Porter-came to so sad and untimely an end, it is a matter of history that the purchase of Perdita by that trainer, on behalf of the Prince, marked the turning-point in the Royal luck. And in the first year that Richard Marsh took charge of the racehorses, matters were beginning to show satisfactory develop- ment at the Sandringham Stud, which had been founded four years before. And here a brief history of the 'Royal Mascotte' will come in naturally. 76 THE PRINCE'S LUCK Perdita ii., who was a bay mare by Hampton, from Hermione, the last-named mare being by Young Mel- bourne from La Belle Helene, was bred by the late Lord Cawdor, and foaled in i88i. Perdita's ddb9u on a race- course was not encouraging. This took place in the First Spring Two-Year-Old Stakes at Newmarket, where, ridden by the late Fred Archer, she finished some distance behind Lina, the property of a sporting Italian named Ginistrelli. Three more defeats in succession served to reduce Perdita to the ranks of the ' selling-platers,' and she scored her first success in one of these plates at Goodwood, in the race immediately following the Good- wood Cup. In the hands of Fred Archer, the filly won easily, being afterwards bought in by Lord Cawdor for 500 guineas. It is especially worthy of note that this same Goodwood Meeting introduced to public notice the colt St. Simon, which was destined to be mated with Perdita, to such advantage, later on. To continue the coincidence, Fred Archer was on the back of St. Simon in the Halnaker Stakes and the Maiden Stakes, both of which were won easily. Perdita made two more un- successful essays before winning another selling race, at the Newmarket First October Meeting; after which she was knocked down to the bid of the late Mr. 77 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Matthew Dawson, on behalf of one of his employers, a gentleman well known in the City of London, who at that time raced under the tiom de course of 'Benholm.' Had the genial ' David' been possessed of the gift of second sight, racing history might have been strangely altered! Had he but 'held on' to his pur- chase, and mated her, as she was afterwards mated, two Derbys and many other valuable prizes would have fallen to carriers of the 'cherry, silver-grey cap,' instead of to the Royal ' purple and scarlet.' Not that Mr. 'Benholm' had much cause to complain of his bargain, as less than a month after she had fallen to Matthew Dawson's bid of 56o guineas, Perdita beat a large field in the Chesterfield Nursery Handicap at Derby-carrying 6 st. 1o lb., and ridden by Gallon, a fashionable light-weight of the period-a race value 975. As a three-year-old Perdita ran nine times, winning the Great Cheshire Stakes at Chester, and the Ayr Gold Cup, besides running second on two occa- sions. In 1885 the mare was very unlucky, as she ran second six times in nine races, not winning one. At five years old she ran another second, in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at the Epsom Spring Meet- ing; and another year elapsed ere, in 1887, she carried 78 THE PRINCE'S LUCK off the Great Cheshire Stakes for the second time. Then followed a failure; and the mare's last success under colours was gained when she ran a dead heat with Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's Middlethorpe in the Liverpool Cup, the stakes being subsequently divided. The pair finished in front of a representative field of twelve other starters. Afterwards, in the same season, Perdita ran un- placed three times, and finished her racing career by running second to Wire, a horse of her own age, who was carrying 12 lb. less weight. It was shortly afterwards that Mr. John Porter, acting on behalf of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, gave Mr. 'Benholm' &oo for the mare; and although she had proved, on the wvhole, a disappointment on the Turf -where she ran her races occasionally by 'fits and snatches,' which wvas possibly due to too-resolute jockeyship during her two-year-old days-Madam Perdita made ample amends for past failures by bearing three such 'flyers' as Florizel, Persimmon, and Diamond Jubilee. A list is appended of the foals bred from IPerdita, who was known by such terms of endearment as 'The Old Mare,' 'The Gold Mine,' and 'The Mascotte.' 79 THE KING'S RACEHORSES PERDITA II., by HAMPTON-HERMIONE. YEAR PRODUCE SIRE i888 colt, DERELICT Barcaldine i889 filly, BARRACOUTA Barcaldine 189i colt, FLORIZEL II. St. Simon i893 colt, PERSIMMON St. Simon I 894 colt, FARRANT Donovan 1895 filly, AZEEZA Surefoot I896 colt, SANDRINGHAM St. Simon 1897 colt, DIAMOND JUBILEE St. Simon 1899 filly, NADEJDA St. Simon The mare died shortly after foaling the last-named filly, who was brought up on the bottle. Of her produce, Florizel won such important races as the Manchester Cup, Gold Vase, Ascot, Goodwood Cup, and Jockey Club Cup, Newmarket. Persimmon wvon the Coventry Stakes, Ascot, the Richmond Stakes, Goodwood, the Derby, the Gold Cup, Ascot, the Eclipse Stakes, Sandown Park, the Doncaster St. Leger, and the Jockey Club Stakes, Newmarket. And Diamond Jubilee won the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, the Newmarket Stakes, the Derby, Doncaster St. Leger (the 'triple crown'), and the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park. 8o THE PRINCE'S LUCK It is further recorded of Perdita that she was an excellent and most affectionate mother, in which respect she differed from more than one 'Belgravian mother' of the paddock whom the writer has known. Buccaneer, for instance, was so grievously assaulted as a foal by his dam, Primula, that he was deprived of half an ear. Perdita, on the other hand, could with difficulty be weaned from her offspring, and fretted far more than most mares at this critical period. Three sons and one daughter of Perdita won be- twveen them in prizes no less than 72,847, 5s., apportioned as follows:- Barracouta, . 1,o64 15 0 Florizel, . . . . 7,866 o o Persimmon, . . . 34,731 0 0 Diamond Jubilee, . . 29,i85 10 0 472,847 5 0 Barcaldine, the ' first love' of Perdita, was an Irish- bred horse, by Solon, from Ballyroe. He did not compete for any of what are called the 'classic' races; but at the same time, although he has not been mentioned in connection with 'horses of the century,' civilisation has not known many a better racehorse. 8i L THE KING'S RACEHORSES And he could stay. He won the Victoria Cup at Kempton Park for the late Mr. Robert Peck, when so fat and lusty in condition that his owner did not dare invest a shilling on his chance; and as a five- year-old he won the Northumberland Plate in a canter, under the welter weight of 9 st. io lb., after having been apparently lame in the pan of the heel the day before. Not only did Barcaldine win all his races easily-he was never beaten-but his home trials were won just as easily. He had a temper of his own; in fact, when Lady Stamford's property at the stud at Newmarket, it became necessary to call in the aid of the late Herr Loeffler, the 'horse-tamer, to render the Irish horse amenable to reason. Loeffler was a wvonderful man with horses, but the strain of remaining up night after night with vicious patients wvas too much for his brain. Some of his experiences as a subduer are recounted in Tze Great Game, by the present writer, w ho knew the German professor intimately; but, after a temporary retirement from public life, he reverted to his original occupation of horse-dentistry, at which he was facile princefis-or should it beforcepss Neither Derelict nor Barracouta could be considered 82 z 0 U, This page in the original text is blank. z 0 (n This page in the original text is blank. THE PRINCE'S LUCK worthy of a Royal stud; but the union of Perdita with St. Simon was soon afterwards to make history- besides a substantial sum of money. St. Simon-who, at the age of twenty-two, is still alive and flourishing at the Duke of Portland's stud at Welbeck-is a rich, dark bay horse, by Galopin, from St. Angela. He was bred by the late Prince Batthyany, for whom his sire (bred by Mr. Taylor Sharpe) won the Derby of 1875. And it could be said of Galopin as a racehorse, as it was said of his best son, that his trainer never knew exactly how good he was. Prince Batthyany's racehorses were always very smartly turned out when at exercise, their bright red clothing being very conspicuous, whilst their diminutive riders wore neat liveries, with cockaded hats-a rdgimne which might be followed with advantage (in the matter of uniformity and effect) at the present day. John Dawson prepared Galopin, with the rest of Prince Batthyany's horses, whilst 'Brother Mat' superintended the racing educa- tion of St. Simon, after the awfully sudden death of his owner and breeder, on the steps of the Jockey Club Stand at Newmarket, which was probably due to excitement at the victory, in the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, of Galliard, a son of his old favourite. 83 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Before that melancholy incident, rumour had an- nounced that in the produce of Galopin and St. Angela, John Dawson was training another 'wonder.' Still, so faint of heart were bidders at the sale of the late prince's stud, that the ' lucky ' Duke of Portland was able to secure St. Simon-a two-year-old, whose engagements had become void through the death of his nominator-for i6oo guineas. How great a bargain was this may be gauged from the fact that in the last year of the i9th century io,ooo guineas were paid for an untried yearling filly, and from certain statistics to be given later on. St. Simon's dam, St. Angela, was sold on the same afternoon for 320 guineas; and exactly a month afterwards the colt, ridden by Fred Archer, won the Halnaker Stakes at Goodwood, in the commonest of canters. As mentioned above, it w as at this same Goodwood Meeting that lPerdita scored her first success. After winning another race at Goodwood St. Simon was put by for a month or so-some engagements in the interim having lapsed through the death of his first owner-and his re- appearance was made in the Devonshire Nursery Handicap at Derby. And thereby hangs a tale. The late Mr. Robert Peck had a two-year-old colt, 84 THE PRINCE'S LUCK by Seesaw, from Quiver, happily enough named Archer, of whom that astute trainer was very fond. Archer the jockey had ridden Archer the horse in a gallop on the Berkshire Downs, and Mr. Peck, who had engaged his colt in the same Devonshire Nursery Handicap, sent the jockey back to Newmarket with the following message to Matthew Dawson 'Tell him that no two-year-old in England can give mine 17 lb.' 'Old Mat's' reply was terse, and to the point. 'Tell Robert Peck not to gamble too much on his.' The respective weights were- ST. SIMON, 8 st. 12 lb. ARCHER, 7 st. 9 lb. St. Simon won, as he almost invariably did, in a canter, and Mr. Peck's Archer was beaten a neck from the second. In the Prince of Wales's Nursery Handicap ot Doncaster, St. Simon was top weight with 9 stone, and literally 'squandered' a field of twenty others. In fact, a more decisive instance of superiority was never shown on a racecourse. Later on, at the Newnmarket Houghton Meeting, the Duke of Portland's champion was matched against a colt of the Duke of West- 85 THE KING'S RACEHORSES minster's, originally called Bushey, but renamed Duke of Richmond after winning the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. This colt had been very highly tried at Kingsclere. In some very heavy wagering, St. Simon novas the better favourite, he having (as usual) Archer on his back, whilst Thomas Cannon the elder rode D)uke of Richmond; and although the last-named got somewhat close to the other at the finish of the race, the victory, according to Archer, was easily obtained. Cannon, on the other hand, was of opinion that 7 lb. would have brought the two together. The following season St. Simon met Tristan at weight-for-age (23 lb. difference) at Newmarket in another match, a mile and a half in distance; it being the impression of the late Monsieur Ldfevre, the owner of Tristan (a six-year-old son of Hermit), that St. Simon was not a real 'stayer. A stable companion of each horse joined in the match, to make a pace (if he could); and Charles Wood was on St. Simon, whilst Webb steered the Frenchman's horse. Never was seen such a runaway race on Newmarket Heath! In fact, it could hardly be called a race, as before those historic landmarks, 'The Bushes,' were reached, the three-year-old had drawn clear, and he passed the winning-post at a hand canter, six 86 THE PRINCE'S LUCK lengths in front of Tristan, with Credo a shocking bad third, and the other 'pace-maker,' Iambic, beaten half a mile. This same Iambic was the following season matched against Asil, an Arab, who had won two events (confined to Arabians) out of three, at New- market and Sandown Park. Iambic beat the other easily, thus showing once again the worthlessness of the Eastern-bred horse, nowadays, for racing purposes; although, curiously enough, our thoroughbred racehorses are, most of them, directly descended from Arabian stock. No horse was brought out to oppose St. Simon for the Epsom Cup; but Tristan once more appeared in opposition for the Gold Cup at Ascot. This time St. Simon was carrying only 9 lb. less than the other; but the superiority of the son of Galopin was confirmed by a twenty-lengths' victory, Iambic once more finishing last. With ioo to 9 betted upon him, St. S1imon0o romped away from the four-year-old Chislehurst in the Gold Cup at Gosforth Park; and the racing career of the Duke of Portland's 'bargain' came to an end after he had cantered away from Ossian (the St. Leger wvinner of the year before) and Friday for the Goodwood Culp. 87 THE KING'S RACEHORSES An attempt was made to train him the following spring; and the writer well remembers a pleasant twenty minutes passed with Matthew Dawson on 'Long Hill,' as we sat on our hacks, the while the Heath House horses wvere doing their morning's exercise. St. Simon was in the string, and moved freely and wevll, with his stable-attendant, C. Fordham, on his back. 'There's a moverl' exclaimed Charles Archer, who had just cantered up. 'Not much the matter with him now' I hazarded, gazing wistfully after this grand horse, as he continued to mount the hill resolutely. ' No,' returned the trainer; ' and I only wvish he had to run to-morrow instead of next month.' But there was no galloping for the horse the follow- ing month. His fore-joints were none of the best-he wore, on the training-grounds, a 'boot' on his near fore-leg-and the 'exigencies of training' proved too much for St. Simon, who retired to the stud with his blushing honours thick upon him and without having 'broken down.' As previously observed, Matthew Dawson never knew exactly how good his favourite was. Still, judging from collateral running, he cal- 88 THE PRINCE'S LUCK culated that St. Simon was nearly 42 lb. better than Harvester. The last named, originally the property of the late Lord Falmouth, had, of course, been in Matthew Dawson's stable, in which were some other celebrities at the time. And it flas known that Harvester was at least 14 lb. inferior to the filly Busybody, of the same age, winner of the One Thousand Guineas Stakes and Oaks. Mr. Sydenham Dixon tells the story in his most interesting work, From GlaediaieuY to Persimmon, and the statement will by kind permission bear re- production here:- ' Lord Falmouth possessed a couple of very smart two-year-olds in 1883 in Busybody, a bay filly by Petrarch, from Spinaway, and Harvester, a brown colt by Sterling, from Wheatear. The former, indeed, was something quite out of the common, as was discovered the first time she was tried. She was looked after at that time by a lad named Smith, who was extremely anxious to ride her in this trial, and managed to " dodge " being weighed-out, saying that he knew he was 7 st. 9 lb. There were several in the gallop in which Busy- body finished first, and Harvester second, and when all Smith's efforts to escape being weighed-in proved fruit- less, it was discovered that he was 9 lb. over weight, 89 N1 THE KING'S RACEHORSES so that Busybody, who beat her stable companion by a length and a half in the trial, must have been quite 14 lb. his superior.' Both Harvester and Busybody had quitted M. Dawson's care at three years old; but there is no doubt whatever but that St. Simon was, at two years old, a long way 'in front of' the filly. At all events, it was extremely fortunate for the respective owners of Harvester and St. Gatien, who ran a dead heat for the Derby of i884, that, through circumstances beyond the control of man, there was no St. Simon in that Derby. Captain Horace Hayes, in his invaluable text-book, Points of the Horse, writes the following with reference to St. Simon:- 'Despite the fact that he had never met a great racehorse, he won all his contests with such consummate ease that I am inclined to think that as a two-year-old, towards the back end of the season, and for the first half of his three-year-old career-in other words, as long as he kept sound-he was as fast a horse, with, perhaps, the exception of Ormonde, as ever lived. St. Simon's height at the withers, or over the croup, is considerably more than his length of body. Also, his back and loins 9o THE PRINCE'S LUCK are remarkably short, and his shoulders are long and extremely oblique. I remember having been struck by the marvellous beauty of his shoulders and by the short- ness of his back and loins, when I saw him for the first time when he was sold as a two-year-old in 1883, after the death of Prince Batthyany. Both his forehand and hindquarters were light. He was extremely round in the back-ribs, and was very well ribbed up.' In fact St. Simon is what is technically known as a 'short- coupled' horse. Of his three illustrious sons-Florizel, Persimmon, and Diamond Jubilee-the second named favours his sire the most. Persimmon has the same beautiful ' straight-dropped' hind-leg, so necessary to ensure speed in the horse, and characteristic of all great gallopers; the same powerful gaskins and hocks, light forehand, and beautifully shaped foreleg. Oddly enough, Mr. Custance, in his popular book, Riding Recollections and Turf Stories, makes no allusion to St. Simon as one of the 'horses of the century.' But the once eminent jockey enthuses over Ormonde, who came on the scene two years after the son of Galopin. ' It has certainly always been my impression that Ormonde was the best horse I ever saw, and I think 91 THE KING'S RACEHORSES that Gladiateur was the next to him. Admiral Rous always used to say that the best animals he ever set eyes upon were Bay Middleton and Gladiateur, so that my opinion is confirmed about the Frenchman.' The late Mr. Joseph Osborne, of Ilorsebrecders' handbook celebrity, maintained more than once to the writer that the two best racehorses he had ever seen, in the course of an experience of nearly three-quarters of a century, were Harkaway and St. Simon. Matthew Dawson was unswerving in the opinion that St. Simon was the 'champion of champions,' and Fred Archer, although not enthusiastic on the subject, had been heard to draw comparisons betwveen St. Simon and Ormonde, to the disadvantage of the last named. St. Simon is, as is known to breeding experts, a member of what used to be called the 'accursed Black- lock' family. His sire, Galopin, was by Vedette, a son of Voltigeur, whose sire Voltaire was a son of Blacklock. Unfortunately, the chief apostle of this silly ' cult' did not live to see his theories exploded and his revilings cast to the winds. For the 'accursdl' blood is hotly sought after in these times. Although we cannot make out St. Simon to be, like Flying Fox, a lineal descendant, in tail-male, of the mighty Eclipse, 92 -j N -j This page in the original text is blank. -j N LI. This page in the original text is blank. THE PRINCE'S LUCK who was foaled in 1764, we can get the Eclipse descent, in the female line, for Galopin and his descendants. ECLIPSE, . foaled in 1764, begat POTBOY, . ,, 1773, who begat WAXY, . ,, [790, WHALEBONE, ,, 1807, SIR HERCULES, ,, 1826, BIRDCATCHER, , 1833. And Birdcatcher was the maternal grandsire of Vedette, the sire of Galopin. Regarding Perdita's first foal to St. Simon, it can be said of Florizel that he wvas a somewhat overgrown, Weakly two-year-old, whom no sensible trainer would hurry in his preparation. Accordingly he only carried silk four times during his two-year-old season, 1893. Nor was his dbdb encouraging. This was made on the (now disestablished for racing purposes) old race- course at Manchester, when eight youngsters competed for the Breeder's Foal Stakes, and St. Hilaire landcd the stakes by a neck from Sempronius. Florizel was without a price in the market, and finished nearer last than first. On the following Tuesday, at Newvmarket, he succumbed by three parts of a length to Priestholme 93 THE KING'S RACEHORSES in the Boscawen Stakes. At Newmarket, a fortnight later, when second favourite for the Stand Nursery Plate, Florizel could get no nearer than eighth to the very moderate Bloodthirsty. A fourth in the Friary Nursery at the Derby November Meeting, when carrying a very light weight, was the position awarded to the Prince's colt, on his last appearance in 1893; and had not the policy of 'wisely and slow' been pursued with Florizel, he might have retired to the stud without a victory to his name. Although we are a long time in getting to 'the Prince's Luck,' the writer would urge that 'luck,' in his acceptation of the word, means-or, at all events, is intended to mean-the result of much industry, care, and patience, the absence of greed, and the presence of the best of counsellors, and the best of material to work upon. The will-o'-the-wisp usually called 'luck' by the unthinking, i.e. pure chance, so-called 'fate,' was not in the author's thoughts when he penned the title to this chapter. For, just as talent is compounded, for the most part, of industry and application, so is luck-in the true interpretation of the term - made from the 'grit' which is inherent in the worker-to whatsoever goal he may be directing his energies. It has been, 94 THE PRINCE'S LUCK and will be, my endeavour to prove, to the satisfaction of all reflective people, that the career of King Edward vii. as an owner and breeder of thoroughbred horses has been pursued under the best principles of sport and with the desire to give amusement and recreation to those who appreciate the great fact that the Turf is not necessarily the Pit of Perdition, nor the National Dis- grace-as the narrow-minded would have us believe. And with that object the writer has entered into details as to the extreme care exercised in the mating of the Royal mares and the good results which have followed. Florizel, at two years old, was not one to catch the eye of the amateur in bloodstock. But with his frame more developed, he was, when a year older, decidedly what is known as a 'good-looking 'un.' 'What 's that ' was a frequent query in the Ascot paddock, as the son of St. Simon and Perditav was being led around, just before the race for the St. James's Palace Stakes, on Midsummer Day 1894. With Thomas Loates in the saddle, he shortly afterwards achieved a meritorious victory over St. Hilaire (his conqueror of the year before), Athlone, and St. Florian; and Ryan (his trainer) always held a very high opinion of the last named. Next day Florizel accounted for Basildon, Bard of Avon, 95 THE KING'S RACEHORSES and Speed, in the Forty-First Triennial; and sportsmen began to remark to each other, 'His Royal Highness has a racehorse at last.' At Goodwood, Florizel, ridden by Watts, was to the fore in the Corinthian Handicap; and in the following week four smartish opponents were unable to extend him in the High - Weight Handicap at Brighton, when the mount of Mornington Cannon. In the Royal Stakes, at Newmarket Second October Meeting, he beat St. Hilaire by a head at even weights, and 'He can stay, too!' became an established fact. Yes, Florizel could stay; and it was no disgrace for him to fail in the subsequent Cambridgeshire Stakes, for which he got none too good a start. As a four-year- old, he had become rather a 'massive' stamp of horse, and one could not help admiring his resolute finish in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, at the Epsom Spring Meeting, when he beat Wherwell by a head. The valuable Prince's Handicap at Gatwick was his next success, and here he easily defeated a large field, including Clorane and Houndsditch. Three weeks later followed a still easier, and more important, win for the Manchester Cup, distance one mile and three- quarters, and it was by this time apparent that stamina was his forte. In this race he was giving weight to all 96 THE PRINCE'S LUCK his opponents, with the exception of Bushey Park; and these included Green Lawn (a winner of two good races that season), The Docker (also a winner of two, his only performances of the year), Rodomont (winner of the New- market Handicap), The Rush, Banquet ii. (an American horse who had won a selling plate at Newmarket a fortnight before, being subsequently bought in at i510 guineas), and Rockdove (who won the Cesarewitch Stakes later in the year). At Ascot the Gold Vase fell to the much-improved four-year-old, who had a smart three-year-old in Boxer -by Fitzjames from Lily Maid-the property of Sir Samuel Scott, to beat, besides Son of a Gun and Insur- ance. Very slight odds were taken that Florizel did not win, but the victory was cleverly obtained, nevertheless. And to quote the regretful words of Lord Marcus Beresford, ' If I had had the sense to enter him for the Gold Cup of that year, he would have beaten Isinglass, for certain.' At Goodwood, the Prince's favourite meeting, there wvas only the moderate Thessalian in opposition for the Cup, and the Royal 'purple and scarlet' colours were very easily landed. With 9 st. in the saddle, Florizel ran a creditable fourth in the Cesarewitch to Rockdove-who was carrying 32 lb. less; and his last victory was over N 97 THE KING'S RACEHORSES the great, fine mare None the Wiser (Lord Ellesmere's), in the Jockey Club Cup at the Newmarket Houghton Meeting. As a five-year-old an attempt was made to win the Ascot Gold Cup with Florizel, who, however, could get no nearer than third (on three legs) to Love Wisely; and this was his solitary outing of the year, it being considered judicious to retire him to the stud rather than overtax his galloping powers. Two doughty and handsome sons of St. Simon made their appearance on the Turf in the season of 1895- the Prince of Wales's bay colt Persimmon, out of Perdita, and Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's brown colt St. Frusquin, out of Isabel. And although Mr. Alfred Watson states, in a valuable book entitled Tue Turf, that 'many excellent judges are firmly convinced that had St. Frusquin remained sound, and kept his form, Persimmon would have had a very remote chance of approaching inclusion in the list of winners of over 20,000,' this statement looks to the present writer like ' protesting too much.' Both were difficult horses to train, and of delicate, highly strung temperaments, like all the descendants of Galopin. St. Frusquin twice beat the other when he was not at his best; and it is unfair to assume that, after being vanquished fairly and 98 THE PRINCE'S LUCK squarely in the Derby, St. Frusquin would, had he not 'given way,' have turned the tables in the Doncaster St. Leger-to say nothing of the Ascot Gold Cup the following year. Circumstances alter cases. Each was a 'smashing' good horse, but neither-from different causes-would stand much continuous galloping. And the writer is of opinion that a three-year-old of the 'class' of Persimmon and St. Frusquin has not been seen since 1896. St. Frusquin was first in the field as a two-year-old, and took part in six races, whilst the son of Perdita fulfilled but three engagements during the same period. The first appearance of Mr. de Rothschild's colt was in the Royal Two-Year-Old Plate at Kempton Park, a race worth 3I55 to the owner of the winner, and a race which has, to the advantage of the sport, since been abolished. To offer such a valuable inducement to force undeveloped stock in the first week of May was certainly not a step in the right direction for any race- course executive, whose first consideration should be the improvement of the breed of horses. In this race St. Frusquin beat his stable-companion Gulistan by a neck; and when, a month later, in the Coventry Stakes at Ascot, Persimmon finished half a dozen 99 THE KING'S RACEHORSES lengths in front of Gulistan, it was only reasonable for the casual observer to rate the Royal colt as a 'cut above' St. Frusquin. But St. Frusquin was lame when he started for the Kempton race, being a great sufferer from rheumatism in the joints, an affection which made it impossible to train him at times. At home, when well, he was much the superior of Gulistan. It is but rarely that we read of a rheumatic racehorse, although the equine is just as liable to acquire the disease as is the human. And old Hampton-destroyed three or four years ago-was full of rheumatism when at Lord Ellesmere's stud. When moving about his joints used to crack as if lined with fireworks. Another equine sufferer from the same cause was Kisber, the Derby winner of 1876, who had to be hunted around his box to take the stiffness out of his joints before he was brought out to exercise of a morning. Persimmon, on making his ddbit, was pronounced by horse-experts to be 'a bit backward,' but 'quite the gentle- man.' Marsh, his trainer, had evidently not hurried the colt in his preparation, and Mdli Mdlo, who had won the Acorn Stakes at Epsom in a canter, was almost as well fancied by the so-called 'talent.' Yet, on this trying course, Persimmon galloped the rest down, as soon as 100 THE PRINCE'S LUCK Watts relaxed his hold on the reins; and on the spur of the moment short odds wvere taken by 'professional' backers that the Prince of Wales would win his first Derby in i896. Persimmon's second public appearance was made in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, and here he had little difficulty in disposing of the moderate opposition over a course six furlongs in length. In the mean- time St. Frusquin had not been idle, having won the Sandringham Gold Cup at Sandown very easily from the Duke of Westminster's Labrador and four others, and the Chesterfield Stakes at Newmarket. An unaccountable defeat at Kempton Park, in the Imperial Produce Stakes, on October 4th followed. Blut Teufel, the winner, was carrying 12 lb. less than Mr. de Rothschild's colt, who was nevertheless backed as if the race were over. Of course, the jockey was, as usual, blamed for the colt's defeat. Last scene of all, in 1895, Greek joined Greek! Persimmon and St. Frusquin met in opposition for the Middle Park Plate at Newmarket. The 'flying' filly Omladina-who won all her races but this one, at two years old-was almost as good a favourite as the Prince's colt, whilst St. Frusquin was in but little 101 THE KING'S RACEHORSES less demand. On this occasion Frederick Pratt (a nephew of the deceased Fred Archer) had the mount on St. Frusquin, who had previously been ridden, in turn, by T. Loates, Calder, T. Loates, and Finlay. And in the result, although Omladina got within half a length of St. Frusquin, Persimmon was beaten five lengths from the second. In referring to this running, Lord Marcus Beresford writes: 'Persimmon had been coughing for a fortnight before the Middle Park Plate, but as he never left an oat, and was fresh, it was decided to run him.' How this defeat was avenged is told in the next chapter. 102 PERSIMMON'S DERBY AND AFTER 'Sets on his deeds the seal of fame, And his name with glory crowns, As he gallops home at the head of the field For the Derby on Epsom Downs.' CHAPTER IV PERSIMMON'S DERBY AND AFTER Persimmon and St. Frusquin difficult to separate in the matter of superiority-An easy time of it during the winter-Inadvisable to prepare Persimmon for the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes- Teething troubles-Vast improvements in the science of horse- dentistry-Brutality of the old methods-Bleeding, sweating, etc., how did the horses stand it -A horse needing dental attention twitched, gagged, and tortured-Ignorance of operators in days of yore-Herr Loeffler and his pupil, Mr. Joseph Marsh-Persimmon's disgrace in a trial gallop is entirely due to the torture of biting on loose 'crowns' in his lower jaw-Prompt removal of the offenders by the dentist-Opinions of an American expert-' No healthy horse was ever born vicious'-Persimmon's Derby trial is witnessed by the Prince and Princess of Wales and suite-The test proves that the horse still retains his fine speed-And that he is much the superior of his stable-companion, Balsamo-Subsequent trial with Safety Pin to test the endurance of Persimmon-Doings of the opposition; St. Frusquin wins the Column Produce Stakes and Two Thousand Guineas Stakes-And becomes a strong favourite in the betting on the Derby-Difficulty in boxing the Prince's horse at Newmarket Station-St. Simon also awkward before taking a railway journey-Only the two favourites considered to have chances in the great race-Starters, jockeys, betting, and description of the running -Enormous attendance on the Downs-Amusing incident at the starting-post-' No fun till I come'-Popular demonstration after the I05 0 THE KING'S RACEHORSES race-No such scene of enthusiasm ever witnessed before-What Mr. John Corlett wrote about it - Foresight of the First Player in Hanzlc-Mr, de Rothschild, the owner of the second, unable to be present-It was a clever win, if not an easy one-Unstinted praise for John Watts, the rider of the winner-And for Richard Marsh, his trainer, who has all the responsibility on his own shoulders- Delight of His Royal Highness as he leads his horse through the unsaddling-paddock-Result of the Princess of Wales's Plate at New- market proves Persimmon and St. Frusquin to possess equal merit over a mile course-The Eclipse Stakes at Sandown is St. Frusquin's last race-He gives way in his suspensory ligaments-'Lovely Thais,' after winning the One Thousand Guineas, is unfortunate at Epsom and Ascot-Persimmon specially prepared for the Doncaster St. Leger-Dcscription of the race-The favourite runs lazily, but wins very easily-In splendid condition for the Jockey Club Stakes, which he runs away with from start to finish-Persimmon a magnificent four-year-old-He sets the seal on his fame by wvinning the Ascot Gold Cup-And winds up his racing career by taking the Eclipse Stakes - A chat about Eventail - Early performances of Diamond Jubilee-He runs sometimes mulishly, and sometimes gamely-His dislike to Mornington Cannon-He suffers from teething troubles like his brother-I1e is thrice beaten by the American gelding, Democrat-J. Tod Sloan's opinion of the last named-Little Herbert Jones, his stable attendant, rides Diamond Jubilee-He wins the Two Thousand Guineas, the Newmarket Stakes, and Derby-But is beaten by Merry Gal in the Princess of Wales's Stakes-He wins the Eclipse Stakes and St. Leger, but is unplaced to Disguise later on-Ill-luck of Diamond Jubilee at four years old-By his deeds let him be judged-No 'coward ' or 'moderate' horse ever won so many important races-Table of winners of morc than 20,000 in stakes -The 'record' score of Isinglass. io6 PERSIMMON'S DERBY T must have occurred to the careful student of racing who saw the Ad A i d Middle Park Plate run for, that Persimmon was not showing his true form in that race. Nor was i4, ) he. It had not then been proved by the 'book' that St. Frusquin and the Prince of Wales's colt were as difficult to separate in the matter of sterling merit as twin cherries upon one stalk; but it appeared, at the same time, probable that the last named, if quite up to the mark, ought to have finished nearer to the other. Persimmon, as a matter of fact, was not quite up to the mark-or anywhere near the mark. His starting was extremely doubtful until after his stable-companion Chinkara had run forward in the Stand Nursery Handicap, two races beforehand. The son of St. Simon had been 'coughing' only a few days previously, and as a cough with a racehorse not un- frequently leads to something worse, it was running a risk to start him for the Middle Park Plate. But the Prince, like the true sportsman he is, was unwilling to disappoint the spectators, all eager to wvitness the meeting of the two sons of St. Simon; and the recent 107 THE KING'S RACEHORSES running of Chinkara had told the trainer that it was not impossible for Persimmon to win after all, seeing that a day or two before he had only just failed to beat that filly in a home gallop, when carrying nearly three stone more. And apart from the cough, the colt was well in himself. It was certainly questionable policy to run Persimmon, who struggled gamely enough, but his limbs were unable to obey the demands of his stout heart. Like most racehorses, he had an easy time of it during the winter months, and when 'breathed ' in the early spring, it was considered inadvisable to prepare him to take part in the first of his 'classic' engage- ments, The Two Thousand Guineas Stakes-a prepara- tion which, in the horse's backward state, wvas bound to be a hurried one. And, in addition, the Royal favourite was suffering from serious teething troubles. Until quite recently but scant attention was paid to the teeth of the horse-whether racehorse or beast of burden; and when one comes to consider the awful experiences of the 'high-mettled racer' of half a cen- tury or more ago, at the hands of his masters, it is miraculous how he, at times, managed to raise a gallop at all. Without wishing to decry altogether the o8 z 0 U) "P. This page in the original text is blank. z 0 "P.14 This page in the original text is blank. PERSIMMON'S DERBY methods of trainers of the old school, the ignorance displayed at that period is lamentable to consider. Whether or no the English thoroughbred has deterior- ated-and the writer holds a very strong opinion to the contrary-it is as certain as the sun at noonday that a more enlightened, a more humane, and a far more reasonable way of training him to race is em- ployed at the present time. How did West Australian and his contemporaries stand all the 'sweatings' and 'bleedings' which they had to undergo in accordance with the ancient rdgime It must be remembered that up to the middle of the nineteenth century, just as it was customary to bleed the human-whether suffering from apoplexy or atrophy-for all sorts and conditions of complaints, so was it thought necessary to let a quart or so of blood from the racehorse in training, after having previously loaded him with two sets of warm clothing, strapped a thick blanket under his girth, and sent him four or five miles at a hand- gallop I There is a trainer in the 'North Countree' still living, who, wvhen a stable-lad, used frequently to ' stand by' with a tin pannikin, ready to catch the life-blood from the throat of the noble animal who was being subjected to this heroic treatment. 109 THE KING'S RACEHORSES The young 'instrument of gambling' who suffered with his teeth in those dark ages had to 'go through it.' Dragged to the veterinary forge, he was first 'twitched,' and then 'gagged'; then the offending teeth were either roughly rasped with a blacksmith's file, by (it might be) the most ignorant and brutal of operators, or else pried out with the aid of hammer and chisel. Veterinary science has in the past advanced slowly enough, but within the last fifteen years or so it has certainly made up for lost time. And horse-dentistry has especially developed into a fine art in these enlightened times. There has been no abler exponent of this art than the late Herr Loeffler, already mentioned in the last chapter; and the writer has watched him operate suc- cessfully and painlessly upon scores of young horses, without the aid of gag or twitch; in fact, with nothing on the patient's cranium but an ordinary headstall. One arm around the animal's neck, close to the jowl, one hand in his mouth to feel for loose or jagged teeth, then the pincers or the rasp; and nineteen out of twenty patients, so far from objecting to the operation, seemed actually to like it. Mr. Joseph Marsh, a brother of His Royal Highness's HO PERSIMMON'S DERBY trainer, the master of Egerton House, and formerly well known as a trainer and steeplechase jockey, studied horse-dentistry under Loeffler, becoming eventually quite an expert in the art, as numerous owners and trainers can testify. And he it was who was called in to alleviate the teething tortures of Persimmon, and, at a later period, of his younger brother, Diamond Jubilee. In that exceedingly interesting volume, From Gladiateur to Pershimon, the author, Mr. Sydenham Dixon, makes allusion to a gallop performed by Per- simmon, one morning during the Craven week, at Newmarket, when his clothes wvere taken off for the first time as a three-year-old, and he was led by Chinkara and Courtier, to the first named of whom he could, a few months before, have given (in racing parlance) 'tons' of weight. And 'the most slovenly performance on the part of a crack ever seen' was due mainly to the state of poor Persimmon's gums. It was just at about this period that Joseph Marsh removed three loose 'crowns' from the colt's lower jaw; and the agony suffered by a horse who tries to chew corn upon loose molars can be more easily imagined than described. In fact, there is no more important part in the III THE KING'S RACEHORSES anatomy of the horse than his teeth. More races have been lost, more 'cowards' and 'rogues' manufactured, from neglect of this study than ordinary critics are aware of. ' No healthy horse,' writes an eminent authority in the American magazine, Outing, for December i901, 'was ever born vicious; all possessed of this undesir- able characteristic have been made so by mismanage- ment or abuse. Occasionally a colt may be found which will saucily try to frighten its caretaker, and once in a while an animal proves incorrigible. These last, how- ever, are really insane in some respects, and not in normal condition at all. Vice, invariably, is the outcome of improper handling by the superior animal, man. Relieved of the trouble in his poor gums, Persimmon improved rapidly. We have been told that he was never 'regularly tried' for the Derby; but a gallop he had about a week before that race must have resembled a regular trial pretty closely. On the private trial ground attached to Egerton House, he carried 21 lb. more than Balsamo-a colt by Friar's Balsam, of the same age-in a mile 'spin,' and beat him easily. The Prince and Princess of Wales were both present; and, attended by their suite, watched the gallop from a private stand specially erected for the occasion. 1I 2 PERSIMMON'S DERBY That Persimmon had moulted no part of his speed was at once apparent from this trial (whether regular or irregular). For Balsamo had, only a fortnight before, run a great race for the Newmarket Stakes with Galeazzo, who only won by a neck. The last named belonged, like St. Frusquin, to Mr. Leopold de Roth- schild, and was probably not more than 14 lb. the inferior of the 'crack'; so that Balsamo was especially valuable as a trial horse. And in order to test Per- simmon's stamina, he was galloped on the following Saturday, with Safety Pin and Glentilt-both known stayers-over a distance of one mile and a half with a satisfactory result. Meanwhile St. Frusquin had not been idle, and his cause had gained many fresh adherents. Started for the Column Produce Stakes, at the Newmarket Craven Meeting, Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's colt won in an exercise canter from some very moderate opponents; but a fortnight later, for the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, his task was a more difficult one. Before that race, Love Wisely, a chestnut colt by Wisdom, from Lovelorn, the property of the late Mr. Hamar Bass, had not been considered of much account; but, although St. Frusquin won easily at the finish-he had the speed 1' 113 THE KING'S RACEHORSES (or, as the Irish call it, the 'foot') of the other-the chestnut seemed to be 'bothering' him a bit, ere they had gone three-fourths of the distance. And as Love Wisely, about six weeks later on, was a very easy winner of the Gold Cup at Ascot, the 'Two Thousand' victory of St. Frusquin must have been a meritorious one indeed. And the betting before the start for the Derby showed that racing experts, whether backers or layers, were fully alive to this fact. Some horses are easier than others to entice into the box which is ready to convey them on the railway metals from place to place. To some thoroughbreds railway travelling is grateful-' kind,' as they say in the Emerald Isle; and the writer well remembers howv fond old Scamp-a somewhat celebrated horse of his time, in the 'seventies '-used to be of a train journey. He would bolt into the box as quickly as he could, and when the door was closed would lie at full length, with his back against it. And the jolting and shaking only served to soothe him to sleep. But Persimmon, like his illustrious sire, was not favourably disposed towards locomotion by steam. St. Simon, who, like all the descendants of Galopin, was of a highly-strung, fidgety temperament, was awkward enough in his own box at 114 H z 0 C4 z 0 x z 0 w 0 w .4 This page in the original text is blank. H w 0 z 0 m 0 uJ 0 z U) 4: ,t'. I"i """11 , - I M i......- - W,-V-v This page in the original text is blank. PERSIMMON'S DERBY Heath House, Newmarket; but when the time came to move him to Welbeck, to enjoy the olium,, cum; dignitale of stud life, he kept his attendants on the move half the day, in the endeavour to box him. So it was with his son Persimmon on the day he was despatched to Epsom to run for the Derby. According to rumour it took nearly all the inhabitants of Newmarket to help push and carry him into his temporary home. But once inside he speedily accepted the situation; and poking his nose into the manger, he proceeded to clean it out, looking superciliously at his attendants, from time to time, as if to ask, 'What have you been making all this fuss about' Beyond the two favourites but few searched, in the endeavour to find the winner of the Derby of 1896. Teufel's defeat of St. Frusquin the year before was pretty generally accepted as a 'fluke'; whilst the scratching of Regret, at the eleventh hour, removed the last shred of danger which might have been threatened by the Kingsclere stable. As a two-year-old Regrct was very highly thought of by John Porter, but the horse did not 'come on' as he should have done. He was a solid, cobby-looking customer, with a loin and quarters which would have served as a dinner-table for 115 THE KING'S RACEHORSES six; and he possessed the action of a blood pony. It was wisely resolved, at the last moment, to reserve him for the Princess of Wales's Stakes in July, when he would be receiving an allowance in weight, instead of 'tackling' Persimmon and St. Frusquin burdened equally with them. A list of starters and jockeys for this ever-memorable Derby is appended, taken from the report in a London daily newspaper, which also gives a list of the betting at the start, and a full description of the race. 'THE DERBY STAKES of 6ooo sovereigns, by subscription of 50 sovereigns each, for three-year-olds; colts 9 st., fillies 8 st. i i lb. About one mile and a half. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales's Persimmon, by St. Simon-Perdita II., 9 St., Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's St. Frusquin, 9 St., Mr. H. E. Beddington's Earwig, 9 st., Mr. B. S. Straus's Teufel, 9 St., Mr. L. Brassey's Bay Ronald, 9 St., Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's Gulistan, 9 St., Mr. Calvert's Bradwardine, 9 St., Mr. J. Wallace's Spook, 9 St., . . M r. H. McCalmont's Knight of the Thistle, 9 St., Mr. E. Cassel's Toussaint, 9 st., M r. L. Brassey's Tamarind, 9 St., Regret was struck out at 1 2.55 r.M. on the da) i 16 J. Watts I T. Loates 2 F. Allsopp 3 F. Pratt o W. Bradford o T. J. Calder o F. Rickaby o R. W. Coiling o M. Cannon o J. Woodburn o H. Grimshaw o y of the race. PERSIMMON'S DERBY BETTING AT THlE START. 13 to 8 on St. 5 to x against 00 to 0 ,, 25 to I1, 25 to I ,, Frusquin. Persimmon. Teufel. Bay Ronald. Knight of the Thistle. 33 to 33 to 40 to 100 to loo to 1000 to X against Gulistan. X , Earwig. X , Bradwardine. It 1, Spook. I ,, Toussaint. I ,, Tamarind. PLACE BETTING, 1, 2, 3. on St. Frusquin. ,, Persimmon. against Teufel. ,, Gulistan. ,, Earwig. ,, Bay Ronald. 1oo to 30 against Knight of the Thistle. 9 to 2 ,, Bradwardine. 7 to I ,, Spook. io to I ,, Toussaint. 50 to ,, Tamarind. 'THE RACE.-The flag was hoisted at 3.16, and after four or five unimportant breaks away, Toussaint, on the outside, showed slightly in front of Bradwardine for a hundred yards, when Bay Ronald took up the running. He was followed by Bradwardine and Tamarind, from Earwig, Spook, Gulistan, Teufel, and Toussaint, with Knight of the Thistle next, and St. Frusquin and Persimmon the last two. As they passed the City and Suburban starting-post, Gulistan, on the inside, was driven to the head of affairs from Bay Ronald, Spook, 117 5 to 1 13 to 8 5 to 4 2 to 1 5 to 2 Ilto4 THE KING'S RACEHORSES and Bradwardine, a gap dividing these from Knight of the Thistle, St. Frusquin, and Earwig, with Tamarind already outpaced, so that before entering the furzes he dropped astern of Toussaint and Persimmon. At the mile post the last named had closed up a little, and in the meanwhile Gulistan assumed the command from Bay Ronald, Spook, and St. Frusquin, who were in turn just clear of Teufel, Bradwardine, Knight of the Thistle, Earwig, and Persimmon, with Toussaint and Tamarind, in the order named, tailed off. On the top of the hill Gulistan was only maintaining his position under pressure, and commencing the descent he resigned to Bradwardine, St. Frusquin, Bay Ronald, and Teufel, and was also passed half-way down by Persimmon and Spook. Before rounding Tattenham Corner Bradwardine lost his place, and left Bay Ronald and St. Frusquin side by side, with Persimmon drawing up third from Teufel and Spook, and Bradwardine re- maining at the head of the others. More than a quarter of a mile from home Bay Ronald aud Teufel were in hopeless difficulties, and the issue at once resolved itself into a match between St. Frusquin and Persimmon. As the latter drew up to the quarters of St. Frusquin he was palpably going the faster, and with rare patience ii8 PERSIMMON'S DERBY Watts delayed his efforts until inside the distance. He then set Persimmon going in earnest, and having ob- tained a slight advantage a hundred yards from home he kept it up to the end, and won a fine race by a neck, the game efforts of St. Frusquin to keep him at bay proving of no avail. Ridden out to the end, Earns ig wvas third at an interval of four lengths, with Teufel fourth, Bay Ronald fifth, Gulistan sixth, Bradwardine seventh, Spook eighth, Knight of the Thistle ninth, Toussaint tenth, and Tamarind hidden in the crowd. Time, 2 min. 42 sec. Value of the stakes, ; 5450.' With the weather bright and warm, and the sun shining down in all his glorious splendour, the attend- ance wuras, if not the largest on record, one of the largest, at all events. On such a vast space as the slopes andl crests of Epsom Downs it is absolutely impossible to take a Derby day census. In the matter of crowd, the pilgrims who hold their burra din at the mouth of the River Ganges, for self-purifying purposes, may possibly beat the Derby; but there is no such scene, in the matter of animation and enjoyment, in the wide wide world as Derby Day. The most amusing incident which occurred prior to the start was the attempt, on the part of the police, to 119 THE KING'S RACEHORSES take Mr. Arthur Coventry into custody for persisting in remaining in the middle of the track, just before the start. Eventually, amid the roars and groans of the populace, it was explained to the minions of the law that the offender was none other than the official despatcher himself. Just as the criminal of old was said to have observed, on the morning of his execution, 'There 'll be no fun till I come,' so would it have been impossible to run the Derby without the assistance of the starter. Such a wonderful scene of enthusiasm was never wvitnessed nor heard on a racecourse as that which greeted the struggle between the two 'cracks.' And the cheering, which was redoubled after the judge had signalled the number on the card of the winner, was the most spontaneous, simultaneous effort on the part of a vast multitude that was ever heard by civilisa- tion. It was unique, the scene. Two years before when Ladas, with the same jockey as to-day, John Watts, in the saddle, had won Lord Rosebery his first Derby, everybody amongst the spectators appeared to be afflicted with temporary and very outspoken insanity. There is no such popular nobleman in England as Lord Rosebery, and he is absolutely worshipped in the neigh- 120 PERSIMMON'S DERBY bourhood of Epsom, where, at Durdans, is one of his Lordship's stately homes. But the reception awarded to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, after bearing off for the first time the much coveted Blue Ribbon of the Turf, quite put the former demonstration into the background. To quote Shakespeare, it was a scene 'Which paragons description, and wild fame, One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens, And in the essential vesture of creation Doth bear all excellency.' 'We could hear,' said Mr. John Corlett in the Spor/ing Times on the following Saturday, 'the gathering roar, like the rumbling of a storm, long before the winning number was hoisted; and then the thunder pealed forth, and a scene took place which we have not the power to describe.' Had Mr. Corlett ever enacted the part of the First Actor in Hamlet, he would probably have quoted a portion of his celebrated speech. 'And, as we often see, against some storm, A silence in the heavens, the bold winds speechless, And the orb below as hush as death, Anon the dreadful thunder doth rend the region!' 121 THE KING'S RACEHORSES 'The enthusiasm,' writes the author of Fromt Gladia- feur to Persimmon, 'exhibited by one and all completely baffles description, whilst such spontaneous and long- continued cheering has never been heard before or since. It began when Persimmon first raced up to his great rival, and fairly tackled him, and must have lasted for fully a quarter of an hour. It reached the culminating point when the Prince took the leading-rein from Marsh, and brought his horse back to the door of the weighing- room. Never was there such a triumphal procession, though, in the wild excitement of the moment, some of the crowd rather forgot the divinity that doth hedge a king, and were perhaps a little too boisterous in their congratulations. Such a scene made one feel more than ever proud to be an Englishman, and it is quite certain that in no other country in the world would it have been enacted. There was our future King, making his way through the vast crowd, absolutely unattended; and one fully realised how poor a guard are cordons of police and soldiers as compared with the loyalty and love of a devoted people.' And so said, or thought, all of us. The only regret amongst those present was that the owner of the second horse was unable to be present, to share in the general 122 PERSIMMON'S DERBY congratulations. An act of filial piety kept 'Mr. Leo' in London; and nobody could have more regretted the necessity for absence from the brilliant scene. That neither Persimmon nor St. Frusquin was at his best is quite possible; but from the point of view of the present writer, the Prince's colt would, both fit and well, have always outstayed the other, although he may have had a trifle the better speed. In this Derby there was not a pin to choose between the two, until the telegraph frame, with bell atop, about two hundred yards from the winning-post, was reached. All up the straight run-in, whilst the rider of St. Frusquin was pushing his horse, Watts had been sitting still, as though carved in stone, on the favourite. And at the 'Bell' the other began to come back to him. Then- one 'squeeze' of the hands, and the race was won- easily at last. Such riding was beyond all criticism. It 'paragoned description,' the easy, apparently effortless style, without flourish or flashness. The criminal craze for 'American methods' had not then come into vogue; and it is well for our Turf that this craze has departed as quickly as it came. At all events there never was a finer horseman than John Watts; and on 'Persimmon Day' he did his duty wisely and well. I23 THE KING'S RACEHORSES And what of the trainer Whilst we join in the furore which greeted the Royal owner, as well as the 'horse and his rider,' it would never do to ignore the invaluable help given to attain the much-desired goal by the man of all others the most responsible for the welfare and well-being of Persimmon-Richard Marsh, of Egerton House, Newmarket. Whatever a jockey may do, however talented he may be in his pro- fession, it is the trainer who is entitled to a larger share of the credit when a horse wins an important race. And when we come to consider the incessant work of a trainer, and the perpetual strain of responsibility he incurs, it certainly appears wonderful how he stands it. Modern trainers, it should be borne in mind, have far more upon their hands, and brains, than 'Old John' this, and 'Old Joe' that, sixty years ago; and nobody but a man of parts, a cool-headed, level- minded man, a fellow of infinite resource and perfect tact, is competent to undertake the task of train- ing racehorses nowadays. The writer is bound to add that Richard Marsh seems to thrive on hard work and responsibility; and to see his cheery countenance as he canters to and fro on Newmarket Heath, direct- ing training operations, you would suppose that here 124 li s-b zl w This page in the original text is blank. 6n z C m Q- z C P777' 1 777j This page in the original text is blank. PERSIMMON'S DERBY at all events was one who was as 'happy as a king.' As His Royal Highness was personally conducting his gallant steed to the weighing-room door, it was observable that never had the Heir to the Crown worn a brighter or more delighted countenance-a combination of the pure, honest joy of the schoolboy who has made ioo 'not out' at the wickets, and the suave dignity of a born ruler of men. A great race had been run, and won by a great horse, the property of a great Prince, who throughout life has lived in the esteem and affec- tions of a great people; a sportsman to the backbone, who throughout his association with the national sport has played 'The Great Game' wisely, unselfishly, and well. It is possible that there were present on Epson Downs that day representatives of that narrow-minded league who would gladly destroy and root out every- thing connected with sport and recreation, every- thing which affords pleasure to the people; alleged men who would, if they could, make horse-racing a capital offence; who would speed the steam plough on Epsom Downs-oblivious of the fact that there is barely six inches of surface soil above the chalk here- as on every other racecourse in the world. It was 125 THE KING'S RACEHORSES wvell for these representatives, if present, that they made no sign, in order to give expression to their own Puritanical convictions. For of a verity it would have needed a zealot with the iron nerve of a Cromwell, and the self-sacrificial instincts of an early Christian martyr, to protest, or raise a voice in opposition to the enthusiasm and rejoicings on 'Persimmon's Derby Day.' And the modern Puritan, albeit not wholly deficient in nerve power, does not possess that sort of devotion or self-sacrificial instincts. The result of the Princess of Wales's Stakes, run at Newmarket a month or so later on, encourages the belief that there wvas not a pin to choose between Per- simmon and St. Frusquin in a mile race. Here, at the following weights, they finished in this order ST. FRUSQUIN, 9 St. 2 lb.,. . . . . PERSIMMON, 9 St. 5 lb.,.. . . . . 2 REGRET, 8 St. 7 lb.,. . . . . . 3 Won by half a length. Same distance between second and third. The adjacent position of Regret might appear, to the casual observer, to point out that neither of the first two was of any great worth; but it must be borne in mind that Regret was carrying 9 lb. less weight 126 PERSIMMON'S DERBY than the winner, and 12 lb. less than the second; also that Regret was a much better horse at home-when not cowed by the flutter of a silken jacket or the crack of a whip-than in public. At all events, with the race for the Princess of Wales's Stakes fresh in his mind, no sane handicapper, in adjusting the weights in a mile race, would have attempted to separate the illustrious couple by a pound. At the same time-despite what the Derby had told them-the alleged 'talent' got hold of the idea that 'Mr. Leo's' horse was the better of the pair and the better stayer, and betted accordingly upon the Don- caster St. Leger. But the illustrious couple never met again. It was written in the Book of Fate that the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park should be St. Frusquin's last race. And a brilliant victory it was, too, after he had at one time looked like succumbing to both Regret and Troon. Shortly after this race the hope of the Rothschilds broke down badly 'in front' -both suspensory ligaments having given way. And the son of Isabel was never seen again on a racecourse. Persimmon seas not the only one of the Royal stud to carry the 'purple and scarlet' to victory that year. Thais, a brown filly by St. Serf (son of St. Simon), 127 THE KING'S RACEHORSES from Poetry, won the One Thousand Guineas Stakes, for fillies only, at Newmarket, and would doubtless, had she been at her best, have borne off the Oaks as well, and thus completed a 'Royal double.' But, always a delicate mare, and a 'shy feeder' away from home, 'lovely Thais' would not look at an oat after she got to Epsom, and succumbed, by two lengths, to Canterbury Pilgrim, in what has always been known as 'The Ladies' Race.' Nor could the Prince's filly improve upon the position of second at Ascot; although here she was only just beaten by Helm for the valuable Coronation Stakes, with the Oaks winner fourth, carrying the same weight. As a two-year-old, Thais-who was, of course, named after the beautiful Athenian of whom Dryden sang in A/exander's Feast: 'Lovely Thais sits beside thee, Take the goods the gods provide thee'- scored one victory as against two failures. At Ascot she was a good third to Roquebrune and Shaddock, in the New Stakes; and in the Newmarket July Stakes she filled the same place, behind Labrador and Galeazzo. At the third time of asking, Thais won the Crabbet Plate at Gatwick, after which she was retired for the 128 PERSIMMON'S DERBY season, to reappear the following April in the One Thousand Guineas Stakes (worth 5ioo, by the way) at Newmarket, which she won after a desperate race with Mr. Douglas Baird's Santa Maura. At the end of her three-year-old season-she did not win again- Thais was sent to the stud, and, after proving barren to Isinglass, was mated with him again, but died before the end of 1898. 'This,' wrote a chronicler of the period (whose work has already furnished material for quotation), 'may possibly have been a blessing in disguise, for, great as the loss appeared to be at the time, it is quite probable that the produce of such a delicate mare, and one coming of a delicate strain, would have been a source of constant disappointment.' After his defeat at the Newmarket July Meeting, Persimmon was not seen in public until he walked into the paddock at Doncaster, already saddled for the St. Leger. The absence of St. Frusquin from the scene of course deprived the race of a large amount of interest which would otherwise have attached thereto; and with the elements unfavourable, the attendance on the Town Moor on 't' Leger Day' was not up to the average. Very heavy rain had ushered in the morning, and the track in consequence rode 'holding.' When the R 129 THE KING'S RACEHORSES numbers of the runners were displayed on the telegraph- board it was found that the field had dwindled down to seven-one of the smallest since Lord Exeter's Stockwell (afterwards to be known as 'The Emperor of Stallions') won in 1852. Persimmon was opposed by Labrador, Rampion (both of these being the property of the Duke of Westminster), Dynamo, Love Lane, Funny Boat, and Chevele d'Or-certainly not a representative field for the great race of the North. There was but little delay at the starting-post; and when the flag fell, Rampion at once cut out the running for his stable companion, and although once headed by Funny Boat, in the first half-mile the Duke's 'second string' held the lead until the ' Intake Turn' was reached. Here the leader gave way to Labrador, who with Persimmon close up, was just in front when rounding the bend. For a few strides there did not seem to be much to choose between the pair, as each wvas being 'pushed.' For a moment the Prince's horse gave the impression that he was in trouble, and the old familiar cry went up 'The favourite 's beat I' But it was only the laziness common to many good stayers that was affecting him, and, when he had once got his head in front, Persimmon strode away from Labrador, and 130 PERSIMMON'S DERBY won easily at the finish by a length and a half. Rampion finished third and Dynamo fourth, but both were a long way behind the leaders. Watts remarked subsequently that the Royal colt had won quite easily, and attributed the apparent struggle at the bend to Persimmon's laziness - a characteristic of many of our best racehorses. At the same time the jockey undoubtedly showed the favourite the whip; and as he had been trained on the tan during the greater part of the summer-an unusually dry one-the colt could not have been at his best on 't' Leger Day.' Quite a different horse was Persimmon when he appeared at the starting-post for the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket, three weeks later. The much-wanted rain had descended, and it was no longer necessary to gallop the Derby winner on the tan, which track, according to a well-known trainer, 'only makes 'em slower.' Moreover, Persimmon had no railway journey to make nor strange stable to inhabit; and, according to the general verdict, he looked 'pounds better.' His Royal owner rode specially across the Heath to Egerton House, attended by a select suite, in order to give his favourite a lead back to the paddock attached to the '3' THE KING'S RACEHORSES Rowley Mile Stand; and a scene of great enthusiasm took place on the return of the procession. For although His Royal Highness had always been accustomed to enjoy Newmarket as a private gentle- man, without the slightest semblance of state, this was a special occasion. The following was the result of the race for the Jockey Club Stakes, one mile two furlongs:- H.R.H. the Prince of Wales's PERSIMMON, 3 years, 9 St. 7 lb., . Lord Rosebery's SIR VISTO, 4 years, lo St. 2 lb., Mr. Houldsworth's LAVENO, 4 years, 9 St. 13 lb., Duke of Westminster's REGRET, 3 years, 9 St. I lb., The following also ran:- Knight of the Thistle, 3 years, 8 St. 4 lb., Utica, 4 years, 9 St. 7 lb., Lombard, 4 years, 9 St. 7 lb., Bay Ronald, 3 years, 8 st. X lb., . Kirkconnel, 4 years, 9 St. 13 lb., . Watts S. Loates F. Pratt 2 3 M. Cannon 4 . Calder . Rickaby . C. Loates . Grimshaw . Powell 5 6 7 8 9 Sir Visto had won the Derby and Doncaster St. Leger of the previous year, but he was not considered particularly dangerous here, although he ran one of his very best races. Knight of the Thistle, a colt by 132 PERSIMMON'S DERBY Rosebery, from Empress Maud, had shown fair form, both at two and three years old, and it was thought that his fine speed might get him home, when allowed no less than 17 lb. in weight by the favourite. But he was 'spun out' long before the winning- post was reached. In fact, the only one of the field who ever looked like troubling Persimmon was Sir Visto, who ran his race out stoutly and well. But if ever there was a case of ' Eclipse first, the rest nowhere,' it occurred in this race, of which the present writer got an excellent view from the high ground opposite the stand, the best place from which to see a race at Newmarket on the ' Flat,' as the town side of the ' Devil's Ditch' is called. The favourite had literally won all the way. He was pulling his jockey out of the saddle from flag - fall, and when 'Watts released his grip on the reins, Persimmon dashed to the front, and won like a racehorse. There is no nobler sight in the world than to watch a really high- class horse striding along, with the race in hand; and as Persimmon passed the winning-post, both backers and layers cheered their loudest, the demonstration being renewed when the Prince led the winner through the paddock to the door of the weighing-room. '33 THE KING'S RACEHORSES The poet from whose works the verse at the head of this chapter is quoted, sings of a seal being set on the fame of a horse by his winning the Derby. According to strict tradition this is not accurate. That talented writer on sport, the late lamented ' Druid '-who had the great gift of making his simple narratives both instructive and amusing-weas the first to use the phrase to 'set the seal' on a horse's fame. And that seal was set vhen that horse won, not the Derby alone, but the Ascot Cup, atop of the Blue Ribbon. It was not likely that the I'rince of WVales wvould neglect any opportunity for vinning that Cup; so, vith Persimmon growing the right way in the spring of 1897, we find him at Ascot developed into a truly magnificent four-year-old. In fact, a handsomer racehorse had not been seen for many a year than the one who opposed WVinkfield's Pride, Love \Visely, and Lnimasol for the nmost coveted trophy of all the racing year. Of the opposition Love Wisely had non the Ascot Cup of the previous year, whilst Winkfield's Pride had already won the Lincolnshire Handicap, under a heavy weight, and subsequently accounted for the Doncaster Cup and the Prix de Conseil Municipal in Paris. As for Limasol, she had won the Oaks only a fortnight before Ascot. But what- 134 ll. JONES This page in the original text is blank. I1. LJ N ES k This page in the original text is blank. PERSIMMON'S DERBY ever was the nature of the opposition-good, bad, or indifferent, Persimmon won this Cup as easily as he had won the last race in which he had taken part. And when in the middle of the following month he ' romped away' from Velasquez, Bay Ronald, Bradwar- dine, and Beato-all high-class horses, and all winners -experts began to tell each other that here at last was 'the horse of the century.' The 'Eclipse' was Per- simmon's last race. Two contests close together, with the ground so hard, were all that he could reasonably be asked to endure; and the gallant son of St. Simon and Perdita retired to the comparative dignity and ease of paddock life, with his blushing honours thick upon him. The enterprising owner of Lingfield Park, Mr. J. B. Leigh, tried hard to bring off a match between the Royal horse and Galtee More (the Derby winner of 1897) on that picturesque Surrey course in the autumn; but the attempt was futile. And, although his horse was perfectly sound when he retired from the Turf, the Prince of Wales was acting wisely in not running any further risks. Eventail-a name which most racegoers pronounced as if an English one-won three races out of five for her Royal master in 1898. This was a chestnut filly '35 THE KING'S RACEHORSES by Ayrshire out of Fanchette, who, next to Perdita, has proved thus far the most valuable of the Royal brood-mares. Eventail started on her racing career by winning the Royal Two-Year-Old Plate at Kempton Park from a good field, which included a half-brother to St. Frusquin in St. Gris, by Galopin, from Isabel, who subsequently beat Flying Fox for the Imperial Produce Stakes, also at Kempton. After winning the Acorn Stakes at Epsom in a canter, Eventail sus- tained defeat at Newmarket in the July Stakes from Desmond, a smart two-year-old, but afterwards worth- less for racing purposes; and at Goodwood she beat St. Gris by a head for the Prince of Wales's Stakes. This race, in all probability, broke her heart, for in the Clearwell Stakes at Newvmarket she finished last but one. The following season she was ridden in turn by Madden, Mornington Cannon (who afterwards re- ceived a retainer as first jockey to the Prince of Wales), Sloan, and Herbert Jones (the stable-jockey), but she had evidently lost her former dash, and she was retired to the Sandringham stud at the end of i899. We nowv come to the third scion of St. Simon and Perdita-Diamond Jubilee, a colt built on somewhat similar lines to Persimmon, but on a smaller scale, 136 PERSIMMON'S DERBY and lighter in colour. He, like his brother, made his initial appearance with John Watts in the saddle, in the Coventry Stakes at Ascot, but although first favourite, did not show much inclination for racing until the 'three-cornered' American gelding, Democrat, had got nearly to the winning-post. In fact, this was a 'mulish' performance on the part of St. Simon's son, for whom, however, excuses were made on the ground of 'rawness'; so, like an Eton boy, he was forgiven his 'first fault.' His second fault, however, was much worse, for he made no attempt to gallop in the race for the Newmarket July Stakes, and finished absolutely last; this last fact being due to his jockey leaving off riding, as 'heroic measures' would be most inadvisable to take with any descendant of Galopin. With Mornington Cannon in the saddle, Diamond Jubilee was once more favourite, at Goodwood, for the Prince of Wales's Stakes. And the new combination may be said to have worked much better. 'Morny,' like his father, knows better how to handle a two- year-old, especially a wayward two-year-old, than any jockey riding, the supreme advantages of the 'suavi/cr in modo' method having been instilled into him early in life. And ridden as tenderly as possible, the S 137 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Prince's horse managed to get within half a length of the winner, Epsom Lad, one of the first of the Ladas family, and the property of Lord Rosebery. Epsom Lad, like Diamond Jubilee, had previously finished unplaced to Democrat, and before that race had run a dead heat-displaying great gameness-with the late Duke of Westminster's Goblet for a race at Ascot. In his next race, the 'Jubilee' managed to get his head in front. And although he only beat Paigle by that distance for the Boscawen Stakes at the Newmarket First October Meeting, Paigle-a bay filly by Orme from Lady Primrose-was possessed of plenty of speed, and was held in high estimation by her trainer. And she won two important races that season. Upon his next encounter with Democrat, in the Middle Park Plate at the Second October Meeting, the last named, carrying 3 lb. less, beat the Royal colt by half a length; and as behind the first two were Goblet, Simon Dale, and Captain Kettle-all winners-besides the new-comer, Sailor Lad, of whom great anticipations had been formed by Lord Rosebery, this struggle must be put down as a decided 'improvement' in the form of Diamond Jubilee. And the distance being six furlongs, it at once became evident that he was not 138 PERSIMMON'S DERBY deficient in staying powers. But a third defeat by Democrat in the Dewhurst Plate at the Houghton Meeting followed. Here the distance was seven furlongs, and Democrat, carrying a pound more than the other, won by three parts of a length, Goblet being close up, third, and last. In these two last races Diamond Jubilee was ridden by Watts, Cannon being claimed on behalf of the Duke of Westminster to ride Goblet. An excellent satire upon the reliability of what is known as horses' 'public form '-i.e. their perform- ances on our racecourses-is afforded in the case of the American gelding Democrat, who, as a two-year- old, three times defeated Diamond Jubilee. A handi- capper would have weighted them, after the result of the Dewhurst Plate, at any distance from five furlongs up to one mile, on much such terms as these:- DEMOCRAT, 9 st. DIAMOND JUBILEE, 8 st. 9 lb. Yet, not only did His Royal Highness's horse beat the other almost out of sight the next time they met, but Democrat never won another race. Whilst driving the American jockey, James Tod Sloan (who had ridden Democrat in all his two-year-old races), from 139 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Lingfield racecourse to the Dormans Park Hotel, the present writer questioned Sloan as to the probable cause of this deterioration on the part of the American gelding. This was in July i1oo. The little jockey could, or would, offer no explana- tion. According to his own ideas, Democrat was 'never anything like a good horse.' And upon being reminded that, at all events, the gelding had three times finished in front of the Prince of Wales's colt, Mr. Sloan still adhered to his first opinion. His opinion on the subject of Diamond Jubilee was, there- fore, not asked for, and the questioner left off, con- siderably mystified. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that Sloan was under no covenant to reveal his inmost thoughts. And who wvas it said, or wrote, that language was specially given to us in order that we might conceal our thoughts At the same time, the deterioration of Democrat was but little short of the miraculous. Had he changed stables in the interim, the explanation would have been comparatively easy, seeing that American- trained horses, as a rule, 'go to pieces' when sub- jected to different methods of preparation; but Democrat remained in Huggins's stables at Newmarket. Some 140 PERSIMMON'S DERBY 'strange thing' must have happened to him during the winter months, for his trainer was unable to pre- pare him for the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, in which he might have met Diamond Jubilee once more. That meeting, however, was deferred until the Derby. In the interim between the Dewhurst Plate and the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes there had been all sorts of rumours floating about with reference to Diamond Jubilee. He had become a 'mad horse,' a 'man-eater,' 'the most dangerous brute that was ever in training,' etc. etc. As a matter of fact, he had 'done things' with Mornington Cannon, both on and off the saddle; but a simple explanation can be furnished for his eccentric behaviour. He, like his brother Persimmon, suffered greatly with his early teeth; and upon one occasion Cannon rode him, or tried to ride him, a gallop when his molars were at their worst. This is probably the true cause of the dislike which the horse took to that eminent jockey, whose methods of 'argument' with an unruly horse have always been-like his father's-of the mildest, consistent with efficiency. But, as has been proved over and over again with other horses, one single infliction of pain will cause a horse to cherish a life- 141 THE KING'S RACEHORSES long hatred of the individual who inflicted it. So, as far as Diamond Jubilee was concerned, the riding services of Cannon were dispensed with; and his stable-attendant, Herbert Jones-second son of the John Jones who used to ride in steeplechases for the Prince, and who died some years back-rode him both at exercise and on the racecourse during the rest of his Turf career. And the coolness and unaffected style of the rider, during several close finishes, cannot be too highly commended. Well did the new jockey understand his horse's little ways; and so well did the horse understand his new rider that he 'made hacks' (as is the common saying) of his opponents in the Two Thousand, of whom Elope- ment and Sailor Lad were preferred, in the betting, to the Prince's horse. Those who had derided and slandered him were not a little astonished to see him run as kind and as straight as the best-mannered of park hacks. And, clearly, in the opinion of the 'talent,' Derby Number Two was at the mercy of His Royal Highness. In the Newmarket Stakes, a fortnight later, layers of 2 to i on the Two Thousand winner received a rare fright, when Chevening, with the redoubtable Tod Sloan 142 PERSIMMON'S DERBY in the saddle got within a head of him at the finish. Not that the 'Jubilee' flinched or swerved from his task. And as Chevening had already scored a runaway victory in the Queen's Prize at Kempton Park on Easter Monday, the Derby backers of the favourite by no means lost heart. At the same time it is a notable fact that in the list of stallions advertised to serve in I902, the fee of Chevening is put down as '9 guineas.' This does not seem expensive. The war in South Africa undoubtedly affected the attendance on Derby Day i9oo; and although there was plenty of enthusiasm when Diamond Jubilee was led back a winner, the scene was but a faint reflection of that which took place when Persimmon was victor. It was not that Diamond Jubilee did not win like a racehorse, and it was not-it could not be-that the popularity of his Royal owner had abated in the least. The war was then, as now, on the nerves of the British public; and until there is some prospect of peace and-if not plenty, a little more spending-money, the million can- not be expected to 'enthuse' much. The danger to Diamond Jubilee, who of course started favourite, was reckoned to be the great, upstanding Forfarshire, who, with S. Loates in the saddle, was going well in 143 THE KING'S RACEHORSES descending the hill around Tattenham Corner when he was 'charged' into by Tod Sloan on the American- bred Disguise. Whatever chance Forfarshire might have possessed was gone from that instant; and al- though both Disguise-most erratically and unfairly ridden - and Simon Dale both threatened danger coming along the straight run-in, the favourite held them at bay, and won his Derby cleverly, if not as easily as did his brother Persimmon. There was no St. Frusquin in the field, however, and with one notable exception Diamond Jubilee had beaten most of the rest before, either directly or indirectly. The exception was Democrat, who started at 40 to i, and never looked in the slightest degree dangerous. He was ridden by Thomas Weldon, who, at the commencement of the season, rode as first jockey for Lord William Beresford. It was asking the Derby winner to do a very big thing to beat Mr. Hall Walkers beautiful filly Merry Gal-by Galopin, from Mary Seaton-with 20 lb. the worst of the weights; but this was the task set the Prince's horse in the Princess of Wales's Stakes a month or so afterwards. Moreover, odds were offered on his chance, although most of the 'talent' befriended the filly. The field also included such celebrities as Caiman 144 a 0 H U) H E Le This page in the original text is blank. a 0 U. H U) H E Le ei This page in the original text is blank. PERSIMMON'S DERBY (who holds the English ' record' for galloping one mile), Scintillant (the Cesarewitch winner of the previous year), Strongbow, and Vain Duchess; but there was only one in the race from start to finish. Little jockey Reiff made the most of Merry Gal's light weight, and took her to the front at once. Jones was pushing the favourite a quarter of a mile from the winning-post, but eased him when further pursuit was seen to be hopeless, and finished second, well clear of Caiman. The American 'crouch' seat tells well uphill, and undoubtedly helped Merry Gal in the race; in which Diamond Jubilee, so far from being disgraced, ran consistently, honestly, and well. There was plenty of excitement over the Eclipse Stakes this year, and after the result of the Princess of Wales's Stakes, there were experts to be found who opposed Diamond Jubilee in favour of Chevening, who was carrying lo lb. less, and had the assistance of little Reiff in the saddle. Simon Dale was also in the field, besides half a dozen very moderate others. It was a race worth going a long way to see, when at the foot of the hill Chevening and the favourite drew out alongside one another, each being on the stretch. But Diamond Jubilee would not be denied; and after running as honest and straight as ever did racehorse, T I45 THE KING'S RACEHORSES he scored a most meritorious half-length's victory amid great cheering. The Doncaster St. Leger that year was run in the fastest time on record, according to the officials who took it ; which seems a curious fact, considering the moderate nature of the field, and the comparative ease with which the race was won. Once more Diamond Jubilee had nothing to beat that he had not defeated before, with the exception of the stout staying Courlan, whom, taking the line through Caiman, he was bound to defeat. An attempt was then made to win the Jockey Club Stakes with the Prince's horse, who had been in hard training all through the season, and had already taken part in six races, in five of which he had been success- ful. Possibly the horse himself was of opinion that he had done sufficient galloping for the year. At all events, after he had been saddled and mounted, he refused to budge from the paddock, and it was only by opening a gate which enabled the horse to issue directly on to the course that he was persuaded to make a move in the direction of the starting-post. He was meeting Disguise on much more unfavourable terms, as regards weight, than in the Derby, and the American was a much improved 146 PERSIMMON'S DERBY horse and was ridden by Mornington Cannon. Sloan was on the oft-defeated Sailor Lad-who as a rule ran most ungenerously in all his races-Kempton Cannon rode Forfarshire, Wood Scintillant, and the younger Reiff Jolly Tar. A long way from home it was patent that Diamond Jubilee stood no chance, and he was wisely eased, the race falling an easy prey to Disguise, with Jolly Tar second, and Forfarshire, who looked like winning a quarter of a mile from home, only a neck behind the second. In the colours ('straw') of His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, Diamond Jubilee ran three times, unsuccessfully, during the season of igo9. In the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket he finished second, for the second year in succession, his conqueror on this occasion being the resuscitated and South Americanised Epsom Lad, who had beaten the Prince's horse wshen both were two years old. Here Epsom Lad (a cast-off of Lord Rosebery's, and by the same sire as Sailor Lad) was carrying 8 lb. less weight, and only won by half a length. A fortnight later the same horse once more beat the Prince's horse, in the Eclipse Stakes, carrying but 3 lb. less; but Diamond Jubilee was especially unfortunate in being ' run out' at the last 147 THE KING'S RACEHORSES turn by the winner, who took the corner very wide. This was an interference which such a particular horse as Diamond Jubilee would not be likely to relish; and although it is the firm belief of the present writer that, bar interference, the 'Jubilee' would have won this race, he only finished fourth. In his last appearance on the Turf, the hero of the 'Triple Crown' for i900 finished third for the Jockey Club Stakes to Pietermaritzburg and Epsom Lad. And although not, perhaps, entitled to be placed upon the same platform with his illustrious brother Persimmon, in point of looks, it can be said in favour of Diamond Jubilee that he ran in more races, won more races, and, apart from his more youthful vagaries, put, as a rule, his heart into his work. By his deeds let him be judged I No moderate horse ever won the Two Thousand, Derby, and St. Leger. No coward could, or would, have struggled against more leniently weighted horses more gallantly than he did. And not often does a young horse commence stud life under more favourable auspices. And by the time that these lines are in type Diamond Jubilee will have been mated with many high-class mares, amongst them being Red Enamel (dam of Madame Rachel, Royal Rouge, etc.), to whom the horse's first visit was paid. 148 PERSIMMON'S DERBY LIST OF HORSES WHO HAVE WON IIMORE THAN , 20,000 IN STAKES Name of Owner Mr. M'Calmont . Duke of Portland Duke of West- minster - Duke of Portland Prince of Wales . Baron Hirsch Mr. Leopold de Rothschild Mr. A. WV. Merry Count de La- grange Prince of Wales . Duke of West- minster I I Name of Ilorse ISINGLASS l 1892-1895 J 1)ONOVAN i888- I889 FLYING Fox 1898-1899 AYRSHIRE ( 1887-I889 1 PERSIMMON 1895-I897 1 LA FLECHE 189i-i894 Si. FRUSQUIN t 1895-I896 SUREFOOT 1889-1891 GLADIATEUR 1864-I866 I DIAMONDJUDILEE I 1899-1901 ORME 1891-1893 Amounts Won At Two Vears 4,577 16,487 2,675 6,765 2,551 3,415 9,537 2,411 960 1,200 3,574 At Three Years Years and up- w.ards 18,690 38,448 37,415 8,575 19,510 25,535 23,043 14,322 25,318 27,985 10 13,023 34,018 20,56o 12,665 5,635 15,545 4,807 ... t11,329 I49 Total 57,285 54,935 40,090 35,900 34,726 34,585 32,580 32,278 31,185 29,185, 10 27,926 At F otr THE KING'S RACEHORSES LIST OF HORSES WHO HAVE WON MORE THAN 20,000 IN STAKES-confinued Name of Owner Duke of 1\'est- minster Mr. J. Gubbins SirRichard Sutton Lord Calthorpe General Pearson I)uke of Portland Chevalier Ginis- trelli General Byrne Mr. Vyner . Name of Horse I i ORMONDE 1885-1887 GALTEE MORE 1896-1897 LORD LYON 1865-i867 SEABREEZE 1887-1889 ACHIEVEMENT a866-s 868 MEMOIR 1889-1891 SIGNORINA 1889-1891 AMPHION i888-189! MINTING 1885-1888 At rwo Years X 3,008 4,382 3,625 4,122 10,390 5,308 14,905 1 1,070 7,596 Amount Won At Four At Three Years Years and up Total wards 21,552 3,905 28,465 22,637 ... 27,019 20,350 1,590 20,144 .. 12,073 ... 15,702 290 200 8,976 4,730 5,o68 5,504 6,518 2 5,565 24,266 2 2,463 21,300 21,o81 20,868 19,618 Some of the above-nanmed horses lived, and ran, before the introduction of 'mammoth stakes, way, most undoubtedly do not conduce of the Turf. I50 which, by the to the welfare PERSIMMON'S DERBY Particulars of the successes of Isinglass, the horse who has won more money in stakes than any other, are given below. 1892. Two-Year-Old Plate, 1i96 ,, New Stakes, Ascot, 2,oo6 Middle Park Plate, 2,375 I893. Two Thousand Guineas, 4,250 Newmarket Stakes, 3,795 Derby, . 5,525 St. Leger, 5,300 1894. Princess of Wales's Stakes, 10,911 Eclipse Stakes, . 9,285 Jockey Club Stakes,' 11,302 1895. Gold Cup, Ascot, 2,250 C57,195 I The most valuable prize ever run for in England. This page in the original text is blank. THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY 'I go, I go; look how I go, Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow !' CHAPTER V THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY Fondness of His Majesty for steeplechasing-Early attempts to win the Grand National Steeplechase-Magic the best of his jumping stud in the 'eighties'-The Grand National of 1863 takes place on the same day as the Royal wedding-Emblem 'pecks' at the final obstacle -Arbury a rare stamp of hunter-First visit to Aintree of His Royal Highness-Mr. John Nightingall's Shifnal is the winner-Conflagration beneath the Royal balcony-Return visits in 188o and 1884-What became of Voluptuary-An equine 'star '-Coquette unable to take part in the Cross-Country Derby owing to hard ground-The National Hunt Steeplechase-The Prince of Wales one of the first subscribers- Efforts of Mr. Fothergill Rowlands-His Royal Highness attends the Cottenham fixture-And the following year visits Blankney when venue changed to Lincolnshire-Bristol honoured with a Royal visit-The late Mr. John Frail-His graceful and patriotic speech-Lord Marcus Beresford rides the winner of the National Hunt Steeplechase in 1876- Purchase of Ambush-Ireland the birthplace of steeplechasing-The earliest record makes no mention of the winner of the historic match- Pedigree of Ambush-His sire also begat the celebrated flat-racer lBendigo-Ambush wins the Maiden Plate at Punchestown at four years old-Takes part in the great race at Aintree in i899, finishing seventh -He looks 'dried up' and 'stale '-The following season the horse comes out 'like a giant refreshed'-And sets the seal on his fame by winning the Cross-Country Derby-Wild enthusiasm of the multitude- Attempted assassination of His Royal Highness in Brussels four days later-Public horror changed to rejoicing-Ambush breaks down in training. 155 THE KING'S RACEHORSES HAT King Edward vii. has for some time past taken a lively interest in the 'jumping' portion e:, f Ax, of the national sport is evident from the records. With The Scot, Magic, and Hettie he made several attempts to carry off the chief steeplechase of the year, the Grand National-otherwise known as 'The Cross-Country Derby'-which is run at Aintree, near Liverpool, annually, at the end of the month of March. But although Magic-who was no easy horse to ride over formidable fences, being a hard puller, who carried his head high in air-wvould have proved a very formidable antagonist to one of the successful com- petitors but for a bad mistake some four fences from the winning-post, it was not until the concluding year of the nineteenth century that the Royal colours were. carried to the front at Aintree. The marriage of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales took place on the same day as the 'Grand National' of 1863; so, the day being kept as a national holiday, there was an immense concourse of spectators present at Aintree to see Lord Coventry's Emblem, i56 z 0 H z x U, m This page in the original text is blank. a: z C H z x m 031W, This page in the original text is blank. THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY after 'pecking' at the final hurdle, finish first past the winning-post, some twenty lengths in front of that rare stamp of old-fashioned hunter, Arbury, on wvhose back the present writer has been more than once. Although in more modern times our best steeplechase horses come from Ireland, Emblem was bred in \Wales and Arbury in Warwickshire; and in the following year Arbury again finished in the second place, the winner being Emblematic-commonly called 'Emblem ii.' In 1878, on the day that Mr. John Nightingall's Shifnal won the Grand National, it is recorded that 'the Prince of \Vales was one of the Croxteth (the Earl of Sefton's) party, driving back to the Hall after the races. Before racing began, some straw underneath the balcony erected for His Royal Highness was found to be on fire; but the flames were subdued before any damage accrued to the balcony above. In i88o Mr. XV. C. A. Blew', the last-quoted authority, tells us, in A History of Stee/leckasiiig, that on the important day at Aintree, 'there wvas a huge attendance on this occasion, the presence of the Prince of Wales having no doubt a good deal to do with the number of visitors present. In 1884 The Scot-who had twice previously taken part in the chief steeplechase '57 THE KING'S RACEHORSES of the year-ran in the Royal colours, but made a bad mistake at a fence, in the second circuit of the course, the winner being Voluptuary, a cast-off flat-racer, once the property of the Earl of Rosebery; and this winner some time afterwards figured nightly on the stage of Drury Lane Theatre, and in the provinces, in that cele- brated drama The Prodigal Daughter. In i886 His Royal Highness purchased an Irish mare named Coquette, with a view to winning the Grand National; but, owing to the hard, frosty weather, John Jones, the trainer, was unable to bring her to the post. In i888 we read that 'the Prince of Wales stayed at Croxteth for the meeting, reaching the course about half-past one, and in the race itself his colours were carried by Magic, who, curiously enough, overreached and stumbled at the same fence which had brought down the Prince's horse, The Scot, four years before.' In i864 His Royal Highness headed a subscription list, started with a view to putting the National Hunt Steeplechase on a better footing. The establishment of this contest-which was confined to hunters-was due mainly to the efforts of the late Mr. Fothergill Rowlands -alluded to in a former chapter as having had the charge of the Prince of Wales's Arabian, Alep-and i58 THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY was established with the principal idea of offering encouragement to farmers to breed high-class horses; and in 1870 His Royal Highness attended the fixture at Cottenham in Cambridgeshire. The Prince and Princess of Wales were the guests of the Duke and Duchess of Manchester at Kimbolton Castle; and the race fell to Mr. Henry Chaplin's Schiedam, ridden by Mr. Maunsell Richardson, whose superior on horseback across a country has never been seen. In 1871 His Royal Highness was Mr. Henry Chaplin's guest at Blankney, when the National Hunt venue was changed to Lincolnshire, in the Burton Hunt country, almost under the shadow of the cathedral city. And in 1873 the Prince honoured Bristol with a visit on a similar occasion. The course was situate in the parish of Knowle, on the Wells road. The clerk of the course was the late Mr. John Frail of Shrewsbury, a most remarkable man, as well known in electioneering as in racing circles. His usual dress, from head to foot, was a tolerably accurate imitation of Liston's stage get-up as 'Paul Pry.' Having commenced life as a barber, he eventually achieved his fair share of wvorldly goods by dint of an amount of combined acumen, tact, and business capacity rarely to be found in one indi- 159 THE KING'S RACEHORSES vidual; and he died universally respected. On this occasion the Prince graciously desired that Mr. Frail should be introduced to him; and that gentleman was much gratified upon being complimented by His Royal Highness on the success of the meeting. Mr. Frail, who was nothing if not thorough, thanked the Prince for his favour, and expressed the earnest wish 'that, for the next thousand years and more, his children's children would be on the throne of these realms, and all Fenians, Republicans, and Revolutionists utterly done for.' His Royal Highness laughed heartily at the speech, and, shaking hands with Mr. Frail, echoed at any rate a part of his w ish. In 1876 Lord Marcus Beresford-who had few equals as a steeplechase rider, being possessed of a most elegant seat, fine hands, plenty of strength and resolution to drive a horse along, and nerve unlimited -rode the winner of the National Hunt Steeplechase, which was decided that year in Scotland on the Bogside course near Eglinton Castle. The course, which had a coalpit in the centre of it, is remarkable from the fact that the famous Marquis of XWaterford, an ancestor of Lord Marcus, once rode three winners on it the same afternoon. i6o THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY It had been written in the Book of Fate that the ambition of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, to own a Grand National winner would be eventually granted. And in Ambush-who, owing to the lax and absurd system of allowing more than one horse to take the same name, was, and is, at the time of writing, decorated with the numerals 'ii.'-the material was ready to his hand at the close of the nineteenth century.' Before the commencement of that century Ireland had been recognised as the birthplace of steeplechasing, just as the sister-country has since that time always been the most consistent supporter of the sport. In the possession of the family of the O'Briens of Dromo- land is an interesting old document which gives ample particulars of a match over four and a half miles of hunting country. The parties to this match-in the old days all steeplechases were matches-were Mr. O'Callaghan and Mr. Edmund Blake, and the course was from Buttevant Church to St. Leger Church. This sporting event-in all probability the first steeplechase 'The Prince had tasted the sweets of victory before, as he owned half of Regal with Lord Aylesford, when that horse won the Grand National in 1876, although the joint-owners were in India at the time of his success. The Prince also had a share in Jackal, who ran second to The Liberator in 1879.' i6i x THE KING'S RACEHORSES on record-took place in I752; but the most important detail in connection therewith is unfortunately missing. The world has been allowed for many years to 'burst in ignorance' as to which gentleman's horse was the winner. In sending to Ireland for a likely young 'chaser,' therefore, His Royal Highness was hardly likely to make a bad bargain; and his purchase of Ambush redounds not only to the credit of all concerned in the deal, but was an especially fortunate one. Ambush is a brown gelding, by Ben Battle, from Miss Plant, eight years old in the year of writing (I9o2). Irish bred all round, his sire was also responsible for Bendigo, one of the stoutest and gamest horses who ever com- peted on the flat, and the winner of the first Eclipse Stakes, the first Jubilee Handicap, the Cambridgeshire, and the Lincolnshire Handicap, besides many other races. In fact, Bendigo, had he been only trained for it, would have probably won at least one Grand National Steeplechase as well. The dam of Ambush, Miss Plant, although own sister to a meritorious per- former in Ashplant, never scored a win herself. Her son was bought for His Royal Highness through the medium of Mr. Thomas Lushington, a very celebrated 162 THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY gentleman jockey, as popular on one side of St. George's Channel as on the other; the price paid being 500. But before this, Mr. Lushington had leased the horse, as a yearling, taking a half-share from his breeder, Mr. William Ashe, of Narraghmore, County Kildare. And from an interesting article written for the Sportsman, by 'Ashplant,' in February I902, it would seem that this partnership did not work altogether smoothly. Ambush was early added to the list. and was also fired on both hocks, as a precautionary measure. This is a practice frequently pursued with jumping horses, both in the past and at present. The early efforts of Ambush as a negotiator of 'obstacles' were not invariably crowned with success. He was not a 'natural jumper,' and by no means relished the tasks set him, having occasionally to be dragged with ropes out of some ditch into which he had fallen. But he improved in this respect; and negotiated the fences at Punchestown, at the first time of asking, without making a mistake. And it may be accepted as a conclusive fact, that a horse who can nego- tiate the Punchestown course, in the county of Kildare, where the fences are formidable to a fault, can jump 'anything.' Ambush, with Anthony in the saddle, had 163 THE KING'S RACEHORSES failed to finish in the first three for the Boyerstown Plate, two miles and a half, at the Meath Hunt Meeting, on March 29, 1898; but a month later saw him cut down a representative field in the Maiden Plate at Punchestown, over four miles of that stiff 'country.' He never put a foot wrong, and as he galloped in, but little distressed, at the head of a field of fifteen, there was a pretty general feeling that here was a 'likely' candidate for 'Grand National' honours. After a long rest, the four-year-old, this time ridden by Gourlay, wvas pulled out again for the Abbeystead Steeplechase at the Liverpool November Meeting the same year; but he could only finish a bad third to Lady Gilderoy and Ferryman, both very smart young chasers and previous wvinners. This defeat was atoned for, however, at Leopardstown, on the succeeding Boxing Day; and here Ambush, with his original pilot, Anthony, in the saddle, scored easily in the St. Stephen's Steeplechase, twvo miles, from eight opponents. At Sandown Park, in the following February, Ambush, now five years old, wvon (appropriately enough) the Prince of Wales's Steeplechase, three miles and a half. This was a very easy victory, as after the fall of the favourite, Mr. Brown Cave's Xebee 164 0 D z Ci) z (n 0 U) 0 0 0 H U) This page in the original text is blank. 0 z Cl Cl) (12 0 0 0 H Cl) This page in the original text is blank. THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY (who had won over this course the previous December), he had matters aHl his own way. He went to the front directly Anthony asked him to, and won by eight lengths from Longchalks, with seven others behind, including Drogheda and The Soarer, both Grand National winners. It is not often that a five-year-old wins the Cross- Country Derby. In fact, since the year i86o, but four horses of that age have been successful; and the names of these were Alcibiade (who won in i865), Regal (i876), Austerlitz (i877), and Empress, named after Her late Majesty the Empress of Austria (i88o). And when Ambush was seen in the paddock, prior to the race for the Grand National of i899, he looked dry in his coat and overtrained. The mistake had been made of over- doing his preparation; and although he eventually finished seventh, carrying 10 st. 2 lb., to Manifesto, carrying I2 st. 7 lb., he was palpably stale in condition; and experts made many mental reservations with regard to the future. His trainer, M'Nally, wisely accepted the situation, and we saw no more of Ambush on a race- course until the Kempton Park February Meeting of i9oo. Here he took part in the Middlesex Maiden Hurdle Race, which attracted a field of sixteen, many i65 THE KING'S RACEHORSES of them flat-racers, including the winner, General Peace, who had been an easy victor in the Lincolnshire Handicap of the previous year. Ambush was not seriously fancied for this race, his oldtier being steeple- chasing over a long distance of ground, and not a two miles gallop over, or through, insignificant obstacles, which is all that modern hurdle-racing amounts to. But it was noticed that he looked big, well in himself, and just hard enough in condition to give promise of being at his best in another seven weeks' time, when it was intended that he should compete again for the important chase at Aintree. By way of an exercise gallop in public, the Prince's horse was started for a National Hunt Flat Race at Baldoyle, on March 17th, and with Mr. Lushington, who purchased the horse for His Royal Highness and has always had the supervision of him, in the saddle, and the opposition but a moderate one, the son of Ben Battle had a very easy task. Thirteen days later came the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree; and great a public fancy as was Ambush for this, he was a worse favourite in the betting at the start than Hidden Mystery, a six-year-old gelding by Ascetic-a son of Hermit, and sire of many noted steeplechase winners- i66 THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY who was undoubtedly a high-class horse and a mag- nificent jumper. But he was also a very hard puller, and in the race was knocked over at a fence in the second circuit of the course by Covert Hack, who had got rid of his pilot earlier in the race, and was gallop- ing on, riderless. Whether or no these contretemps interfered with the result it would of course be im- possible to say; but in that result Ambush scored a clever victory from the I9 lb. more leniently weighted Barsac, with Manifesto, under the crushing impost of 12 st. 13 lb., a good third, beaten only a neck from the second. There was plenty of cheering for Manifesto-the previous year's winner-after the race; and his gallant performance under such a weight has never been excelled at Aintree. But the enthusiasm of the populace was reserved for the Royal owner of the winner, as he accom- panied his horse through the paddock to the weighing- room. It was ' Persimmon's Derby' over again. The vast populace cheered its loudest, and hats were flung high in air, with no thought of their subsequent re- covery. And as at Aintree there is always a very strong contingent of Irishmen, the enthusiasm was even more marked than had been the case at Epsom. 167 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Only four days later, on April 4th, His Royal High- ness, through the infinite mercy of the Almighty, escaped an awful death at the hands of an assassin whilst passing through Brussels. And the reception the Prince met with on his return to England will never be erased from the memories of those who witnessed it. The narrow escape of the Heir to the Crown from a violent death had wound up the feelings of all Britons to the highest pitch of excitement and indignation, and the reaction was as startling as it was natural. A writer in the Spor/ing Times thus forcibly described the scene which took place after Ambush had won at Aintree - 'A new record has been established in the fact that the Blue Ribbon each of flat-racing and steeplechasing has been won by one owner, and it will be all the more memorable seeing that that owner is His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the first gentleman in the world, and the finest and best sportsman of all time in this or any other country. Within the space of a few days these signs of rejoicing have been turned to feelings of horror at the dastardly attempt which was made on the life of our good and noble Prince by the misguided youth who shot twice, and under a i68 THE CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY merciful Providence failed, before being overpowered and rendered harmless. No deeper feeling of thank- fulness will be felt than by the little world of sportsmen; and 'tis lucky for his would-be assassin that his crime was not committed last week at Aintree; or there would have been nothing left of him to identify. God save the Queen I God bless the Prince of Wales I' At the time of writing, although the weights for the Grand National Steeplechase are not published, a strong idea appears to possess the public mind that the King's horse is likely to repeat his victory of 1900 in 1902. The general hope is, probably, fathering the general prognostication ; and, whilst it is needless to remark that no victory would be more appropriate in Coronation Year, the writer is bound to add that not only would further success provoke the sympathy and enthusiasm of millions of loyal and devoted subjects, but that the victory of the Royal colours would be likely to give a 'fillip' to cross-country sport which is sadly needed. Alas I since the above was written, the cruel irony of fate rendered Ambush xi. incapable of taking part in the Grand National of Coronation year. Only a week before the race, the horse, in pulling-up after a gallop, Y 169 THE KING'S RACEHORSES managed to split a pastern, a casualty to which race- horses are especially liable, owing to the brittle (more or less) nature of the bone which has to support so much. The King's horse was able to walk back to his stable, owing to the fracture being a simple one; but, of course, galloping, or even slower exercise, will for some months to come be impossible. Apart from His Majesty's dis- appointment, this breakdown was a sore blow to his subjects, with whomn Ambush II. was a great favourite. 170 SANDRINGHAM AND THE ROYAL STUD 'Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around.' CHAPTER VI SANDRINGHAM AND THE ROYAL STUD The Fen country between Ely and Wolferton-Suitable covert for alligators-The scene is changed as though by the wand of a fairy -Country around Sandringham most picturesque-Ablaze with colour in the late summer-The Norfolk residence of His Majesty is only four miles from the sea- The Wash'-Five parishes, with part of Dersingham, form the Sandringham estate-Well protected in the time of the Romans-A strong fortress mounted guard at Brancaster over the mouth of the Wash-Chain of hills running between Wolferton and Sandringham-Standing on Sandringham Heights-Infinite variety of the outlook-The only Royal deer-park existing in Norfolk in medieval days-John Vere, Earl of Oxford, was ranger of the Chase in the reign of Henry Vll.-Bluff King Hal 'swaps' the Chase and Castle Manor to the Duke of Norfolk-Evidence of John Jeffrey of Rising Castle, labourer-Dersingham in medi.val times an immense sheep tract-Its church, dating from the fourteenth century, remark- able for size and beauty-About the Great Bustard-Attempt to restore him in all his former glory-Beef or Bustards-Sandringham purchased for His Royal Highness at the time of his marriage-Original disposition of the estate-Lord Palmerston's suggestion-Determination to convert the mansion into a complete and attractive country seat-- Principal entrance to the mansion-The Norwich gates made for the Great Exhibition of 1862 from designs by Mr. Thomas Jekyll-A wedding-gift from the County of Norfolk and Corporation of Norwich -The shooting one of the most important features of Sandringham- The King an enthusiast in the sport-Partridges thrive better in 173 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Norfolk than elsewhere-The stud-farm-Unpretentious but compact -No crowding, and plenty of good pasture-The mares' boxes-Origin- ally devoted to Shorthorns and Shire horses-New boxes-Advantages of the old-fashioned thatch-The boxes for uitlander mares close to Wolferton station-Persimmon's quarters-Not the slightest risk of conveying infection-His Majesty's personal interest in his stud-farm -Lord Marcus Beresford exercises a careful supervision -Edmund Walker, the stud groom-Formerly in charge of small stud of late Fred Archer-The Sandringham stud card-Performances of mares when on the Turf-Ill-luck of Nonsuch-Worth of La Carolina, own sister to Energy, for breeding purposes-Laodamia, the best-looking in the world-Fanchette, the oldest inhabitant of the boxes-Pierrette -The loss of Merrie Lassie a severe one-Fitzsimmons one of the Royal 'failures'-Better luck to Lauzun!-List of amounts won by descendants of St. Simon-Mammoth prizes-The ' Emperor of stallions' -Amounts won by descendants of Hermit-The Daily Telegraph on the King's thoroughbreds. -H HO for the first time travels from London to Sandringham cannot \gtt/ig fail to be struck with the poverty of the scenery on either side of the railway as far as Wolferton. Between that station and Ely lies the 'Fen country,' rushes, coarse grass, dykes, and water, more or less, everywhere; a sparsely populated region whose inhabitants are in the habit of swallowing laudanum in immoderate doses to ward off attacks of rheumatism and ague; a land which at 174 SANDRINGHAM first sight seems just the one in which alligators, water- snakes, and poisonous lizards would flourish exceed- ingly; which the Great Bustard was wont to patrol with martial stalk, and which is at the present time an ideal country for snipe, curlew, and other swamp- loving fowl. But once free of the iron-path at Wolferton, enter your carriage, mount your hack, or step out at a brisk pace with the means of locomotion which Nature has given you, and lo I the scene is changed. It is as if the wand of fairy Columbine had bid the mists dissolve themselves, and the dark, dank kingdom of the dismal demon Despair disappear in favour of an ideal landscape, a picture of fairyland, painted in the brightest of colours. You climb a hill, and as fair a prospect meets the eye as is to be found in a land which, alas I is not appreciated, as far as scenery is concerned, by many of its inhabitants, who love to exploit fresh woods and pastures new, and who desert their own country at, as a rule, the very season of the year when it looks at its loveliest; in the waning summer-time, when the purple heather is in full bloom, dotted here and there by coppices of beech and fir, and the rhododendrons fill the eye with their beauty and brightness. 175 THE KING'S RACEHORSES The Norfolk residence of His Majesty King Edward vii. is not more than four miles from the sea. To the south lie the parishes of West Newton, Appleton, and Babingley, and between it and the sea Sandringham Warren and the village, woods, and hills of Wolferton. These five parishes, with a portion of Dersingham, constitute the Royal estate, which amounts altogether to nearly eight thousand acres. Wolferton borders on 'The Wash,' at a spot about seven miles from King's Lynn. This ground was well protected in the time of the Romans; at Brancaster, at the north-west corner of Norfolk, a strong fortress mounted guard over the entrance of the Wash, and at Rising, a Roman defence existed in the huge circular ridges overlooking the sea, where the castle was afterwards placed. A chain of hills runs from north to south between the village of Wolferton and Sandringham; they rise above the marshy margin of the sea, glowing with amber moss and purple heather, with a view over the sea of the distant spire of Boston Church on the Lincolnshire coast, commanding on one side the rich marsh-meadows dotted with cattle, and shining with afternoon sun-streaks after the manner of Paul Potter; I76 SANDRINGHAM and on the other the wild and picturesque heath which is broken by the plantations of Sandringham. 'Standing on Sandringham Heights,' writes a local chronicler, 'at a point where a cottage and belle-vue have been placed on a plateau, and looking towards the sea, Snettisham Church is seen far to the right; Ken Hill, a wooded promontory near it, shows its dark ridge above the pastures; an undulating tract of heath shuts the green expanse in on the left, while close in front, plantations on the western slope clothe the foreground. Sea, heath, hill, and woodland com- bine with the soil under cultivation, and the well- ordered and well-conditioned villages, to give this estate the charm of variety, which, it must be acknow- ledged, is also not wanting to the climate. 'The deer, which, after the gates have closed upon this pleasant scenery, are to be seen feeding in the glades of the park, and enlivening with their graceful movements the shadows of the beeches and oaks scattered about, are not the first which have stocked a Royal deer-park in this neighbourhood, or even on this estate. 'Castle Rising Chase, the only Royal deer-park existing in Norfolk in medixval days, extended to Z I77 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Babingley Mill and West Newton. To revert for a moment to those earlier days:- 'John Vere, Earl of Oxford, the owner of Sandring- ham, was Ranger of the Chase early in the reign of Henry vii. In 1545 Henry viii. parted with the Chase and Castle Manor to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, in exchange for some manors in Suffolk belonging to the latter. The boundaries of the deer- park are defined by some evidence given by an old peasant, who had lived most of his life at Castle Rising, before the magistrates of Lynn, on the 26th July 1597. '"John Jeffrey, of Rising Castle, labourer, aged seventy-six, then deposed that he had known Rising Chase sixty years, and boundeth the limits, purlieus, and walks of the Chase thus: From Rysinge to Babingley Mill, from thence to Ratleman's Lane, so to Hall Lane, so to Butler's Cross, so in a green way leading to Newton, etc. etc." 'The depositions were taken in consequence of a dispute which had arisen about the bounds of the Chase between William Cobbe of Sandringham and the widowed Countess of Arundel. The deposition of the old man agrees with a description of the Chase 178 E. WALKER (STUD GROOM) This page in the original text is blank. E. WALKER (STUD GROOM) This page in the original text is blank. SANDRINGHAM written eight years previously, in 1589, when the Earl of Arundel, who then possessed Castle Rising, was attainted, and a survey of his property made by a special commission.' Whilst at that far-off time the southern part of what is now His Majesty's Sandringham Estate was evidently inhabited by deer, the northern part was overrun and fed-off by sheep. Dersingham was a tract covered with ling, brushwood, and short grasses, where huge flocks of sheep were wont to browse and wander at will. Dersingham, then as now, had its sandy heath and lonely footpaths leading towards the village, which from the fourteenth century has been crowned by a church remarkable for its size and beauty. Wild birds flew in flocks over the sea-flanked district; the Great Bustard -which has ceased to breed in Norfolk for more than forty years, but which an effort is now being made to restore to his former surroundings-crouched amongst the corn, or winged its way to headquarters,- ' Vainly the fowler's eye Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong, As, darkly painted on the crimson sky, Thy figure floats along'; or, rising slowly in numbers, as a dark cloud, startled '79 THE KING'S RACEHORSES the solitary peasant on his homeward way. The huge birds, as big as Christmas turkeys, were known in this neighbourhood in the nineteenth century, and even further back than 1527, when a bustard is mentioned in the Hunstanton Hall Privy Purse Accounts as ' Kylled with ye crosbowe on Wednysday.' Such a bird would naturally afford a fine meal; one which was shot at Westacre, their principal Norfolk haunt, in 1820, weighed twenty-eight pounds. The 'drove,' as it was called, at Westacre consisted at that time of nineteen or twenty birds. 'But,' says the chronicler quoted above, 'a much earlier notice of the Norfolk bustard than even that in the account-book at Hunstanton exists in the Lynn Chamberlain's Accounts. In 1371 the 44th of Edward III., 39s. 8d. was paid " for wine, bustards, herons, and oats, presented to John Nevile, Admiral.' In February 1838 a bustard was sold at Cambridge which, it was ascertained, had been shot at Dersingham. This Dersingham bird was the last of a group of seven which had been observed at Hillington, not far off, and which soon dwindled down to three. Agricultural progress, especially the introduction of horse-hoe and the practice of covering grounds with plantations, inter- 8o SANDRINGHAM fered with their habits, and gradually drove these shy, grand birds from the tracts where they had flourished so long. Good as they were to eat, it came to be beef or bustards, and the turnips carried the day.' It was the original intention of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, at the purchase of Sandringham in i86i, two years before his marriage, to build a shooting-box on the estate, and use it merely for purposes of sport. But the late Lord Palmerston having intimated to the Prince Consort, just before his death, that Mr. Spencer Cowper would be willing to sell the estate, including the mansion, it was determined to make of Sandringham a complete and attractive country seat; and the property has been developing in attraction, accordingly, for the last forty years. The old house on the estate, which existed in 1869, was pulled down in that year, and replaced by the present Hall, which holds precisely the same position and aspect as its predecessor. It is an attractive-look- ing red brick house, with white stonework facings, windows of modern form, and a picturesque, irregular outline. The principal entrance to Sandringham is through the Norwich Gates, a magnificent pair of portals which i8i THE KING'S RACEHORSES were made by Messrs. Barnard, Bishop, and Barnard of Norwich for the Great Exhibition of 1862, from designs by Mr. Thomas Jekyll. They were awarded a first prize; and by way of commemorating the success of their townsmen, and as an appropriate testimony of their loyalty, the Corporation of Norwich purchased and presented the gates, on behalf of the County of Norfolk and City of Norwich, as a wedding gift to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. They open into an avenue of very large limes, ending at, but not faced by, the house. The avenue has the unusual charm of being part of the garden, or pleasure-ground, not of the park; the broad drive between the limes approaches the north side of the house, the right-hand trees leading up to the north-east corner. The drive continues straight on until it reaches the carriage porch, in front of the eastern entrance door. The house stands east and west; the east front, with broad gravel space before the principal door, look- ing on to the smooth lawn, walks, shrubberies, and trees, which stretch down as far as the road. On the north (the side of the iron gates), on the west, and on the east, kept ground lies around the house. Beyond the west garden, and stretching southwards, is the park. 182 SANDRINGHAM It is surrounded by a wall, on the other side of which are some well-built and pleasantly situated houses, a parsonage for the Royal chaplain, a house for the comp- troller of the Royal Household, with others for the suite and various officials. The shooting at Sandringham is, naturally, one of its most important features. From his youth up, our Lord the King has been one of the keenest of the keen as a game-shot. He has always been, in fact, an enthusiast in the sport; and although the Great Bustard is no longer to be put up in the course of a beat-fancy, if you can, the face of a modern head keeper upon being ordered to preserve bustards-there is no lack of game of all sorts. The coverts are well stocked with pheasants, and partridges thrive better in Norfolk than in any other English county. 'There is always an early start,' says the author of Sandringham Past and Present,' ' for a day's partridge- driving. The guns, having previously drawn the num- bers for their places, change in routine throughout the day, thus ensuring that no one gun should have a better chance than another. 'The army of beaters, usually between fifty and l Published by Jarrold and Sons, Warwick L.ane, E.C. 183 THE KING'S RACEHORSES sixty in number, are all dressed alike in blue blouses, with a red badge and number, black chimney hats with a red ribbon, and each beater when partridge-driving carries a flag. Looking round, it might almost be imagined that a large band of French peasants was scouring the country in extended order. The army divides, and sweeps the country under the command of the head keeper (who is mounted), driving the par- tridges over the guns. The coverts are beautifully kept, and well adapted to show game-Wolferton Wood is by far the finest of them, and the most picturesque. It is supposed to have extended along the coast, in times gone by, until it reached Riffley Wood, the property of Sir William Ffolkes, near Lynn. Certainly the wvoods bear a strong resemblance to one another, with their ancient gnarled oaks, their tangled under- wood and brakes. 'The shooting at Sandringham is always made a pleasure, not a toil, and any one who has had the honour of receiving an invitation to shoot can testify that the Prince of Wales is not only the most courteous and genial of hosts, but also one of the keenest and most unselfish of sportsmen. Within easy distance of the mansion is the stud 184 THE ROYAL STUD farm, which, founded as it was in i886, is now as perfect an establishment as could be wished for. It is by no means on a large scale, but there is plenty of room for everybody, human and equine, to dwell in comfort; and there is plenty of pasture, of the right sort, for mares and foals. There can be no greater mistake than overcrowding in a stud-farm; at the same time it is an error to go to the opposite extreme, The happy medium is studied at Sandringham, where it would be impossible to find fault with anything, from the rustic cottage with its many gables and the trimly kept lawn of the stud-groom to the solidity of the railings which surround the little paddocks in the quadrangle, the sides of which are formed by the mares' boxes. These are built, like most of the cottages in the neighbourhood, of 'carstone,' a hard, yellow sand- stone which is found on the estate, and which is most adaptable to building purposes. The old yard with its boxes was originally devoted to the housing of short- horns and Shire horses; but when His Royal Highness determined to commence breeding thoroughbred horses, the beasts and heavy cattle were moved to fresh quarters, whilst their old ones were restored and made perfect to receive their new tenants. i85 2 A THE KING'S RACEHORSES A new range of boxes was built, on the same lines as the old ones, in 1897, but instead of tiled roofings thatch is employed; the great advantage of the old- fashioned roof being that it keeps all beneath it at a satisfactory temperature all the year round. Of the three stallions, Florizel, Persimmon, and Diamond Jubilee, the first named is quartered at the Heath House I'addocks, Newmarket. The other two, of whom Diamond Jubilee is quite a new arrival, are at Sandringham ; and mares sent to them from other owners are, and will be, located in other quarters, within one hundred yards or so of Wolferton station. This is an admirable arrangement, for these boxes being nearly four miles from Sandringham, the risk of in- fection being introduced amongst the Royal mares is reduced to a minimumr-indeed, absolutely avoided. Persimmon has a second box at Wolferton, where he remains during the springtime of the year, and pre- sumably the same programme will be carried out with his younger brother. His Majesty takes the greatest possible personal interest in his farm, and lichen at Sandringham pays frequent visits of inspection to the breeding-stud, over which Lord Marcus Beresford has presided so well 186 THE ROYAL STUD since it became established on a firm footing. His lordship has from that time upwards had a most capable subordinate to depend upon in the stud-groom, Edmund Walker, a thoroughly reliable and conscientious man, who has won golden opinions from his Royal master downwards. Walker, who was born and bred amongst thoroughbred horses, has naturally had a large experience of all branches of his business-which has alwvays partaken more of the nature of pleasure. His appointment as stud-groom at Sandringham wvas largely due to the strong recommendation of Mr. John Porter of Kingsclere. Before taking up this appointment he had had charge of the small breeding-stud at New- market belonging to the late Matthew Dawson and Fred Archer, wvho were partners; and here Walker remained until the death of that celebrated jockey, after which the stud was broken up. The appended facsimile of the Sandringham Stud Card will doubtless interest the reader. The following are the names of the King's horses now being trained by Richard Marsh at Egerton House, Newmarket:- Lord Quex, b. c., by Sir Hugo-Leveret, 4 yrs. Pole Carew, b. c., by Persimmon-Laodamia, 3 yrs. 187 THE KING'S RACEHORSES Ecila, b. f., by Persimmon-Meadow Chat, 3 yrs. Thonia, b. f., by Amphion-Leveret, 3 yrs. Nadejda, b. f., by St. Simon-Perdita II., 3 yrs. Persistence, br. c., by Persimmon-Laodamia, 2 yrs. Br. c. by Persimmon-Fanchette, 2 yrs. Persifleur, ch. c., by Persimmon-Merrie Lassie, 2 yrs. Mead, ch. c., by Persimmon-Meadow Chat, 2 yrs. Email, ch. c., by Persimmon-Red Enamel, 2 yrs. Ch. c. by Persimmon-Sweet Muscat, 2 yrs. Saltimbanque, ch. c., by Juggler-Pierrette, 2 yrs. B. c. by St. Angelo-Wheatley, 2 yrs. Mousse, br. f., by Sir Hugo-Mousme, 2 yrs. Lady Car, ch. f., by Persimmon-La Carolina, 2 yrs. B. f. by Orme-Leveret, 2 yrs. Number I on the list of mares is Nunsuch, a bay daughter of Nunthorpe-who won more than one good race for the late Colonel North-and La Morlaye, a Doncaster mare. Nunthorpe, too, stood for a period in South Africa, and was reported to have been 'com- mandeered' for the Boer service in i900, although the statement was afterwards contradicted. Be that as it may, his daughter Nunsuch was bought for the Royal stud from the late Lord William Beresford. Fresh in i88 2:1 C 0 C4 This page in the original text is blank. 0 z i .4 This page in the original text is blank. THE ROYAL STUD the recollection of most racegoers must be her per- formances on the Turf ; her 'third' in the Manchester Cup of 1898, when favourite, and the catastrophe which befell her backers when, with Sloan in the saddle, she was left at the post at the start for the Cambridgeshire in the same year. But she afterwards beat the winner of that race in the Old Cambridgeshire, in a common canter, at nearly the same relative weights at which they had met before. She is a good-looking mare, and a great favourite with His Majesty. Leveret, by Galopin, from Sacrifice, was bred by Mr. J. G. Joicey, and won two races and a match when a two-year-old, but showed no form afterwards, being retired from racing at the end of the following season. She is on the small side, but her blood is unexcep- tional; and when mated with Sir Hugo, the Derby winner of 1892, she produced Lord Quex, who won two good races at Newmarket in October igoo. Leveret has since had a bay filly and a bay colt to Orme, and was last season served by Persimmon. A beautiful mare, on a larger scale than the last named, is La Carolina, by Sterling, from Cherry Duchess, and therefore own sister to Energy, who was a very speedy horse indeed when the property of 189 THE KING'S RACEHORSES the late Duchess of Montrose. La Carolina was pur- chased for the Sandringham stud at the sale of the late Mr. Hamar Bass's horses, and has visited Per- simmon in three consecutive seasons. Her black two- year-old filly by Rusticus passed into the possession of a South American gentleman in i899, and would have won more than two races but for the erratic riding of a jockey from the River Plate district. The black was afterwards named Carolina Duck, but has not wvon since. La Carolina has already had a filly and a colt to Persimmon at Sandringham, and she vent to him again last season. And it will be indeed surprising should not something of superlative merit come from this union, for the blood of Cherry Duchess, her dam, is simply invaluable. Laodamia, a great, raking mare, by Kendal, from Chrysalis, was bred in Ireland; and of her it can be said, that With more judicious treatment whilst on the Turf she would have won 'anything.' She commenced her racing career by running away with the Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh June Meeting of 1892. On her only other essay that season she, when crushed with welght and carrying 6 lb. more than Marcion, finished a good third to him in the Liverpool 190 THE ROYAL STUD Nursery Stakes at the November Meeting. Only started twice at three years old, she Avon the first time a trumpery plate at Leicester, and after this she acquired the reputation of being a 'rod in pickle' for some im- portant event. She wvas apparently not backed for the Cambridgeshire, in which race she, a three-year-old, carried the heavy weight of 8 st. 9 lb., and ran un- placed to Molly Morgan, who was carrying 30 lb. less wveight. As a four-year-old Laodamia was, for the third year in succession, restricted to two races, neither of which she won. In 1895 she took part in four, winning one, the Derby Cup, at the November Meet- ing. In this race she was carrying 8 st. 9 lb., and there wvere some really high-class horses behind the mare. The following season two out of six races started for fell to her share-the Stockbridge Cup, distance six furlongs, and the Doncaster Cup, distance twvo miles. For the last-named race Laodamia started, in a good field of eight, third favourite, and beat The Rush and Dinna Forget-both good winners afterwards -very easily. In her next essay she was third, carry- ing the heaviest weight of all, for the Cesarewvitch, beaten but a neck from Chit Chat, the second. And she finished her racing career by running third also 191 THE KING'S RACEHORSES for the Cambridgeshire, carrying 8 st. 9 lb. Her speed on the racecourse was terrific, and she could stay any course. A mare with such a back, quarters, and shoulders, was hardly ever seen; and one can fancy what the late, and great, Lord George Bentinck would have said on the subject of so grand a mare winning so few races. It was 'Lord George' who once re- marked, in writing to a friend: 'Lord Chesterfield with such a horse as Don John in his possession has only won I500 upon the St. Leger; had Don John been mine, I would not have left a single card-seller in Doncaster with a coat on his back.' When this mare came into the market she was, with rare judgment, at once secured for the Sandring- ham stud; and so good-looking have her foals (all by Persimmon) been, that if they should fail to achieve greatness we must never judge from appearances again. It cannot be denied that the performances of Pole Carew, her first offspring, have been of a highly dis- couraging nature so far, but there is plenty of time yet for one, at all events, of the family to make amends. Fanchette, by Speculum, from Reticence, is the oldest inhabitant, having been foaled in 188o. Amongst her produce have been Versailles, Mousme, and Eventail, 192 THE ROYAL STUD of whom the last named showed plenty of promise, and won some good races at two years old. Azeeza, by Surefoot, from Perdita, visited St. Simon on March 23, I9o1 ; whilst Vane, own sister to Flying Fox, won the Bretby Stakes at Newmarket Second October Meeting, for the late Duke of Westminster, as recently as the end of i899. She was purchased at the celebrated sale at Kingsclere, in the early part of 189o, being knocked down to the bid of His Royal Highness, 4300 guineas. Vane's 'first love' was Per- simmon, whom she visited on April 22, 1901; and if blood goes for anything, here is a union which ought to produce a celebrity of some sort. Courtly, who is a dark bay filly by Hampton, from Little Lady (who must not be confused with the late Lord Stamford's Little Lady, by Orlando, from Volley, who was running in the 'fifties'), won the Badminton Plate at York for his then owner, Mr. H. E. Beddington, and may be put down as a fairish type of Hampton mare. In 1901 she proved barren to St. Frusquin, and went to his great rival, Persimmon, on May 2 1St. Mintleaf, foaled in 1889, by Esterling, from Mint Sauce, has been twice barren, to Crowberry and St. Simon respectively; and visited Persimmon on 2 B 193 THE KING'S RACEHORSES May I7, i9oi. Red Enamel, the dam of Lipsalve and Madame Rachael, is a bay mare of Irish extraction, formerly the property of Sir Charles Hartopp, for whom she won several races. Whilst boasting size, she is full of quality, and all her stock have been good- looking. But-and 'tis a big but-she proved barren to Persimmon during the season of 1901 ; and, as will be noticed from the stud card, is one of six 'barreners' at the Royal stud during the season. Which means no small loss to the breeder, with service fees from 300 guineas upwards I Tears of Joy, a beautifully bred bay mare, by Amphion, from Merry Dance, was knocked down to the bid of Lord Marcus Beresford at Mr. J. M. Hanbury's sale at Newmarket in December i1oo for 360 guineas. She had been previously served by Cabin Boy, but proved barren to him, and went to Florizel on April 29, 1901. The produce of this union wvill be worth watching, as Amphion, the sire of Tears of Joy, combines the blood of Vedette and stout old Rataplan in his pedigree; wvhilst Merry Dance, her dam, was by Doncaster, from that celebrated brood-mare Highland Fling. A better cross than this would seem impossible to get. 194 THE ROYAL STUD Mousme, of whom mention has before been made, is a home-bred mare, by St. Simon, from old Fanchette. Those who have not visited Japan may accept the information that, in the land of the chrysanthemum, 'Mousme' is a term of endearment; and this sweet mare is one of His Majesty's special favourites. Her two-year-old daughter by Sir Hugo was a very early foal, having been born on January 17th. Pierrette, one of the first of the Royal racers in train- ing at Kingsclere, is now fourteen years old, and has not yet, although a grand mare to look at, borne anything worthy of carrying the Royal colours. In i899 she proved barren to Persimmon, and was sent to Juggler (the Lord Lyon strain of blood), by whom she had a chestnut colt in i1oo. Last season she was once more barren to Persimmon, and was sent to Merman, an Australian-bred horse, by Grand Flaneur, and winner of the Ascot Cup and Cesarewitch in this country. Eventail's performances on the Turf have been detailed in a former chapter. She has developed into a typical brood-mare, and her bay yearling filly by Florizel looks like developing into a galloper. Meadow Chat, the dam of Frusquina, is a bay mare by Minting from Stone Clink, and, as no Turf student '95 THE KING'S RACEHORSES would require telling, one of Mr. Robert Vyner's breeding. Her sire was second only to the all- conquering Ormonde, in that marvellous season for superior three-year-olds, i886, and her dam won, amongst other races, the Cesarewitch of the same year. Meadow Chat herself was only racing for two seasons, and won a small contest at Gosforth Park. She has thrice been to Persimmon, the first produce being the bay filly Ecila, who ran a good second to Punctilio in the Acorn Stakes at Epsom, Icoi. She has a chestnut colt, 2 years, and a bay yearling colt to the same horse; and visited Orme on May lo, igo9. An addition to the list of mares, since the publication of the Royal Stud Card, is Wheatley, a seven-year-old chestnut mare by Orme from Shotover, covered last season by Persimmon (and in foal to him), purchased for His Majesty by Lord Marcus Beresford, at the Newmarket December sales, for 1850 guineas. The loss of Merrie Lassie-who died on April ii, 1901-was no light one to the Royal stud. She was a dark chestnut mare, bred in 1884 by Mr. T. Case. Her sire, Rotherhill, wvas one of the 'disputed' parents of St. Gatien, the Derby winner of 1884, her dam being by Blair Athol, from a Newminster mare. Merrie 196 0 V. z x z z This page in the original text is blank. 0 V. z z z This page in the original text is blank. THE ROYAL STUD Lassie never ran on the Turf, in public, and was said to have been sold, at one period of her career, for seven sovereigns. She was at one time in the possession of Mr. A. B. Sadler, the trainer, at Newmarket; and she bred for him Grig, by Crafton, and Imposition and Jest, both by Juggler. Merrie Lassie was also the dam of the very speedy Fosco (by Juggler also), and of Fitz- simmons and Lauzun; of whom Fitzsimmons must be put down as one of the Royal 'failures.' Good-looking enough to win every race he took part in, he proved a 'gay deceiver' when asked to race; and descending to a selling plate, the Gorse Plate at Lingfield, on November i, igoo, which he won, he was afterwards sold to Sir J. B. Maple for 400 guineas. He has not run since, and his younger brother, Lauzun, has lately been sold, for stud purposes, in France. It may be interesting to put down in figures the amounts won in stakes by the sons and daughters of St. Simon since he has been at the stud. And it webill be still more interesting in the future to compare the records of the descendants of his three illustrious sons, Florizel, Persimmon, and Diamond Jubilee. 197 THE KING'S RACEHORSES YEAR 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 190I ST. SIMON'S DESCENDANTS AMOUNT WON . . . 24,286 32,799 . . . 25,890 .. . 56,139 . . 36,319 . 42,092 . 30,469 . 59,740 . . . 22,541 . . . 15,210 . . 17,505 54,460 .. 28,671, I 5 Making a grand total of 446,121, I5 Which is, it is perhaps needless to say, a 'record.' His 'record year,' as will be seen from the above table, was i896. But the amount, 59,740, was 'topped' by Stockwell, exactly thirty years before. In i866 the descendants of 'the Emperor of Stallions' won between them no less than 61,391. And these figures are more marvellous when it is taken into consideration that there 198 THE ROYAL STUD wvere no 'mammoth' prizes to be won in the 'sixties,' although there has not been a heavier gambling period since the days of ancient history. This enormous sum was won by thirty-nine scions of Stockwell, who between them accounted for 132 races. Amongst his sons and daughters were Lord Lyon, who won the Two Thousand Guineas, Derby, and St. Leger, and Repulse, the winner of the One Thousand Guineas. For six successive years prior to i897 St. Simon headed the list of winning sires; but in that year the Pride of Welbeck had to give way to Kendal, the sire of Galtee More, and in the following season he fell into sixth position to his sire Galopin. The season of i899 saw him third in the list to Orme, and since then he has held pride of place. Not only does St. Simon stand first in the list for 1901, but he has also the distinction of having two of his own progeny in the select half-dozen whose children have won more than io,ooo, viz. Florizel and St. Frusquin. And it is further worthy of note that the first, fourth, and seventh horses at the finish of the Derby of igo9 were got by Florizel, whilst one of them subsequently won the St. Leger, beating another Florizel colt in Volodyovski. Five of the first seven in that Derby were by Galopin or his 199 THE KING'S RACEHORSES descendants, viz. Volodyovski (Florizel) i, William the Third (St. Simon) 2, Veronese (Donovan) 3, Floriform (Florizel) 4, and Doricles (Florizel) 7. Five out of the first six in the St. Leger of the same year were also by the progeny of Galopin. Doricles and Volodyovski, first and second, are sons of Florizel; Pietermaritzburg, the fourth, is by St. Simon; Ian, fifth, is by St. Serf (a son of St. Simon); and Veronese, sixth, by Donovan (a son of Galopin). If Stockwell were the Emperor of Stallions, surely St. Simon is entitled to be known as the King Mr. Henry Chaplin's Hermit, who belonged to the Newminster branch of the great Touchstone family- Stockwell belonged to the equally great Birdcatcher family -was, like Stockwell, for seven years at the head of the list of successful stallions, during which time his descendants won nearly a quarter of a million sterling in prize-money. For purposes of comparison Hermit's record as a stallion may be put down. HERMIT'S DESCENDANTS YEAR AMOUNT WON 1873 . . X100 1874 . . 4,690 1875 3,748 1876 . . 9,429 200 THE ROYAL STUD HERMIT'S DESCENDANTS-continued YEAR AMOUNT WON i877 .9,060 I878 I4,835 i879 7,577 I88o 29,622 i88i 27,222 I882 44,608 i883 30,801 I884 29,236 i885 30,I21 i886 22,758 i887 25,536 i888 I 3,269 I889 12,206 i89 ..o 6,229 i89i 13,i83, I2 I892 8,20I, i6 i893 2,327 i894 i,622 I895 4,540 I 896 I00 i897 100 Total 351,I2I, 8 2 C 20I THE KING'S RACEHORSES Besides the winnings in England, his progeny, Tristan, Alicante, Bavarde, etc., won more than 30,000 in France. And the list of Hermit, like the list of Stockwell, was not assisted by 'mammoth' prizes. 'THE DAILY TELEGRAPH' ON THE KING'S THOROUGHBREDS The announcement that Lord Marcus Beresford has been officially appointed to the post of 'Manager to His Majesty's Thoroughbred Stud' will be welcomed by all who take an interest in the English Turf as an indication that one of the most successful racing careers of modern times is not likely to be ended yet. It may be feared that the appropriate circumstance of the 'Coronation Derby' being won by a Royal colt is not very probable. But Persimmon's foals last May were splendid, and Sceptre, the first of his daughters to carry silk, won her race at Epsom, green as she showed herself, in the easiest possible manner. There is every possibility, in fact, that the King will add another Derby victory later on to a record which is quite unparalleled in the English Royal family, though 202 THE ROYAL STUD the Duke of York (son of George iII.) also won the Derby twice with Prince Leopold (i8i6) and Moses (1822), and in 1788 the same race was won by the Prince of Wales (afterwards George iv.) with Sir Thomas. But there are many other things which will make His Majesty's last season on the Turf as Prince of Wales a memorable one in the history of English racing. Not only did he head the list of winning owners, owing to the successes of Diamond Jubilee, own brother to the illustrious Persimmon, but he carried off the treble event of the Two Thousand, Newmarket Stakes, and Derby, which has only been done by His Majesty's colt, by Isinglass, and Ladas; and by winning the triple crown of Guineas, Derby, and St. Leger, Diamond Jubilee joined the glorious band which is composed of Flying Fox, Galtee More, Isinglass, Common, Ormonde, Lord Lyon, Gladiateur, and West Australian. Moreover, His Majesty is now the only owner who has ever won both the Derby and the Grand National in the same season, or who has won the Derby with two colts by the same sire and dam in exactly the same time, 2 min. 42 sec., the fastest on record for the course of i mile 4 furlongs 29 yards. Own brothers have been victorious before, but Lapdog 203 THE KING'S RACEHORSES (1826) belonged to Lord Egremont, and Spaniel (1831) to Lord Lowther; and, again, it was the third Duke of Grafton who owned Whalebone, while Whisker ran for the fourth Duke. It will be the hope of all who care for racing and good sportsmanship that, with the help of Lord Marcus Beresford, the ' purple jacket, gold - braided, scarlet sleeves, and black velvet cap with gold fringe' will soon be at the front again. His Majesty may well look forward to equalling the score of three Derby victories which was achieved by Sir Charles Bunbury, the first winner, by Lord Grosvenor, Sir F. Standish, Lord Egremont, the third Duke of Grafton, Lord Jersey, and the Duke of Portland, even if he does not become one of that select company who, by four such successes, have won imperishable fame for the names of Mr. John Bowes, Sir Joseph Hawley, and the first Duke of Westminster. From Tregonwell Frampton, 'Keeper of the Running Horses at Newmarket' for William iii., Queen Anne, George i., and George ii., to Lord Marcus Beresford, ' Manager of His Majesty's Thoroughbred Stud,' is a period of time which sums up all the development of modern racing from the days of the Stuarts to the era 204 THE ROYAL STUD of the starting-gate. The rise and the development of the Jockey Club from 1750 to the present time is not the least important feature of that period. That wealthy and exclusive organisation began when Royalty seemed temporarily to have neglected the Turf altogether. But it has never been without a member of the Royal family upon its lists; and if in the Eclipse hoof it preserves the memory of William iv.'s interest, in the painting of Diamond Jubilee it will possess a record not merely of the interest of our present Sovereign, but of a racing career which very few members of the present club have equalled. Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, (late) Printers to Her Majesty at the Edinburgh University Press