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ENGLANDS BEST RACE HORSES. Under the caption of "Our Good Horses," Loudon Sportsmans "Special Commissioner" inclines to the opinion that .some of the English race horses of the present day have been underrated and are really of extraordinarily high class and says: "One of the most curious and yet, I suppose, natural phenomena of life is that we always have with us the laudator temporls acti who believes that there is a general decadence all round since the days when he looked on the world in full-blooded youth. It is all nonsense, of course, for we can see the same diatribes as to the deterioration of bloodstock In writiugs of the eighteenth century, and we know very well that nevertheless immense improvement has been made as between then and now, nor is there any vestige of truth in the idea that tills process of evolution and improvement Is not continuing. From time to time there comes a year when, from drought or other temporary causes, we recognize a set-back, and the classic winners bred in that season are below the standard, but this is only a halt in the advance, and often enough we find that a year has really produced great horses, though we hardly realized It when they were three-year-olds. Of such was Volodyovskls year, when there were twenty-live runners for the Derby, all to become more or less famous, and an even more striking example was last year Spearmints for even now we are discussing the relative merits of the great four-year-olds, Radium and The White Knight, neither or which was placed in the Derby, and we have seen four-year-olds run first, second and third for the Cesarewitch and first and second for the Cambridgeshire. More than that, there are such champion four-year-olds as Lally, Sancy and Gold Riach, not to mention Bridge of Canny, and It may be that Keystone II. is not even now played out. Anyhow, they make up a strong lot, though Spearmint, Pic-ton and Troutbeck, the first three In last years Derby, are no longer In training, and though the same may be said of Gorgos, the Two Thousand Guineas winner, which the Due de Graimnont has shown great judgment In buying for France. "Setting Spearmint aside, 1 think we may take it that the really most brilliant colt of last year was and is LaUy, whose three-year-old career was only marred, for the time being, by his losing his action on hard ground. It was customary to write that Mr. Pnrefoy had been foolish in refusing 20,000 guineas for him, but apart from the fact that Mr. Purefoy did not need the money and naturally liked to run a good horse of his own breeding, there now appears the further fact that Lally has won in stakes little, if anything, short of 20,000 gulueas, and is still sound for racing, in B0S. Who shall say what the value or a horse such as this may not be In the rush and crash of conlllcting stock markets and the threat of railway strikes It is, or course, diliicult to put a value on a sensational horse, but as Lilly is to come np at the December sales, breeders throughout the world Will have their chance, and some of tbein. no doubt, arc free Crohi the atmosphere of Wall street finance anil six per cent, bank rate. Anyhow, we - shall sec, for once in a way, a top-class horse ottered for sale by auction, and he it remembered Lally is of No. 1 family, tracing to Parasol, by Pot-S-os, out of Prunella, and he is a son of Amphion, a direct descendant of Vedette through Speculum, while his Lallys dam, was by Galllard, grandson of Vedette through Galopin. This being so, we may take it that Lally, though his future fortunes may be laid on the laps of the gods, has nothing but kindly deities in that connection. "My point in mentioning him thus is to recall people to a proper proportion of judgment, for they are talking just now as if The White Knight or Radium were the only horses, whereas It Is, I suppose, certain that neither would have any earthly chanco against Lally -over the Eclipse Stakes course at Sandown. t "It needs hut little thought now, however, to convince anyone that the despised three-year-olds of last year were really unusually good, and I shall always believe Spearmint to have been a Derby winner such as we very seldom see; indeed, there never was a greater certainty than his victory last year, in so much that I did my uttermost to secure his three-parts brother, Wargrave, a fortnight before the race, and offered 750 sovereigns a year for him for three years; but there It is, with Spearmint, who was facile princeps the best of his year, out or it, Gorgos, Troutbeck and Picton also out of it, there still remaiu four-year-olds about which people get to loggerheads as to which is not the greatest horse since Isonomy, and then Lally comes looming up as probably on top of them all. Eighteen hundred and ninety-six was a great year, nut not fully ceveloped as regards three-year-olds. "If it bo sometimes difficult to form a right conclusion about the real quality of a seasons three-year-olds, it is even more risky to pronounce any definite judgment on its two-year-olds. OTten and oHen it happens that two-year-olds or apparently brilliant promise are very disappointing the next year, as, for Instance, Democrat and Game Chick. On the other hand, two-year-olds of which we think little, occasionally improve out of all recognition. Memoir may be mentioned as a case in point. It seemed at one time that our two-year-olds this season were extraordinary, but the downfall of three or four of the seemingly best colts has raised doubts as to whether they were not very much overestimated. But it is highly probable that some colts which have not as yet won will distinguish themselves next year. Among these particularly note Dalgety and Perrier. That we have a quite unusually good lot of two-year-old fillies seems certain, for I need only mention such as Leslun, Rhodora, Bracelet, Ardentrive, Araminta and French Partridge to enforce this view, but good two-year-old fillies all too frequently leave their form behind them in the recess and come out as three-year-olds altogether behind what they were In the preceding season. However, it is not likely that such a fate will befall the whole lot mentioned above, and besides them there are many others, such as Back Answer, Little Goose, etc., from which good form may be anticipated next season,"