Ascot in Its Adolescence: Early History of Famous Racing Heath is Southern England, Daily Racing Form, 1922-03-31


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ASCOT IN ITS ADOLESCENCE Early History of Famous Racing Heath in Southern England. ■ % * Two Hundred Years Ago Kings and Nobles Raced and i Gambled There. ~-*— ; Two hundred years ago tlio then Master of tlip H«.r-p. the Puke of leeaerset, received the royal ! MUUWl to make I "Bound IlPMt M Asesl Com- 1 mon": that in the .July and August of that year j he paid ,785 to one William l.owen for work done; .1 l a certain arpenter for divers posts an l rails; 3 to the painter who decorated Hip said j pasts, and to the Miivener who engrossed • X be , article* for Her kfejeety*! plate run for af Ascot * Common." Having provided a course-, the next , thing undertaken by .lames ll.s daughter was llie j provision of a race Meeting, wkiefe was necom- s plislied through the agency of the l.ondoli Gazette j of July 12, 1711. in which journal the following . announcement imhnI: "Bet Majestys llate of . ,vr.iM will he run lor round the new heat on Ascot I iiiiiiiiiiii, near Windsor, on Tuesday. August 7 . next, by any horse, mate or gelding being nit more . than six years old the grass before, as must be ceitified under 111- hand if the breeder. I BMjISB |, MB ps.unds. three heats, to lie entered the last day of .Inly, at Mr. Ham neks, at Kern Hill, i.ear the , Starting Io-t." A plate of 50 was :,1 ,i BliaaSCd for. and the first meeting, after a postponement of four day-:, was duly brought off on Sai unlay. August 11. and the fidlowillg Monday, the Queen being present on both days, hut. unfortunately, not the author of "t,ulliw-t s Travels." who. ou August IS, wrote to Stella: "1 luissed the race today by coining too late, when everybodys coach was MM, and ride 1 would not." In the eourse of the following September and on August 25. 1711. and August 12. 171H. the Queen again lent In r august presence to rnee meetings lit Aseot: but when about a fortnight before the races of 1714 the papal patroness died, racing at As -ot was indefinitely pestpoaed, and as Ceorge 1. was not greatly addicted to The "sport of kings" the fortunes of the course were at a low ehb for a number of years. lhoii,h at divers dates in the twenties of the eighteenth eentury raees were held there between horses "used in hunting twelve months past." and "for such hunters as had been at the death of the leash of stags wilh His Majestys hounds in Windsor Forest lie-.ween March 1 last and the first day of running." KINGS AND NOBILITY AT ASCOT. Ceorge II.. like his predecessor, was far from being wedded to the rare course, but to make up for his indifference his third asst, the warrior, upon whom certain of his cntemporaries bestowed the not exactly euphonious appellation of "Butcher" v Cumberland, was a most enthusiastic devotee of racing. As ranger of Windsor Forest, tile Conqueror of Culloden was in a position t-- encourage sport at ARCor. and by 1754. in which year, when he had a walk-over for a 8 plate, he refused t . take advantage of the absence of opposition and ordered that the prize should be competed for by "horses that had not had a sweat." he had secured lour days raiing for the royal meeting. Fourteen years later the meeting, which was enlivened by a lady of fashion undertaking for a wager of 5,000 io ride a hundred miles on horseback in ten hours while her husband offered to wager 5,000 more that she would cat a leg ef mutton and drink ;im bottle* of claret in addition — the racing was spread over five days; but as late as 177.!. four years after Kclips.- bad n the Nobleman and Contli-m-ns Plate of S250. and three years after a cup was subscribed, and walke-d-over for by the Duke of Cumberlands Maria, that was the parent of the OaM Cup. the arrangements of Ascot were most primitive, no permanent grandstand gracing t lie CMTH, while the races did not start before ."i p. in., cock fighting, prize fighting nud broad -sword combats filling in the time. Tuesday. June SB, 1701. is a date marking an apech in the history of Ascot, iiiasmu h as it wasj on that day that the race for the Oakland Stakes j I was decided ami serious racing inaugurated on the i | royal course. Forty-one subscribers contributed J I from |Si to 00 toward this stake, which resulted | in llie stupendous sum. for those days, of 4,900 being allocated as the premier prize. Nineteen horses started on the two-mile contest, and after a close race young Chifney on the lrince of Wales I.aronet, a 20 to 1 chance, won. ii is asserted in 2:."13. a time that taxes our credulity. It is alleged that ever a million pounds sterling changed hands over this roe. that 40.00,1 people wore present, ami that the king, when congratulating his son. who had c.n 5,000, remarked: "Your Haronets* are more productive than mine. I made fourteen last week, but I got nothing by them. Your single Caioiio; is worth all mine put together." By 1793, at which date two hundred canvas booths were dotted about the precincts of the course, the owners pacing fee-; of from 8 to 8 for permis-■sion to erect the same and from .O to 14869 for the privilege to run a gaining table within, the racing was air.ingeii to begin at 1 oclock. In 1788, three peers after, a hoi M that had thrown its jockey over its lead op|Misite lie- i.yal inclosur,-, was found :o have broken both its forelegs and To have inn twenty paril on the slumps, the first of ASCOtS grandstands was erected to ho! I 1,480 persons. This stand was in use until 1888, when it was discarded in favor of an erection built by a company laving a capital of 888,888 diided into 100 hares. DIVIDENDS FROM THE ASCOT STANDS. The money to build Ibis stand is said to have been somewhat difficult to raise, but it proved an I excellent investment, especially to those w no. on the tontine -stem. remained on until the last Mnre* * Were redeemed at par. as an be gathered from the art that in addition to their capital, which they received back, Meaethlag like- 1922.sh0,500 wis disirih ufed iim.ciig the shareholders in the course of nineteen years, anil in tin- last year the final dividend l received by the lucky holders of the shares remaining amounted to for each shaie held. .iuoiig the many niouarchs who visited Ascot in i its early days, including in 1M4 the F.mperor of Jin si.i find llie King of Prussia, and in 1M4 Nicholas I., tzar of Itiissi.i. win, for several years pre-.-eiile,l ;i piece of pi. He worth ,500, discontinued I at the time of the Crimean War. was William IV.. who. in 1883, wa- a - s.,uiti.,| by an old man in sailor i e mine, who hurled several stones at his king, MM • if iln-m striking i In- copal bat. llie delay in bringing tin- lacteal mariner to Jastice, owing to the fact that no Magistrate was srest at in an official i capacity, has since that date furnished the Chief Stipeiidaiy Magistrate in London wilh a pleasing holiday, inasmuch as il is his duty to attend the . rams on each day to m-al summarily with all cell Sacra wlio are bioughi before him in the little pallee • court at lb- back of the royal stand. .s "baeiaess" is not brisk, the change- frsss Kow B tree I io Aaeot ; mil-1 be greatly appreciated by the Uspeaesr of justice, whose chief clients ate old eeqaaiataacea wio bare been caught in the ail of picking pockets. Bailepl Magazine-.

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