Memoirs of the British Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1922-08-02


view raw text

Memoirs of the British Turf J BY THE HON. GEORGE LAMBTON. r h in Fourth Article. I have already written of how Alec Taylor v told me that there was only the length of 0 a short stick between Carlton and St. Mirin, r yet Carlton with Woodburn up starts at 4 y to 1 and St. Mirin with Archer at 20 to 1 t such is the glamour of a private trial and s a mystery horse and when St. Mirin beats j, Carlton the supporters of the latter look about for the reasons of his defeat, and a eventually the story gets about that . had squared Woodburn. About a month afterward I heard a man j, at my club saying that he knew for a fact a this was the case. I said that I did not s believe it and repeated what Alec Taylor i, had told me before the race. "Well." said my friend. "Lord Edward Somerset him- a a 8elf told me that he had positive proof of j. Archer having paid money to Woodburn." r At that moment in walks Lord Edward, so my friends says, "You tell George Lamu- f ton about Archer and Woodburn because a he wont believe me." So Lord Edward pro- t ceeds with his story, firstly, they had tried j Oarlton a certainty for the race; secondly, : Archer had told him the day before the t race that he would beat Carlton on St t Mirin; and. thirdly, he knew Archer had t given Woodburn a large sum of money. This last statement, if true, settled every- j thing, but on asking him how he knew, and what the sum was, then everything fell to pieces. He did not itnow - jw much, but st , everyone knew Archer had given a large j I sum, but he could give no name to thai j ubiquitous "Everyone," and he had no evi- dence whatever of any payment made by Archer to Woodburn. In short, lie knew nothing whatever beyond the fact that his good horse Carlton did not run up to his j private form. LORD EDWARDS WEAK CHARACTER. : Lord Edward was a most good-natured j and kindly man, without much strength of character, and this sort of people can talk, i or be talked into believing anything, and 1 am sure that more than half the stories of wrongdoing on the turf are based on similar foundations. , The performances of Carlton in the fol- lowing year showed two good reasons for ; Mb defeat in the Cambridgeshire ; one being that the course was too short for him, and the other that the boy could not ride him. i He started a hot favorite for the City and 1 Suburban, carrying 06 pounds, ridden by a ! good lightweight jockey. Calder, and was i second, beaten by a length. He then proceeded to win six races off the reel, including the Chester Cup, the Manchester Cup, the Goodwood Stakes and the Doncaster Cup, in all of which he was ridden by a strong jockey in George Bar- 1 I rett, and he finished the season by winning the Manchester November Handicap with 138 pounds on his bade 1 St, Mirin was the property of "Mr. Man-ton," the assumed name of Caroline Duchess 1 of Montrose, who on the death of her second husband, Mr. Crawford, carried on his great racing stud. Her racing colors were red, arid she invariably dressed in red herself, a most remarkable figure. At the time of which I write she was well over sixty. PERSONALITY OF THE DTJCHESS. In her youth. I am told, she had been , good looking, but when I knew her she was . Btout and broad and went by the name of "Carrie lied." She was blest with a soft and most charming voice, and when things were going right was the best company in the world ; but she was hot-tempered and changeable, and was easily put out if she did not get her own way. She lived at Sefton Lodge, the present residence of Mr. S. B. Joel, and just on the opposite side of the road was the great Captain Machell, of Bedford Lodge. Two such strong personalities at such close quarters were bound to clash; at times they were devoted friends, at times most bitter enemies. The duches3 used to tell the most amusing stories about her friends and had a lively imagination ; once she had told a story she was then firmly persuaded it was true. One night, coming home from dinner, Captain Machell in his fly unfortunately drove over and killed her favorite dog. At the moment they happened to be enemies, and the duchess, when she told the story, declared that the captain lifted himself up and came down with a heavy bump on the seat of the fly so as to make certain of killing her dog. At that time Reggie Mainwaring was one of tho handicappers and the duchess, like many owners, always thought her horses were unfairly treated, and she took a great dishko to Mainwaring, who was one of the kindest snd most amiable of men. He was a tall, dark man, rather like Othello, with bu habitual scowl on his face. The duchess usd to refer to him as "the man who murdered Lis mother." So far from this being the case, he had an old mother in Wales to whom he was absolutely devoted. PRAYERS AND A MUD RUNNER. The duchess built and endowed the little church of St. Agnes at Newmarket, next ; door to her house. One wet summer, when ; tho prospects of the harvest were bad all over England, she had a horse in the Leger particularly suited to the heavy going. One Sunday the Rev. Colville Wallis put up a special prayer for fine weather. The i duchess rose from her pew and walked out ; of church. She sent for Wallis and said, , "How dare you pray for fine weather in my church when you know perfectly well it will I ruin my horses chance, and I shall not allow t you to preach in my church again." Wallis, who knew the old lady well and had a great - affection for her, did not argue the matter, , and holds the living to this day. The duchess had a big stud farm at Newmarket, where the Stanley House stables and I Lord Derbys stud farm are now situated. At tho dispersal of her stud after her death Pilgrimage, carrying Jeddah, winner of the Derby; her daughter, Canterbury Pilgrim, - winner of the Oaks and dam of C Chaucer and Swynford, and Roquelaure, winner of the New Stakes at Ascot and dam of Rccksand, winner of the Derby, were sold. In fact she owned seme of the best blood 1 in England, and she bred and raced many good horses, but their management left much to be desired, and her success was not what t it should have been. She led her trainers an anxious life, with i the exception of Alec Taylor, and he was 3 supposed to be the only man she was afraid 1 of. She was capricious and changeable with l r h in v 0 r y t s j, a . j, a s i, a a j. r f a t j : t t t j , j I j j : j i , ; i 1 ! i 1 I 1 1 , . ; ; i ; , I t - , I - C 1 t i 3 1 l regard to her jockeys a failing not unusual 1 her sex. Huxtable used to ride for her when the J weights were light at one time. On one j occasion when he was beaten she was. fit- rious and said to him, "Why on earth didnt you do as I told you and come along with 1 the horse?" "I am sorry, your grace, but 1 should have had to come along without the x horse," was the reply. Huxtable was a quaint little man. Once i at Manchester on a foggy day a certain : jockey of rather unsavory character was beaten on a hot favorite, and when riding him back to the paddock kept looking down j at the horses legs as if he was lame or sore. Huxtable shouted out, "Dont look at i his legs; I think youve broken his jaw." j With all her peculiarities the duchess was i great lady and a good sportswoman. She loved her horses and was a good judge of 1 racing. , At the time of Lord Falmouths retirement i from racing the Duke of Westminster was already challenging him for supremacy on 1 the turf and in the year following the yellow and black cap of the duke, with Archer in the saddle, or "The Boy in Yellow," as the public termed him, took the place of , the magpie colors, black, white sleeves and red cap, of Lord Falmouth. The duke was a tall, distinguished looking man with rather an ascetic cast of countenance, reserved and self-contained, but, when he chose, with a wonderful charm if manner. A beautiful horseman himself, question if there was ever a man with greater knowledge of breeding, racing, the training and riding of horses. With him there was no chopping and changing of trainers and jockeys with every wind that blew. He went for the best and he got it and when a horse of his, trained by John Porter and ridden by Archer o; Mbrny Cannon came out for a big race they carried the confidence and money of th public On these occasions the duke appeared to be the most unconcerned man on the course, but that his appearance belied his real feelings I think the following story will show. In 1899 Flying Fox, with Moray Cannon up, started a hot favorite for the Two Thousand. The horses were at the post, and as soon as the starting flag went up, this was before the days of the starting gate. Flying Fox began to give trouble. Time after time did he bolt out into the country to the left. In those days I have frequently seen a start delayed "for thirty minutes or mors. yiiTDTG POX AT THE BARRIER. I had a good deal more money than I could afford on Flying Fox, and so hopeless did the prospect of his getting off look that had sat down on a seat a little way below the Jockey Club stand gloomily thinking of the next Monday. The duke walked off the stand and came and sat down beside me, saying, "This is one of the most painful moments of my life." I had thought to myself, the way of the rich is easy. At that moment the starter and Morny Cannon somehow or other managed to get Flying Fox off, and as he passed the post an easy winner, the duke let out a piercing "View holloa" which re-echoed through tl stands. The shocked amazement of his friends was comical to see. No member of the Jockey Club had ever committed such an atrocity, and I think, after the race, there was as much talk of the dukes "View halloa" as of the dukes Flying Fox. Flying Fox, of course, was a good horse, but I shall always believe him to have been the luckiest horse in the world to have won the Derby. The French Derby had been won by a gray horse called Holocaust, the property of Monsieur de Bre-mond. Good judges in France said he was a great horse; moreover, he was to be ridden by Tod Sloan, who, although a newcomer, had established a wholesome fear among the English jockeys. Holocaust, on his arrival at Epsom, did not create a favorable impression, as he was pronounced to be coarse and common and Flying Fox started a hot favorite. HOLOCAUST BREAKS DOWN. In the race, when safely round Tattcu-ham corner, it was evident that it was a match between the two. A quarter of a mile from home Cannon was distinctly uneasy on his horse, while Sloan had never moved; but in another stride Holocaust fell and broke hi3 leg. leaving the race at the mercy of the Duke of Westminsters horse. Sloan told mo directly after the race that he had got Flying Fox beaten when tho accident occurred. Although this coincided with my own view of the race I had so often heard it said by jockeys that I did not attach too much weight to it Now Mr. Arthur Coventry, who was then Jockey Club starter, was a great admirer of Morny Cannon, and not too partial to Sloan or to the new style of riding whicn he had Introduced, but when I told him what Sloan had said he remarked, "By God, its true," adding that he had gal-: loped his hack across the downs and was on the rails just a few yards from the place where Holocaust, fell, and, in his opin-i ion, Sloan had won the race. Mr. Coventry knew Morny Cannons riding so well that his opinion was most valuable. I think it is probable that Flying Fox was not a true stayer, and there is no doubt that John Porter was not anxious to train him for the Ascot Cup the following year. If he had been I believe the horse would not have been sold. PORTERS DERBY WINNERS. Porter trained more winners of the Derby than any other man. Besides tho Duke of Westminster he at one time trained for . King Edward, then Prince of Wales; Lord i Alington, Sir Frederick Johnstone, Baron Hirsch, Mr. Gretton and others. Year after . year great winners came from Kingsclere. He was the most unassuming of men, practically never betted, a great believer in hard work for men and horses, and when i a horse trained by him came to the front : in a race a quarter of a mile from home it was a rare thing for him to be beaten. He gave up training, greatly to the regret ; of all racing people, but he did not give up work, for he put his keenness and energy into the construction and management of Newbury race course, the success of which L is notable. The great old man died as he would have wished, in harness at the age of 83 in January of this year, To Be Continued-

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1922080201_12_1
Library of Congress Record: