American Impressions Of English Racing: Leading Courses of the Two Countries Compared--Doncasters Immensity--Horses, Jockeys, Bookmaking, Track Management, Crowd Handling and Operating Costs on the Other Side, Daily Racing Form, 1910-10-16


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AMERICAN IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLISH RACING RACINGLeading Leading Courses of the Two Countries Compared Doncasters Immensity Horses HorsesJockeys Jockeys Bookmaking Track Management Crowd Handling Handlingand and Operating Costs on the Other Side BY FRANK II BKUNELL J During a recent visit of nix weeks to England I went to the races wlienever I could and sought to look at the English s ort for the sake of instruc ¬ tion comparison and the material for this off hand sketch Three or four sharp impressions came out of the pleasant invest igatlon They were wereFirst First Haclng on the other side is too timecon ¬ suming and expensive lo attract more than local and regular enthusiasm except upon a few notable days of the year yearSecond Second Betting on the English race track Is far more complicated and far less attractive than in this country even under the oral system as prac ¬ ticed in New York and California There is no comparison between English race track speculation and that of an American betting ring with the shtes and stands in operation as at Jacksonville or the mechanical mutuels of Kentucky KentuckyThird Third Outside of one or two American tracks such as Belmont Park and Saratoga the English race courses are much better kept and more gener ¬ ally attractive to the eye eyeFourth Fourth The stands general offices and conven ¬ iences of an English race course are far less satis ¬ factory than are those of an American racing plant of similar pretensions In England crowds art classed socially and financially and kept to grades by enclosures each with its betting paraphernalia At an English race track one stays where one puts ones self by the price one pays The stands are far from commanding geographically and on but few ot the tracks I visited was it possible without extra effort and good glasses to see a race from end to end endDoncasters Doncasters Noble Race Track TrackThe The notable and noble exception was Doncastcr a course without an equal in this country for its racing ground The liistclass and members enclos ¬ ures at all the courses gather the small iihd select crowds In them the betting has most volume and on them the English woman of racing proclivities foregathers beautifully ilressed and conscious of it The English racing woman is most keen frequents tin paddock gossips witli the professionals and If a good l ettor with credit among the layers of odds that is astonishing to the American observer observerIn In the English racing world one is Jlassed by the company one keeps There is a wide gulf between the aristocratic owner who races because It is tra ¬ ditionary and In the family and the shifty profes ¬ sional with a few horses of little class Each is found in Uls strength at certain tracks The best of all In English racing assembles nt Ascot Newmar ¬ ket Goodwood Epsom Doncaster and on certain days at such courses as Sandown Park Kcmpton IarU Liiigficld and Newbury NewburyAs As I saw the English thoroughbred in action it is usually of smarter appearance than ours that is it is better groomed and more regularly and jauntily kept Tin best horses In England are no better than our own but iu bulk the general average is perhaps the better in performance and certainly in appear ¬ ance anceThe The 1910 St Leger and Its Field FieldThe The St Lcger field on parade was a glory so far as the appearance of the ten horses came to the eye Swynford a huge mahogany brown too leggy for repeated athletic perfection Bronzlno a true chest ¬ nut compact and truly developed Lemberg a light bay picture horse with no single hair out of place are equine aristocrats of allaround beauty I have never seen as superbly finished a horse as was Lcmberg in the St Leger parade Two noble fillies Winkipop am Kosedrop were also in the field and raced home side by side fifth and sixth Mr Astors filly evidently the sturdier of the two The Russian colt Ksiaze Pan was the only ordinary one in looks among the ten tenThere There might have been a different winner of the Doncastcr St Leger of 1910 had not Maher blundered with Leml erg a short furlong away from the win ¬ ning post the distance as it la called in England Maher with Leml erg had followed Swynford at the rails waiting for an opening which never came Then he drew out and came on but could never re ¬ gain the ground he lost by taking Lemberg back and outside Master Wootton supremely confident despite tiie gradually closing of Bronzino only landed Swynford winner by a short head Woottons confidence is supreme generally It was supremest here Good judges told me that one of Woottoas liest qualities Is the ability to gauge the goods in hand The good judges termed It a gift The winner impressed me as a superb racing machine prepared to run for a kingdoms value Hut It struck me as a fancy terhaps but supported by his use that Swynford will run great races and win tinin but will not run many such races in a sea ¬ son Lord Derby or rather his clever trainer George Lanihton will probably not ask the big son of John oGaunt to do more than he can canLcmlerg Lcmlerg a Colt of Great Beauty BeautyLemberg Lemberg smaller more symmetrical and better balanced horse may have been unlucky to lose There was much difference of expert opinion as to what Mailers mistake cost him To me it seemed as if had he been on the outside with a clear course always he would still have been third though a closer third than lie was lie was beaten a length and a halt by Bronzino Since the St Leger Lem I erg has won the Newmarket Ten Thousand Pounder and brought his seasons winnings to over 100000 though he did not have a Swynford or a Bronzino among his opponents In all Lemberg is a superb threevoarold and so far has won 152900 in the two seasons he has raced The colt too has many more rich engagements this year and in 1911 The son of Cvllene is without a blemish far outlooks his halfbrother and stablemate Bayardo and is likely to win more than Bayardo 1ms won 2 ± 08T in a glorious turf career of three seasons Bayardo has probably closed his racing career Two mouths ago it seemed as if Bayardo would become the leader among the great winners of England But it was not to be Isinglass and Donovan are not to be dis ¬ placed this year If a new leader comes out of tlu English racing of 1911 it will be Galicias other son lAmberg lAmbergEnglish English Courses and Crowds CrowdsThe The great English race course that I saw in action was Doncaster I saw it with a filling of 15000 iwopli September 7 St Leger duy All racing England was there Of this mammoth crowd some 45OXIO people were in the great infield a noble sight on a gloriously clear day with the infrequent English sun lavishlv warm Doncaster an old fashioned Yorkshire town three hours social ex ¬ press running distance from London was entirely given up to the Slllluger as the English tongue names the great race The narrow streets were lined ten deep with folks to see the parade to the downs some two miles from the Great Northern Hallway station The London trains look eight or ten thousand to s Hit race and almost as many from it afl r Hit raws Tin hotels of the average small tnwii in England are normally inadequate and tlos at Domastcr during the four racing days dis ¬ tinctly so Every town iu Great Britain was repre ¬ sented in the huge crowd Many Britishers of racing proclivities build up records of attendance at the classic races A sturdy old gentleman from Wilt ¬ shire sat across from me in the Pullman car return ¬ ing to London after the St Leger and in the general conversation over the race Swynfords victory and Mahers mistake mentioned offhand that he had seen sixtytwo St Lcgers and Derbys since 1S4D That would be the year of whomV asked his gossip a youngish man who has seen thirtyfive St Legers and Derbys himself The Flying Dutch ¬ mans double was the reply In 184 Lord Eglin tons Flying Dutchman won both the Epsom and Doncaster classics There was a sharp reminder lor you of the Britishers love for his institutions and his sport The old gentleman was also to return from London to Doucaster and back on the following Friday to see the Cup race lie had seen all the Cup races also since 1849 1849How How the Horses Bun in England EnglandThere There was the usual perfect order at Doncastcr despite the big crowd In the paddock and members enclosure the raiment and jewels of femininity were gorgeous Correct masculine dress ruled also It runs to the formal frock coat and topper and is in ¬ stitutional The Doncaster paddock is especially beautiful reminding one a good deal of Saratoga with its wide spaces and magnificent trees The grass of England is a glory thick smooth and velvety a product of the moist air One seldom sees n roadsThe sprinkler except on the city and suburban roads The paddock arrangements at the leading courses are excellent Each race is known by its color and each starter in the paddock bears the colors of his race during Ids walks The Doncaster main course is an oval over two miles long of thick green turf smooth as a billiard table and nearly SOO feet wide The St Leger starts wit of a short broad chute on the first turn and from the clubhouse roof from which I saw the race the horses were in perfect view at all times The straightaway courses over which some of the sprinters and the twoyearolds niu are across the infield straight to the stands and the middledistance races start from other inroad chutes at intervals The nobility of it all comes out of the plenteous space and broad green running grounds through which the courses taken by Hie contending horses leave broad bands of dull trampled green almost so many lanes on the track One could clearly see that mud as we know it is almost impossible on such a track The bane of English racing is hard turf After long terms of hot dry days the grass courses get brick hard and ruinous to equine legs anil feet feetBeautiful Beautiful Racing Plants Near London LondonDoncaster Doncaster is hardly as smart in the white and color of fences stands flowers and general upkeep as Ascot Goodwood Sandown Lingticld and other fashionable courses but Us immensity atones for this and one is profoundly impressed by Its scope and adequacy as a racing arena arenaSuch Such a crowd as I saw at Doneaster was the average crowd of almost national racing holidays As largo or larger crowds are seen at Epsom with its half million Derby visitors on the great free downs and on the big days at Newmarket Ascot Sandown Liverpool and Manchester Ordinary rac ¬ ing afternoons on the courses near London see from three to ten thousand people in the enclosures Some of the minor tracks In the suburbs sucli as Hurst Park near Hampton Court one of the most beauti ¬ ful of Thames villages are extremely difficult t reach There is a none too fast trip from London iHifore a twomile drive from the railway station Other nearLondon courses Alexandra Park for example are near enough for the taxicab an ex ¬ tremely efficient and cheap feature of London travel and on important days altout two thousand of them carry the racing folks to the track trackCost Cost of Racing to the Public PublicThe The average price for a firstclass enclosure and stand ticket at the nearLondon courses is a pound less some fifteen cents The cheap enclosures with small and inadequate stands cost two and six ¬ pence or sixty cents and draw the crowds There an usually two other enclosures at intermediate prices Railroad fare to all is cheap with the best trains leaving the course earliest at double prices Most English crowds go In the third class classTo To see the St Leger properly from London one pays some fifty shilling or 1250 fare and thirty shillings or 750 for the stand and enclosure The unusual charge for the small and extremely correct English racecourse program Is sixpence or twelve cents Twenty dollars for an afternoons racing minus food drink and luxuries of any kind is a sort of prohibitive price to the rank and file of English racing folks Yet ten or fifteen thousand people paid it St Leger day and some eight or ten thousand on Cup day Off hand I should say that the gate receipts on St Leger day would have been about 170000 Military bands furnish music of the first class alUthe enclosures are thoroughly and numer ¬ ously policed and restaurants and bars are every where and bad The government telegraph offices are enormously busy and the infield full of grafters of various kinds from the vociferous and lecturing tout the noisy layer of extravagant odds who is apt to welch if his Ivook goes awry to the beggar and blatant singer of songs songsThe The British Bookmakers Ways On the big days one gets a good Idea of the Brit ¬ ish liookmaker He conies from every corner of the kingdom upon such occasions with his cash satchel umbrella smalt stool bizarre sign usually discord ¬ ant voice and often fantastic garb There must have been four hundred crews in operation St Leger day Tiie bulk of them were small fry The big fellows operate in the Tattersalls and silver rings and are great takers In the field and cheaper enclosure on big days they use slates big brass bound display boards with the horses names jockeys and odds upon them In the two select quarters the prices are called and great sums are laid and won and lost in these enclosures Many of the Itookmakcrs in even these quarters do a cash busi ¬ ness and pay after each race Betting as with ns is confined to few horses in each race and to a novice the efforts of the layer seom to be to get bets on the horses they do not fancy The bar cry is everywhere in the air Four to one bar one during the St Leger betting meant that the odds against any of the nine horses other thait Lembcrg were 4 to 1 Lemberg ruled at fi to 4 and even money and the odds against the others from 4 to 1 to 4 to 1 Swynford to 200 to 1 against the Kussian ilt Ksiaze Pan Often when the fields are large I saw twentyeight and thirty twoyear olds go in a Nursery or two the cries are Five to 1 bar two Eight to 1 bar three Twelve to 1 bar four and so on The English know it all but if takes time and preparation for the novice to git the hang of it Th big fellows shout but little vet lake enormous hits most or all of which are settled weKly through Tattfrsalls Then is a good percentage of loss iu tliis method I was told Continued on second page AMERICAN IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLISH RACING Continued from first page Yet the English racing man is usually a scrupulous paymaster when he loses losesBookmaking Bookmaking Prices and Clothes ClothesPrices Prices rule lower than on an American race track Betting Is so spotty that percentages are almost imiiossihle of computation Prices vary In different rings or parts of rings and one often hears a world of wordy chaff before a price Is made and accepted between layers and wellknown bettors Women are as keen to bet and as good judges of prices and prob abilities as men and at Doncaster one could see a full hundred of them sauntering among the bookies hunting their bargains and booking their wagers Most of the bookmakers use a small stool six or eight inches high They work in twos and threes The sheet writer is by the operators side always and the bettors gets a card a trifle smaller than our bookmaking ticket on which he enters his own bet Most of the operators wear distinctive clothes Some of the costumes arc appalling One Doncaster crew was dressed as clowns two more as Scotch gillies another as butchers with smocks and collars and operated under the sign in red and brass Butcher Joe of Nottingham One trio was in penal stripes some dressed ilku minstrels and others were in even more fantastic raiment At some of the courses umbrellas of large size and gaudy colors are used At Doneaster and leading courses on the big days these umbrellas are barred because I opine they blur the public view of things thingsIt It is certain that the big men In the Tattcrsalls ting handled a great deal of money on racing days and liefore the important races some of which though not so many as formerly are wagered on for some weeks ahead of the race I had a chance to see the sheet of one of the big bookmakers on the way from Doncaster to London He had taken 11780 pounds or 5S9M on the St I eger the day of the race Part of this was from Mr Lambton Lord Derbys trainer who spilt Swynford to the x sr and a good round sum also had been accepted from Mr Cox who races as Mr Fairie and owns Lemberg the favorite The loss on the huge booking to the race was 480 ounds or 2400 2400Prevalence Prevalence of Shady Betting BettingEnglish English betting on either futures or on the race track is not what it was At some of the smaller meetings the speculation is on a par with that at Lexington or Tampa Street betting or handbooking as we know it is what saps the financial marrow of the sporting English laboring man of varied earn ¬ ing ability The men of this class are uniformly anxious to have their bit on interesting contests of field track or stream and find it easy to get it on for there are thousands of small socalled book ¬ makers everywhere ready to take the money in all sorts of sums Many thousands go in bets daily to Holland as commissions at starting prices or to swell the taking of the totalizers which regularly pay slightly better general odds than the booking figures and sometimes very much better ones The police are extremely alert sind efficient aiid the pun ¬ ishment given to convicted street betting agents or handbookmakers very severe Yet the volume of iKtting in such avenues is checked only by the lack of means to bet Poverty is rampant in England jiist now and the working mans capital rather small Yet he will have his bit on and no power on earth seems to lw able to stop him His loses large sunis yearly to the welcher who is very prevalent in the shady centers of sport and is in ¬ cidentally given a better chaheo because of the se ¬ crecy made necessary by the vigilance of the author ¬ ities itiesOut Out of this starting price handbooking has come the racetiming designation in connection with tho entries The group of published entries iu each race for the following or current day bears a time head in the newspaiwrs Usually the first race entries are marked 200 meaning that the starting time is 2 p m 2tO means the second race and so on through the list of six or eight races which make lip an afternoons program In the public places and upon the streets of London Liverpool Man ¬ chester Dublin Edinburgh and other large cities iii Great Britain the races are usually discussed as the 2 or 3 oclock or the 430 race according to its Starting time and not its number or place on the program The topical comedian at the music halls so refers to racing and I opine that It grew out of the ease of designation for betting operations operationsSelling Selling Races Rules Track Tickets TicketsOne One is impressed by the businesslike way in which the spirit of the selling race rules is treated Almost uniformly npori an English race course the animals entered in a selling or claiming race are there to be sold and many are so sold and claimed undir the rules No bitterness is shown by the parties who so buy sell acquire or lose and one never runs into the folly of print about selling nice wars tlien the action is more sharp than usual usualNo No badges were used at any of the rac tracks which I visited Yon get a ticket with perforated serial parts to it but when you get to your place you have given them all rip and require readmission cards to go out of your enclosure with the idea of returning When you are there on an English race ¬ course you are there to stay until you go and there is no return unless by a new fee to the enclosure you left without a return check If one intends making a racing campaign at more than a few courses in England it pays to be Introduced by a member of the different racing clubs and thus ob ¬ tain a membership Usually members have the advantage of a superior stand at a reduced price and the entree to exclusive fast trains and a superior restaurant All these help helpAn An odd custom is followed by the men who report the races for such newspapers as the Sportsman and Snorting Life of London and the Manchester Sporting Chronicle After each race and near their working quarters they post a bulletin sheet upon a board provided for that purpose displaying the starting prices contained in their report This pro ¬ vides a check against errors of telegraphic trans ¬ mission enables bettors to know their startingprice winnings at once and guards against an evil that lias turned up in American sporting newspaper cjrcles more than once This is the changing of prices in a chart between correspondent and telegraph key by an enterprising smd interested pirate or his tool toolEnglish English Jockeys and Riding Styles StylesOff Off hand it would seem as if stable sustenance was much less than in tho United States Wages are lower but there are more hands distances are less but stable charges and fees are as high as at our meetings of the first class The jockeys as I saw them art a moderate and conservative lot riding according to education and tradition Maher is ac ¬ counted he lies t but English judges of the first class consider that Frank ONeill Who was a star here and is one in France is a better horseman than1 Malier Frank Wootton the young Australian jockey is a great rider without doubt Some of his work strikes one as that of almost a riding peniuj He impressed me as being easy on a horse His style Is elastic suited to his animal with which he gfnerally seems to be in siccbrd and his hands are accounted as velvet For one so young Wootton is inordinately confident too much so in fact His finish on Swynford for the St Lcger was almost carelessly confident aiid had not Maher blundered with Ieiiiberg in tho last furlong of the race the Cyllemv colt might have snatched tlie classic from Lord Derbys crack Of the other English riders Hickaby and Escott seemed best to riie Skeets Martin never in the first class hen is not a great rider nowadays But he is fair and consistent Stanley Wootton the younger brother of Trank has n lot to learn All in nil the present English nice rider is a conservative little chap does as ho is told obeys tho nilcs and is purely a product of the English racing system of subserviency and gradual improvement Xuch a system is hard on genius and sudden development Under it Sloan would never have risen to great heights and under its peculiar light it is no wonder that he was burned burnedJockeys Jockeys Discipline and Order OrderSloan Sloan Malier ONeill OConnor Martin and other American riders have left wellmarked impressions and some of their style to the English jockeys Wootton follows the crouch and control of the Amer ¬ ican rider most distinctly and successfully and a few of the other successful riders bear the marks more moderately but liear them themThe The discipline of the Kngllsh turf is rather de ¬ pressing to an American racimr man Everybody olieys somebody ls upon an Knglish race cours Tattirsall the halfhiildeii routine director of En ¬ glish racing as business agent for the Jockey Club is supreme without what one might call legal au ¬ thority Custom in all Britisli avenues scorns to be stronger than the law itself The material of the turf in England is willing to olny It has bcn moulded on such lines There are mi outlaws no rebellious few objections to rulo and a world of general submission This same spirit in the London streets makrs a colossal trallic easy of control I st Mxl on a road island In the Strand one morning beside a liobby who had just straightened out with a few hand signs what on an extra busy American street would have kept half a dozen mounted men for thrice the time How do you do it I asked him Oh Ifs lieasy sir was the reply And then he added with a chuckle and the bust of it we got no hauthority hauthorityThe The London bobby is used to admiration and en ¬ joys it He is a placid authoritative fellow of in tiiiite information and civility and gets thirty shil ¬ lings a week for his olllcient work The best laws everywhere are the laws and customs folks want to keep nml England has a lot of them That is to be Keen iu every corner of English trutlic business ami racing and helps to make all what they arc safe and sound if rather too placid placidRace Race Finishes Timb Taking and Mud MudThe The way of finishing race which caused so much grumbling at lelinoit Park wheii first adopted horses coming to you from the right is but mildly in vogue in England which set JJelmont its ex ¬ ample At most of the principal courses notably Doncaster and Epsom the tiuisi is from the Ameri ¬ can angle The English straights are more varied and more universally satisfactorv than are some of ours oursThe The starting which I saw at Doncaster Kempton Hurst Park Alexandra Park Yarmouth and one or two other minor courses was uniformly good The only mistakes at any were caused by had actin horses which whipped round or bolted boltedNo No official time is taken or displayed and your English racing man will hay2 none of the time test Ills regular horse scales are those of comparison though I found that some of the members of the ring kept time dope from the printed daily re ¬ port of experts sent to the track by firms of leading watchmakers This time by the way is excellently taken but wl10t fractionals fractionalsThe The condition of the courses while uniformly goixl and rarely worse than soft and therefore grateful to horses less than liell sound brings out as sharii differences in time as does the fast or heavy track countryThere in this country There are far more thickwinded horses in England than here on account of the molster and thicker air and the tubed horse is unite prevalent prevalentMaher Maher and His Riding Tuture TutureI I talked of other things than racing with Maher during a casual meeting one evening at the Cecil lip had come from Newmarket to ride at a suburban course Kempton Park Malier nowadays Is an extremely wellkept courteous fellow serious slightly Knglish of tongue by term rather than ac ¬ cent and Is friendly to the land in which he has had remarkable success by reason not only of his skill but because of his lit inability and judgment Maher finds it hard sometimes to make even tlie hijlh weight at which he is called on to ride around 120 pounds and will probably be seen but seldom in tlie saddle after this season though he has given tlie option of his services to Lord Itosebery for 1911 Maher and Martin are great friends spend their winter holidays together and one of the reasons for the success that Martin has had in England conies through Mahers friendship The great riders bane is rheumatisni7 which has come to him out of the arduous work of reducing in the English climate climateOne One of the odd sights of an English race course is the course itself soon after a race Generally the crowd from the field troops through the gates and men and women Jn parties sit and rest upon the thick turf until the saddling bell rings and a line of jiolieemen with their regulation clear the course please jnareh in front of the stands Obedience is instant again Such an incident is rather grateful to a surprised American eye eyeRacing1 Racing1 in Good General Health I found tlie general opinion among Engjish turf ¬ men that the business ami tone of racing were healthier than that in mercantile corners Money is scarce in England and the volume of liottlng smaller this season than usual Yet the prices of horses young and old have held firmly ami so have those of race track shares The English public ha in vested large sums in the st ck of the newer courses and all pay good average dividends and bring prices above par in the market This year two or three of the courses suffered financially because their first dates were in the time covered by the mourning for the fate king But the others did about a normal business and the big events of 1910 outside that gloomy term have drawn more than the average at ¬ tendance Tim English pulse so far as the turf and the change Incidental to the accession of King George who will never be tlie ardent turfman his father was are concerned beats to the tune of affairs going on as they have gone and safety for the immense investment in British horses tracks ami breeding establishments i iSome Some of tlie English breeding studs are princely and oil a basis of permanency not understood In this country Their discipline and order too reflect the submission to law and custom which are shown in every racing nook Under this system almost feudal the English turf thrives though it hardly welcomes initiation or the boldness of action out of which come the sharpest figures in American racing owners breeders ami riders ridersAs As compared to Knglish racing when and where American racing is thriving the snort in this coun ¬ try is far preferable for broad and democratic en ¬ joyment We have had perhaps too much of this and are now paying tlie jienalty But there is much to admin and imitate in English racing principally in the line of its fairness order and general sta ¬ bility and good if stilted management Only out of such qualities could such a body as the English Jockey Club be reared This body Is supreme and impressive in its power Its orders without the same authority which the Strand bobby had not an never questioned and but mildly criticised even when as drastic ami sudden as that which recentlv barml the use of any photographic camera within any of its enclosures and that means all the courses between March 14 and November 22 of this year the average season

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