In the course of the morning The Widow first began to hear of some suitors for her favours, and well were they rewarded for their attachment to her interests.
Tuesday, the Cambridgeshire day, exhibited Newmarket in all its perfections, and the crowds of horses and carriages drawn up along the sides of the winning post fully equalled, if they did not surpass, those we have witnessed in any previous year. Betting, however animated it might have been in some respects, was still carried on in very small sums, scarcely any offer being made to back an animal for more than “a pony.”
As I imagined, the “pots” were as numerous as new, and all, without exception, boiled over. In the number of the field, I must confirm, I was greatly surprised, as I placed more reliance than it seems I ought to have done on the judgment of the owners of some eight or ten animals, who I thought would have been so satisfied, from their previous defeats, of the hopeless nature of their chances, that they would have preferred keeping their money in their pockets to allowing it to swell the winner’s stake. Such a field was never before seen at Newmarket, and yet, from the width of the course, plenty of room was allowed to all. The betting, as far as Giselle was concerned, was clearly an omen of her victory being a “phantom” in the eyes of her friends. Patriot’s enemies were likewise on the alert, and, like many of his namesakes, he shamefully betrayed his trust. In fact, after the race, he was quite as unpopular as those seventeen Radical M.P.‘s who declined joining the Crown and Anchor feed last week. Hydrangea was in great request, why I know not; while Vanish, having beaten Lady Wildair in a trial, and having Nat assigned to her, found a host of supporters.
Neither Foreclosure nor War Eagle were in force, and scarcely a Widower was to be heard of.
The race was never in doubt for an instant, and won with the greatest ease imaginable, by the “soi-disant cover hack;” War Eagle, by Jem Robinson’s masterly riding, alone getting near her. The favourites were nowhere, and out of my fancied lot, Lady Wildair and Foreclosure alone ran respectably. The defeats of Giselle and Patriot, I can well account for, but Geraldine and Vanish, I admit, disappointed me exceedingly. Neither the Widow nor War Eagle, I concluded, would have started, and when the history of the one, and the recent doings of the latter are considered, I think it must be admitted there were some grounds for my conclusions. This aged Widow, it seems, was bred by the Marquis of Westminster, and, like Edie Ochiltree, brought up by hand, and so little did his Lordship think of her, that he made a present of her to his groom. This man, sold her to a clergyman for his daughter to ride, but not being sufficiently quiet for that purpose, she was transferred for a “song” to a friend of Mr. Ricardo’s. in whose name she ran with a lot of platers of the worst class at Egham, Chatham, and Basingstroke, without once getting her head in front. During the winter she was used as a cover hack, and subsequently was ridden in the park by her present owner, who purchased her for a hundred pounds. Her next appearance was at Goodwood, where she won the Anglesey Stakes, beating Messenger and Sloth. Such doings were certainly not calculated to gain her friends for this great handicap, and even with the liberal odds of 100 to 1, which were offered against her up to Sunday, very few could be found to notice her. Her triumph may be attributed to her having been well prepared, favourably weighted, getting well off, and finding the distance just sufficient to make her turn of speed tell well in her favour. Her party win about £11,000, of which £4,000 consisted of a bet of 4,000 to 40 taken out of one book.
Morning Post - Friday 29 October 1847
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