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'From our Special Sport'ug Correspondent.! July 4'.
June is the month to which hnghsninen generally, and English turStes particularly, look forward as the month of all others that may almost, even in the fickle climate of the old
country, be depended on to bring glorious sun shine and beautiful days without the great heat which often attends on July and August. The majority of the best fixturei in the racing world are appointed fer that month, Epsom generally occupying the opening days, whilst Ascot and Stockbridge fill up the middle, and the Newmarket Meeting comes at the end of June or the first day or two of July. Tbe London season is of course at its height, and a wet June is a sad damper to grand garden parties and Coaching Club outings. Such a June, however, as the one that has just passed turned out to be the wettest and most wretched thai has been known for twenty years Epsom was bad enough in the way of muddy racing tracks, but Ascot was ten times worse. On the first day the weather was overhead very fine, but the course was heavy going, and the other three days it simply was unfit to race on, although the races were of course held in due course, as nothing is allowed in England to interfere with a fixture in the way of racing, except frost or an absolutely impassable flood. Tbe Greud Prize of Paris was of little interest to Englishmen when it became known that Sir Bevys would not run, in conseciupnce of his ownei's death ; there was, in fact, but one Ervlish horse in the whole field, and this was Scapegrace, a son of Wild Oats. The French GranoTPrize is a very valuable !&k-\ aa it i* worth nearly jCJ.'' GO, r.-1'. . . Ls d.i*«1 on mest lileral lir;: .=, -? ;? : .' :-M-:r. or £4,000 is added by the v.-.-j-jiaUuu ol I'Ant, still the first forfeit to be declared but a short time before the day is but £4, whilst the total is but £40 each for starters, and £24 for those who drop out at the hist minute. The attendance on the course was very large, for the Grand Prix Sunday is the greatest Sunday in the year in the eyes of the iace going Frenchman. There were ten runners, aad Count Lflgrange's staWe furnished three of these, all oi' which were more or leas supported ; odds were in fact laid on the three against the rest of the field. Zat was supposed to be tbe most trusted one, as James Goater, the Count's favourite jockey, had the mount. F. Archer rode the second scring of the French stable, Isinael. The race was a very well contested one, and was ultimately won by M. Blanc's filly Nubienne, by Ruy Bias from Nice. This filly hid previously won the French Oaks, but was hardly thought good enough to effect the overthrow ol Zat. Hudson, who rode the winner, received a cheque from M. Blanc for £500. It was rather a tight fit, however, as it was won by a bare head ; and Flavio II., who was third, was beaten only the same distance by Salteador, who ran second. The favourite Zat could get no nearer than fourth, and was at once vanned oft for Ascot on the succeeding Tuesday. Tuesday, the opening day at Ascot, was a very fine one indeed, and the crowd on heath, paddock, and stands very great. The crush was par ticularly noticeable in the Stand, and, notwith standing that a new one had been built sinca last year, the discomfort, particularly to ladies, was much felt. As far as the racing goes, there was peihaps hardly ever a better-looking programme put before a lover of this sport. Seven races, nearly all for valuable stakes, numerous entries, and the beat horses in the land pitted against each other. Racing commenced with the Trial Stakes, which was won by Alchemist, a son of Rosicrucian. This horse is a probable competitor for the Doncaster St. Leger, and has been well supported at long shots. Prince Soltikoff took the second event— a Maiden Plate — with the aid of Cannon on Orchid. The finish was a very fine one, and Cannon only just managed to get home first bj a nose. The Queen's Stand Plate was won very easily by Hackthorpe, who seems to be the best horse in England at half a mile. A very interesting race was the Queen's Stand Place ; two miles, weight for age. It had been expected that Parole would have pat in an appearance here, but the American party at the last moment decided to reserve their horse for the Ascot Stakes later in the day — a race for which, on.the animal's good handicap form, he had been quite favourably treated. There were but three starters for the Vase, but they included Silvio, the Derby winner of 1877, and Isenomy, a four-year-old, who last year won the Cambridgshire. Two to one, and even longer odds, were laid on Lord Fal mouth's Derby winner, as the horse looked mosc fit, and F. Archer was very confident of success. It was not to be, however, for although he stuck close to Isonomy throughout he could riot get up when be made bis attempt in the last hundred yards, and he was beaten by half a length. This race has been won by many good horses in former years — to wit, Fisherman in 185o', Tim WhiiHer in 1862, and many other famous racehorses iu more recent years. After lunch ten three-year-olds saddled up for the Prince of Wales's Stakes. This i3 almost like the Derby over again, as the stake is a very rich one, £1,000 being added. There are certain penalties and allowances, which, although hardly making a handicap of it, still tend to make the event more open. Wheel of Fortune, the famous unbeaten mare of Lord Falmouth, was amongst the competitors; and although from her many successes she had to -arry 9 st., whilst Adventure, a rather smart mare, belonging to the Duke of Westminster, had maiden allowances, which reduced her weight to 7 st. 12 lb., still the Wheel was made a very strong favourite — 3 to 2 on was the price, whilst 10 to 1 could be easily obtained about any of the others. Oharibert, the 2,000 guinea winner, was not started by Lord Fal moutb, although it had almost been decided to run him instead of Wheel of Fortune, as her owner feared it was setting her too big a task. The result proved that no mistake was made by running the mare, for, keeping in a capital place during -tthe whole race, she drew away at- the finish at every stride, and won very easily in deed. The winner is by Adventurer from Queen Bertha. A two-year-old race was won by Bfr. BeJdington's Sabelia— a filly by Blair Athol— who has shown her ability to race on one or two other occasions this season, although it was a tear thing here, as many thought it was a dead heat with Orchestra, but the Judge gave it a head in favour of Sabelia. Tne Ascot Stakes (handicap), two miles, attracted a field of eleven, including the American horse Parole, who, with S st. 13 lb., was thought to be lightly handicap ped. Strange 10 say, the American was, however, one of tfce first beaten : and Eidotto, a foar year-oid son of Cremorne, and the property of Lord Bosebery, won easily. The winner's weight was 7 st. 11 lb., so that the American horse was of course getting much the worst of the weights. Still, his previous victories make his total collapse here (he did not even get placed) a matter of great surprise, and it is probable that staying after all is not his forte, and that at anything over a mile and a half he loses his brilliancy. The Prince and PriEcesa of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Coacaught, and other members of the Royal Family arrived in half a dozen open carriages just prior to the first race. The party were headed by Lord Colville, of Culross, represent ing Lord Hardwicke, the Master of the Buck Hounds, and drove as usual in procession np the course to the Royal Stand, The terrible weather spoilt the sport entirely on the second day of the_ meeting, and in fact rendered the racing a complete lottery, and there were of course very many surprises, previous public form being in many instances completely reversed. The Coronation Stakes, a valuable stake, for three-year-old fillies, was won by Mr. Houldaworth with, a daughter of old King Tom. Leap Year was second, Lord Falmouth haying determined to run that mare and save Wheel of Fortune — in fact. His Lordship would rot jisk the more valuable animal on the treacherous ground. Adventure, who had ran *o well on the previous day, was ucable to get nearer than fourth. One of the greatfst surprises was tbe result of the race for the Fern Hill Stakes, for Peter was freely invested on at odds of 3 to 1 on him to beat the oily two which oppesfed him. He ran last of all throughout, Mid was all abroad before half the distance had been run. If this be hi* true form he would have had but a poor show for the Derby, for which he was first favourite until the death of General Peel, his owner, put him ont of the nee. The Biennial (threeyear olds) ns won by Exeter, with the soft-hearted
Rupem second, and Abbot of St. Mary third and then for the great race of the day — the Royal Hunt Gup — twenty-eight runner* went to the post. Six to one was offered on the field, the bad weather causing the bookmakers to be somewhat liberal in their prices. There was a long delay at the post, and then through a sea of mud they came streaming up the course. All the favourites wero early beaten, and Mandarin, an aged horse, belonging to Captain Mschell, won very easily. The winner was hardly kicked at all, except by a very few of Captain Mj.cliell\i friends, &ad 40 to 1 wis offered a^iinst him whilst the horsrs were at the post. Sir Joseph was second and Harbinger third. For the Ascot Derby Mr. Vjner's Khastem was favourite, and F. Archer bad the mount, although he had to put up 2 lb. over his weight to enable that jockey to ride. Chippendale won after a good finish with the Highland Lsssie colt, the favourite iu this instance again being unplaced. The next race — a two-year-old event — was won by Lord FaJ mouth's 'Spring Captain, after a good rico with Brother to Blp.nkuey and Wild Flower. The winner had been very highly trkd at home. The Cup day, the great tt»y of the meeting, w»s cold, bleak, and dreary in the extreme, and the conrse and paddocks in bo terrible a condition that it was almost impossible to move abjut. Victor Chief was well beaten in the firat race by Philippine and Alchemist. The Duke of West minsters really bad luck seems to stick to him most pertinaciously, as the Russley people aud the Duke himself quite thought that this co't would have won the Derby, yet he was beaten by his stable companion, and in this race at Ascot he cut up very indifferently. For the St. James's Paiaie Stakes R»you d'Or b- it Charibert very easily, aad the French horse looks like being a fairly good favourite for the St. Leger, for which race, however, it seems hard to see how anything can beat Wheel of Fortune should she keep well until the day. Isonomy was the most generally believed in for the Gold Cup, his victory over Silvio havii'j caused his people to think very highly of him. The course, two miles and a half, is always a severe one, and this year it was made doubly so from the terribly heavy going. The field only mustered six — Isonomy, Insulaire, Touchet, Jannette, Eimouth, and Verneuil. Cannon rode Isonomy, and he waited patiently on his opponents until a quarter of a mile from home, where Fordbam, on the French horse Insulaire, began to draw away, when Cannon joined, and the pair, leaving the rest mauy lengths, looked like making a good fight, bat Isonomy had a good deal in band and won easily by two or three lengths. Touchet was a very bad third. The French stable secured the next race, the Rons Memorial and £1,000 added, lor Phenix won easily from Out of Bounds, Sir Joseph, and half a dozen others. Phenix 's running at Epsom had been strongly written upon by many sport ing writers in the Press when Paul's Cray beat him in the Derby week, and the victory of the horse here over a good field caused the comments to be renewed with more emphasis than ever. Count la Grange's colours were most successful through the d&y, having already taken the St. James's Palace and Rons Memorial Stakes, and now Oceanic won the great two-year-old race of the week, the New Stakes. There was a large field, but even tconcy was all that was offered against the ?wir.r.er, and she won iu a canter. Oceanie is no: engaged in the Derby or St. Leger of nest year, but her name figuies amongst the Oiks entries. On the last day the great race was a new alfair called the Hardwicke Stakes, weight for age, one mile and a half, with £2,0.0 added. For this Silvio was looked upon its nearly a certainty, and odds were laid pretty freely on his chances. There were ten runners, and a very close and excitiDg finiih took place. Silvio's backers were very jubilant when Archer seemed to have tbe race in hand about 200 yards from the winning-post, but Chippendale came out of the ruck, and making up the ground in a wonderfully resolute styls got level with Silvio in the last twenty yards and won by a head The stakes for this race alone were worth over £3000; and many thought that F. Archer. good jockey as be is, lost Lord Falmouth that amount by over-confidence. There were no less than twenty-five runners for the Wokiug ham Stakes (handicap), and here tbe favourite, Philippine, pulled through, winning very easily. Hackthorpe started, but 10 stone was almost an impossible weight to expect a horse to win with on such ground. Another good race went to France on the last day bo, as Insulaire won the Alexandra Plate, three miles, very easily. He hid a rather poor field to beat, Silvio not showing after his hard race in the Hardwicke, and Jannette was also with drawn by Lord Falmouth. Castlereagh was second and Thurio third. What would have been a splendid week was much marred by the terribly pitiless raiu, and the stttliDg on the Monday was most disas trous for backers. But there were very few complaints of default, although ic was pat about on the Saturday that one or two heavy horse backers would have to ask the ring for time. The Hampshire meetings at Stockbridge and Odiham were productive of good sport. The Bibury Olub, which holds its meetiag over the Stockbridge Course, gave a very good daj's sport. Tbe two-year-old race (Champague Stakes) was won by Lord Calthorpe's Von der Tann by Vanderdecken from Tattoo. Mr, Savile has evidently some good twoyear olds this season, as he won two or three races duriDg the week ; it is probable that the best from his stable will turn out to be a cbesnut colt, named Proctor, a son of that good little horse Lecturer and Mabille. Marc Antony, also the property of Mr. Savile, is a very promising colt, aad is heavily engaged. At Newcastle the Northumberland Plate was contested by a very fairly good field of nine, and wai won by Clearhead. Glendale second. The Newmarket July Meeting has, so far as it has gone, been sadly handicapped by the wretched weather. Prince Soltikotf won the July Stakes with a smart two-year-old named Mask ; and the Duke of Westminster would seem to have a really good two-year-old in Ben d'Or, a sou of Doncaster. This colt had a great private repu tation, and confirmed his reputed excellence by winning easily the Chesterfield Stakes, his maiden race. Silvio has been one* more doomed to a head defeat, for Phenix at a difference of 2 lb. only wore him down in the Bunbury Stakes, and won a fine race by a head. The July Meeting, usually one of the most pleasant of the year, has been to a great extent spoilt (as every outdoor English sport has beeu during the extraordinary wet season) by weather, it having been almost impossible for ladies to put in an appearance at all. Hanlon's victory over Elliott for the sculling championship has been one of the leading features of the month, as Hanlon won in such easy style. Hanlon is a Canadian, and is un doubtedly about the finest sculler that has beeu ever seeD, for Elliott is a man of immense power aud unquestionable merit, and was wonderfully well, yet Hanlon played with him throughout the race.