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Off to the Melbourne Cup: Despite the abolition of sweeps, and the long delay in obtaining the introduction of that most popular institution, the totali sator, the Melbourne Cup is pre-eminently the national yearly festival, not only in Victoria but throughout Australasia. At distant Cooktown, where the torrid sun beats hot and strong; on arid ranges where the miner seeks and prospects for the precious metal:which has been termed the root of all evil, yet of which no man seems to get enough-yes, even there, " What will win the Melbourne Cup ?" is the pros pector's question to his mate. In the centre of this great-island conti nent, where the pioners hare pushed out with their flocks and hcidrd far beyond the influence of red tape, wherever hubshmen meet together, the same question is asked, and the chances of the Cup candidates are canvassed carefully. As in the north and in the interior is it it in Western Aus tralia--at Perth as at ;Rocbournea at Kim berley or Alb:ny, no question will bring a crowd. together so quickly as. one. which deals with the chances of the horses engaged in tihe Melbourne Cup. Go where one will in Victoria, Netw South Wales, Tasmania or New Zealand, all other question of sport are lost eight of when the Mel bourne Cup draws close-atnd yet closer. There can be no doubt that the coming Melbourne Cup promises to bring to gether one of the best fields of high class horses, which have ever stripped in a big race in Victoria, a 'really great lot of first-class performers; and al though Algerian's victories in Sydney, under heavy weights, point t himas a moral on paper, he has got to vin upon turf; and when we remember thiit the great Goldsbrough, his sire, came to two to one in the betting after his Metro politan, yet he went down, and itmay be that the very lightness of the weight may militate against Algerian's success, for there are many animals which can race in a man's hands, yet get all abroad at the end of a journey, when a light weight's strength is exhausted,, and so get badly beaten . That Trident's defeat in Sydney by Australian Peer shows'anything wrong with the creek, we cannot believe, for his easy victories over Dunlop, who beat Algerian, shows that he had not lost his pace, and his distress after the race proves that he had notdone 3.mile work, and in this, no doubt withbigengagements ahead, his trainer showed wisdom, as he could hardly anticipate the three-year-old proving so good a colt over the journey. Silvermine is said to be two stone better than last year, when he ran third, besides running second at Caulfield. Algerian ought to hold Dunlop safe, but you never can tell, and the son of Xeckersgat is im proving daily. Thunderbolt may burst up the ring, though it takes a lot of doing. Meteor is a merry little fellow. Should Niagara win the Derby, how will he be backed I Remus, has a winning bracket. Then there is Abercorn, the Sydney Derby winner, and a host of others, among which are such celebrities as Frisco, besides the remainder of Mr. White's strong string; so it is certain that this will be " the Boss contest" as our American cousins put it. The extraordinary late season we have had ensures Flemington being as g'een as an emerald on Cup Day. Never be fore has the turf been in such condition as it now is; while on the Hill, every thing that can be thought of for visitors' convenience has been done; and on the Flat, where the club get no revenue. much has boon-done to convenience the public. Milk, tea, hot water, all are obtainable by those who bring their own lunches. The Lawn is a dream of beauty, with ornamental flowers and plants; the Picnic Ground a haven of rest and relaxation. The catering this year is subject to rigid inspection, and the poultry will be chosen for their youth. In the ladies' room there are new fittings, decorations, spare ribbons, pins of every color, and all toilet acces sories; while gentleman's wants are not forgotten, a cigar shop having been specially opened for them. The new refreshment bars. &c., in the Paddook are things of beauty; while horse owners are gratified by the new bird cage, which is a most ornamental struc ture, and enables every one to see the racehorses without risk. These are only a tithe of the improvements effected, but of which space does not allow recapitu lation. Well, besides the Cup, there are five other races, and of these the first is the Hurdle Race, in which all the best jum-a. pers of the country are engaged; it is three miles, and only a real good one can win it. The next the Railway Handicap, run over the Newmarket Handicap course. In this every flyer in Australia is engaged, so what sort of ex citempnt slhould it produce ? The Ken sington Stakes follows, and what a grand lot of two-year-olds will fight this out. It always is a great race, and this year will have more cracks in it than over, for you can back a horse to win three thousand for it, if you are gamo enough. Then comes the liig Event, which this year has Twentsy-lire Hundred Sorrcigns besides a Gold Trophy added to a sweep of twenty ove. Ilow's that for high? Then comes the Nursery Handicap, of five fur longs, when all the babies will be brought together by MIr. Barnard's best skill, and then the Ya:n Yean Stakes. So called because it makes backers weep. Thero is alwvays such a great crowd of good ones in it, and this year there are more than ever. But there is a real good thing in it ! so the best ad vice to all is to be on hand and find it. No one should miss being at Flemingoton on TIcE MLsoUCRSE Ccp DIr. SOte Polish papers recently pub. lished intelligence from St. Petersburg, stating that in each military district of Russia all men who become liable to military service between the years 1876 and 1879 had been ordered to presdnt themselves to the proper authority in the prescribed districts on the 19tb and 20th ult. Orders had also been given in some military districts for trials to be made in the entraining of troops: and on the seaboard, between Odessa and Sebastopol, experiments are to be under taken in the embarking anlI landing of bodies of troops. A.x Arkansas man ltadoe a piece of plug tobacco and shot it through the body of a wild cat. The animal died. Hero we have another forcible illustra tion of the fatal effects of tobacco on the .yatem.