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when young to the Duke of Devonshire. We may therefore assign as the scene of his early days the limestone paddocks of Chatsworth, so contiguous to the pastures of Haddon, where the successful stud of the Duke of Rutland was at the same time established. There have been various popular stories extant which we have ourselves heard related many long years ago, to the effect that Childers was only used as a hunter, till, his amazing speed having accidentally been ascertained, he was tried on the Turf to the discomfiture of every rival. To these no credit can be attached, as Childers was of the best racing blood of the day, and his Noble owner, the Duke of Devonshire, had previously been possessed of Basto, his very near kinsman, a very superior racehorse, as we have shewn in a former Chapter, also of Fox, and others of the same breed. The first of his Matches in public too was when he was only rising six years old, which was quite as early as race-horses were commonly trained at the period when Flying Childers flourished. Of his pedigree we have already given some account while endeavoring to establish our proposition that the English full-blood horse is entirely a new variety, originated in this country by the admixture, during the latter part of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, of a great number of crosses from various Oriental breeds, Arabs, Barbs, and Turks. It is certain that in the veins of Flying Childers there was not one drop, not the most distant strain of the aboriginal horse of England or of Europe.

His sire was the Darley Arabian, of whom more hereafter; his dam a mare purchased by Mr. Childers of Mr. Leedes, of North Milforth, and on that account distinguished by the name of Betty Leedes. The latter was by a horse named Careless, or, to distinguish him from the celebrated horse of a later day (Mr. Borlase Warren's), "Old Careless," bred also by Mr. Leedes, and sold to the Marquis, afterwards Duke of Wharton. The grandam of Childers was an own sister to the stallion Leedes, by Mr. Leedes' own Arabian. The great grandam was a mare by Spanker. The great great grandam was the Old Morocco Mare, which was, however, bred in England, being by a Barb of the great Republican leader Lord Fairfax. The great great great grandam of Childers was by an Arabian horse of the same Nobleman; and the great great great great grandam was an imported Barbary



The only English-bred stallions that occur in this pedigree are Careless and Spanker; Careless, we must therefore add, was a son of Spanker out of a Barb mare, and Spanker himself by the D'Arcy Yellow Turk out of the above mentioned "Old Morocco Mare." Childers was entirely and exclusively bred from Oriental ancestors is therefore manifest, and it appears also that he was the seventh cross which had been acclimated in this country. There are three crosses of the Arabian blood, four at least of the Barb, and one several times repeated of the celebrated D'Arcy Yellow Turk. The most singular feature in this pedigree is the exception it affords to the well-known and commonly as well as justly-established rule, of never breeding "in and in" when you can get a good as well as a wider cross. We nevertheless hold with the law itself, and are thoroughly convinced of the correctness of the generally recognised principle of breeding, that

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to go on selecting a sire and dam from the same family for any long continuance, produces an unfailing degeneracy on the average, however brilliant may be one or two individuals thus produced.

The Darley Arabian, sire of Childers, may be regarded as second in celebrity, for as a matter of course the Godolphin must be admitted to stand the first among all those imported from the East. He was, in England, the property of Mr. Darley, whose family are still seated at Aldby Grange, between York and Malton. The brother of Mr. Darley was Consul at Aleppo, where he purchased this fine and beautiful animal, for such in his portrait he undoubtedly appears. He did not cover any considerable number of mares, and very few that were thorough-bred: it is not therefore possible for him to compete with the Godolphin in the number, though he is certainly not inferior in the quality, of his offspring. Mr. Darley had one very good mare, bred by Sir Matthew Pierson, and by Wilkes' Old Hautboy, sire of Sir Matthew's Bay Bolton, to whom it is not improbable that she was own sister. This mare bred to the Darley Arabian Aleppo and Almanzor, two very good racers, and also a white-legged horse, sold to the Duke of Somerset, which, having met with an accident, never started, but was supposed to have been of equal promise. Bartlett's Childers, own brother to the wonderful subject of this Chapter, never started, but was an excellent stallion. We may here notice that the Darley Arabian was, through the last-mentioned horse, the direct progenitor of the old Squirt Mare, and Marske, the sire of Eclipse.

If the matter be duly considered, we have no great reason to be surprised on finding that the public performances of Childers, though brilliant, are few in number. In 1721, when rising six years, he won a Match, four miles, at 8st. 71b. each, against the Duke of Bolton's Speedwell. He also beat Chanter a Match for 1000gs., 10st. each, six miles. He received forfeit in several other Matches at Newmarket for large sums and against the best horses. At the period in question there were no public or open Sweepstakes: there were very few public prizes of sufficient interest to induce the owners of Childers to forego the use of so well-bred a racer in the stud; and when his unprecedented speed had once been proved, none were likely to enter into fresh Matches against so formidable a competitor. Hence it is that Childers ran so seldom in public; for it is from the private trials of his speed and bottom, which were made by the Dukes of Devonshire and Rutland, that we gather the fact of his amazing superiority to other horses.

The print of Childers, which is extant in the series of our early race-horses published by Stubbs and Seymour, represents him as a very remarkable animal; he is depicted as a long thick horse on very short legs, which are strong, with large joints: the shoulder appears very large and muscular, the back broad and prodigiously strong, the thighs amazingly thick; in short, the picture at once gives the idea of the best horse in the world. His head is carried uncommonly high, the mouth inwards to the breast, and the neck arched, the horse being held with a curb-bridle by a strong arm acting upon a firm seat. The forelegs are high, but thrown out so as to convey the impression of a prodigiously long stroke or stride, the very opposite to high and

round, and the haunches under the body as preparing for an effort, which, though wonderful, seems only natural to Childers. We must confess we never saw any horse go quite so strong and well as this print gives the impression of Childers having done; but of all the horses we have seen gallop, Sultan running over the Two-year-old Course at Newmarket presented the nearest resemblance.

We shall now proceed to detail the few trials of the speed of Flying Childers which are recorded; and when these are compared, as we propose to do, with the most remarkable performances in regard to time to which any degree of authenticity attaches, they will indeed appear surprising, fully entitling him to the name he bore.

Childers ran over the Beacon Course at Newmarket, which was 4 miles 1 furlong 138 yards, in 7 minutes 30 seconds. This, we believe, is 45 seconds less time than the same course was run over by those celebrated racers Hambletonian and Diamond in 1799. The 45 seconds, we may observe, is equal to 700 yards, or rather more. Again, he ran over the Round Course at Newmarket, which was then 3 miles 6 furlongs and 93 yards, in 6 minutes 42 seconds. The course at Doncaster, which about forty years ago was called "the Four-Mile Course," is exactly sixty yards shorter than this, and was never run to our knowledge faster than by Alonzo beating Orville in 1802. The weights, allowing for age, were pretty nearly equal to that carried by Childers, and the distance was performed in 7 minutes and 10 seconds. We must allow 4 seconds for the sixty yards: the difference between 6 minutes 42 seconds, and 7 minutes 14 seconds, is 32 seconds, equivalent to at least 500 yards. The particulars recorded of this trial establish its truth and authenticity: three horses came to the post, Childers carrying 9st. 2fb., and Almanzor and Brown Betty carrying 8st. 2b. each. The three horses kept nearly together for half the distance, after which Childers came away and left them behind, beating both by more than a quarter of a mile. We conclude therefore that Almanzor and Brown Betty had run themselves out in the first two miles. The Dukes of Devonshire and Rutland are stated to have held separate watches during the race, the above account being derived from the very period. We therefore think that were Childers now alive he would easily beat the best racers of the present day a quarter of a mile in a four-mile race. He beat Fox in another trial, and Fox was a superior horse of that day, about that distance over the Beacon Course, giving him twelve pounds in weight.

The result of all the experiments on his speed was much the same, and, when reduced, we find that the rate at which he could run the distance of four miles was as nearly as can be of any possible importance about one thousand yards in one minute. Now the fastest running that has been timed for many years past by the best horses of their respective periods does not furnish us with a rate of going of more than nine hundred and ten or twelve yards in one minute during a fourmile race. We instance, for example, Cockfighter and Sir Solomon, Alonzo and Orville, Haphazard and Marcia, Lisette and Cervantes, Catton and Altisidora, Laurel and Fleur-de-Lis. But all these performances are so nearly at the same speed one with another as strikingly to confirm each other.

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Our readers will of course perceive that in the preceding statements, and the calculations we have founded upon them, we have entirely rejected the popular and often-repeated story that "Childers and Eclipse could each run a mile in a minute;" the fact being that there is no account whatever of either of these very superior animals being tried so short a distance: of Eclipse indeed no trial at all against time, at least we have never met with it, is recorded. That this notion is absurd and impossible may very readily be shewn, for we have no instance of late years where any horse has been recorded to have run a mile even in a minute and a half; and therefore if Childers could have run it in one minute, he would have beaten our best horses six hundred yards in that distance. Now we have shewn, from authentic evidence, that in his four-mile rate, he was nearly, not quite, one hundred yards in a minute faster than ordinary good racers: to believe him therefore for a single mile six hundred yards better in one minute is impossible.

While upon this subject we will notice another popular tale equally improbable, namely, that Firetail and Pumpkin ran the Rowley Mile in 1773 at Newmarket in the wonderfully short period of 1 minute 4 seconds and a half. This accuracy reminds one of Robin Hood's bow-shot, "four North-country miles and an inch." We are perfectly certain that this feat is impossible for any horse, and we think we can demonstrate from cotemporary evidence the utter falsehood of this account. Lord Clermont's Johnny, a son of Match'em, of the same year with the above horses, was in the year 1775, being then six years old, which was an advantage of two years in age, matched in a bet between Lord Clermont and Mr. Jennings for 200gs. P.P., to run in November the very same Rowley Mile in one minute and thirty-five seconds, this horse having that very year won nine and received forfeit six times, having been only beaten once, when he fell. Lord Clermont paid 50gs. to be let off his Match. Johnny had had two Matches against Firetail, receiving about 10lb.: he had won one and lost the other; he had also beaten Pumpkin in one Match, receiving weight. This compromise and its terms prove pretty conclusively that a mile in one minute and a half was then considered the maximum of speed in the English race-horse, and such it is at the present day. We have been assured by a very old Sportsman, whose memory embraced the period itself, that the truth of the matter really was that Firetail and Pumpkin ran the distance in a minute and a half and four seconds, an error in recording the performance having been committed at the time, and copied by one compiler from another ever since.

The only racer in England that ever displayed a superiority over his cotemporaries at all resembling that of Childers is undoubtedly Eclipse. It is in our opinion a matter of uncertainty which of the two evinced this in the greatest degree. In 1770, at York, Eclipse, running against Tortoise and Bellario, two horses as good as any of their day, was a distance a-head at the Two-mile turn, although hard held, and won so exceedingly easy that it was impossible to form any opinion as to the space by which he might have beaten his opponents had he put out all his powers. Subsequently, when running against Pensioner, it being impossible to get money on the race, the friends of Eclipse bet 7 to 4 very freely that he distanced his opponent -a distance


being two hundred and forty yards-and this he did with most exceeding ease.

There is reason to believe that the speed of the English race-horse did improve during more than half a century from the commencement of regular racing, about the year 1700. We have inspected an account of certain trials of the horses belonging to Lord Godolphin about the years 1730-40: these were recorded in a MS. lent to us by a Sportsman who was in his boyhood page to King George the Second. From their great exactness we have little doubt that the distances were accurately measured. Four miles were run by Cade in eight minutes and ten seconds, and eight minutes and five seconds, but never within eight minutes. Cade, though he won but once or twice in public, on those occasions proved himself in the first form of horses. His trials were the fastest recorded in the above-mentioned manuscript. About the year 1756 three capital horses, Brilliant, Spectator, and Match'em, ran one of the heats for the Jockey Club Plate over the Round Course at Newmarket at a rate of speed, which, calculated for four miles, would have performed that distance in eight minutes and three seconds. In another race with Trajan, Match'em, then at his best, ran the same course considerably faster, at such a rate that he would have performed four measured miles in 7 minutes and 44 seconds. In 1764 at York, Beaufremont, beating the never-before conquered mare "Yorkshire Jenny," Engineer, and several other noted racers, ran the Four Mile Course faster than it had ever been known to be run before, the time being 7 minutes 51 seconds, which, computed for four measured miles, is equal to 8 minutes and 4 seconds. It is only fair to observe, that the turn at York must necessarily be a few seconds to the disadvantage of any horse in a Match against time. Two years afterwards this speed was greatly exceeded by Bay Malton beating Jerkin, who was second, and several others, Beaufremont, and the celebrated stallion though indifferent racer King Herod, being the two last. On this occasion the distance was run in 7 seconds less time than on the former; which rate of speed would have performed four standard miles in about 7 minutes and 56 seconds. In 1793, and several times since, the York four miles have been run at a rate that would perform four miles in 7 minutes and 43 seconds, but never that we are aware at a greater rate than this. May we not then from these facts be justified in concluding that the English race-horse did improve in speed for nearly one hundred years after the introduction of the breed into this country? Whether this was the effect of his attaining greater size, or to superior and earlier training, we cannot determine. It appears to us that since the year 1790 there has been no improvement, and during the last twenty years rather the reverse, owing to the extensive export of our best mares and stallions.

The fastest performance which has been recorded in any foreign country is one of a celebrated racer, the "American Eclipse," who ran four miles, we have been assured by safe authority, on Long Island in 7 minutes and 52 seconds.

Of Childers as a stallion we have little to say: there is reason to suppose that he covered very few mares on account of his being kept almost exclusively for the use of the studs of Chatsworth and Haddon,

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