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National Sports: The Goodwood Meeting

Though the racing at Goodwood is by no means equal to that provided at Ascot, still, in some respects, the meeting is an even pleasanter one; and racing men of all classes are delighted to seize the opportunity of a fortnight's holiday on the south coast. The programme for the present week gave promise of unusually good sport; and the exodus to Brighton, Bognor, the Isle of Wight, and other neighbouring places was consequently even larger than it has been of late years.

An unfortunate accident occurred on Monday to the train which was conveying the horses trained by Taylor to the scene of action. The wildest rumours were afloat as to the injuries received by the various animals in the string; but, happily, all these turned out to be gross exaggerations. Fernandez, Prestonpans, and Macheath, the favourite for next year's Derby, escaped without a scratch, and though Dolomite and the Hetty Colt will not be able to run again for some little time, no doubt is entertained as to their ultimate recovery.

A very heavy card, made up of eight races, necessitated an early start on Tuesday, when proceedings began with the Craven Stakes, which fell to Boswell, who was such a disappointing customer when known as the Auchinleck colt. The Gratwicke Stakes appeared to be quite at the mercy of Leonora, and it was rather a surprise to see her ridden pretty hard to beat Dunsinane by three parts of a length. Twelve numbers were hoisted for the Goodwood Stakes, but that of Champion was taken down again almost immediately, so only eleven actually went to the post. The feature of the betting during the morning was the persistent run on Fortissimo (8 st. 3 lb.) and Reveller (8 st. 3 lb.). At the finish the former completely ousted Petronel (8 st. 12 lb.) from his berth of first favourite, and it became almost impossible to back him at any price; whilst the north country horse, who, it will be remembered, won this race two years ago, was brought back from 25 to 1 to 7 to 1, the latter price being taken freely. Rain began to fall heavily before the flag was dropped, and it was difficult to see much of the race. Isabeau (6 st. 3 lb.) made most of the running, but failed to stay as well as had been anticipated, whilst Boisterous (6 st. 4 1b.), who ran prominently for fully two miles, was beaten for speed directly it came to racing. In fact, soon after they had entered the rails the struggle was reduced to a match between Fortissimo and Reveller, and after a desperate finish the latter, who ran anything but gamely, was defeated by a head, and Fordham thus rode the winner of the Goodwood Stakes for the sixth time. Petronel was never really dangerous, and the very deep and heavy going suited him as badly as it did Prestonpans (8 st. 71b.), who, moreover, stripped rather light and deficient in muscle. That arch-deceiver, Blue Rock, was once more heavily backed for the Halnaker Stakes, in which she was unplaced; and Canon, another rogue, could only run a bad third to the Rotherhill—Whiteface filly and Padlock, Fordham, for the second race in succession, getting the better of a very close finish, and winning by a head. Neither Macheath nor Galliard were started for the valuable Richmond Stakes, as the former had another nice little engagement that he could not possibly lose during the afternoon, and Lord Falmouth has resolved to keep Galliard in reserve for the, autumn, and thus give him every chance of improvement. Still Rookery, Adrianna, Tyndrum, Light o' Love, Sigmophone, Britomartis, Kate Craig, the Hilda colt, and Bon Jour made up a nice little party of nine winners, and backers ultimately made Sigmophone favourite, as Adriana was evidently quite out of sorts, and Rookery was the only one who had incurred the full penalty. The "talent" proved fully justified in their selection, as Sigmophone won from end to end, and has improved marvellously during the last two months. Reputation (10 st. 1 lb) has found out the knack of winning since he lost the name of Henry George; and Macheath had no trouble in cantering away from Torpedo, a "dark" brother to Shotover, in the Ham Stakes.

There was another heavy card on Wednesday, when bookmakers had a capital day, several very strong favourites being beaten. Isabel took the Drawing-Room Stakes, though only after a capital race with Transition, who ran her to a neck. Great interest centered in the reappearance of Dutch Oven in the Sussex Stakes, and she looked so big and well that she was backed against the field. The pace during the early part of the race was decidedly slow; nevertheless Lord Falmouth's filly was in hopeless difficulties at the distance, and a close finish between Comte Alfred and Battlefield was decided in favour of the former—a 20 to 1 chance—by a head. After this, Dutch Oven is not likely to have many friends for the Leger; and Battlefield's good display will bring Quicklime into still greater request. A field of nineteen ran for the Steward's Cup, for which Vibration (6 st.) was regarded as a "certainty," but found an unexpected conqueror in Lowland Chief (8 st. 8 lb.), who is a wonderfully smart horse just now. Macheath did not run for the Lavant Stakes, which left that event at the mercy of Expert; and St. Marguerite, who was supported at even money for the Lennox Stakes, could not quite concede 9 lb. to Actress, the only one of the four runners who was virtually unbacked.

Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2256—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 29, 1882, p.111