Racing in Capital; Gaming of Diplomat
Beijing,”Northern Capital”, had a spelling,as Peking, before being the capital of PRC.
Peking was the Postal Map Romanization of the same two characters as they are pronounced in Chinese dialects spoken in the southern port towns.
1046 BC, the settlement of Ji was conquered by the state of Yan and made its capital under the name Yanjing.
Jin, Liao, Yuan, Ming, Qing and Republican era as capital, all had deep and historic culture of nomads and equestrian cultures rooted there.
1148-02-10 Daoists Qiu Chuji was born, by the time of Southern Song dynasty, Emperor Gaozong Shaoxing eighteen years (Wuchen) the first lunar month on the 19th.
He reduced the brutality in China after being consulted and honored by Genghis Khan, the equestrian ruler..
Horse racing had been run in Peking to commemorate his birthday on the day of Feast of Qiu, or ”Yen Ninth”.
1635, those events were mentioned in the 《Empirical Capital Guide of White Cloud Temple》 by Lau,& Yue in Ming Dynasty.
1860s and 1870s were eras with Peking having the largest race-meetings on earth, drawing crowds seldom less than 80,000 even with just a wooden Grandstand.
1860-10-13, at the culmination of the Second Opium War, the British and French troops entered Peking, looting the Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan) and Old Summer Palace (Yuan Ming Yuan).
1860-10-24, treaties with France and Britain were signed in the Ministry of Rites building in the Forbidden City
The Peking races were started to be organized by the student-interpreters of the British Legation and the Imperial Maritime Customs.
The atmosphere surrounding the student-interpreters was that of an English public school near end of term — anything to escape from the rigours of diplomatic behavior and Chinese studies.
The auspices were favorable. Sir Robert Hart had just taken over as Inspector-General of Customs and was thoroughly in favor of racing.
Bismarck, the Prussian Minister, promptly entered IRONSIDES, an Arab.
It has to be remembered that the Ministers came from European countries where riding, hunting and good horsemanship were part of life for a certain class.
The response from the Diplomatic Corps could not have been more satisfactory.
When the foreign residents of Peking held their first race Meeting the China Mail’s racing correspondent deplored the “profanity” of some of the younger members of the community —
apparently the student-interpreters at the Legation.
They gave their ponies the names of well-known members of the missionary body (“Rev. Mr Mitchell”).
One called his pony after the arch-enemy of mankind, and another chose for a name “EXCOMMUNICATED”.
Once again in China, this time in the August and magnificent capital, the magic of the races, their most extraordinary quality, had completely taken possession.
1863-12-17 races were held on Thursday, on the Anting plain north of the city.
All the Ministers, indeed everybody, turned up. Even a missionary was seen. He was in for a shock.
Peking races naughtiness “profanity” by student-interpreters at the Legation. Former Governor Sir Henry May quoted an extract from 《The China Mail》printed on Pg 21 of his【Notes on Pony and Horse Racing in Hong Kong 1845-1881】.
The student-interpreters had become very bored with missionaries.
One of them who had a horse named after him, REV MR MITCHELL, and it raced.
After the previous sensitive name was called EXCOMMUNICATED and another DEVIL.
To make it worse, EXCOMMUNICATED won a race; his rival, well ahead, bolted within yards of the winning post.
But the most interesting feature of the meeting was the dense crowd of Chinese, Mongolians and Tibetans assembled near the winning post, deriving unlimited satisfaction from the riding and the speed of the horses and ponies.
April meeting had more than 50,000 people came, the largest gathering yet seen at a China race-meeting.
Thus it continued, with ever more and more attending.
As was said at the time, the crowds at the Peking races would be beyond the imagination of people in Europe and America.
These were the largest race-meetings in the world.
For the meeting in April, the Imperial Government gave as a racecourse the dry bed of a large lake in the neighborhood of one of the palaces, near White Cloud Temple.
The vast throng surrounded it, yelling their heads off as the ponies passed, booing lustily at any pony dropping behind, the entire enormous human mass maintaining complete order.
There was not a policeman in sight.
The student-interpreters surpassed themselves and introduced a Trotting Race.
1864 Illustration, Journal, Universal published an Illustration with caption in French about”Course De Printemps à Pékin”. (Course Spring in Beijing)
Those aristocrat cavaliers in Peking, for good measure they had a St. Leger as well.
The Peking races moved to a new venue in April, six miles out from the west wall of the city, a site surrounded by low hillocks or mounds on which crowds larger than ever seen before gathered.
It was impossible to make even a vague estimate of how many tens of thousands of people were there.
The weather was glorious, the enormous Peking sky a deep blue.
The course was larger. The Derby — still the only Derby in China, and as usual once round — was now a one-mile race.
Among those racing that day was Algernon Freeman-Mitford, the future Lord Redesdale, at the time an attache in the British Legation.
The Derby, value $30, one mile, had become a fixture. The real race, however, was the Hai Kwan Challenge Cup, value 100 taels,
1 1/2miles, presented by the servants of the Imperial Maritime Customs (Hai Kwan).
No missionary had ever again been seen at the course, but no one was taking any chances.
When Bismarck entered Faust for the Hai Kwan, Murray of the Customs entered Mephistopheles. The devil won.
1867-06-10 The Illustrated London News published an Illustration with caption of “the European Racecourse at Peking”.
Peking Races, 1867. An artist’s impression from a verbal description.
The crowds round the course and on the hillocks were far larger than this.
The hillocks were entirely covered with blue-clad Chinese, the hillocks themselves being described on such occasions as looking like blue pin-cushions with the pins stuck in.
The Comte de Rochechouart, the French Minister, was a Steward at the Spring Meeting, and Bismarck was Starter, an intriguing combination in the year of the Franco-Prussian War and the fall of Paris.
Several senior Chinese officials attended the two-day meeting, despite high winds and dust storms.
Their Excellencies the Ministers of the Tsung-li Yamen presented the Maiden Plate.
The Tsung-li Yamen was the Chinese Foreign Office, though in fact it was a combination of several ministries, including defence. It was also the exalted screen set up to prevent heads of diplomatic missions ever being received by the Emperor.
More important in one way than the Ministers was Sir Robert Hart, who as Inspector-General of Customs controlled the coffers of the Empire, and would not allow spendthrift
Ministers or anyone else to get their hands on them. Hart was the most influential European in China, in fact more influential than all the Europeans in China put together.
That year, evidently at the insistence of his staff, his name appeared on the Hai Kwan Challenge Cup, and continued to do so.
The Cup and its name were his idea, of course.
In April, the Peking races were held on a new course east of the city. The old course had a swamp in the middle, excellent for shooting snipe in the autumn.
The spring rains were unexpectedly heavy, the swamp flooded, and the course was described as ‘now unfit for anything but boat racing.’
The new course was at a place called Miao-chia-ti, 苗家堤 and was just under a mile round.
The weather was perfect, bright and calm, with no dust, and once again it was a brilliant affair, ‘more like a Derby Day than anything seen in the East.’
This refers to the mass of Chinese side-shows, booths and cooked-food stalls brought out to the racecourse.
To cater for the wants of anything up to 80,000 people the number of food stalls there must have been is almost unimaginable.
The Diplomatic Corps and the entire foreign community attended with their wives.
The Foreign Ministers of the Tsung-li Yamen 總理衙門 paid visits on both days.
The Grandstand was on a high mound with sides sloping to the course; from this position the entire race could be viewed.
The paddock was three hundred yards away below, and the view from there was most interesting.
The sea of faces which rose tier above tier from the course to the Stand on three sides of the mound, and the concourse of Chinese that surrounded the entire course.
Although there was nothing to keep them back in the shape of ropes or railings, behaved themselves in a most exemplary manner, was a grand sight.
Loud and long cheers rose as the ponies passed, and fortunate was a bad last not to be recognized.
Shorn of Victorian verbiage such as ‘exemplary manner’, this is an astonishing description.
Due to the swamp having flooded, the new course had been set up in a hurry.
There may have been time to paint a white line to mark the outer rim of the course, but there was certainly nothing else; and here was a vast crowd entirely surrounding the course, and they were excited.
Surely the first thing excited people do is run forward? None did, apparently. This scene is simply without equal.
Miao-chia-ti was used for the Peking races until May of which year the first race-meeting was held at the famous Pao Ma Chang. Meaning simply Racecourse.
It gave its name to the whole locality, and is generally acknowledged to have been the most attractive of all venues of the China races.
In fact, this was a return to the former site, with the difference that the course was laid down so that the swamp was outside it, where if it flooded again it would do no damage.
Getting to Pao Ma Chang was rather a business. Starting from the Legation Quarter the choice lay between a Peking cart, a chair, a pony, or a donkey.
The Peking cart, made of wood, was one of the most uncomfortable conveyances ever devised by man.
Moving anywhere inside Peking entailed an everlasting series of encounters with unpredictable obstacles: camels, goats, mules, men carrying burdens on long poles suddenly altering course, geese and turkeys.
After passing down Legation Street one worked one’s way through to the Chien Men, the central and southern gate of the Tartar City, then made one’s way along the wall of the Chinese City to the West Gate and out into the country.
Three miles along a sandy road among trees and graves and temples, then three miles more over fields, and one came upon the one-mile course,
surrounded by willows and some low mounds, with at all times a perfect view of a spur of hills running down from the Great Northern Range.
It was already very hot, 84 °F, but ‘the view of the Western Hills some eight miles distant was grand —
all nature was bursting forth, while from the plain in all directions were rising little cyclones of dust which were whirled in a straight line right up almost to the clouds.’
Dense crowds of blue-clad Chinese covered every height and vantage point.
A quarter of a mile of Peking carts several rows deep were drawn up beside the track.
There was a large turn-out of the better class, and everyone, even the humblest, seemed to be wearing their best.
Three Ministers of the Tsung-li Yamen attended ‘with no end of secretaries, servants and attendants.
The whole thing was on such a scale that it was difficult for anyone to find words to describe it.
The arrival of senior mandarins was most impressive.
They usually came in closed chairs borne by either 12 or 14 bearers running completely smoothly at great speed, a proceeding adopted for the last quarter-mile of the journey.
No one will ever know how many tens of thousands of people were there.
It is safe to say that these were among the largest gatherings in world sporting history.
Here at the rustic Pao Ma Chang near Peking were crowds larger than those, completely orderly, jolly, clad in their best, enjoying themselves,
with not an armed man to be seen, the whole vast crowd getting there and back without the aid or obstruction of a single policeman, and with no guards at the course.
It is worth dwelling for a moment on those who, in spite of themselves, had the privilege of being the organizers of this incomparable and truly immense scene.
The Stewards were the Belgian Minister, Comte de Noidans; Count Tattenbach, the German Secretary of Legation; Cyril Maude, Second Secretary in the British Legation, who had a win on MACAROON, his own pony;
Professor C.H. Oliver; and Boyd Bredon of the Customs, who was Sir Robert Hart’s brother-in-law.
The Starter was the fiery and forthright German Minister, Baron von Ketteler.
The Ministers of the Tsung-li Yamen gave the Yamen Prize, 75 taels for the winner, 25 taels for the runner-up.
The 海關 Hai Kwan Challenge Cup’s lettering now ran: ‘Presented by Sir Robert Hart, K.C.M.G., and the Gentlemen of the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs.’
Cyril Maude of the British Legation rode Sir Robert’s SUNSHINE to a win.
The three Chinese Excellencies of the Tsung-li Yamen lunched on turkey, ham and champagne with evident enjoyment.
From these extraordinary scenes, without parallel in racing history, held in an idyllic landscape, in an almost unreal atmosphere —
if one moved an elbow one was liable to bump an Excellency —
The finest Cups of all were those made in Belgium and presented at the Peking Races, often by the Belgian Minister.
Only a few Victorian ladies in China were interested in the races. The one place where there was no difficulty was Peking.
The wives of the diplomats, many of them aristocrats, came from societies where women traditionally took part in equestrian activities.
In addition, in Peking all the women rode ponies, which was not the case in other Treaty Ports.
Attitudes began to change in the 1890s,as it dawned on ladies that the races were a heaven-sent opportunity to show off their latest and finest clothes.
It was every owner’s unspoken ambition to have a pony who could exceed HERO in performance; and this remained so until the 1920s, when the wonder-pony of an entire century of racing arrived in Peking.
David Sassoon’s HERO, a famous pony of the 1890s, had one interesting characteristic. He refused to face the Starter unless accompanied to the post by his stable companion DOLORES]
The unprincipled behavior of the Powers, their strength and evident superiority, reinforced the trend.
The foreigners in Peking, with the exception of men like Sir Robert Hart and others with long memories, were not aware of the falling away in popularity of the races.
Because of continual changes of personnel, a diplomatic community has an exceptionally short memory.
When thousands turned up at Pao Ma Chang it seemed splendid. They did not know there had once been tens of thousands.
1895-04-17 China’s humiliating defeat by Japan in the war of the FirstSino-Japanese War accentuated the malaise’.
The Peking races of May were marked by the sensational successes of the new British Minister, Sir Claude MacDonald,
whose unremembered experiences include negotiating the lease of the New Territories of Hongkong.
Sir Claude’s ponies had names connected with the life of a diplomat. The three he entered on this occasion were ATTACHE, CYPHER, and MESSENGER.
He invited three of the best Tientsin jockeys, Fritz Sommer, C.R. Morling and Hunt, to race them for him.
Heads of diplomatic missions did not ride in races, even when fit enough, though of course like everyone else they rode whenever they could.
Between them, his ponies won 8 out of the 14 races, and the Mafoos’ Race.
In the Champions all three of them had to be entered, and ‘mirabile dictu’ surprisingly, they came in first, second and third,
Morling on ATTACHE, the champion, Hunt on MESSENGER second, Sommer on CYPHER third.
In many another country people would have said it was rigged.
China was not like that. It is of note, moreover, that Sir Claude had selected his jockeys with a keen eye.
In succeeding meetings he figured less spectacularly, though always well.
In May, the races were attended on the second day by Prince Henry of Prussia, the first member of a European royal house to be received in Peking.
1898-05-14, he attended the races again. On that occasion Sir Claude had three wins. The best performer that day was Gwynne’s RUMOUR.
1900-07-28, Prince Henry of Prussia in Pao Ma Chan Peking was photographed and published by 《Navy & Army》.
On that occasion Sir Claude had three wins. The best performer that day was Gwynne’s RUMOUR, a pony who had been turned down as a griffin, first in Tientsin, then in Peking,
and who had been brought round late one night to Gwynne, who bought him. He won four races and the Champions.
By the time, a peculiar atmosphere had settled over Peking. While China’s future was being argued out in the chancelleries of Europe,
Peking was characterized by a total absence of activity. There was not even any gossip or rumor.
The race-meeting was the quietest ever held. No heads of diplomatic missions were present, no mandarins.
The year before jubilation. ‘The races were a grand success,’ a correspondent reported; ‘more entries, more ponies, more people than ever!’
The French and the Belgians had a field day, winning 12 out of the 15 events.
Sir Henry Blake, Governor of Hongkong, with his wife and daughter, made it to Pao Ma Chang, but evidently unfamiliar with the peculiarities of locomotion in the Peking region, got there too late.
In fact, as will already have been sensed, the Peking races had changed since last observed back in 1882.
The crowds were large, but they were no longer on the enormous scale of those earlier days.
Peking is politically one of the most sensitive of cities, with the speciality that it senses crisis long before crisis comes.
A feeling was growing that the dynasty was ailing, and might be moving to its demise, which in China means only one thing — anarchy.
1900-06-08 a Boxer mob set fire to the grandstand at Pao Ma Chang.
The significance was that the horse racing track were managed by the country club for Western diplomats.
Three British students who rode out to investigate the fire were charged by a crowd of the Chinese and retreated.
One of the British horsemen, however, drew his pistol and killed one of the Chinese men.
However, the cause and consequences might be reversed in order.
In response, the Imperial government sent armies to surround the foreigners at the Beijing Legation Quarter.
It showed, as nothing else so aptly could, the danger in which all foreigners stood and the symbolism was clear.
In Tientsin an urgent telegraph was received from the British Legation summoning immediate aid. An hour later telegraph contact with the Legations was lost.
A force of 2,000 sailors and marines, under the command of Admiral Sir Edward Seymour (Seymour Road was named after him), left by train for Peking.
Eighteen days later, what remained of it struggled back to Tientsin by the river route — finished as a force.
It is strange, though, and utterly in character, that the pivotal point of the year.
The alarm for the Diplomatic Corps in Peking in danger, was the burning of the grandstand at Pao Ma Chang.
1900-06-12, headline of THE PEKING CLUB BURNED was published on The New York Times.
1900-06-17 the foreign settlements in Tientsin, with a defending force of 2,400 men and only make shift defenses,
12 were attacked by 10,000 Imperial troops with modern armament, including heavy artillery.
The situation became steadily more desperate.
1900-06-20 young James Watts, whose all-China record on Palo Alto will be remembered, volunteered to ride to Taku to bring news of their peril to the naval forces known to be off the bar of the Peiho.
It was to be the most famous ride of his life.
As Peter Fleming described it in The Siege at Peking:
The defences were erected using bales of wool, silk, cotton, sugar, rice and peanuts, the man in charge being the future President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, who was a mining engineer.
He was an excellent horseman and knew the country well. He set out at night, taking an escort of three Cossacks and one spare pony.
They were twelve hours in the saddle. They charged at full gallop through villages and over the little hump-backed stone bridges where these danger-points could not be by-passed; Watts had one pony shot under him.
For ten days not a word was heard from Peking.
1900-06-29 a Chinese courier got through to Tientsin.
The besieged had about 150 ponies and a quantity of mules to serve as a source of fresh meat.
Chinese living near the Legations had fled from their homes, in which a fair amount of horse fodder was found. An abandoned grainstore gave another good yield.
The staple diet of the Europeans during the Siege was pony-meat, rice and champagne.
There was plenty of claret as well, but the ferocious heat of the Peking summer was the wrong season for it.
1900-08-04, when the Force at last moved, there was a serious food shortage in the Legations.
The last of the ponies were being killed. The best racing ponies had been kept until last, in the hope of sparing them.
Saying goodbye to one’s pony when the inevitable came was one of anyone’s more miserable moments during the Siege;
but the ponies themselves were by this time so emaciated that to kill and eat them was little worse than leaving them to starve slowly to death.
Courses de Pékin The Peking races, The Gallery
1904, a photo depicting European racegoers was published with captions “Courses de Pékin – La Tribune, 1904 – The Peking races, The Gallery, 1904”
When the Peking-Hankow railway was completed. The railway had a branch line to Tientsin, and there was a station less than two miles from Pao Ma Chang.
This relationship had been facilitated since.
This meant that Tientsin owners and riders could bring their ponies by rail direct from Tientsin to the Peking racecourse.
In addition, on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings during the racing season trains from Peking made unscheduled stops at Pao Ma Chang for racegoers. It was all very civilized and pleasant.
‘There was not much money in that Club,’ Baron von Delwig observed, ‘but it was a charming place, and on race days one saw there a most elegant and interesting public, both foreign and Chinese.’
Peking carried on as usual, except for the four years of the Great War, when racing was brought to a stop by the impossible situation.
All the belligerents had their diplomatic representatives there, and all normally supported the races.
The Allies could in fact have conducted races successfully on their own, but wisely decided against such an affront.
Peking lay off the main race circuit by virtue of its diplomatic rather than commercial atmosphere, its connexion with the circuit being exclusively with Tientsin.
Appreciating that when people in Tientsin saw BENGAL speed there would be no lack of ‘experts’ to come forward to declare he was crossbred, thus debarring him from racing,
Duke Larson prudently took him to Peking instead. Peking did not have the fanciful restrictions and classifications of the Treaty Ports.
In Peking a pony was a pony, the faster the better. In Peking one was dealing with people very different from those in the ports.
The Diplomatic Corps and the Maritime Customs Chiefs were not beholden to groups of merchants, however wealthy, such as those of the Shanghai Race Club.
On various occasions the Tientsin Race Club tried to assert the race circuit’s authority by debarring Peking owners from entering the Tientsin races,
saying that their club was not ‘recognized’, at the same time not ‘recognizing’ any griffins first entered at Pao Ma Chang.
Peking never retaliated. Pao Ma Chang was ever open to Tientsin owners and riders.
However, their Club having been politely told it was being rather silly, after a season or so, back things went to acceptance of a difference between clubs, as of a difference between people.
The crossbreed was at the root of this, one need hardly explain. The amount of trouble caused by the British treaty-port reaction to the crossbreed is almost unbelievable.
Harry Morriss considered it fatuous. The foreign aristocrats of Peking found it incomprehensible.
They had the advantage, moreover, of phrases such as ‘rather silly’, which on the lips of the lady of a diplomatic residence are apt to issue with the effect of a cannon.
At the moment when BENGAL was brought into China, peace prevailed between the clubs.
There is no doubt, though, that had Duke Larson brought BENGAL for inspection at Tientsin first, BENGAL would never have been heard of.
As it was, Larson brought BENGAL down to Peking either before or just after the winter, and sold him to David Fraser, who was Reuter’s Peking correspondent and a notably successful owner at the Peking and Tientsin races.
As seen by Georges Sapajou at the Peking races :
D.L. Newbigging, father of the present Taipan of famine Matheson.
Sir Eric Mieville, at the start of the distinguished career which led to his becoming Private Secretary to King George VI. He was Private Secretary to the British Minister in Peking.
Colonel Weatherbe D’Arcy, who owned the first pack of foxhounds in China, in Peking. He later brought them down to Hongkong, where they hunted in the New Territories.
BENGAL was clipped for the first time.
His long tail looped up with bright braid, his mane unshorn, as had been the custom for more than seventy years, he would be entered as a griffin for the Peking Spring Meeting of that year.
At the end of that season, by which time BENGAL had won 41 races out of 42 starts, Frank Sutton unaccountably sold him to a Hongkong owner.
The Peking and China king of the horses, BENGAL, was purchased for the Sassoon stable in Hongkong.
1928-02-13 Annual Meeting First Day, Race 3 BENGAL ridden by Pote-Hunt, 2nd place, Victoria Stakes.
1928-02-14 Annual Meeting Second Day, Race 5, at Happy Valley, BENGAL ridden by Pote-Hunt, won the Great Southern Stakes.
1928-02-15 Annual Meeting Third Day, Race 8, at Happy Valley, BENGAL ridden by Pote-Hunt, being third in the Champion Stakes.
BENGAL, greatest of all the China ponies, who showed no signs of a cross with any other breed, was never heard of again.
1937-07-07 the Marco Polo Bridge Incident marked the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).
That same autumn the Japanese occupied Peking. It was orderly and thorough, and even included a victory parade in front of the Forbidden City.
The Legation Quarter was left strictly undisturbed. Racing continued as usual at Pao Ma Chang.
The racetrack became gambling entertainment venues for the Japanese.
After the Japanese surrender, civil war broke out, soaring prices, livelihood difficult, horse racing and racetrack are gradually being forgotten.
Baron von Delwig, in his pony-trap, would meet Michael Boycott at the Pao Ma Chang railway station.
He drive Mike out towards that distant view of the Western Hills, to the course surrounded by willows and small mounds, with its stately tiered grandstand.
Ann Bridge in《Peking Picnic》, recalled as being decorated green and white, with potted oleanders and pink geraniums, around it the silver undersides of the willow leaves,
above it the high cry of the kestrels, and from the swamp an occasional upsurge of snipe.
1941-12-06 Andrew von Delwig had a field day that autumn in Peking — three wins in succession.
A group of friends, among them Werner Jannings, brother of the film actor Emil Jannings, urged him to try for a fourth win.
Andrew’s only available pony was VULCAN, a fine winner in his day, but who was now over 20 years old.
Just for a joke he put him in, and the pony won.
It called for a celebration. A sizeable group of them adjourned to the Baron’s country residence near the racecourse, where in less than no time a lively party was in progress.
In the midst of it, however, Werner Jannings noticed that their host was not taking any part at all.
‘Andrew! Four wins in succession! You should be celebrating!’
It had no effect. Several of them gathered about him.
‘Andrew, what’s the matter?’ Werner Jannings asked.
The Baron replied slowly:
‘I have a feeling I shall never ride another track pony.’
His intuition did not play him false.
Next day, the attack on Pearl Harbor broke out.
North China had been utterly wrecked by the warlords and the Japanese occupation.
Most of the leading foreign personalities went back, took a harrowed look round, came away, and never returned.
Oswald Dallas, owner of the largest of all stables in the North China races, was among them.
He went up to Peking, to his country house at Pao Ma Chang, where he found everything in absolute order.
He rode his favorite ride, SULTAN, a bay whose father was an Epsom Derby winner.
Next morning Dallas went again to the stable to find his groom with a face of utter misery. The horse had died in the night.
Dallas was so moved that he never rode again.
1932, as one of the characters in Ann Bridge’s first, and best known novel, Peking Picnic, Ginger Griffin, says:
‘There’s very little the Chinese don’t know about horse-racing — they’re all as mad on it as Yorkshiremen.’
EXCOMMUNICATED is an institutional act of religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community
Mephistopheles (/ˌmɛfɪˈstɒfɪˌliːz/, German pronunciation: [mefɪˈstɔfɛlɛs]; also Mephistophilus, Mephistophilis, Mephostopheles, Mephisto, Mephastophilis and variants) is a demon featured in German folklore.
Bolting refers to a “runaway” – horses that gallop off with a handler at high speed, whether being ridden under saddle or driving in harness. There are many causes, most linked to fright that triggers the fight-or-flight response of the horse. In these circumstances, the animal is often running in a panic and may not notice where it is going.
Acknowledgement to HKJC Racing Registry for offering record data.