Again, in the year 1790, his horse Seagull won the Oatlands
stakes at Ascot, of 100 guineas (19 subscribers), beating the
Prince of Wales's Escape, Serpent, and several of the very best
horses of that year--to the great mortification of His Royal
Highness, who immediately matched Magpie against him, to run four
days afterwards, two miles, for 500 guineas. This match, on
which immense sums were depending, was won with ease by Seagull.
At this period Lord Foley and Mr Fox were confederates. In those
days the plates averaged from L50 to L100.
Lord Foley, who died in 1793, entered upon the turf with a clear
estate of L1800 a year, and L100,000 ready money, which was
considerably diminished by his losses at Newmarket, Ascot, and
The race-horse of this country excels those of the whole world,
not only for speed, but bottom. There is a great difference,
however, between the present race and that of fifty or sixty
years ago; for in those days four-mile heats were the fashion.
The sporting records at the end of the last century give the
following exploits of horses of that and previous periods.
Childers, known by the name of Flying Childers, the property of
the Duke of Devonshire, was looked upon as the fleetest horse
that ever was bred. He was never beaten; the sire of this
celebrated horse was an Arabian.