( Originally Published 1898 )
Some few years since a journal devoted to racing sought the ideas of a number of authorities as to the names of the best ten horses of the century. Great difference of opinion prevailed, there being general agreement about only a few animals. Ormonde and St. Simon were in all the lists, and they could not well have been omitted, seeing that neither had ever been beaten ;and, indeed, except when Ormonde, after he had become a roarer, was pressed by Minting in the Hardwicke Stakes of 1887, all their races had been won with ease, though if I remember correctly, T. Cannon, the jockey who rode him in his last race, told me that he touched the horse with his spurs. This, however, was a furlong scurry. The Flying Dutchman, Voltigeur, and West Australian were usually included. Blair Athol had supporters, not-withstanding that doubts were expressed as to whether he was really a stayer; and Gladiateur was not forgotten. Galopin was almost the first choice with a band of enthusiasts who chanced to know how greatly superior he was to some amongst his contemporaries that were almost universally accepted as really good horses. Isonomy, in spite of the fact that his chief performances were in handicaps, was rated as one of the ten by numerous votes ; and in fact these nine received most suffrage. Donovan and Isinglass had not made their names at the time when this difficult question was being discussed, or no doubt both would have had pronounced admirers.
It is absolutely impossible to form any trust-worthy estimate of the relative capacity of horses of the present day and their remote predecessors. The late Sir Francis Doyle and some other lovers of the Turf, who wrote plausibly and well, have endeavoured to prove that the modern thoroughbred has deteriorated in stamina if not in speed, and that over the Beacon Course the horses of the '80's and '90's would have had no chance against the stalwart racers of the first half of the century ; but there is no real basis of justification for this argument. Horses were formerly trained to gallop the Beacon Course ; they are not so trained now; and as to the pace at which they went, we have no know-ledge. In all probability they took a long while about it, but records as to time are, we may be sure, altogether untrustworthy, considering for how many years the preposterous fiction of a mile a minute received credence. It is a perplexing business to endeavour to sift out the truth about the capacity of horses. Some writers are given to eulogising bygone days. The horses of their youth appear to them far better than any they have seen since ; others, again, are constantly making fresh idols, and discover the " horse of the century " every other year. Prejudice, too, is a mighty factor in most comparisons. Men are interested in horses and magnify their achievements ; possibly they base their calculations on some trial which was never authenticated by public running, and they implicitly believe that it was quite right when it may, in fact, have been quite wrong. More probably still, they are prejudiced against a horse, disgusted, it may be, by the panegyrics expressed in wild and whirling words by fatuous enthusiasts, and so try to pick holes by way of proving that these enthusiasts are writing nonsense. Unbiassed and dispassionate judgment is rare, and when it is found, it may be based on inaccurate or insufficient grounds.
In these articles I have sedulously avoided quotations, of which so many books on racing are so largely made up, but it is obvious that no new ideas can now be promulgated about the famous horses of long ago ; and it may be very briefly stated that Marlow's observation when he first rode the Flying Dutchman (on whom he won the Derby of 1849) must surely be accepted as going far to stamp that colt a great one. " I was never on such a one as this before ! " was the remark of that experienced jockey. Voltigeur is naturally coupled with his immediate predecessor in the list of Derby winners, and it is curious to recall the fact that when this notable animal was offered for sale at auction as a yearling no one would bid 10o guineas for him. Frank Butler's inarticulate admiration when first he saw West Australian, and the circumstance that he found the colt did more than justify his appearance, tend to gain for this notable son of Melbourne a place in the very front rank. The question was not whether he was sure of the St. Leger, but by how much it would be desirable to win, Butler declaring that if he won by the length of his arm it would do, whilst Isaac Walker, who managed the colt, protested against heads and half-necks, and running things close generally. Blink Bonny (a daughter of Melbourne) was doubtless one of the best mares of modern times, and therefore in all probability in the history of the Turf ; and Stockwell's name is almost unsurpassed in racing annals. It is usually discreet to avoid superlatives, but if it should not be said that no horse ever did such good service to the race of the English thorough-bred, it is safe to assert that none has ever done better. His sire, The Baron, won the Leger of 1845, and from him we have a direct line to some of the greatest horses of the present day. Here is a list of his contributions to the roll of classic winners.
Two THOUSAND GUINEAS.
1852. Lord Exeter's ch. c. Stockwell, by The Baron.
ONE THOUSAND GUINEAS.
1863. Lord Stamford's ch. f. Lady Augusta
1864. Mr. W. I'Anson's ch. c. Blair Athol
1865. Mr. W. Graham's Regalia
THE ST. LEGER.
1860. Lord Aileshury's St. Albans by Stockwell.
Six times in eight years, it will be seen, Stockwell's sons and daughters carried off the St. Leger, whilst Doncaster's son, Bend Or, won the Derby of 1880, and became the sire of Ormonde, who won the Two Thousand, Derby, and St. Leger six years later.
If this division of my work deals chiefly with comparatively recent times, it is because we have more trustworthy data to go on, and in consequence of a belief that readers will be more interested in animals whom they have seen, or the exploits of whose progeny they have witnessed. The success of Blink Bonny in the Derby of 1857—the second of the three fillies that have won it in 118 years—reminds one that the old rivalry which used to exist between northern and southern stables, notably between Yorkshire and Newmarket, has practically disappeared. John Scott of Whitehall, the "Wizard of the North," as he was called, was a. power in the racing world of his day ; and his brother William, if not too scrupulous or too sober, was doubtless a highly effective horseman. The Dawsons, too, came from the north—from farther north than Whitehall, indeed--and the great reputation of John Scott and one or two more northern trainers tended directly or in-directly to the establishment of other north country stables, as head lads and capable men who had learnt their business under masterly tuition found patrons to fill stables for them. Newmarket was really very little esteemed as a training centre some fifty years ago, odd as that may seem at present The Dawsons came south, however; other establishments followed, and nowadays, though the name of I'Anson, associated with Blink Bonny, Blair Athol, and other famous animals, survives and is prominent on occasions, the northern stables are regarded by the southerners—whatever opinions may survive in Yorkshire—as generally inferior. Blair Athol was the culmination of northern glory, and that the chestnut made something of a sensation when he cantered to the post for the Derby on his first appearance on any racecourse there can be no doubt. The Duke of Beaufort recounts—though the story has never been published—how greatly he was struck by the looks and action of the son of Stockwell ; so much so, indeed, that, having had a great fancy for, and having backed, another horse in the race, he straightway went to the ring, and took care that Blair Athol's victory should not be unprofitable to him. The colt had great speed and a certain amount of stamina, but, as already remarked, he was not universally accepted as a stayer. When a handicap horse called The Miner beat him at York, excuses were made, as they always are in such cases, for his defeat ; but John Osborne, who rode The Miner, states that he was not at all surprised at his success, and, indeed, expected to win. Two of Blair Athol's sons won the St. Leger, but neither Craigmillar nor Silvio (who also won the Derby) was a good horse ; indeed, it is demonstrable that Craigmillar was greatly inferior to Galopin.
This is somewhat overshooting the mark, however, for Blair Athol's year was 1844, and there was a three-year-old in 1843 who had and has staunch admirers. He did not win the Derby either, having been just beaten in that race; for reference is made to Lord Clifden, who possibly by ill luck, but the point does not now need argument—succumbed at Epsom to Macaroni. There are some animals that, for reasons not very easy to trace, firmly win a place in the affections of lovers of the horse, and Lord Clifden was one of these, possibly because this idea of his bad luck in the Derby so strongly prevailed. He carried off the St. Leger, after having been left at the post, so that he had an apparently impossible distance to make up, and it was a triumph of patience and judgment on the part of his jockey, John Osborne, that he beat his eighteen opponents. Whatever may have been the relative merits of Macaroni and Lord Clifden when in training, the chestnut son of Newminster has done far better service at the stud. Macaroni is chiefly remembered by his two daughters, Spinaway and Camelia (who won the One Thousand and ran a dead heat for the Oaks with Euguerrande) although the former, it is true, was the mother of a memorable family ; but no fewer than four Leger winners were sired by 'Lord Clifden : Hawthornden (1870), Wenlock (1872), Petrarch (1874), and Jannette (1878). The blue blood of Wenlock is still in evidence, with promise of much to come, moreover. His daughter, Wed-lock, dam of Best Man, was sold at auction when twelve years old for 4,400 guineas; and Petrarch was sire of The Bard, who has done excellent things at the stud in France ; for though critics complain that his stock are light of bone and are prone to bad hocks, they keep on winning. Another Petrarch, Throstle, won the Leger of .1894, moreover, so that Lord Clifden must assuredly be included among famous horses.
The idea that a French bred horse could win the Derby had been deemed impossible prior to 1845. Gladiateur had beaten a big field of twenty-nine starters in the Two Thousand, and not a little fluttered the holders of pronounced opinions on the subject of the invincibility of the English horse ; but the Two Thousand was not the Derby, and a strong conviction was felt that something or other would come to therescue of the British reputation at Epsom. But nothing did. The son of Monarque followed in the footsteps' of West Australian, who won all three "classic" races in 1853, and there was nothing to be said beyond the expression of an unworthy doubt, started by bad losers who could not take defeat gracefully, as to whether he was really a three-year-old. The feat was to be repeated next year by Lord Lyon, and both were horses of the very first rank. Lord Lyon's early trials were exceptionally good, indeed, his first gallop was wonderful, for on September 10th, 1844, the Saturday before Doncaster, when he was a yearling—an age at which very few horses are ever asked to gallop, and if they are at all it is usually three months later he was only beaten a head over a severe three furlongs by a really smart two-year-old named Jezebel, who was giving him no more than 7 lbs, the weight being—Jezebel, 2 years, 8 st. 10 lbs., and Lyon, 1 year, 8 st. 3 lbs. " A tremendous performance for a yearling," is Lord Suffolk's commentary in his admirable book on Racing. Afterwards he did great things in private and in public ; but the "glorious uncertainty of the Turf" was exhibited in those days at the stud. Gladiateur never got a good horse, though his name is found in the pedigrees of French winners, and Lord Lyon—unless the useful mare, Placida, be counted is memorable only as the sire of Minting, one of those horses who would have made a mighty name for himself but for the fact of his always having to beat, or to try to beat if he was asked to attempt it, one unquestionably superior animal—Ormonde.
Hermit was certainly a famous horse, though by no means of the first rank. The story of his sensational Derby victory in a snowstorm after he had broken a blood vessel and been stopped in his work is too familiar to bear repetition ; it was, indeed, less the race itself than the circumstances attending it which made the event remarkable, and this romance of the Turf is unsuitable for discussion in these pages. The rivalry between the Marquis of Hastings, represented by Lady Elizabeth, and Mr. Chaplin (now and for long past a sedate politician), with Hermit to run for him, was keen in the extreme ; Marksman was a colt of whom the greatest things were expected, and until the Duke of Beaufort went to Danebury and found that John Day had sorely overdone the Two Thousand Guineas winner, Vauban, the prospects of the Badminton light blue and white hoops had looked rosy. That Lady Elizabeth had been run to pieces as a two-year-old there can be no doubt, and though, as a rule, what is past soon becomes archaic and uninteresting in this rapid age, the true story of Lord Hastings's racing career would always be absorbing. It has,. indeed, occupied many pens, but it is all too evident that the writers have usually drawn upon their imaginations for their facts, and they differ ludicrously about their fiction.
In some years the fillies are greatly superior to the colts, and 1847 furnishes a case in point. Achievement, the daughter of Stockwell and own sister to Lord Lyon, the hero of the previous season, was doubtless unapproachable, and a wonderful animal to boot, for though she never ran as a four-year-old, and in her day the rich stakes of £10,000 (and upwards for they have sometimes exceeded the nominal amount), which afterwards came into origin, were not inaugurated, she is one of a select little company of horses that won over £20,000, a list of which will presently be given ; and she was followed by another filly of almost equal fame, who also comes into the narrow list of " over £20,000," and whose reputation is scarcely all that it should be for a very simple reason. Formosa, a daughter of Buccaneer, carried off the One Thousand, the Oaks, and St. Leger ; and she was not beaten for the Two Thousand. In that race she ran a dead heat with a horse of Mr. W. S. Crawfurd's named Moslem ; he subsequently walked over, and she is consequently not enrolled as a winner of the first classic race of 1848 ; but that he was inferior to Formosa few ever doubted, and he consequently enjoys credit, which he does not really deserve, as the victor in this event. He was a sadly bad-tempered horse, and sank to the lowest depths.
" He won the Derby" is the best recommendation a horse can have whilst he lives, the most effective and suggestive epitaph he can earn. The world in general accepts this as fame, in spite of all that is urged about the probably higher value of the St. Leger as a real test of merit, disregarding the circumstances, so obvious to experts, that between Derby winners there is a vast amount of difference. Ormonde won the Derby; so did Sir Visto; and as Derby winners the outsider would very likely place them on the same mark ; but though it is quite impossible accurately to gauge the respective capacity of the fields of 1884 and 1895, if experts do not agree that Ormonde was a 2 St. better horse, it is only because many good judges will continue to doubt whether that difference of weight would have brought the two together had they been contemporaries. Accepting this view, and having regard to the need of brevity in this article, it is not every Derby or Leger winner whose performances can be discussed at length or even liberally summarised.
Avoiding not thrice, but thirty-times-told tales, little need be said about the Derby of i848, which Sir Joseph Hawley won with Blue Gown. To win the Derby at all is so great an object of every owner's ambition, or of every owner with very few exceptions, that one might have supposed Sir Joseph Hawley would have been content, the more so as his success was achieved for the fourth time; but he was anxious to winwith Rosicrucian, always maintaining that this was the better of his three starters, for Green Sleeves ran as well as Blue Gown. The details of this story are given in John Porter's book, Kingsclere, and in numerous other publications, so that it need not be dwelt on here, the more so as Blue Gown's name has now dropped out of Turf history, the horse having died while crossing the Atlantic to stand in America. For the next few years the Derby and St. Leger winners were chiefly famous because they won the Derby or the St. Leger. Pretender's success in 1849 was one of the races about which the crowd differed from the judge ; there was an idea that Pero Gomez had just got up, but the judge doubtless knew best, though Pero Gomez had his revenge at Doncaster. Lord Falmouth certainly managed his racing affairs with great discretion; but that luck, which has been spoken of sas a prevailing element, certainly aided him in his two Derbys; for Kingcraft in 1870 and Silvio in 1877 were both a good deal below the average of Derby winners. It has already been remarked that Galopin has admirers who believe him to be as good as any horse that ever ran. A son of Vedette, he could not have been more English, but his owner, Prince Batthyany, was one of the many distinguished foreigners who have found an irresistible attraction in the English Turf; and in the next year also the Derby went abroad, Mr. A. Baltazzi having been the owner of Kisber, a son of Buccaneer, and so a close relation of Formosa. What is the worst horse that ever won the Derby is a point upon which agreement could hardly be reached. Sefton, Sir Bevys, Merry Hampton, Sainfoin, and Sir Visto would probably all be named if the question were put to the vote, and so little need be said about them under the present heading. Probably Sir Bevys owed his victory in a great measure to the fact of Fordham having ridden him with peculiar discretion. The weather is generally fine during the Epsom Summer Meeting, but that year the course was a quagmire on the lower side, and Fordham came wide on the right, thus running a little farther, but securing firm ground to gallop over. He was a great believer in the difference made by good going, thinking the smallest advantage well worth gaining, and there was a track at Newmarket along which he always took his horse under certain conditions of going. The Derby of 1880 is memorable for the desperately close struggle between Bend Or and Robert the Devil, and hard as I am trying to avoid the repetition of facts which will probably be known to most of my readers, it must be remarked that Robert the Devil ought certainly to have won, but that his jockey looked round and was apparently paralysed by Archer's desperate rush with the Duke of Westminster's colt, notwithstanding that the famous jockey was riding with one arm at the time, not having recovered from the injuries inflicted when he was savaged by Muley Edris.
When there are two notable horses of the same age it not seldom happens that some unfortunate chance keeps them apart, as, for instance, was the case in 1884, when lovers of the Turf were exceedingly anxious to see what would happen if St. Simon and St. Gatien could meet over two miles. Bend Or and Robert the Devil, however, had several tussles, and each scored in turn, though in the St. Leger Robert the Devil had it all his own way, Bend Or being nowhere in the race; and when they repeated their struggle over the Epsom course for the Cup, Robert the Devil turned the tables on the Derby victor, though as a matter of fact the neck by which he won did not mean very much, as neither horse was really himself at the time. The fact of the matter doubtless is that Bend Or had the better speed and that Robert the Devil was the better stayer. At the distance of a mile and a quarter it is probable that the chestnut would have won, but over the Cesarewitch course the general opinion would have leant almost unanimously to his rival. The French and the Hungarians had, it will be seen, carried off the Derby, and in 1881 it was to go to America by the aid of Iroquois, a son of Leamington. Iroquois was probably not a good horse, though he won the Prince of Wales' Stakes at Ascot with the full penalty, an achievement which always counts in reckoning up a horse's capacity, and he did all that was asked of him in the St. Leger without difficulty. About this time the fillies were doing well. Going back a little way, it is obvious that Marie Stuart (in 1873), who won the Oaks, was better than her stable companion, Doncaster, who won the Derby, because the two fought it out in the St. Leger, one of the most exciting contests ever seen on the Town Moor, and the filly beat the colt by a short head. Next season, too, Apology was surely the hest of her year, and Turf historians are fond of relating how there was a doubt about her being able to run at Doncaster, as she had shown signs of lameness, and how the clergyman who owned her insisted upon her fulfilling her engagement, which she won gallantly in the hands of John Osborne.
In 1883 there was what is called a sensational Derby, Galliard, Highland Chief, and St. Blaise, all three having staunch supporters, running a close finish, and only the judge could say for certain which had won. There was a scandal about the race into which it is not necessary to go at present. Charles Wood on St. Blaise shot round Tattenham Corner in a fashion of which Archer was very fond when he got the chance ; thus St. Blaise gained some two lengths, and his resolute jockey never lost his advantage. St. Blaise, it may be added, went to America, where he has done excellent service at the stud. In 1884 it is tolerably certain that Busybody must have won the Derby had she run, as there is no doubt of her superiority to Harvester, who ran a dead heat with St. Gatien. Busybody was, indeed, a very good mare, but she showed signs of lameness after her Oaks victory, and though sent to Ascot, was never able to run there or subsequently ; she finally broke down a fortnight before the St. Leger, but has distinguished herself as the dam of Meddler, whose loss to this country is to be regretted. There can be no doubt he was a good horse, who would in all probability have earned a place in this chapter had he remained in England. He won the Dewhurst Plate.
St. Simon, a contemporary of St. Gatien and Busybody, was not entered for the Derby. Be-fore the death of Prince Batthyany it had been rumoured that he owned a remarkably promising colt in a son of the Derby winner Galopin and of a mare called St. Angela. More than one man, however, who had reason to believe in the colt's capacity, timidly let him slip when he was for sale after his master's terribly sodded death at Newmarket, and the lucky Duke of Portland bought him for 1,600 guineas, his dam being sold the same afternoon for 320 guineas. Four weeks afterwards to the day St. Simon made his first appearance on a racecourse in the Halnaker Stakes at Goodwood, ridden by Archer, and won in a canter by half-a-dozen lengths. Next afternoon he came out again for a Maiden Plate against a solitary opponent, of whom he disposed without an effort. The few engagements which had been made for him were of course rendered void by the death of his first owner, and his next race was in the Devonshire Nursery at Derby. He had now earned 8 st. 12 lbs., and played with his opponents. In the Prince of Wales' Nursery at Doncaster he was top weight, 9 st., in a field of twenty-one, and " won by eight lengths " was the verdict, the judge was not called upon to say that the eight lengths might have been eighteen if Archer had wished it. As it . happened, this was a year when the fillies seemed to be doing much better than the colts. Wild Thyme, a daughter of Lowlander and Fragrance, won the Woodcote, the New Stakes at Ascot, the Exeter Stakes at the Newmarket July, and the Lavant Stakes at Goodwood ; the Hermit—Adelaide filly, known afterwards as Solitaire and then called Queen Adelaide, won the July ; Superba carried off the Astley Stakes at Lewes and the Champagne at Doncaster; Busybody won the Rous Memorial at New-market and the Middle Park Plate ; but there was a colt, who strangely enough had run for the first time in public within an hour of St. Simon's début, who was believed by his friends to be quite as good as, if not better than, the son of Galopin. This was the Duke of 'Westminster's Bushey, as he had been originally named, by Hampton—Preference, who had gone to Goodwood with a great reputation, and, having won the Richmond Stakes, was re-named Duke of Richmond. A match was consequently made between the two and came off immediately before the Dewhurst Plate (in which Queen Adelaide, 8 st. 13 lbs., beat Busy-body, 9 st. 2 lbs., a neck, thus showing them-selves practically the same animal). They ran at even weights and St. Simon won, easily, Archer, who rode him, declared ; with scarcely 7 lbs. in hand was the estimate of Tom Cannon, the jockey of the defeated colt. Duke of Richmond may be here dismissed with the remark that hard struggles in the Hunt Cup and Stewards' Cup next year, for both of which he was just beaten, apparently broke his heart, or at least disgusted him with racing, and he sunk to hurdle jumping, St. Simon to begin as a three-year-old in the same way he had ended as a two-year 'old—with a match. It had been questioned whether he could stay, and M. Lefevre, the owner of Tristan, one of the few sons of Hermit who had exhibited capacity to win over a distance of ground, challenged St. Simon to run a mile and a half, each having a pacemaker to bring him along. That was if they could, for the pace-makers were reduced to helplessness very soon after the start ; then St. Simon left Tristan and won at his ease by half a dozen lengths. There was nothing that dared to oppose St. Simon for the Epsom Gold Cup (an extinct race). Tristan came out again to run against St. Simon for the Ascot Cup, to see if the additional mile of that race would make a difference, but " won by twenty lengths, a bad third " —Faugh-a-Ballagh occupied the place was this time the result ; at Newcastle, with odds of r 00 to 9 on him, St. Simon very easily disposed of a solitary opponent, Chislehurst, and with odds of 100 to q on him in the Goodwood Cup he cantered away from Ossian, who had won the Leger of the year before but was not sound in his wind. That was St. Simon's last appearance on a race-course ; he retired to the stud, where his success had been very great, his fillies having been considered specially good, until his sons St. Frusquin and Persimmon, not to mention St. Serf, showed that he could produce horses as well as mares. As for the latter, in five years his daughters won the Oaks four times. That handsome is as handsome does is a proverb not to be disputed, but certainly St. Simon was as different as he well could be from the " long, low, level" horse, whose make and shape has been so often eulogised. He was unusually short and had slight looking hind quarters.
Melton's beautiful action gave him distinction, but he misses a place quite in the first rank, as other animals were too close to him, for he only beat Paradox a head in the Derby, and Paradox only beat Crafton a head in the Two Thousand Guineas. Moreover, it is very probable that Paradox won only because Archer hustled Crafton out of it, and that if the owner of the latter had objected he would have got the race. During this year (1885) a rumour which was not uncommon at the time, and has often been repeated since, became current, to the effect that there was something out of the common at Kingsclere ; and the rumour subsequently proved to be true. The animal in question was a bay son of Bend Or and Lily Agnes ; but it was not until late in the year, at Newmarket in October, that he appeared to run in a Post Sweepstakes, and his excellence was not so generally recognised as to prevent backers from laying a slight shade of odds, 4 to 5, on Modwena, a little filly belonging to the Duke of Portland. Ormonde, however, had warm supporters at 5 to 4, and he won with very great ease; it was then perceived that the stories which had been told about him were true, and he was a very strong favourite for the Criterion, which he won, having some speedy animals behind him, notably Oberon and Mephisto. Oberon, it may be interpolated, was the son of Galopin and Wheel of Fortune, and his dam must certainly hold a prominent place in the list of famous horses ; for when asked by the present writer which was the best animal he had ever ridden, Fred Archer replied that he could not decide between St. Simon and this mare ; though it must be added that this was before the appearance of Ormonde. Ormonde came out for a third time in the Dewhurst Plate, and with long odds on him again gave proof of his capacity, though he had not much behind him, his best opponent being Miss Jummy, only a moderate animal who, however, won the Oaks.
1886 was a great year, for there were several three-year-olds of altogether exceptional excellence. A handsome little horse, called The Bard, had won the Brocklesby Stakes at Lincoln, and ran sixteen times during the season without ever having been beaten. A colt named Saraband had come out at Kempton and won his race so easily that there seemed to be no saying how good he was ; and Matthew Dawson was training a son of Lord Lyon, named Minting, whom he declared to be one of the very best animals he had ever known. Here, it will be seen, was material for most exciting con-tests ; and, indeed, a race has rarely been more absorbing than the Two Thousand Guineas of 1884. Matthew Dawson's opinion of Minting led to his starting favourite at even money; in many cases odds were laid on him, though the Racing Calendar returns his price at 11 to 10 against. Saraband was second favourite at 3 to 1, and Ormonde came next at 7 to 2, 33 to I bar three being the price of those next in demand, if it can be said that there was any sort of demand for them. Mephisto and St. Mirin figured at these odds. Watts rode Minting, Archer was on Saraband, George Barrett on Ormonde, and the race was never in doubt. At the distance Minting was rolling about hopelessly beaten, and Ormonde won in a canter. So unmistakable was the result that Mr. Vyner, the owner of Minting, perceived he could have no chance for the Derby, and with great discretion determined to reserve his horse for the Grand Prix. Of, course Ormonde was a very strong favourite for the Derby, nothing else being supposed to have the least chance with him except The Bard. The betting is returned at 85 to 40 on Ormonde, 7 to 2 The Bard, 25 to I bar one, a horse of Lord Zetland's called Grey Friars being the nominal third favourite. The betting, it may be added, extended to " 1000 to 5 Ariel and Coracle coupled," probably the longest odds ever offered, but a great deal too short to indicate their chances. The little Bard ran a gallant race, though his jockey, who had been told to keep him well in front, as it was thought he might stay better than his great rival, did not obey instructions—or possibly could not do as he was told. Down the hill, however, The Bard for a moment got on terms, and just for half a moment flattered the hopes of his friends; but Ormonde's stride told, and Archer, who rode him, won quite comfortably by a length and a half. Ormonde went to Ascot and played with two indifferent opponents in the St. James's Palace Stakes. In the Hardwicke next day he had a Derby winner against him, Melton, but the result was never in doubt. Going on to Doncaster he ran for the St. Leger, and with odds of 7 to I on him won in a common canter by four lengths. 25 to I was laid on him the next time he appeared for the Great Foal Stakes at the Newmarket First October, where he cantered away from Mephisto ; and for the Newmarket St. Leger nothing ventured to oppose him a wise discretion. He came out next for the Champion Stakes, " 100 to r on " being his price, and again for the Free Handicap, where he gave two stone to Mephisto and won in a canter by eight lengths, ending his year's labours, though in fact there had been no labour about his performances, except possibly for a few strides in the Derby by walking over for a Private Sweepstakes on the last day of the Houghton meeting.
During the winter an ugly rumour became current that Ormonde had begun to " make a noise," and the story was in fact too true. Not-withstanding, backers were content to lay 4 to i on him for the Rous Memorial at Ascot, when he beat Kilwarlin by six lengths ; the race, however, leaving no sort of doubt as to the noise. In the Hardwicke Stakes, therefore, it was sup-posed that his old rival Minting would have a great chance against him ; and for the first time for more than a year Ormonde started at reasonable odds, 5 to 4 on, 7 to 4 being taken about Minting. They carried even weights, 9 st 10 lbs each; but, hampered as he was by his infirmity, Ormonde held his own, only winning by a neck, it is true ; but Tom Cannon, who rode him, let it be understood that he could have somewhat increased the distance had it been desirable, the race not having been quite so close a thing as it appeared to spectators. His final appearance was made at the Newmarket July Meeting, over the last six furlongs of the Bunbury mile, for the Imperial Gold Cup, and this time, though the verdict was in his favour, he had to be driven in order to shake off Whitefriar, who was in receipt of only 4 lbs. So ended the turf career of what is regarded by many as the best horse that ever ran, though of course there is no possibility of getting a line between him and St. Simon. The Duke of Westminster sold him for 17,000 guineas, and he stayed for some time in South America; subsequently he was brought back to England, and again sold to an American, at whose establishment in California he is at present. His recent stock are described as most promising. His sons Orme and Goldfinch are standing in England. Up to the time of writing the children of Orme have not greatly distinguished themselves. Only one of them has carried off a race, but Goldfinch has Chelândry and Monterey to his credit.
It was a sad drop from 1884 to 1887, from Ormonde to Merry Hampton, the latter colt carrying off the Derby on his first appearance on any racecourse, and beating The Baron, a very bad animal, on whom odds were laid ; but happily the two-year-olds for this season were more promising, one in particular seeming likely to rival the deeds of Ormonde himself. This was Friar's Balsam. The colt made his first appearance at Ascot in the New Stakes, for which a horse of the Duke of Portland's called Ayrshire, and a mare of the late Lord Calthorpe's called Seabreeze, both of whom were highly esteemed, went to the post ; but Friar's Balsam won with the most consummate ease, following up his success by a career of six uninterrupted victories, in the Hurstbourne Stakes at Stock-bridge, the July Stakes at Newmarket, the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, the Molecombe Stakes at the same meeting, the Middle Park and Dewhurst Plates ; all, it will be seen, except perhaps the Molecombe, races of the highest class, the seven wins crediting his owner, Sir Frederick Johnstone, with a total of £8,666. It was .supposed that he could not be beaten for the Two Thousand Guineas next year, and he started a very hot favourite ; but on the way to the post Tom Cannon, who rode him, discovered that something was wrong ; in fact, a large abscess had formed in the colt's mouth and broke under the pressure of the bit. It was supposed that his boy, while dressing him some time before, had irritably jerked his mouth ; but however. it arose this misfortune had befallen him, and Friar's Balsam was for the time at any rate practically ruined. This cleared the way for Ayrshire, a son of the once little esteemed Hampton, who was thus enabled to make a great name for himself. He won the Two Thousand Guineas, the Derby, and started first favourite for the St. Leger, which led to the contest which is always desired in the great Doncaster race, a fight between the winners of the Derby and the Oaks ; and here the filly had the best of it. Both of these, it will be seen, figure in the list given elsewhere of horses that have won over . 20,000 in stakes. Luck of course greatly aided Ayrshire in achieving this result. His weak point, doubtless, was that he was not a genuine stayer, but over a mile or a little more he was a really good horse, and it happened, fortunately for his owner, that this was a time when great stakes were to be won.
After the age of three years no horse ever won as much money as was won by Ayrshire, for at this time there was a £l0,000 race at Kempton Park called the Royal Stakes, as well as the Eclipse at Sandown, and this latter, though nominally worth that sum, in reality credited the Duke of Portland with 11,160. Friar's Balsam, now a four-year-old, was supposed to have recovered his form sufficiently to give him a very good chance for the Kempton Park Royal Stakes (he having indeedbeaten Minting in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket the previous autumn), in which, however, he did badly, finishing last of the seven competitors with the exception of the Baron. The Duke of Portland had another horse in this race besides Ayrshire, a colt called Melanion, who was believed to be better than his stable-companion. One friend of the Duke had rather a disagreeable experience on this occasion, which is perhaps worth recording. He had invested ,i,000 on Ayrshire at odds of 4 to 1 ; but hearing that Melanion was superior to the four-year-old, he gave the book-maker with whom he had made the bet £100 to let him transfer it to Melanion ; thus losing £1,100 instead of winning £27,000. Ayrshire won by a length from his old opponent Sea-breeze, thus reversing their performance in the valuable Lancashire Plate, another £10,000 race, which has since been dropped, for in that the filly beat the colt by three-quarters of a length.
The Duke of Portland was in the heyday of his wonderful success, for whilst Ayrshire was doing great things, his colt Donovan, a son of Galopin, was carrying well-nigh all before him as a two-year-old. Donovan came out in the Brocklesby Stakes, and, as already remarked, was one of the few good animals that have won that race. Going on to Leicester he very appropriately secured the Portland Stakes, then worth £6,000 ; but on his third appearance he met with one of the three defeats which marked his career. Chittabob, a son of Robert the Devil and the Oaks winner Jenny Howlet, who had 13lbs. the best of the weights, won by four lengths, and there can be little doubt that Chittabob was a really good animal, though he suffered during his career from constant lameness in the shoulder, and so was very rarely in a position to do himself anything like justice. Donovan resumed his victorious career in the New Stakes at Ascot, following it up by taking the Homebred Foal Stakes at the Bibury Club meeting, and next day won the Hurstbourne, thus carrying on the traditions of good two-year-old racing at Stockbridge. He only found one opponent, Prince Soltykoff's Gold, in the July Stakes at Newmarket and beat him. Going on to Goodwood he won the Ham Stakes, and for the Prince of Wales' Stakes on the Thursday started favourite at 2 to I on. The going at Goodwood is generally excellent, but this year there had been torrents of rain, and the course was almost a morass, with a great pool of water standing at the end of the lawn ; such a state of things had not been experienced within living memory, and it may be that Donovan fell a victim to the consequences of the weather, for here he met with his second defeat, El Dorado winning by six lengths from Gold, with Donovan another six lengths behind. That the horse had not deteriorated in any way was made plain enough subsequently. He cantered away with the Buckenham, having there nothing to beat, however, and a similarly easy task was before him in the Hopeful Stakes ; but the Middle Park Plate was of course a different matter. Here he met thirteen opponents, including Gold, .and Donovan won comfortably, Gold not being in the first six ; he ended the labours of the season by taking the Dewhurst Plate, having secured in all eleven races, worth £16,487, the largest sum ever won by a two-year-old. Donovan wintered well and started next season brilliantly by winning the Prince of Wales' Stakes at the Leicester Spring Meeting, then worth £11,000. Nothing had ever seemed much more certain than that he would win the Two Thousand guineas ; but how Enthusiast beat him, or rather how Tom Cannon beat F. Barrett, has been described in the division of this article on " Jockeys." Of course it was an accident, and Donovan never again knew defeat. In the Newmarket Stakes he beat Enthusiast and fifteen other horses without the least difficulty, Enthusiast, indeed, not being in the first four, and continued his victorious career by winning the Derby from Miguel, with El Dorado a bad third and Enthusiast eighth ; the Princess of Wales' Stakes at Ascot with the full penalty—and with odds of 9 to 2 on him ; the St. Leger with Miguel again second and El Dorado fourth; the Lancashire Plate with Chittabob second, beaten two lengths, and the French mare Alicante, a two-year-old, third ; Seabreeze, winner the year before, as just mentioned, unplaced. The Royal Stakes at the Newmarket Second October Meeting was Donovan's last appearance carrying a silk jacket, but in his two seasons he had won for his owner the sum of £54,935, not counting what he secured by running second on the occasion of two of his three defeats, and until Isinglass topped this record, Donovan's winnings had been nearly £20,000 more than had ever been won by any other horse, Ayrshire coming third on the list with under £36,000, as will be seen by reference to the table. He was of course a very good horse indeed, though the disposition is not to rank him with Ormonde and St. Simon, and whether he or Isinglass was the better is a subject on which opinions are and always must be divided. At the stud he has not so far proved notably successful, Velasquez having been by far his best son.
A two-year-old who it was fondly hoped by his friends would rival Donovan's achievements was running when the Duke of Portland's colt was a three-year-old. This was Surefoot, a son of Wisdom and of an unnamed daughter of Galopin and Miss Foot, the property of Mr. A. W. Merry, a son of the owner of Doncaster, Thormanby, MacGregor, Marie Stuart, and other famous animals. Surefoot came out in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom, and won froma very speedy mare called Heresy in a style which evoked general admiration, but at Ascot he just failed by a head to beat one of the Duke of Portland's St. Simon fillies named Semolina, though in the New Stakes he had things all his own way, and won the only other race for which he ran, the Findon Stakes at Goodwood, with odds of 100 to 6 on him. St. Simon fillies have of late years gained a great name for themselves, and as regards speed, there are many impartial judges who believe that no horse ever went faster than Signorina, who was now a two-year-old. She was the property of an Italian gentleman, Signor Ginistrelli, who had raced in England with a persistence which was very little rewarded for a number of years. His colours have been registered for something like a quarter of a century, but the Turf world in general knew very little of them until he had sent his mare, Star of Portici, to St. Simon, and Signorina was the result. The owner gave her an excellent chance by entering her liberally, and she abundantly repaid him. As a two-year-old she ran eight times and won eight races, beating, moreover—and a test of high success is not how much or how often an animal wins, but what horses of reputation he defeats—notable opponents. Martagon, who has since won fame as the sire of Champ de Mars and Cap Martin, had been tried a good horse before the Whitsuntide Plate at Manchester, and with 6 lbs. the best of the weights, carefully handled, moreover, by Tom Cannon, he ran Signorina to a head ; but that was the only time she really came near to defeat. One has to beware of the critics, and it might, for instance, be pointed out that Signorina only beat Orwell a head at Sandown, to which, however, it may be remarked that she was giving Orwell 15 lbs. including sex allowance, and that the head might have been extended. The stable over which Ryan presided hoped to wipe out the defeat of Martagon by the victory of Alloway at Kempton, but Signorina gave him 7 lbs. and no chance; and later on she did something much more noteworthy. Her relative, the Duke of Portland's Memoir (St. Simon—Quiver) subsequent winner of Oaks and St. Leger amongst other races, had been tried a really good filly, and at Derby Signorina was set to give her no less than 16 lbs. ; but the result was never in doubt, and the seal was set on her fame in the Middle Park Plate. There she met Le Nord, a horse of brilliant speed, Semolina (better than Memoir as a two-year-old) was in the field, as were her old opponents Martagon and Alloway, both in receipt of 7 lbs., and she ran right away from the lot of them. The race was won in the first two hundred yards ; she "squandered her field" as the phrase goes, and came in at her ease. What she did for Signor Ginistrelli is best shown by his position in the list of winning owners.
1886. 1887. 1888. 1889.
Of this Signorina won all but 162.
It is the custom of writers on turf affairs to waste much time and ink during the winter and spring in weighing up the two-year-old form of fillies (as well as of colts), and in endeavouring to deduce from it the probable winner of the Oaks. As a matter of fact, two-year-old fillies lose their form as often as they retain it; and after her extraordinary succession of victories in her first season, Signorina, as a three-year-old, ran five times and won only a single race worth £200, her one victory having been in a match with a filly (Susiana) who displayed an amazing aptitude for running second, as in the nine races she ran that year she was second on eight occasions. How Memoir must have come on to beat Signorina in the Oaks, or how Signorina must have gone off to be beaten, is obvious. Next year in four attempts she again won a single race ; but it was a valuable one, the Lancashire Plate of £8,971, which raised her total to the sum that gives her admission to the select list of winners of over £20,000; but it was generally agreed that she owed her success here to the unsatisfactory performance of G. Barrett, who rode Orme. Like so many other horses that did great things on the turf, she has been a failure in the paddocks. Another of the Duke of Portland's St. Simon fillies, Memoir, did not very greatly distinguish herself this year, though she won three of the six races in which she took part ; events of no great im portance, however, three of them being worth only just over £1,300; but she was a filly who made great improvement with time. There was another very good two-year-old also this year, belonging to the Duchess of Montrose, who raced under the name of " Mr. Manton," in Riviera, a daughter of St. Simon and Marguerite, who won ten races in thirteen attempts, worth altogether £12,237, and that she would have made a great name for herself is probable, in spite of the fact of her having failed in the Oaks, but she had the misfortune to break her back while at exercise on Newmarket Heath. She had met Signorina at Manchester and ran unplaced to the flying filly.
Surefoot, to return to him after the digression necessitated by the mention of Signorina, came out and won the Two Thousand in brilliant fashion. He started the hottest favourite for the Derby that had ever been known up to that date, odds of 95 to 40 being laid on him ; but he could not stay for one thing, and he was an extremely bad-tempered horse for another. Coming round Tattenham corner he devoted himself to savaging his opponents, and only got fourth to Sainfoin, whohas been already described as one of the worst Derby winners on record. Surefoot's penalty and the distance stopped him in the Prince of Wales' Stakes, and that beautiful horse Amphion easily beat him in the Hardwicke Stakes, where also Sainfoin had four lengths the best of him. Surefoot had by this time lost much of his character, but over a mile he had extraordinary speed, and carried off the Prince of Wales' Stakes at Leicester, a race worth £7,750, beating Memoir by two lengths. He was also to have one other success of a very surprising character during his career in the Eclipse Stakes. Common, a horse that was probably a good deal overrated in his day, was supposed to be a "certainty" for the Eclipse; odds were laid on him, and Surefoot was going so badly as they turned into the straight, that 20 to 1 was offered against him by the ring. The mile and a quarter round the turns was, however, just within his compass, and coming up the hill with an amazing flash of speed—speed being probably what Common lacked he secured this valuable prize. Though it will be seen that he wins a place in the list of over £20,000, he has been so far a comparative failure at the stud.
Had the Leicester race been over a mile and a half instead of a mile, Surefoot's chance of beating Memoir would have been remote. She did not win the One Thousand Guineas for the reason that the Duke of Portland had declared to win with her stable companion Semolina, having a natural preference for an animal he had bred over one he had bought, for Memoir was purchased by auction at a Royal stud at Bushey Park for 1,500 guineas, little more than a quarter of the sum which was paid two years after for her sister La Flèche. In the Oaks, however, no declaration was made, it being obvious that Memoir was the better of the pair, and she won this race, following it up with the St. Leger, a success which may or may not have been affected by a scrimmage which took place at the bend—a rare event in the great race at Doncaster. She was a good mare ; but if she is so rated Amphion must be accepted as a very good horse, in spite of the fact that he never took part in any of the classic races, for which his owner, General Byrne, had not entered him. Amphion was trained for his first races at Stockbridge on ground leased from Tom Cannon, and a more charming horse has rarely been seen. It was not often that such animals as he ran at the Croydon meetings, where "class" was seldom well represented, and it is a somewhat curious fact that he and L'Abbesse de Jouarre, who won the Oaks, should have made their first appearance there in the same race. Amphion's total of winnings gives him a place in the list, but he cannot be rated as a stayer in view of the ease with which Sheen beat him over the last two miles of the Cesarewitch course, giving him a couple of pounds, moreover, when there is no doubt Amphion was very well and greatly fancied by his friends. Common, who never ran as a two-year-old, carried off the three classic races next season, but failed as just described in the Eclipse Stakes.
Whilst he was running, another horse from Kingsclere, and a filly from the same stable, were distinguishing themselves. These were Orme and La Flèche. Probably Orme was a good deal overrated, there being a natural tendency to make much of a son of Ormonde, but he was a very good colt, as his two-year-old success sufficiently proved. That he would win the Derby was generally assumed, if without much warrant, for there can be no doubt that he was not a stayer. In the spring of 1892, however, a sensation was created by the report that Orme had been poisoned. Possibly this may have been so, for John Porter, who must know more about it than any one else, maintains the fact in his "Kingsclere"; but it is a strange circumstance that Orme's symptoms, which led to the supposition of poisoning, were that season found in several other stables where horses were attacked with a similar complaint, though no suspicion of a malicious origin ever gained the slightest ground. Orme, however, could not run for the Two Thousand Guineas or for the Derby, for which race it seemed that a fourth filly was to be added to the list of winners, in La Flèche. Fillies are, however, notoriously uncertain in the summer, and she was beaten by Sir Hugo, a most unexpected result, for that she was a vast deal the better of the two subsequent running, both in the St. Leger and in the Lancashire Plate, most unmistakably demonstrated. Orme was sufficiently recovered by July to take part in the Eclipse Stakes, which he won, his victory producing a great burst of enthusiasm ; but in the St. Leger, La Flèche, who had meantime narrowly escaped defeat in the Oaks from a moderate mare called The Smew, thus strengthening the supposition that she was not herself at Epsom, won with considerable ease, Orme never looking in the least dangerous from start to finish. There was an Orme party and a La Flèche party, between whom feeling ran very high, each eulogising the animal of its choice and endeavouring to depreciate the performances of the other. The truth appears to be that over a mile the colt would have beaten the filly ; but Orme assuredly did not stay, and in contests of a longer distance the filly would have had no difficulty in defeating the colt. She ran in all sorts of races, some of which are mentioned in the chapter on " Handicaps." Whether she will prove worth the money 14,600 guineas) paid for her at the sale of her late owner's horse is, of course, a question for the future. Her daughter, La Veine, though a mere pony, won a race in the autumn of 1897.
Whilst La Flèche and Orme were runningtheir three-year-old races, a two-year-old named Isinglass was gradually making a reputation which was somewhat grudgingly accorded him. Racegoers were curiously slow to recognise the merit of Isinglass, who, however, did everything that was asked of him as a two-year-old. He was one of those horses of whom it is said that they would " make a race with a donkey " he did what was necessary, but wasted no exertion. That index of public opinion, the ring, continually showed that Isinglass was not properly appreciated; however, he won the New Stakes at Ascot, the Middle Park Plate, and went into winter quarters with an unbeaten certificate. Next year he came out for the Two Thousand Guineas, which he won easily enough ; he won the Derby, the St. Leger, and again throughout the season did everything that he was asked to do. That he could beat Ladas in the Prince of Wales' Stakes at the Newmarket July Meeting was, next year, deemed incredible by the supporters of Lord Rosebery's colt, but there was no sort of doubt about the result when it came to racing, and, in fact, Isinglass only once met with defeat in the Lancashire Plate, when he failed to give the weight to Raeburn ; this, however, doubtless being because he was a horse that hated to make his own running, and his little jockey, T. Loates, could not persuade him to go on in front. It is no disparagement of Loates, in the face of the colt's succession of victories in which that jockey always rode him, to say that a stronger, longer-legged horseman would have shown Isinglass off to much better advantage than he was able to do. The result of his career, which ended with a victory in the Ascot Cup, was that Isinglass won in stakes the largest sum ever gained by a single horse,£57,185, the produce of eleven victories in the twelve races in which he took part.
It was very bad luck for Mr. C. D. Rose, the owner of Ravensbury, that his colt should have been born in the same year as Mr. M`Calmont's well-nigh invincible animal, as Ravensbury was constantly meeting him, and invariably running second except when he was third. Supposing that Isinglass had been out of the way, that his dam had not been bought for the nineteen sovereigns that were given for her, and that Isinglass had never been born, Ravensbury would have made a great name for himself. Isinglass had fine speed and was also a genuine stayer. Not a few critics place him only if at all behind Ormonde and St. Simon in the list of famous horses. Whilst, as just noted, the tendency always was to underate Isinglass, there was a disposition to magnify the merits of Ladas, who barely misses a place in the list of winners of £20,000. He was something more than useful, no doubt, and the scene of enthusiasm which broke out at Epsom when he won the Derby, Lord Rosebery, his owner, being Prime Minister at the time, will not soon be forgotten. There is no reason to assume that Lord Rosebery ever rated him as really in the very first class, for it is known that during the two-year-old career of Velasquez his owner considered that the son of Donovan and Vista was the best animal he had ever owned. Ladas failed in the St. Leger, which was most unexpectedly won by Throstle, who was considered by her stable to be at least 21 lbs. inferior to Match Box, whom she beat on the Doncaster Town Moor. Throstle was an exceedingly wayward animal. Her friends had hopes that she would beat Isinglass in the Jockey Club Stakes after her St. Leger victory, but their hopes would probably have been vain, even had she not bolted, as she did, in the course of the race. She gave her running truly enough at Sandown shortly afterwards 1n the Select Stakes, but never had the remotest chance with Best Man. Her owner, it is true, did not read the race in this way, and when the horses returned to the paddock remarked to Webb, who had ridden Best Man, "Three hundred yards further and we should have beaten you V' " Not if we had gone round the course three times more, Sir Frederick ! " was Webb's reply. Next year Lord Rosebery won the Derby and St. Leger again with Sir Visto, about whom there is no more to be said than that his owner was marvellously lucky.
The two-year-olds of 1895, however, were a very different class from the three-year-olds, Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's St. Frusquin and the Prince of Wales' Persimmon being far in advance of all the rest. Which was the better of the two will always remain a disputed point, for when St. Frusquin beat Persimmon in the Middle Park Plate, the Prince of Wales' colt was said to be not at his best—a statement, however, which seemed to be negatived by the betting, for Persimmon was a very hot favourite. In the Derby next year, on the other hand, St. Frusquin was believed to be not quite himself, and Persimmon here beat him by a neck. The two met shortly afterwards in the Princess of Wales' Stakes at Newmarket, when St. Frusquin had considerably the best of it, though it is true that he carried 3lbs. less than his rival. The general impression of the Turf world as to therelative merits of the pair was, however, unmistakably shown by the St. Leger betting. St. Frusquin was here greatly preferred to the other;. but unfortunately Mr. Leopold de Rothschild's- colt gave way and was never able to run again after his success in the Eclipse, a piece of extra-ordinary good luck for the Prince of Wales, who thus found a most dangerous opponent removed from his path. Many excellent judges. are firmly convinced that had St. Frusquin remained sound and kept his form, Persimmon would have had a very remote chance of approaching inclusion in the list of winners of over £20,000.
Whilst these things were happening Velasquez, carrying, it will be gathered from what has, been said, the extreme confidence of his owner one of the shrewdest and soundest judges known on the turf for a very great many years past had cantered home for the New Stakes at Ascot, where he had only to beat Monterey, a son of Goldfinch and so a grandson of Ormonde. He sustained his reputation in the Prince of Wales' Stakes at Goodwood, and with odds of 100 to 9 on him beat a solitary opponent for the Champion Stakes at Doncaster. It was natural, therefore, that he should have started a very strong favourite for the Middle Park Plate, where odds of 5 to 1 were freely laid on him ; but here he met with his first defeat, from Galtee More (Kendal—Morganette), a colt that had won three races out of four previously to this, without, however, making any great impression. Mornington Cannon, who rode Galtee More, said after the Middle Park, however,. that when the two met again Galtee More would always beat the other, for whom excuses were made on the ground that he could not act in. the very heavy going at Newmarket that autumn, but the jockey was right, and Galtee More, as. history records, beat Velasquez in the Two Thousand and Derby, winning also the St. Leger, but not in at all brilliant fashion, and quite failing to justify the confidence of his friends in, the Cambridgeshire. In spite of his heavy weight he was supposed by too ardent enthusiasts to be invincible, but he could only finish tenth.