Cheaply Purchased Equine Celebrities: Cases of Horses in England Bought for Small Sums Which Raced Famously Afterwards, Daily Racing Form, 1917-07-12


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CHEAPLY PURCHASED EQUINE CELEBRITIES. Cases of Horses in England Bought for Small Sums "Which Raced Famously Afterwards, A recent paragraph in the Sportsman told how the King of Spain had just won the Aranjucz Derby with a horse that only cost a "fiver" as a yearling, and, though he was not bought in the public sale ring, the transaction supplied a striking instance of a great bargain in horseflesh. Souvenir dExil is doubtless the only winner of any Derby obtained for so small a sum, but there have been many remarkable thoroughbred bargains obtained in the long history of horse racing, particulars of some of which arc not extant or arc apocryphal, while others are well enough authenticated. Ireland just now supplies us with two cases where colts purchased as yearlings for trivial sums have proved to be two-year-olds of the best class so far as racing in that country lias taken them in their careers. Off the White, the son of White Eagle Miss Cue, that is so far unbeaten, was picked up for the bagatelle of 45 guineas last year at Newmarket; and Timbler, by Charles OMalley Lotus, was purchased at Phoenix Park for 125 guineas. Changing hands afterwards at a slight advance on that figure to his present owner, he, too, has not known defeat, and is one of the best of his age across the water. It, of course, remains for the future to say whether they will carry on their excellence, but whatever happens they rank as bargains should they never win another race. It seems likely enough that the approaching sale of Mr. Muskers studs will give opportunities for the acquisition of similar cheap lots, though all will hope that something like an adequate result may be forthcoming in return for the enterprise shown in the bringing together and upkeep of such extensive undertakings. Broadly, bargains in thoroughbreds are divisible into two classes those secured at auction as yearlings and those bought out of selling races. Instances are few in connection with our classic races because they have been usually won by horses bred by their owners, and the winners of them purchased as"yearlings in the public sale ring are few and far between. It has been said no poor man can win the Derby, and that statement is practically true, since no one not in an affluent position can compete against the commanding advantages which wealth confers in the breeding, purchasing, entering and training of thoroughbred stock. The proposition need not be labored, for the records of the classics attest its truth. The Record Bargain. But leaving for the moment the consideration of any instances where a Derby winner lias been picked up cheaply, reference may be made to what was probably the greatest bargain ever obtained where a single thoroughbred was concerned. This was St. Simon, purchased as a yearling by the Duke of Portland for 1,000 guineas. The circumstances giving rise to his sale were tragic, for they were associated with the sudden death on the steps of the stand at Newmarket in April, 1883, of Prince Batthyany, who bred the son of Galopin St. Angela. His death necessitated the sale of his stud, and thereat St. Simon was knocked down to the Duke. By some oversight the colt was omitted from the nominations for the Derby and St. Leger, though entered for the Two Thousand Guineas, and the entry was, or course, rendered void by the Princes demise. St. Simon was never beaten and, -while denied the opportunity of showing his excellence in the classic races, lie proved the Cup horse of his day, and practically swept the board of all there were to be won. Nor was the "Saint" engaged in any of those two-year-old events which usually fall to the best of their age, so his racing fame rests mainly u;ion what he did in Nurseries and long-distance races. By Mathew Dawson, who trained liim, he was regarded as the best horse ever located at Heath House, and such an estimate makes liim out one of the greatest thoroughbreds foaled, whatever may be thought or recorded of any other. At the stud, where his fee ultimately reached 500 guineas he started at a modest 50 his fame transcended thai he gained on the course, and the progeny of few, if any, stallions have been responsible for winning a larger amount of stake money in value well over a half million pounds. They were numerous, and many of them brilliant. It is doubtful, however, if lie got one as good as himself, though the classic honors denied liim came the way of his sons and daughters. They include St. Frusquin winner of the Two Thousand Guineas, Eclipse Stakes, Princess of Wales Stakes, etc., Diamond Jubilee Two Thousand, Derby, St. Leger, Eclipse Stakes, etc.. Semolina One Thousand, La Flcche One Thousand, Oaks and St. Leger, Amiable One Thousand, AVinifreda One Thousand, Persimmon Derby, St. Leger, Eclipse Stakes, Jockey Club Stakes, etc.. Memoir Oaks and St. Leger, la Roche Oaks, Darley Dale, St. Denis and Pieter-maritzburg, of which the last three accounted respectively for the Eclipse, Prince of Wales and Jockey Club Stakes. Considering the great sum of money his stud fees must have brought in for many years, St. Simon was a sound and certain source of income and, when the results of his career are contemplated, the claim made that he was an unprecedented bargain cannot be disputed. A Cheap Derby "Winner. So far as records inform us, the cheapest yearling sold at public auction to eventually win the Derby was Spearmint, whose selling price at Doncaster iu 1904 was only 300 guineas. Like many another of Carbines progeny, Spearmint took time to develop, and there was nothing much in his two-year-old career to suggest that he would the following season carry off the Blue Riband, especially as there was something in his stable to be preferred on public form. But fate ordained that ho should do duty for the establishment at Epsom, and a trial before the race indicated that he had no mean chance. This he showed conclusively, and, though there have been differing opinions as to Spearmints intrinsic merits, lie was a good horse on that Derby day, anu equally as good when he was sent to France for the Grand Prize of Paris. In that valuable event his staying blood stood him in good stead, and he broke the spell which had prevailed against an English horse winning it for twenty years. These were two memorable achievements and, though the son of Carbine Maid of the Mint did not run afterwards, his victories on Epsom Downs and at Longchamps would constitute liim a great racing bargain. At the stud he sired a considerable, number of good horses. There have been few horses more popular with the general public than Victor Wild, which Avon the Kempton Park "Jubilee" for Mr. Walton in 1895 and 189U. His owner made a profitable journey to Portsmouth Park in August, 1892, when he bought the horse, then a two-year-old, out of a selling nice for 330 guineas, therein displaying excellent judgment. He had won easily and promptly returned his purchase money at his next outing with much interest by another ready victory in the Midland Nursery Handicap of 500 sovereigns at Leicester. He continued to prove what a bargain lie was by a consistently successful season as a three-year-old, when several good stakes fell to his share and he had during that time become firmly fixed in the affections of racegoers and of public backers. He was favorably weighted for the Lincolnshire Handicap in 1894, and ran fourth in a useful field, filling afterwards the same position in the City and Suburban. It appeared strange, therefore, that he should have started at 50 to 1 for the Royal Hunt Cup with only 105 pounds up, r but there were a number of strongly fancied candidates for that race and backers in general left him out of their calculations. But they kept him in remembrance, nevertheless, and when the "Jubilee" came round next year, he had a rare following and beat the favorite Grey Leg by a half dozen lengths. As "Victor" started at the useful price of 20 to 1, the victory was quite a festival for small punters, to which they had been assisted by the outspoken confidence of his sporting owner. They rallied round him again for a second attempt, although on the Royal Hunt Cup form, for which he had this time the substantial impost of 132 pounds, and no more than 8 to 1 could be had about him at the start. Ills backers had a good run for their money, as he was only beaten a short head. Victor Wilds second success in the "Jubilee" the following year with 133 pounds up found the public again on his side and, though he started at 5 to 1 instead of "twenties," his reception was uproarious. He might have won in any case, but the indifferent riding of the jockey on the second horse doubtless contributed to the verdict, which went to him by three-quarters of a length. In the succeeding season he won the Coronation Cup, a handicap, carrying 139 pounds over his favorite course at Kempton and, though a failure at the stud, his striking handicap wins made him out a cheap 330 guineas worth. Long Set Another Instance Another good handicap winner that can be classed under the head of bargains is Long Set, which though not commanding so large a share of popularity as Victor Wild, always had a strong following among the general public. Coming over from France, where as a juvenile he had run forward, but without winning, he then the property of Col. Percy was put into a selling race at the Newmarket Second October meeting the following year, but failed to bo placed. He improved upon that form by running away with the Hainton Selling Plate at Lincoln, for which he had substantial support, and did not escape the notice of Sol Joel, who obtained him under the hammer for 500 guineas. He was some time in recouping the outlay of his new owner, but, once started, did much good I service. A win at Doncaster September the next year was supplemented by a victory in the Cambridgeshire, which had been preceded by a failure In the Duke of York Stakes at Kempton and in the. big handicap of the Houghton week he was well treated as a four-year-oid with only ninety-six pounds, returning his friends 33 to 1 ns his starting price. Always keen judges of a good horse, the racing public, as well as his connections, well backed his chance for the Lincolnshire Handicap the next spring, and a four-length Win was followed by others in the Newbury Spring Cup under 120 pounds ind in the Craven Stakes at Epsom Summer. He failed by three lengths to win the Royal Hunt Cup 130 pounds and after a third for the Perkins Memorial Plate at Newcastle, showed what a good miler he was by upsetting the odds-on Whisk Hroom for the Select Stakes at Newmarket. Without fully particularizing his doing as a six-year-old, it may be summarized that he was unplaced in going for the Lincolnshire Handicap a second time with 131 pounds up, with a pound less fared no better in the City and Suburban, and afterwards won the March Stakes at Newmarket and made amends for his previous failure in the . race by a victory in the Royal Hunt Cup, carrying 127 pounds. The Liverpool Summer Cup then fell to his share and he finished his racing career with a six length defeat by Tracery in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket. His record shows another bargain obtained from the ranks of selling platers. London Sportsman.

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