Greatest Race Mares of All Times: Sceptre, Pretty Polly and La Fleche Accorded the Highest Honors, Daily Racing Form, 1918-05-23


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GREATEST RACE MARES OF ALL TIMES Sceptre, Pretty Polly and La Flcche Accorded the Highest Honors. The throe mares to earn the most money racing in the worlds histi.rv are Sceptre. Pretty Polly and La Fleche. and a glance through their careers will. I am sun-, prove interesting. First comes Sceptre, bred bv the late Duke of Westminster, and foaled on April 9. 1S99. After his graces death the daughter of Persimmon — Ornament sister to Ormonde came up for sale on Wednesday morning of the Newmarket First Julv meeting of 1900 and was disixis-d of to Robert Sievier at the worlds record price for a yearling at 10.000 guineas. In 1903 he disposed of Sceptre privately to Sir William Bass for 25,000 and Sir William in turn sold her on the Monday of the Newmarket Second July sales in Ml, Messrs Tattersal! becoming the mares owners at 7.000 guineas. In 1901 Scepire ran thrice, winning the Woodcote Stakes and July Stakes and lieing much off color when failing to defeat Game Chick for the Champagne Stakes. The next year she contested twelve races, failing in the Lincolnshire Handicap. Derby. Grand Prix de Paris. Coronation Stakes. Sussex Stakes and Park Hill Stakes; her wins consisting of the Two and One Thousand Cuineus, Oaks, St. James Palace Stakes, Nassau Stakes and St. Leger. In 1!»03 Sceptre won five times out of seven attempts, her iierformunci in the Jockey Club Stakes, when she conceded Rock Sand fifteen iHMinds and beat him with consummate ease by four lengths, lieing perhapa the smoothest one in a notable career and the following year, when never anything approaching her real self, the danghier of Persimmon ran throe times unsuccessfully. In all. Sceptre started on twenty-five occasions and won thirteen rai-es, worth 91,415. She also earned MM place money, and ran three times in handicaps, twice without success for the Lincolnshire and for tin- Duke of York Stakes, which she secured after much disap-IMiintmeiit. The next of this great trio and an absolutely marvelous mare up to a mile and a half, but not a real stayer like Sceptre, is Pretty Polly, which never competed in any handicap and only twice suffered defeat, in the Prix du Conseil Municipal, when in a sea of mud she got d by another three-year-old. Presto II., to which she was giving nine IHiuuds Usides the sex allowance and when Bachelors Button beat her for the Ascot Cup, she being then faisly jockeyed out of the race by some clever tactics. In all Prettv Pollv contested twenty-two races, nor twenty wins including the National Breeders Produce Stakes, Champagne Stakes, Middle Park Plate. One Thousand Guineas. Oaks, Con. nation Stokes. St. I-eger and two Coronation Cups, in the first of which she confirmed her French form with Zinfaudel. The stakes Gallinules renowned daughter won amounted to »i.4S5 and her two seconds brought in Major Lodor another ..riQ0. Bred by the Major and foaled on March 1. 1900, this sweet-tempered chestnut marc is by Galliiiulo — Admiration, by Saraband. LA FLECHE BRED BY QUEEN VICTORIA. The last of these three justly celebrated mares. La Fleche. was bred by Queen Victoria at Hampton Court, and fouled on March 10, 1SS9. The following year Baron de Hirseh paid UM guineas for her. then easily a record for a yearling filly or for that matter any yearling, although beaten in 1S91. when Chihlwiek realized 0,000 guineas at Doncaster ; and after his death the sister to another good mare. Memoir, they being by St. Simon — Quiver, by Musket, was purchased by Sir Tat ton Sykes for 12.0110 guineas. For him La Fleche has bred, besides others. John o Gauiit, the five which have been offered out of her amongst the Sledinere yearlings at Doncaster having collectively realized 17.900 guineas. Another yearling from her, La Veine, by Morion, was purchased by Mr. Laraach for 3.100 guineas at the sale, after Baron de Hirschs death, on the same morning. June 30. that Sir Tatton secured her dam at Newmarket. Lu Fleche ran on twenty-four occasions, winning sixteen races, in-cludiug the One Thousand Guineas, Oaks, St. Legor. I ai!oashire Plate and Cambridgeshire, amongst other races, as a three-year-old, and she carried 122 pounds to victory in the great Newmarket Handicap, scoring by an easy length and a half from another three-year-old. Pensioner, to which she conceded thirty "four lxmnils. There can also. I should think, lie little doubt that 1-a Flcche and not Sir Hugo ought to have won the Derby that year, but as horses are gifted with power of speech although some time since a so-called talking horse was on show this can never now lie proved. In 1*94 La Fleche won the Ascot Cup, and I may note that she five times contested handicaps, being fifth in tin- Cambridgeshire of 1S93, under 133 pounds i which Molly Morgan won as a four-year-old with only 91 pounds up; winning the Liverpool Autumn Cup as a four-year-old when burdened with the crusher of 132 pounds, being fourth, carrjing 133 poiiuds in in the Prince Edward Handicap of 1S94, and. also when a four-year-old, under 137 pounds, getting fourth in a sea of liquid mud for the Manchester November Handicap to Golden Drop, four years. 10."» pounds. Im Fleche won in stakes 73,-515. besides $.1,395 place money. — Audax, in Horse and Hound.

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