Passing of John Osborne: Noted Trainer-Jockey Was Popular Figure on English Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1922-10-29


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PASSING OF JOHN OSBORNE ! Noted Trainer-Jockey Was Popular Figure on English Turf. Famous Character node In Thirty-Eight Dcrbys and Twenty-Eight Runnings of the Two Thousand Guineas. When John Osborne, one of the most noted and beloved characters of the English turf, known as "The Rusher," passed away there was deep mourning throughout the sporting fraternity in the United Kingdom. His sudden death was a shock to English turfmen. Osborne attained unusual distinction both as a jockey and trainer. He had the unique experience of riding in thirty-eight Epsom Derbys, starting in 1851. He scored in that classic only once, when he rode Pretender, in 1869, although he finished second twice. He rode in the Two Thousand Guineas twenty-eight times, starting in 1857. He took the Gimcrack Stakes nine times, starting this phenomenal record in 1852. On his retirement from the turf he was presented with a check for 8,000 by the stewards of the Jockey Club, which was accompanied by an illuminated testimonial to his fidelity during half a century"s service. "The Pusher" was a family man and brought up six sons and two daughters. Tile following extract from "Horse and Hound" outlines some of the remarkable features of the career of John Osborne: The death occurred on Sunday afternoon last of the much esteemed cx-jockey and trainer John Osborne, who, after attending the morning sei-vice, as was his usual custom, at Coverham church, was found dead by his son in a poultry run. He apparently expired while attending to some of his stock. John Osborne was born at Gorey House, Bretby, Derbyshire, January 7, 1833. i His father, who mastered the profession of trainer under the tuition of James Edwards at Newmarket, was then acting in that capacity to Lord Chesterfield, whose horses were trained in the line park at Bretby. Prior to this Osborne senior had occupied the same position to Lord Durham at Lamb-ton castle and the Duke of Leeds at Hornby castle. MS FIRST MOUNT. John Osbornes first mount was on a filly owned and trained by his father, by name Miss Castling, which he rode at C6 pounds. Eleven years afterward he could ride at 110 pounds; while at the time of his retirement in 1892 "Honest" John, as he was always most rightly described, could go to scale at 117 pounds. Johns first race was the Wilton Cup, of two and one-quarter miles, at Radcliffe, in Lancashire, Monday, September 7, 1846. Three ran for this and odds of 6 to 4 were laid on A. Johnstones Rowena, a five-year-old, ridden by Tommy Lye, which was beaten a head by Worthingtons Hooton, six years, 100 pounds Francis, J. Osbornes Miss Castling, three years, 66 pounds J. Osborne, breaking down. On August 7, 1848, the boy rode his first winner, which was in a selling stakes, one and one-half miles, at Ripon, run in three heats. In the first of these Mr. Dawsons Shylock, four years, 86 pounds Ryder, was home by half a neck from Ennui afterward dam of that good horse Saunterer, five years, 99 pounds; but the next heat was won easily by W. E. Hobsons Billy from Brigg, four years, 92 pounds J. Osborne, and the latter in the final was up on the post to score by a head from Shylock. From then onward the boy, "whose actual bodily weight at the time was 76 pounds, never looked back, and full of years and respected by all Osborne rode his last race at the Newmarket first October meeting, Wednesday, September 28, 1S92. This was the Forty-fourth Triennial Produce Stakes, run across the flat, ten furlongs, for which odds of 9 to 2 were wagered on Sir Robert Jardines Llanthony, 131 pounds J. Osborne, against a couple of other three-year-olds, but the favorite failed by two lengths to defeat Mr. Mantons Adoration, 123 pounds, ridden by another great jockey, John Watts. Osborne had intended to retire after riding Baron de Hirschs Watercress into third place behind the same owners Le Fleche J. Watts, and Lord Bradfords Sir Hugo Tom Weldon, in the St. Leger, but he was persuaded by his old employer and firm friend, Sir Robert, to take the mount on the presumed certainty Llanthony, so as to finish his honored career with a winning ride. OSBORNES LAST VICTORY. His last success was for the Baronet at Liverpool on Tuesday, July 21, 1891, when he secured the Mersey Stakes by a neck on Sir R. Jardines Backbiter, 124 pounds, from Lord Rodneys Marksman, 119 pounds George Chaloner. This Liverpool race was the last on the Tuesday, and to everyones regret, when riding Cavendish, another of Sir Roberts, in the Knowsley Dinner Stakes, the opening race on the following day, Osborne j had a bad fall. The afternoon was wet, and Cavandish slipped up at the first turn. Osborne severely hurt two of his ribs, and sustained a terrible shaking for a man of his age. Despite this, he appeared again cn W. Stevensons Bosphorous in the St. Leger, and finished fourth on the colt for the race, won by Common. To go through Osbornes riding career at length would be wearisome, so I shall only deal with what he did in the three classic races, taking the Derby first. In this Osborne had no fewer than thirty-eight rides, which surely must be an easy record. His first was for tho race in 1851, won by Ted-dington from thirty-two opponents. Osborne had the mount on Mr. Worthingtons Goliah, .which started without a quotation, and the last was on Brydges Willyams FitzSimon, a 25 to 1 chance, which ran unplaced in the Derby of 1891 to Sir F. Johnstones Common. During this period of forty-one years Os-borno only missed having a Derby mount on three occasions, viz., in 1852, 1870 and 1889. His remaining rides, in addition to his first and last above mentioned, were on Hony-wood 1853, Grey Plover 1854., Lord Alfred 1855, -Bird in Hand 1856, Saunterer 1857, brother to Bird on tho Wing 1858, Red Eagle, 1859, Sutton 1860, Dictator 1861 Zetland 1862, Golden Pledge 1863, Prince Arthur 1864, Longdown 1865, bay colt by Toxophilite foaled by a Game-boy mare 1866, Tynedalo 1867, Viscount 1868, Pretender 1869, Bothwell 1S71, Prince Charlie 1872, Hochstapler 1873, Tipster 1874, Camballo 1875, Great Tom, ! 1876, Brown Prince 1877, CasUereagh, j 1S7S, Palmbcaror 1S79., Tcviotdalc 18S0, Voluptuary 1S81, Purscbearcr 1SS2. The I Prince 1883, Wutcrford 18S4, Esterling 1SS5, Scherzo 1886, bay colt by Doncas-ter Shannon 1SS7, Crowberry 1SSS, and Martagon 1890. HIS ONE DERBY VICTORY. Only once did the great Epsom classic fall to Osborne, this being on Pretender in 1S69: while he twice managed to get into second place. Aiz.. on J. Trotters Palmbearer, a 100 to 1 chance, that was beaten three-quarters of a length by Actons Sir Bevys, ridden by George Fordham, in 1S79, and again in 1SS8, when he steered the late R. C. Vyners Crowberry, which was beaten two .lengths by "the Duke of Portlands Ayreshirc, the mount of Fred Barrett. AYith these exceptions, the nearest he approached victory in the other years was when fourth on Spencers Long-down to Count do Lagranges Gladiateur in 1S65, and on Stevensons Waterford to the dead-heaters, J. Hammonds St. Gatien C. jWood, and Sir J. Willoughbys Harvester j S. Loates. in 1SS4. I Pretenders victory was a real Middleham j triumph, for the horse was trained in that , little Yorkshire moorland town by Tom Dawson at Tupgill. Pretender -was really owned by Robert Jardine, as he then was, although ! running in the name of the latters cousin, John Johnstone of Halleaths, at that time master of the Dumfriesshire hounds, and the colt carried the "dark blue, silver braid," on I which "The Pusher" gained so many famous i victories. Bred by W. Sadler, a plasterer at the I butterscotch town, as Doncaster is often termed. Pretender, a brown colt by Adventurer, was the last foal of Ferina, a daughter of Venison in 1S4J. The latter was destroyed ;in March, 1869. Coming up for sale as a ! yearling at Doncaster. Da"wson purchased the colt, on his patrons behalf, for ,000. Running four times as a two-year-old, he won once, securing, in Osbornes hands, the North of England Biennial Stakes at the York August meeting. He was third in his last effort that season, carrying 125 pounds, to Pero Gomez, IIS pounds, and Scottish Queen, 115 pounds, for the Middle Park plate. Wintering most satisfactorily, and showing up well when tried, Pretender was made favorite at 3 to 1 in the field of nineteen for the Two Thousand Guineas, when Osborne had him home half a length ahead of J. Merrys brilliant roarer Belladrum Kenyon. None of the others was near this pair. Pretender next started at 5 to 4 against twenty-one opponents for the Derby, with Pero Gomez second in request at 11 to 2. The struggle between this pair was an intensely exciting one, as Pretender, depriving The Drummer of the lead two hundred yards from home, resisted the desperate challenge of Sir Joseph Hawleys Pero Gomez "Tiny" Wells by a short head. The Kingsclere-trained son of Beadsman had been unlucky in a scrimmage which occurred at Tottenham Corner, and John Wells declared to his dying day that he won the race, but the judge ruled otherwise. Jardine and all the other stable connections had a fine win over this Derby victory, although the former never received the wager of 00,000 that he was entitled to from a heavy operator at that time and who laid against Pretender to lose this amount when Adventurerers son was a yearling. This amateur, who had made a Derby yearling "book," lost all of his money before the Derby of 1869 was run. Having picked up the Great Northern Leger at Stockton, Pretender, which had then become a roarer, next ran for the St. Leger, and although odds of 6 to 5 were laid on him against his ten opponents, he finished unplaced for the race, which was won by Pero Gomez. The classic event in which Osborne did best of all was the Two Thousand Guineas, in which contest he had his first ride in 1857 on Lord Zetlands Vedette, which won by three-quarters of a length from R. Robinsons Anton A. Day, and ten others. Osborne subsequently had twenty-eight mounts in the Newmarket race, his last being on Houlsworths Orvieto, which was beaten three lengths by Lord Alingtons Common George Barrett in 189L The successful son of Ison-omy, which was jointly owned by Lord Aling-tbn and Sir Frederick Johnstone, had not run before, and he subsequently won for the partners the Derby and St Leger. The latter was his last race, after which they sold him to the then Blundell Maple for 5,000. BOTHWELL BEATS STERLING. His next win after Vedettes was on Pretender in 1869, which I have already referred to, and two years later he scored again on J. Johnstons Bothwell, who also ran Fisherman, but a declaration to win was made in favor of Osbornes mount, which beat Mr. Blaydons Sterling Cannon by a length. The following season success again came Osbornes way, when he was on an exceptionally good horse, Joseph Dawsons Prince Charlie. Favorite at 2 to 1 in a field of fourteen Blair Athols high-class roaring son, after a magnificent struggle, won by a neck from the nearly equally fancied Henry Sa-viles Cremorne Maidment. The latter a good horse over a distance of ground, however, easily reversed this form in the Derby, In 1875, the first time I ever saw the race for the Two Thousand Guineas, Osborne was again successful. The runners that season numbered thirteen, and the favorite at 7 to 2 was Clare Vyners Camballo, a good horse by Cambuscan Little Lady, which suffered from bad, shelly feet that caused his racing career to finish when Balfe defeated him in the Ascot Biennial. Before his Newmarket race, however, Camballo was tried highly indeed by Matt Dawson with Thunder, and the colt had his race won in the Abingdon Mile Bottom, when Johnny Osborne shot him to the front to score by an easy two lengths from Pic-nic, which beat Breechloader by a neck. It was a curious contest to watch, though, as this trio were on the stand side of the course, with Claremont wide from his field, on the far side, and some onlookers, as well as his rider, Maidment, imagined this son of Blair Athol had won. My own definite impression, however, was that Camballo had not only scored, but had done so without trouble, as, of course, he actually had, Claremont being fourth. LAST TWO THOUSAND GUINEAS WIN. The last vifitory Johnny gained in the Two j Thousand Guineas was in 1888, on the Duke J of Portlands Aryshire. For this the hitherto unbeaten and brilliant Friars Balsam finished unplaced, Ayrshire scoring by an easy two lengths from another colt owned by His ; Grace, Johnny Morgan, ridden by Fred Barrett. Osborne only missed having a mount in the Two Thousand Guineas between 1857 and 1 1891 on three occasions, viz., in 1868 and in 1886 and 1887, his other rides, in addition to I those I have referred to, were in this order from 1858 inclusive : Ravenstonedale, Ciafton third, King of Diamonds, Anthem, Zetland, Melrose, The Miner, Rifle, brother to Bird on the Wing, Mandrake, Stanley, Boi-ard, Trent, Great Tom, Strachino, Sefton third, Strathern, Zealot, Wandering Nun, Purscbearcr, Chislehurst, Sheraton, Rusticus, and Villejust. It was in 1856 that Osborne gained his first classic success on W. H. Brookes chestnut Manganese, which, in the One Thousand Guineas, was- home by half a length from the odds-on favorite, H. Hills Mince-pie in a field of fiv.e. It was not until 1874 that he won the same race again on Mr. Laundes Apology. The latter was favorite at 5 to 2, and after a good race won by half a length from Mr. Lefevres La Coureuse, . which closely pressed the winner in the i wagering, and was the mount of George Fordham. The leal name of the owner of , Apology was King, who was a wealthy Lincolnshire clergyman, and it was on this same j good daughter of Adventurer that Osborne j secured his only Oaks, as at Epsom a few weeks later she readily beat another of Mr. i Lefevres representatives. Miss Toto, which started a good favorite at 7 to 4. Osborne next rode her to victory in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot, and after this failed by a head to reach W. R. Marshalls Trent, of the same age, and giving one pound to Apology, in the Great Yorkshire Stakes at York. He secured the St Leger on her. The mare, which was trained at Ashgill, pulled up lame after a canter on the Town Moor on the morning of the race, and Osborne at once jumped down and led Apology bade to her stable in the hope that nobody had noticed it But keen Matt Dawson had observed what had happened, and remarked: "Why, Jack, your mare pulled up lame. I am truly sorry." TREATMENT FOR APOLOGY. Apology was taken back to the Salutation Stables, and hot and cold bandages were applied. In consequence of this the tale was noised abroad, probably without truth, that Mr. Launde, on hearing of the mishap by telegraph, had wired back : "All Lincolnshire is on her ; she must run." Anyways, he did so, and, starting favorite at 4 to 1, won by a length and a half from Sir R. Bulkeleys Leolinus, ridden by Tom Osborne, who was no relation to John. Apology was off badly and commenced so slowly in the St. Leger that odds of 100 to 1 were at one time offered against her winning. Curiously enough, the only other St. Leger winner that John Osborne rode, Lord Clifden, in 1863, also lost so much ground at the start that his chance once appeared hopeless. But being ridden as was Apology, with rare judgment, Lord St. Vincents colt gradually drew up on terms with his opponents, and eventually won by an easy half-length from Lord Falmouths first Oaks victress, and chief founder of his highly successful stud, Queen Bertha, which was ridden by John "Tiny" Wells. Osbornes first win of any importance was the Liverpool Summer Cup of 1S49, which he secured on a 20 to 1 chance, Mr. Disneys Bon-mot, three years old, 70 pounds, which beat the favorite, Sir R. Pigots Essendarius, three years old, 76 pounds E. Sharpe, by a length, with eight others behind them. He won this race again in 1855 on Seducer, four years old, 103 pounds, from seven opponents. The winner was owned by his father and was a home-bred son of Melbourne from Miss Castling, the latter mare, as I have already mentioned, was Osbornes first mount ANOTHER FINE FINISH. It is always said that one of his greatest races was when he won the Two Thousand on Prince Charlie, but about the best of the many superb finishes I remember seeing him ride none ever impressed me more than when he secured by a head the first Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot in 1878 on Lord Bradfords Chippendale, three years old, 120 pounds, from the Derby and St. Leger Avin-ner, Lord Falmouths Silvio, five years old, 138 pounds, which was ridden by Fred Archer, and started at 6 to 4 on in a field of ten. A race "The Pusher" fairly farmed was that popular two-year-old feature of the York August meeting, the Gimcrack Stakes, capturing it in all nine times, on Exact, 1852 ; Costguard, 1863 ; Wild Agnes, 1864 ; Lord of the Vale, 1865 ; Bothwell, 1870; Thorn, 1872 ; Holy Friar, 1874 ; Constantine, 1876, and Simnel, 1880. Osborne had the faculty of being able to win a race by only the narrowest margin, and yet still have a bit in hand. Never did he more truly exemplify this cleverness than on the Wednesday of the Goodwood meeting of 1881, in the Drawing Room Stakes, ten furlongs. For this a party of three turned out, each carrying 122 pounds, and odds of 5 to 4 were laid on P. Lorillards Passaic F. Archer, while 65 to 40 was offered against Lord Roseberys Roy-sterer T. Cannon, and Mr. Jardines Privateer J. Osborne, stood at 100 to 7. After a fine race Osborne brought Privateer home a head in front of Archers mount, but the latter great jockey thought Passaic should certainly have won. OSBORNE BEATS ARCHER AGAIN. The pair met again on even terms the following day in the Racing Stakes old mile, when Passaic was again made favorite, but Osborne on Privateer for the second time beat Archers mount by a head. Great rider as undoubtedly Archer was, and the best all-round jockey I personally have ever seen, he had as much fear of Johnnys "one run" as he had of George Fordhams "kidding" tactics, and so he told Osborne after this second beating at Goodwood. Johnny accepted the compliment with one of his broad smiles. This was not the only tribute he had. from his great contemporary, for Archer also said that Johnny was "the only rider he ever knew that, when once he had won a race, never lost it again." Osborne used to ride short, like George Fordham, and he was undoubtedly one of the finest horsemen that ever came from the North, or anywhere else, for that matter. On the evening after riding his last race Osborne was presented with a testimonial at Newmarket J. H. Houldsworth, then senior steward of the Jockey Club, occupying the chair, and the gift was accompanied by the following illuminated address signed by Messrs. R. Jardine, Leopold de Rothschild, and E. Somerville Tattersall: "Your friends, and many who may be personally known to you, from among all classes and conditions who take an interest in the turf, desire to take the opportunity afforded by your retirement from your profession of jockey of expressing their sense of the fidelity and rectitude which have marked your career over a period of well-nigh half a century. We, therefore, as treasurers of this testimonial fund, beg your acceptance of the accompanying check for 18,000 and with that check a book recording the names of the subscribers." HISTORY OF THE FAMILY. The Osbornes were of Suffolk origin. The father was born at Weatherdon in 1801. The family moved from their Derbyshire home to Ashgill, Middleham, in 1S37, and there John Osborne, senior, did well as a trainer and breeder. He died in July, 1S63. Messrs. Tattersall sold his stud at Ashgill September 7 the same year, and it collectively brought in only 7,440. Of the twenty-eight horses in. training, much the highest price, 0,500, was given for Xi, a brown colt by General Williams Lambda, which had won for his late owner six consecutive races, and only failed in his first effort, when second to an odds-on chance, Split the Difference, for the Lambton Stakes at Durham. Xi was knocked down to Mr. Darley, but Sir Joseph Hawley really bought the colt, and for him he well paid his way. Of tho twenty-four yearlings Alexandra, a brown colt by the Derby winner Musjid Agnes, made the highest price. William Day, the Woodyates trainer, bought him for ,600. Writing of this Agnes reminds me that tho finest buy Mr. Osborne or anyone else ever made was when giving only 3 for Annette, by Priam, with this brown daughter of Clarion at foot, in the year 1S44. Alexander was her last foal, but he only ran once, for the Findon Stakes, at Goodwood, won by Felix Pryors speedy horse Fripon-nier, which had Harry Custance as his rider. "Dick" Parry was on Mr. Days colt During the past ten years Osborne trained a few horses here, including The Guller, which son of The Gull, carrying only 90 pounds on his four-year-old back, and ridden by J. Ledson, easily won the Chester Cup of 1913 from eighteen opponents, thereby securing 0,150, besides a champion Cheshire cheese for his owner, II. A. Crallan. Although then in his eighty-first year John Osborne showed remarkable vitality by himself riding his Chester Cup candidate at exercise over the full distance of the race on the morning of May 6, the day before the contest. To give some idea as to what a modest bettor he was, I may say that he only invested five shillings each way at 20 to 1 on The Guller to begin with, but was afctrwards persuaded by Mr. Crallan to stand a further sovereign each way on tho colt. John Osborne deeply felt the loss in 1908 of his wife, who bore him six sons and two daughters. One of the boys, Fred, did a bit of riding, and in his fathers "chocolate, black cap," he gained his first win when ho brought Miss Stanley home for the Eston Welter Handicap at Redcar on June 10, isso:

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