History of Cesarewitch: Famous English Autumn Handicap Dates Back to 1839, Daily Racing Form, 1922-11-15


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HISTORY OF CESAREWITCH C Famous English Autumn Handicap E Dates Back to 1839. 4 America Produced One of tlie Winners ia Noted Foxhall Race Replete Avilh Interesting Episodes. o ti BY SALiVATOPO on Few races are more interesting to the r man Avho loves the turf for its own sake y than the Cesarewitch, greatest of English . b handicaps. It dates back, in its inception. ; ii to the year 1839, thence its centenary will ti be due in seventeen years more. It came into being through the desire of f, the Grand Duke Alexander of Russia, later v the Czar Alexander II., then a young man v of twenty-one and the heir-apparent to the n Russian throne, to endow a stake race at t Newmarket. He gave the sum of 300 pounds i s for such a purpose and the event was named J t in his honor, the Cesarewitch. The distance c was fixed at two miles and a quarter, plus J r twenty-eight yards, and it was conditioned a f a handicap, entrance twenty-five sovereigns, with fifteen sovereigns forfeit. It was first run at the second October meeting at New- i market on "Wednesday, October 14 1839, the winner being Lord Milltowns chestnut mare t Cruiskeen, five years, by Sir Hercules f Brandy Bet, by Canteen, bred in Ireland. She carried ninety pounds and started at 3 to 1. c CESAKKWITCH ALWAYS rOPULAR. From the start the Cesarewitch proved c popular and almost invariably attracted ! large fields of horses of the best class, the Derby winner of its first year, Bloomsbury, ? running second in its first renewal in 1S40. t Through all its long history the precedent c originally set has been maintained. The Cesarewitch is still run on the "Wednesday of the second October meeting at New- -j market, and over the same course which saw its inauguration, the start being made about midway of the Beacon course, whence the horses race down the "Choke Jade" past the "Running Cap" and make the bend into J "The Flat," whose length they practically , traverse, finishing at the "Rowley Mile" stand. There is a sharp rise for about eighty j yards near the "Running Gap," which sue- cceds the down grade through the "Choke , Jade." From the "Running Gap" there is . a stretch of about seven-eighths almost . dead level. Then comes a slight rise, fol- lowed by a sharp descent into the "Dip," or "Abingdon Mile Bottom." From this point to the finish there is a rather steep ascent. With the exception of an easy bend at the , "Running Gap," the horses race straight- - away. The course runs from east to west. j JlIGll STUD RANK OF WINNERS. 1 Owing to the length of the course, its j dips and grades, it is a severe test of a , horse and Charles Richardson, in his ex- j cejlent book, "The English Turf: A Record , of Horses and Courses," writes: "I call ; it the greatest handicap of the season because a Cesarewitch Avinner takes higher stud rank with most breeders than does the Avinner of any other distance race of the year, the Ascot Gold Cup alone excepted. A Cesarewitch winner must be - a genuine stayer, and while occasionally a moderate horse is home with a light weight on his back, the race has been won by many famous nags, and fillies always lit at this time of the year are often seen to the greatest advantage. . . . Taking the race from its initiation Up to the present time, no other handicap can show such a list of winners." Many a classic winner has essayed to add a Cesarewitch feather to his chapeau, and many a one has failed in the endeavor. The history of the race is replete with interesting episodes whose memory endures. America produced one of its most notable winners in the mighty Foxhall, the first three-year-old 1881 to succeed in the double task of winning both the Cesarewitch ! and its companion and only less celebrated fixture, the Cambridgeshire, the second in importance of the great fall handicaps at Newmarket. JIOSEHEKYS LIGHT 131 POST. In 1S7C both of them had been won for the first time by the four-year-old Rose-bery, but that colt, as the grandsire of Sundridge, a prominent figure in the top lineof one of the most fashionable British families of today, carried but 103 pounds, as against Foxhalls 110 in the Cesarewitch, and but 117 in the Cambridgeshire, as against Foxhalls 126, though a year older. Another wonderful "double" was that of the French filly Plaisanterie, in 1885, she being then a three-year-old and carrying 108 pounds in the Cesarewitch and 124 in the Cambridgeshire. Plaisanterie later produced Childwick, by St. Simon, himself a Cesarewitch winner and the sire of Negofol and grandsire of Hourless, two of the most prominent imported horses now at the stud in America. A daughter of Plaisanterie, Topiary, by Orme, Was imported to this country by Major Belmont and, mated with Rock Sand at the Nursery Stud in Kentucky, produced Tracery, which won the St. Leger and Eclipse : Stakes, ran third in the Derby and later sold for the highest price ever paid for a . thoroughbred, or so claimed, 05,000 being ; the stated figure. TRIPLE ST. SIMON TRIUMPH. According to precedent, the Cesarewitch i of 1922 was run at Newmarket on the ! Wednesday of the second October meeting, , the 11th inst, and the summary appeared I next morning in Daily Racing Form. It proved a triple triumph for the St. Simon i line, which otherwise has had an "off" year in England. The winner, Light Dragoon, is by Charles OMalley, son of Desmond, by St. Simon ; the second horse. The Villager, is by Rossendale, son of St. Frus-quin, by St. Simon ; the third horse, Ceylo-nese, is by "Willonyx, son of "William the ! Third, by St. Simon. The ability to negotiate long distances has always been one i of the strong points of the St. Simons, as a family, and it was once again demonstrated I In this event It must, however, be conceded that tha i three placed horses were, previous to the race, considered little better than selling r platers. The winner, a four-year-old gelding, - carried but 101 pounds ; the second horse, , another four-year-old gelding, carried but t , - j 1 j , j , ; ! : . ; i ! , I i ! i I i r - , t eighty-five pounds ; the third horse, a three-year-old colt, carried but ninety-nine pounds. Either the handicapper did a bad job or the top weights were in poor form, for none of them Avas able to do so much as run into a place. The character of the result is further-illustrated by the fact that the Avinner started at 100 to 1, being one of the longest shots, if not the longest, in CesareAvitch history ; the second horse was at 40 to 1 and the third at 10 to 1. Perhaps three runners of lower class neAer finished first, second and third in this famous fixture. It is my impression that in recent years the surplus tAventy-eight yards haAe been eliminated from the distance and the Cesarewitch is noAV a race of just two miles and a quarter. The time, 3 Avas, in any event, fast, being two and two-fifths seconds faster than the American record, made by Ethelbert, four years, 124 pounds, at Brighton Beach in 1900. The British record for two miles and a quarter is not giAen in the list of "Racing Records Here and Abroad" in the American Racing Manual, Avhile the record for the Cesarewitch is not at hand. Australasian horses are supposed particularly doughty OAer long distances, yet the best record the Antipodes can show for this distance is 3:53, by Harriet Graham, a three-year-old filly, Avith but ninety-six pounds up, in 1917 over the Flemington course, Melbourne. The great spring handicap in England is jthe City and Suburban, of Avhich our Suburban is the American analogue. But Ave have no great fall handicap that in any Avay approaches the Cesarewitch. Last Just, Avhcn the annual reneAval of the Suburban Avas run at Belmont Park, only five horses Avent to the post. The Suburban is at a mile and a , quarter. And owners and trainers noAvadays . complain that the distance is "too far." Imagine, therefore, Avhat Avould happen if a great fall handicap at tAvo miles and a quarter Avere attempted in this country on the s lines of the Cesarewitch ! There could be ! only one result it Avould "die a-bornin." For the Cesarewitch is not a particularly Aaluable race ; it is never Avorth much more ! than ,000, often has not reached that - amount in Aalue. Yet enormous fields annually contest for it. This years renewal brought out no less than thirty-one starters. The Cesarewitch is a truly great sporting event. We have feAv races remaining of that genre in this country. Our stakes and "classics," real and so-called, haAe degenerated into almost pure "commercial propositions." . Glory goes mostly into the discard and the sentimentalist Avho endeavors to factor it in his equations is classified by the ; "get-the-money" school, so firmly fixed in 1 the saddle, as a "poor fish," or at best an l amiable idealist, whose temperatment does 5 not register accurately Avith cash accounts. . "Organized" sport must necessarily become to a greater or less extent commercialized. But Avhen the commercial side of racing becomes its be-all and end-all Ave cannot t expect anything but the eAaporation of the j glamour and glory that once surrounded it in i this country. Recently in an Antipodean journal I read I an interview Avith the owner of a celebrated 1 Australasian race horse, Avho Aisited Amer-: ica a few months ago. He Avas not savage or offensive in his criticisms, but he said 1 simply that, to all appearances, racing in i America Avas far indeed from being the s "sport of kings." Its atmosphere, he af-i firmed, Avas not Avhat characterized it in l other countries. It Avas lacking in social i tone. Its management, he said, appeared 1 to be "in the Avrong hands." Commercialism 1 ruled and everything Avas sacrified thereto, i, Nobody can deny the truth of these criti-l - cisms. That is, nobody Avho knows the facts. . Yet there is no reason Avhatever Avhy racing in America should not be replete Avith all 1 the features of Avhich the lack is iioav so con-i spicuous. Formerly it possessed them. It t might once more if a determined effort Avere e made in that direction by those occupying the "seats of the mighty." But it is indeed J doubtful if any such effort ever is made.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1922111501/drf1922111501_8_1
Local Identifier: drf1922111501_8_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800