Unheralded Great Horses: From Humble Estate to Wonderful Deeds on Turf or in Stud, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-11


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I I I t o of v o S b c f 1 c r ; 5 J , J f j , , , 1 , , i ; UNHERALDED GREAT HORSES From Humble Estate to Wonder-M Deeds on Turf or in Stud. 4 Instances of Lightly Considered Thoroughbreds Rescued from Obscurity to Become Famous Afterward. As a set-off to the disappointments of the turf generally, some instances may be cited owners having in their possession animals whose subsequent doings, either on the turf or in the stud, far surpassed the most sanguine expectations that could possibly have been formed of them by their owners. I may be permitted to recall one or two cases. There was the first mare Echidna, by 1 Economist Miss Pratt. Echidna was owned by a Mr. Watts of Jockey Hall, Curragh, j Ireland, and, having been found useless for racing purposes, was offered to a neighboring priest, who required a hack to carry him , on his rather extensive parish rounds. The price asked was 00, but the reverend gen- i tleman was unwilling to give more than 0. This price Mr. Watts declined, and the fol- ; lowing season Echidna was sent to Bird-catcher, which was standing in the vicinity. The result of this union was The Baron, famous first as a race horse and later on as a sire. He was the sire of Stockwell and Rataplan. WEAK AND PUNY AS A FOAL. Wild Dayrell was so weak and puny for some time as a foal that he was unable to follow his dam from the stable to the paddock she was turned into during the day and had to be brought down in a wheelbarrow; still he lived to win the Derby, and at the stud he proved himself one of the main pillars of the Herod line. At an auction sale of race horses in England the well-known trainer Tom Jennings was coaxed into buying, at a paltry figure, a son of Trumpeter named Plutus. Jennings won a good race shortly after with Plutus, which was later taken to France. He there sired Flageolet, one of the greatest sires ever bred in France. Previous to her passing into the possession of Mr. lAnson, the owner of Queen Mary could not have held a high opinion of that great mare, as when Mr. lAnson at length discovered her it is said he found her dong her duty in a set of harrows. And yet from this mare are descended, to mention just a few. Blink Bonny, Blinkhoolie, Blair Athol, Caller On, Hampton, Tristan and the Australian Poseidon, as well as Bobrikoff. In later years, too, several of the great horses raced with such success by the sportsman Mr. A. V. Cox, claim descent from Queen Mary. Deadlock was in the hands of an owner content to let her go for 00 to Captain Machell, who passed her on to Mr. McCalmont. In due course she foaled for Mr. McCalmont the great Isinglass. UNCERTAINTY OF BREEDING. One rather striking instance of the uncertainty of breeding that I cannot remember ever having seen comment on is afforded by the daughters of Mermaid, imported to New Zealand years ago. Mermaid was by King Tom Waterwitch, and was a representative of one of the famous families owned by the Rothschilds. She produced several daughters to Traducer, which stood head and shoulders above any other sire of his day in New Zealand. To two other English sires, namely, Ravensworth by Touchstone, and Albany by Thormanby, she also produced a daughter each. Besides these, Mermaid had a daughter Waterwitch by Camden, a New South Wales bred son of Calendar and Cassandra. For some reason or other a decided prejudice existed against Camden in New Zealand so much so, indeed, that probably most breeders would have regarded his name as a stain in a pedigree. It was undoubtedly Lurline by Traducer that first made Mermaid famous as a brood mare. Her performances, first in New Zealand and afterward in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, proved Lurline to be something out of tils ordinary. She was a veritable queen of the turf, and just the sort of mare any real lover of the thoroughbred would have regarded as an ideal mare to i found a family of great race horses. On go- ing to the stud Lurline produced in Darebin a i Continued on third page. UNHEMLMD13REAT HORSES Continued from first page. son in every way Avortliy of his dam. The rest of her foals were, however, of not much account, the best of the others being the disappointing Prometheus, whose sister, Rin-garooma, produced the Caulfield Cup winner, Lieutenant Bill. This was practically the end of Lurline as a family founder. From the sisters to Lurline and from her half-sisters previously referred to by Ttavensworth and Albany more or less winners have come, but they have been of mediocre class and not in any way calculated to add to the fame achieved for ilermaid by Lurline and Dare-bin. It has been Waterwitch, by the despised Camden, that has carried this fame on down to the present day. While Mermaids other daughters liave all shown a tendency to drop out of the running, at all events as far as the production of Avinners of note may be concerned, "Waterwitch has gone on in a remarkable manner. Generation after generation winners of important races have de scended from her. Those winners coming from her, bred and raced by Sir George Clifford, would alone make a respectable total. But there have been many others. Mated with Traducer she produced that good horse Natator a Derby winner in New Zealand and afterward a useful sire, and those two splendid brood mares Nautilus and AVater-sprite, from which a whole host of winners have come, and the same remark may apply in a lesser degree to another of her daughters, Cascade, by Sledmere. Visits to Albany, Apremont and other sires Avere also followed by more or less success in every instance. It would be interesting to know how many winners have actually descended from her and how many mares there are in the Stud Book that can equal her record. "Echo" in Australasian.

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800