Comrades Amazing Career: Horse Bought as Yearling for 25 Unbeaten Two-Year-Old, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-17


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COMRADES AMAZING CAREER Horse Bought as Yearling for 25 Unbeaten Two-Year-Old. Gilpin Alr.o Discusses Cases of Illgh-rrlccd Yearlings "Which Tailed to Live Up to Expectations in llacing. The romantic story of Comrade, bought for 25 as a yearling, is told in the following article by P. P. Gilpin from the London Weekly Dispatch : A purchase that would take a great deal of beating whether as a purchase or on the race course as a .race horse, was Comrade. This horse was led round the sales ring before Mr. Tattersall at Newmarket, and there was no bid forthcoming for him. "If there is no bid of 25 I shall pass him out," said Mr. Tattersall. "I will give you 25 to start him," I said, not for a moment thinking that I should get him. There was no other bid, and to my amazement he was knocked down to me for 25. Surely this was the most amazing thoroughbred purchase ever recorded ! Comrade won every race he ran for as a two-j ear-o!d, notwithstanding that he could not do himself justice on hard ground. As a three-year-old he began by winning a race at Hurst Park with ridiculous ease, and followed this up by winning the Trial Stakes at Ascot on adamantine ground after a desperate finish with a filly called Most Beautiful. This race incontestable proved Comrades indomitable courage. WOX GRAND PRIX DE PARIS. He then won the Grand Prix in Paris under circumstances I described in a previous article, and later in the year took the Prix de IArc de Triomphe, on the inception of that race winning in a canter. He then returned to England after an adventurous journey from Paris to Boulogne in a horsebox that resembled an old orange box. Indeed cne of the lads in charge of another horse traveling in that box fell out of the door on to the line when the train was running at high speed and was fortunate to escape with a few severe cuts. I ran Comrade immediately in the Champion Stakes, which I should not have done had I seen the state he was in before he was started. But I had gone down the course to have a better view of the previous race. I had backed him heavily, believing that with his laurels thick upon him he would win. It was not to be, and he never again ran like the horse we knew him to be. He was- never really in this race until near the close, and the victor was Orpheus, which Jiad only just come to himself that autumn. Comrade ran once the following year in the Gold Cup at Ascot. I backed him again. But the ground was as hard as iron, and I felt ho would be beaten. He broke down and could not race again. AGAIXST BETTER: JUDG3IEXT. One occasionally does things against ones better judgment, and running Comrade in this race was one of them. But there is only one Gold Cup at Ascot and only one Ascot meeting in the year, and most of us are loth to let slip a chance of such a prize. It was tho end of a fjreat career for the horse that had been purchased for so small a sum, and Comrade may go down on the records as one of tho cheapest purchases and perhaps tho greatest bargain ever made at public auction. Now that I have mentioned a few good bargains that were made at Doncaster I may be forgiven if I quote two or three that did not turn out quite so well. There were several expensive yearlings out of the Sledmero lot in 1919 sixteen I think that brought in the aggregate over 00,000 at Doncaster. The top price at that sale was paid by Lord Glanely for a colt that was subsequently named Westward Ho, by Swynf6rd. from Blue Tit, so that he was a half-brother to that good filly Blue Dun. The price, 7,500. was the then record for a yearling sold at auction, yet this colt won only one or two races, which was indeea a meager return for the money paid for him. There were other high prices at that sale at Doncaster, the next being 0,000, which was paid by Mr. Watkin Williams for a gray colt by The Teirarch Lisma. I cannot remember that this colt ever did anything as an offset to his great cost Nor can I remember anything being done subsequently to justify the expenditure of 5,500 by the same gentleman on a filly by The Tetrarch from Oenone. LORD MAXTORS BARGAINS. That year the late Lord Manton Joseph Watson as he then was also paid high prices on the same occasion, but was amply rowarded for his outlay. In Tetrabbazia, for which he paid 0,000, and Blue Lady, by Tracery from Miss Cobalt, he obtained two good fillies which won several races. Both were sold recently at Newmarket, where tho late peers horses were disposed of for an aggregate sum of over 50,000. Tetrabbazia brought 5,000 and Blue Lady 7,000. The late Lord Manton also bought a colt by Lemberg Honora, which was named Lemonora, for JlGOO and which proved himself on different occasions a good race horse, notably when he ran second in the Two Thousand Guineas to his stable companion Craig-an-Eran. Third in tho Derby to Humorist, and afterward going over to Paris and lifting tho Grand Prix, lie was retired to tho stud last year and purchased in the summer by the son of his late owner for some 5,000. Now in 1920 Lord Glanely, who had paid so heavily for Westward Ho tho previous year, purchased a half-brother to Westward Ho, by Tho Tetrarch, from Blue Tit, and paid no less a sum than 2,500, thereby exceeding his previous record price for a yearling by 5,000. This colt was Blue Ensign, and I am sorry to say that owing to some weakness or another he failed to do himself any credit as a race horse and was retired to the stud forthwith. Now the succeeding lot was another Tetrarch colt from Honora, and for this James White paid 8,000. This colt was a half-brother to Lemonora, and he was, if anything, a sire more brilliant on occasions. This colt never earned a shilling so far as I have heard.

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