Remarkable Career of Polymelus, Daily Racing Form, 1924-04-22


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Remarkable Career of Polymelus _. BY E. E. COISSFLL LONDON. March 30. — Polymelus was destroyed a few days ago. Foaled on February 26. 1902. he was twenty-two years old. For the last three or four seasons he had been tormented with rheumatism. He had become such ■ pitiable object that visitors to the Maiden Erlegh stud were not allowed to see the son of Cyllene. He was in retirement. Mr. S. B. Joel could not permit him to suffer any longer and so the old fellow was destroyed as humanely as possible. His skeleton is to be mounted and preserved in Mr. Joels private i museum. I-ast year his owner, feeling that the end was not far off, had cast a bronze statute of Polymelus. It stands on the lawn opposite the main entrance of the big red house at Maiden Erlegh. near Reading, in Berkshire about forty miles from Ixmdon. where Polymelus had spent the whole of his stud career. The life story of Polymelus might have been different but for a curious circumstance connected with a sale at Newmarket in September, 1906. BRED BY LORD CREWE. Polymelus was bred by Lord Crewe at present the British ambassador in Paris. He was sent as a yearling to be trained by John Porter. For his breeder Polymeus won the Richmond stakes at Goodwood and the Rous Memorial stakes and Criterion slakes at Newmarket as a youngster. The next year he ran unplaced in the Newmarket stakes, won by Cicero. He did not start in the Derby, though he was nominated. Polymeus in 1905 ran eleven times, winning the Ascot Triennial stakes, Durham Produce stakes, the Duke of York stakes at York and the Gatwick stakes. In three other races he finished second. One of his seconds was in the St, Leger. when Challa-combe beat him by three lengths. John Porter retired from training at the end of 1905 and Polymelus was about the last good horse in his care. The winnings of Polymelus so far totaled over 0,000. During the winter of 1905-06 Lord Crewe sold Polymelus to the late David Faber for. it was said. 0,000. He failed to win for Mr. Faber, though he started seven times. On September 27. 1906. Mr. Faber decided to put up at auction his two horses, Canda-har and Polymelus, as he was anxious to change his trainer. He commissioned Frank Hartigan, who was in his first year as a trainer and that season had won over one hundred races to buy back the horses and train them for him. HARTIG.WS ORDERS. Hartigan bought the two-year-old Canda-har for 1,500. His orders were to bid *0.010 for Polymelus. S. B. Joel and Frank Hartigan were the only bidders. The former "jumped" from 9,000 to 0,000. Hartigan after a while bid 0,500. Mr. Tattersall turned to Mr. Joel, who appeared disinclined to go on. He pointed out that the horse was going cheaply and that he was well handicapped in the Duke of York Handicap and the Cambridgeshire, which engagements were included in the sale. Ultimately Mr. Joel made another bid of 00. Hartigan walked away. Polymelus was Mr. Joels at 1,000. It was certainly one of the luckiest days of Mr. Joels life, for Polymelus proved a rare bargain. He won the Duke of York Handicap by five lengths, the Champion Stakes by fifteen lengths and the Cambridgeshire by three lengths, when carrying 122 pounds including 10 pounds penalty he defeated a high-class field, starting the shortest priced favorite 11 to 10 on record for the race. These stakes were worth nearly 0,000. Resides there was a large sum in bets some say nearly 00,000 won by the colts owner. The next season lie was seen out twice. He finished third in the Coronation Cup at Epsom and then won the Princess of Wales Stakes over one and one-half miles, at Newmarket. This race was worth 4,220. In his last five races Polymelus was ridden by the late Danny Maher. There is an explanation of his apparent loss of form as I an early four-year-old. It ultimately led to j a lawsuit, so perhaps it is as well forgotten. Polymelus retired to the stud in 1908 at ! a fee of 00. Before long it was advanced j to ,000, then to ,500 and ultimately to ,000. His offspring first raced in 1911. That season Polymelus was represented by four two-year-olds, including Maiden F.rlegh. The last named, like his sire, ran second in the St Leger. Tracery beat him by five lengths. Maiden Erlegh, though temperamental, was a good race horse. In 1917 he was bought at auction for 7,000 for Mr. Arthur B. Hancock. An English breeder offered a profit which was refused. Maiden Erlegh was shipped by the writer on the ill-fated S. S. "Minnehaha" which was torpedoed off the south coast of Ireland. The first blow was struck under Maiden Erleghs stall. Onlookers declared he was blown across the deck and Lis forelegs broken. Half an hour later another torpedo struck the limping vessel on the other side and in ten minutes she had disappeared under the sea, with a heavy toll in human lives and a cargo of over thirty mares and foals as well as the stallion Sunflower. Maiden Kr-legh might have had an inkling of his fate, for it took over four hours to load him. POLYMELUS IX THE STUD. From 1911 to the end of 1923 Polymelus had sired the winners of 3:17 1-2 races and stakes valued at over ,106,000 in England and Ireland. If we add to the list the races won by his stock in the United States, the British colonies and elsewhere, they number over 180 and their value was more than 00,000. The average distance of 242 races won by his offspring excluding two-year-olds was S.47 furlongs. As a sire of two-year-old winners Polymelus has an excellent record. Up to 1923 he hail sired sixty-one individual winners of 104 1-2 races and stakes valued at almost 00,000. Daughters of Polymelus became winner producers in 1916. Up to date Polymelus mares have bred the winners of 111 races worth almost 60,000. Their best produce are Sicyon, Polemareh St. Leger winner. La Crosse and Syndrian. There is every possibility that Polymelus mares will become increasingly valuable. In 1922 there were eight living colts and fillies by Polymelus. These are two-year-olds in 1924. There has been talk of the promise of Silverado, who is a son of Silver Tag and therefore closely related to Fifinella. In 1922 Polymelus was mated with a dozen marcs of which seven produced foals. One died but, anyway, the name of their sire should not drop out of our sire list for some seasons. Champion Sire for Five Years. All the world knows that Polymelus which when in training was inclined to be rather leggy and narrow and also turned in slightly both forefeet was the English champion stallion in 1914, 1916. 1920. 1921 and 1922. St. Simon, Stockwell and Hermit alone excelled this record. To recite all the great winners sired by Polymelus would be wearisome. His classic winners were: Humorist Derby, Black Jester St. Ieger, Pommern Two Thousand Guineas, Derby and St. Leger, Fifinella Derby and Oaks, Cinna One Thousand Guineas and second in the Oaks. He also got Silvern second in St. Leger. Maiden Erlegh second in St. Leger, Archaic second in the Derby, Craigangower third in the Derby, and Dominion second in St. Leger. Other high-class winners sired by Polymelus were Phalaris, Pomme de Terre, Parth, Corey ra. Honeywood, Polly Flinders, Polyhistor which became a roarer, Sora-nus. Polycrates. Cannobie. Benevente, Invincible and War Cloud. Of these quite a number will no doubt continue to transmit the excellence of their famous sire. Indeed Phalaris is one of the most sought after young stallions in England. His book for 1925 is full at ,500. Polymelus was a high strung horse. Of late years he would go off his feed for days and look deplorable with excitement.

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