Archive for June, 2019

Lady James Douglas – Trailblazer

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Lady James Douglas – Trailblazer

This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of Lady James Douglas’s achievement of being the first woman to own and bred an Oaks winner – Bayuda in 1919; this, a year after she became the first woman to own and bred a Derby winner – Gainsborough – a Triple Crown winner to boot.

Born in France in 1854, Martha Lucy Hennessey was the daughter of Frederick Hennessey, a member of the Irish Hennessey’s who had made their fortune from producing Cognac.

The mother of five children she was twice widowed before buying the Harwood Estate, near Newbury, in 1910. Seeking advice from her neighbour, the celebrated trainer, John Porter of Kingsclere, she set about founding Harwood Stud with the purpose of producing high quality yearlings for the sales.

After a slow start due to the Great War, the success of Gainsborough was followed by the filly, Bayuda. Sired by the St Leger winner, Bayardo, out of Jessica, a mare that bred nine winners, much was expected from Bayuda. She did not disappoint. In the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket, she ran a close second to the season’s top juvenile, The Panther, and followed up by winning the Cheveley Park Stakes in a canter.

However, after two moderate performances against the colts and a disappointing three-year-old debut in the One Thousand Guineas, behind Roseway, she was allowed to start at 100-7 for the Oaks. Two furlongs out Roseway took up the running, but the diminutive Bayuda, showing her breeding to stay on strongly and win by one and a half lengths.

Sadly, at stud, she proved difficult to get in foal and produced only one winner from two live foals. However, Lady James was not done with yet and bred the 1930 Oaks winner, Rose of England, for Lord Glanely.

In 1940, due to ill-health, Lady James Douglas sold her mares. Her Harwood Stud was bought by Mr Herbert Blagrave on condition Gainsborough ended his days there.

Lady James died in 1941.

Gainsborough (Joe Childs up) the 1918 Triple Crown winner

See below the lineage chart for the sire-line and progeny of Gainsborough.

Classic winners with date of victory in CAPS – colts in Red, fillies in Green.

Stars either side indicate Champion Sire.

The 2019 Investec Oaks – Anapurna

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RUN on Friday, 31 May, 2019, as the Investec Oaks, over the Derby Course of one mile and a half and 6 yards, Epsom Downs. For three-year-old fillies, 9st 0lb. Value to winner £297,727.

1st   ANAPURNA             Frankie Dettori    8-1

2nd  PINK DOGWOOD    Ryan Moore        3-1

3rd  FLEETING                 Wayne Lordan    25-1

Distances: a neck and 1¼  lengths

Also ran: 4th Manuela De Vega (Harry Bentley) 16-1; Delphinia (Seamie Heffernan) 66-1; Frankellina (James Doyle) 12-1; Mehdaayih (Robert Havlin) 11-4 Fav; Maqsad (Jim Crowley) 4-1; Blue Gardenia (Jamie Spencer) 100-1; Peach Tree (Donnacha O’Brien) 33-1;Tarnawa (Chris Hayes)  20-1: Tauteke (Andrea Atzeni) 25-1; Sh Boom (Tom Queally) 100-1; Lavender’s Blue (Silvestre de Sousa)  16-1 (tailed off). 

Commentary: An intriguing renewal, the first four in the market all having won their established trials: Mehdaayih 11-4 favourite, following an impressive Cheshire Oaks performance and the need to be supplemented; Pink Dogwood a solid 3-1 and Ryan Moore’s pick of the Aidan O’Brien quartet from taking the Salsabil Stakes; Maqsad 4-1, after her victory in Newmarket’s Pretty Polly Stakes and the John Gosden trained, Frankel filly, Anapurna, the choice of Frankie Dettori and now 8-1, following her six-length victory over Tauteke in the Lingfield Oaks trial.

From the stalls, Peach Tree, Tauteke, Lavender’s Blue and Anapurna fronted the field. On settling down, Lavender’s Blue and Peach Tree took them along from Anapurna and Tauteke. With a steady pace down to Tattenham Corner and racing in pairs, Delphinia and Maqsad waited behind the front four.

Into the straight, the pace increased to two furlongs out, where Pink Dogwood, made rapid headway on the outside to join a line of four – Maqsad, Tauteke, Peach Tree and Anapurna (rails). Then, forging ahead inside the final furlong, he was joined and finally outstayed by Anapurna in a thrilling finish. Fleeting, with Wayne Lordan aboard, came from last in the straight, to finish third.

Notably, this was Frankel’s first Classic winner and Dettori’s fifth Oaks, 25 years on from his first, Balanchine in 1994. An extra 12 yards had been added to the distance to protect the ground on the inner rail for Derby day.     

14 ran.

2 min. 36.09 sec.                                                                                                                                                   

BRED by Meon Valley Stud.

OWNED by Helena Springfield Ltd.

TRAINED by John Gosden at Newmarket, Suffolk.


The winner, ANAPURNA, inbred 3 x 3 to SADLER’S WELLS, has won 3 races from her 4 starts, incl. the Racebets Oaks Trial Fillies Stakes, Lingfield and the Investec Oaks Stakes.   

The sire, FRANKEL b.c. 2008 ex KIND by DANEHILL, (unbeaten), won 14 races incl. Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, (twice), Queen Anne Stakes, International Stakes, York, Champion Stakes. Sire of 7 Group 1 winners since retiring to Judmonte’s Banstead Manor Stud in 2013, of which ANAPURNA is his first Classic winner.

The dam, DASH TO THE TOP b.f. 2002 by MONTJEU ex MILLENIUM DASH, won 2 races from 8 starts incl. EBF Hoppings Stakes, Newcastle. Second in Yorkshire Oaks. She is the dam of 4 other winners and descends from One In A Million, winner of the 1979 1,000 Guineas.


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The 2019 Investec Derby – Anthony Van Dyck

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Run on Saturday, 1 June, 2019 as the Investec Derby Stakes over the Derby Course of one mile and a half and 6 yards, Epsom Downs. For three-year-olds; entire colts 9st 0lb, fillies 8st 11lb. 355 entries. Value to winner £921,537.

1st ANTHONY VAN DYCK   Seamie Heffernan 13-2

2nd MADHMOON            Chris Hayes           10-1

3rd JAPAN                         Wayne Lordan       20-1

Distances: won by 1/2 length and a nose.

 Also ran: 4th Broome (Donnacha O’Brien) 4-1; Sir Dragonet (Ryan Moore) 11-4 Fav; Circus Maximus (Frankie Dettori) 10-1; Humanitarian (Robert Havlin) 33-1: Norway (Jamie Spencer) 33-1; Line Of Duty (James Doyle) 25-1; Sovereign (P.B Beggy) 50-1; Hiroshima (Brett Doyle) 100-1; Bangkok (Silvestre de Sousa) 9-1; Telecaster (Oisin Murphy) 5-1 (tailed off, last).

Commentary: As the choice of Ryan Moore from Aidan O’Brien’s seven runners, Sir Dragonet, eight-length winner of the Chester Vase, headed the betting at 11-4. Remarkably, he was the only horse in the field without Galileo in his pedigree. The first five in the betting were all sired by Derby winners and all had won their previous race: Broome 4-1(Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial), Telecaster 5-1 (Dante Stakes), Anthony Van Dyck 13-2 (Lingfield Derby Trial) and Bangkok 9-1 (Sandown Classic Trial).

On a sunny day, the field got under way on good to firm ground. Sovereign cut out the pace and after two furlongs led by two lengths from Norway, Telecaster and Circus Maximus, while Broome and Humanitarian, having missed the break, remained at the rear. Approaching the mile-marker, Sovereign, keeping up the pace, led by two lengths from Norway, Circus Maximus and Telecaster.

Down the hill, round Tattenham Corner and into the straight there was little change, until two furlongs out, when Ryan Moore sent Sir Dragonet to the front. Immediately challenged by Madhmoon, the pair battled to the furlong pole, where Madhmoon nosed ahead. Meanwhile, Heffernan switched Anthony Van Dyck to the rails, with Broome and Japan closing fast on the wide outside. Anthony Van Dyck then benefitting from the space and the rail, pressed on to win by a half-length. The four-strong chasing pack of Madhmoon, Japan, Broome and Sir Dragonet were covered by a nose and two short heads. The victory gave Aidan O’Brien his seventh Derby winner, equalling the feat of Robert Robson, John Porter and Fred Darling, and for Mrs John (Sue) Magnier and Michael Tabor, Anthony Van Dyck was their record eighth Derby winner.

13 ran. Time 2 min 33.38 sec.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

BRED by Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt.

OWNED by  Mrs John Magnier, Mr M Tabor & Derrick Smith.

TRAINED by A P O’Brien at Cashel, Co Tipperary.     


The winner, ANTHONY VAN DYCK, had won 5 races (from 9 starts), incl. Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes, The Curragh, RaceBets Derby Trial Stakes, Lingfield, Investec Derby Stakes. Thereafter he won only once (Qatar Prix Foy, Longchamp) from 10 starts, culminating in a fatal injury in the 2020 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

The sire, GALILEO b.c. 1998 by SADLER’S WELLS ex URBAN SEA, won 6 races (from 8 starts) incl. Ballysax Stakes & Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes, Leopardstown, Vodafone Derby Stakes, Budweiser Irish Derby, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Champion Sire in G.B. & Ireland ten times – 2008 & 2010-2018. Sire of NEW APPROACH ch.c. 2005 ex PARK EXPRESS by AHONOORA, won  Dewhurst Stakes, Vodafone Derby Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes, Champion Stakes (Course record time), Newmarket; FRANKEL b.c. 2008 ex KIND by DANEHILL, (unbeaten) won Dewhurst Stakes, Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, (twice), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Lockinge Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, International Stakes, York, Champion Stakes; RULER OF THE WORLD ch.c. 2010 ex LOVE ME TRUE by KINGMAMBO, won Chester Vase, Investec Derby Stakes, Prix Foy; AUSTRALIA ch.c. 2011 ex OUIJA BOARD by CAPE CROSS, won Investec Derby Stakes, Irish Derby, International Stakes, York.

The dam, BELIEVE’N’SUCCEED b.f. 2005 by EXCEED AND EXCEL ex ARCTIC DRIFT, ran twice in Australia without being placed. She has bred 2 winners from 4 runners, incl. her first foal BOUNDING b.f. 2010 by LONHRO, a Champion sprinter in New Zealand, where she won 5 races incl. Railway Stakes, Ellerslie.


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Grand Parade wins the 1919 Peace Derby

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Grand Parade wins the 1919 Peace Derby

This year celebrates the one hundredth anniversary of the Peace Derby won by the appropriately named Grand Parade.

The Great War (1914-1918) now over, the Derby returned to Epsom and an enormous crowd gathered in the presence of King George V and Queen Mary; the Royal party receiving the biggest cheer of the day, when the King’s colt, Viceroy, won the Stewards Handicap.

Notably, this year, the course around Tattenham Corner was made more gradual, with the outer rail supported with a wire fence to prevent a reoccurrence of the previous suffragette incident.

Thirteen went to post for the Derby, with the Two Thousand Guineas winner, The Panther, a heavily backed 6-5 favourite. The second and third in the Guineas, Lord Astor’s Buchan and Lord Glanely’s first string, Dominion, started at 7-1 and 100-9 respectively. Grand Parade, winner of the National Produce Stakes at The Curragh, had little support at 33-1.

Paper Money set the pace, leading at the mile post from Dominion and Grand Parade, and was still in front at the distance. At this point Grand Parade and then Buchan stormed by, but with Buchan hanging left, Fred Templeman was able to drive Grand Parade on to a half-length victory. Paper Money finished two lengths away third, with Sir Douglas fourth and Tangiers fifth.

Lord Glanely leads in Grand Parade

Grand Parade was only the second black horse to win the Derby, Smolensko being the first in 1813. Bred by the infamous American politician Richard ‘Boss’ Croker, Grand Parade was by the 1907 Derby winner Orby out of the unraced filly, Grand Geraldine.

At the end of the season Grand Parade retired to his owner’s stud at Exning at a fee of 400 guineas. His best colt was Diophon, who won the 1924 Two Thousand Guineas and sired Diolite, the winner of that race in 1930. On 1 May, 1932 Grand Parade broke a leg and was destroyed. He was 16 years old.

Buchan, second in the Derby, won 11 races, including the Princess of Wales’s Stakes, the Eclipse Stakes (twice) and the Champion Stakes. He was Champion Sire in 1927 and sired the Classic winning fillies, Short Story (1926 Oaks) and Book Law (1927 St Leger).

The Panther, on his toes in the paddock and upset at the start, charged the tapes on his arrival and after refusing to line up, lost vital lengths at the start and half the country their money! Later that year he was sold and sent to the Argentine Republic.

Arthur Smith, the apprentice who had preferred to ride Dominion to Grand Parade, later set a record for an apprentice at Royal Ascot that year by riding five winners.


Grand Parade’s owner, The 1st Baron Glanely (1868-1942), a big man with a walrus moustache, was popularly known on the racecourse as ‘Old Guts and Gaiters’. Notably, he made the transition from shipping clerk to owning the company through hard work and a flair for business. Fervently patriotic, his colours were ‘black jacket, red, white and blue belt (diagonal) and cap’. He owned six Classic winners, including Rose of England (1930 Oaks). Baron Glanely was killed in an air-raid in 1942.



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The First Derby Photo-finish

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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the first Derby decided by the new photo-finish camera. The print, which took many minutes to develop, was called for by the judge, Mr Malcolm Hancock, to decide a three-horse finish, fought out between Nimbus, winner of the 2,000 Guineas, ridden by Charlie Elliott, Amour Drake, forth in the Guineas and winner of the French equivalent, with Rae Johnstone up and Lord Derby’s Swallow Tail, winner of the Chester Vase, with Doug Smith aboard – bookmakers taking advantage of the delay by laying prices on all three.

These were days before racecourse commentaries and crackly Tannoys, and so, after what seemed an interminably long wait and with around 400,000 pairs of eyes trained on the number board, the numbers 13, Nimbus; 26 Amour Drake and 9, Swallow Tail, were hoisted aloft. The distances were a head and the same.

A post-mortem on the last 60 yards of the race occupied the press for days. However, without the use of Camera Patrol, no inquiry was held by the stewards and the result stood.

The first Derby photo-finish print, showing NIMBUS beating Amour Drake by a head, with Swallow Tail a head away third

Sadly, there was a sub-plot to this year’s Derby.

At the Second July Sales at Newmarket, trainer George Colling paid 5,000 guineas (£200,000 today), for the William Hill bred, handsome bay yearling, Nimbus, on behalf of Henry Glenister, who gave the colt to his wife Marion.

Interestingly, Glenister liked to declare his occupation as a farmer, which in fact he was, farming 700 acres at Sible Hedingham in Essex. What he rarely disclosed, was that he was employed as the Assistant Manager of the London Branch of the Midland Bank Executor and Trustee Company in the City of London.

Tragically, Henry Glenister committed suicide in his car in Sussex, on August 16, 1952. Later, the inquest revealed that Glenister had defaulted on a ‘considerable sum’ entrusted to his department, although the extent of the fraud was never made public.

A more poignant end had taken place the day after the Derby, when Suzy Volterra returned to her dying husband in Paris.  Leon, owner of Amour Drake, whose health had suffered during wartime internment by the Germans, had been too ill to listen to the broadcast, and so, before his death, his wife allowed him to think his colt had won the Derby.