THE 1919 VICTORY DERBY
This year celebrates the one hundredth anniversary of the Victory 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 2,000 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.
Nevertheless, Lord Glanely’s Grand Parade and Lord Astor’s Buchan, fought out the finish, Fred Templeman driving Grand Parade to a half-length victory, with Paper Money third and Sir Douglas fourth.
The Panther, strangely upset, had charged the tapes on his arrival, refused to line up, then lost vital lengths at the start and half the country their money!
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 Grand Geraldine, an unraced filly who was reputed to have pulled a cart early in her career.
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.