Bend Or (1877–1903) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 1880 Epsom Derby. His regular jockey Fred Archer, winner of thirteen consecutive British jockey titles, said Bend Or was probably the greatest horse he had ever ridden.

Bend Or
DamRouge Rose
Foaled1877 (1877)
Died1903(1903-00-00) (aged 25–26)
CountryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
BreederEaton Stud
Owner1st Duke of Westminster
TrainerRobert Peck
Record14: 10–2–0
Major wins
Chesterfield Stakes (1879)
Richmond Stakes (1879)
Epsom Derby (1880)
St. James's Palace Stakes (1880)
City and Suburban Handicap (1881)
Epsom Gold Cup (1881)
Champion Stakes (1881)
Leading broodmare sire in Britain & Ireland
(1901, 1902)
Last updated on 6 November 2009

Nomenclature edit

Azure, a bend or, the ancient Grosvenor arms before the 1389 lawsuit Scrope v Grosvenor

His name is the heraldic term for "a bend (i.e. diagonal stripe) that is golden or yellow in color (or)", and is a reference to the ancient former arms of the Grosvenor family which were adjudged against them in 1389 to the Scrope family in the most famous case ever heard before the Court of Chivalry, known as Scrope v Grosvenor. The Duke also awarded it as a lifelong family nickname to his grandson Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster (1879–1953), born in the year before the Derby win. Bendor Range is named after the horse.

Breeding edit

Bred and foaled at the 1st Duke of Westminster's Eaton Stud, Bend Or grew to be a large stallion but was noted for his unusual docility. He was a chestnut colt who stood 16.1 hands (65 inches, 165 cm) and had a white blaze.[1] He was sired by Doncaster, a son of Stockwell, out of the mare, Rouge Rose by Thormanby.[2] Thormanby won the 1860 Epsom Derby and the 1861 Ascot Gold Cup and was in 1869 the leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland.

Racing career edit

1879: Two-year-old Season edit

Bend Or made his first racecourse appearance in July 1879 in the Chesterfield Stakes at Newmarket. Starting as the 9/4 favourite he won easily by a length.[3] He then won the Richmond Stakes carrying a 6-pound weight penalty. After these wins he started to 1/2 favourite for the Prince of Wales Stakes at York. He led from the outset and won easily by half a length.[4] After York he was already being quoted at 7/1 for the 1880 Epsom Derby.[5] Bend Or finished the season by winning the Triennial Produce Stakes and the Rous Memorial Stakes, both at Newmarket.

1880:Three-year-old Season edit

The Derby edit

Bend Or was not entered for the 2000 Guineas, but in early March, he was the 5/1 favourite for The Derby.[6] He started his three-year-old campaign in the Derby. He was ridden by Fred Archer and started as the 2/1 favourite in a field of 19. After the start, he was in a prominent position but was dropped back into mid-division by Archer. At Tattenham Corner Robert the Devil was leading from Von der Tann, Bend Or being in about the sixth position. In the straight Bend Or passed some of the horses to move into third. The second placed Mask then began to fade as he was passed by Bend Or, who went off in pursuit of Robert the Devil. Bend Or won the Derby by a head from Robert the Devil, with Mask a further six lengths back in third.[7]

St. James's Palace Stakes edit

After the Derby, he went to Royal Ascot for the St. James's Palace Stakes, starting at the odds of 30/100. The race was run at a slow early pace. Bend Or won by a head from Fernandez, the two finishing clear of the rest of the field.[8] After Ascot he had to be given a few months rest due to shin problems exacerbated in his Derby win.

Challenge to Pedigree edit

Hugh Grosvenor (1st Duke of Westminster), the owner of Bend Or

In the summer a challenge was lodged by the owners of Robert the Devil against Bend Or's Derby win on the grounds of him being entered under the wrong description. It was alleged that his dam was not Rouge Rose, but a mare called Clemence. At Eaton Stud, both Rouge Rose and Clemence had a foal by Doncaster in 1877. It was suggested that the two foals had been mixed up and that it was the horse registered as Tadcaster (i.e. the Clemence foal) that won the Derby. The accusation came from a groom who formerly worked for the Duke. During the investigation, the Eaton Stud book was produced, but was found to contain a number of errors.[9] The objection was overruled by the Jockey Club,[10] but controversy still remains today. Recent research which compared DNA of Bend Or to that of Tadcaster relatives suggested the two had indeed been switched as foals.[11]

Clemence was a daughter of Newminster and Eulogy. Newminster was the son of Touchstone and Beeswing. Eulogy was the daughter of Euclid and Martha Lynn.

The Autumn edit

The shin injury affected him for most of the remainder of the year as was evident in his first loss when he returned to racing for September's St Leger Stakes, where he finished fifth behind winner Robert the Devil. His next start came in the Great Foal Stakes. In that race, Robert the Devil made the running, with Bend Or held up in the rear. At the bushes, Bend Or moved up to third behind Robert the Devil and Muriel. Bend Or then overtook Muriel and challenged Robert the Devil. Bend Or seemed to have the race won with 50 yards to go, but he swerved badly and lost by a head. He faced Robert the Devil again in the Champion Stakes. Robert the Devil started the 11/10 favourite, with Bend Or at 5/4. Robert the Devil led from the start and was never caught. He won by 10 lengths from Bend Or, with the other two runners a further 10 lengths back.[12]

1881: Four-year-old Season edit

Returning to the track at age four, Bend Or won the City and Suburban Handicap at Epsom Downs carrying 9 stone.[13] He then avenged his defeats to Robert the Devil in the Epsom Gold Cup. Only the two horses ran, with Bend Or winning by a neck. Bend Or then won the Champion Stakes easily by ¾ length from Scobell, with the 1881 Derby winner Iroquois a bad third. Bend Or's next start came in the Cambridgeshire Stakes where, under Archer, he carried 9 st 8 lb. During the closing stages the weight began to tell and he was eased by Archer, finishing in seventh.[14] He was then retired to breeding duties at his owner's Eaton Stud.[15]

Race record edit

Date Race name D(f) Course Prize (£) Odds Runners Place Margin Winner/Runner-up Time Jockey
July 1879 Chesterfield Stakes 05 5 Newmarket 1130 02.25 9/4 11 1 1 Petal 059 0:59 Charles Wood
29 July 1879 Richmond Stakes 06 6 Goodwood 1762 08 8 1
August 1879 Prince of Wales Stakes 05 5 York 0340 340 00.5 1/2 09 9 1 0.5 Brother to Ersilia Fred Archer
1879 Triennial Produce Stakes 10 Newmarket 0881 881 11 1
1879 Rous Memorial Stakes 05 5 Newmarket 0567 567 10 1
26 May 1880 Epsom Derby 12 Epsom Downs 6375 2 2/1 19 1 00.1 Head Robert the Devil 168 2:48 Fred Archer
June 1880 St. James's Palace Stakes 08 8 Ascot 1550 00.3 30/100 05 5 1 0.1 Head Fernandez G Fordham
15 September 1880 St Leger 14.5 Doncaster 6100 00.8 4/5 12 6 Robert the Devil 212 3:32
28 September 1880 Great Foal Stakes 10 Newmarket 2697 04.5 9/2 07 7 2 0.1 Head Robert the Devil 145 2:25 Tom Cannon
14 October 1880 Champion Stakes 10 Newmarket 2071 02.25 5/4 4 2 10 Robert the Devil 130 2:10 G Fordham
27 April 1881 City and Suburban Handicap 10 Epsom Downs 1230 12.5 100/8 24 1 1.5 Foxhall 127 2:07 Fred Archer
3 June 1881 Epsom Gold Cup 12 Epsom Downs 0500 500 02 2 1 Robert the Devil
13 October 1881 Champion Stakes 10 Newmarket 2087 00.67 4/6 08 8 1 0.75 Scobell 143.6 2:23.6 Fred Archer
25 October 1881 Cambridgeshire Stakes 09 9 Newmarket 2017 04.5 9/2 32 7 Foxhall 135.4 2:15.4 Fred Archer

Stud record edit

Bend Or had white flecks on his chestnut coat, and like his damsire Thormanby, had black spots on his neck, shoulder, and on his quarters. These markings often showed up in his progeny and is referred to as Bend Or spotting.

Standing at Eaton Stud, Bend Or was a successful stallion siring many top racehorses including two classic winners. His stud fee for 1898 was 200 guineas, plus one guinea for the groom. By this time his offspring had won 285 races worth £129,148[1]

Notable progeny edit

c = colt, f = filly

Foaled Name Sex Major Wins
1883 Kendal c July Stakes
1883 Ormonde c Dewhurst Stakes, 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, St. James's Palace Stakes, Hardwicke Stakes (twice), St Leger Stakes, Great Foal Stakes, Champion Stakes, Rous Memorial Stakes, Imperial Gold Cup
1885 Orbit c Eclipse Stakes
1885 Ossory c Prince of Wales's Stakes, St. James's Palace Stakes, Great Yorkshire Stakes
1887 Martagon c Goodwood Cup
1888 Orion c Champion Stakes
1888 Orvieto c Sussex Stakes
1889 Bona Vista c 2000 Guineas
1892 Laveno c Champion Stakes
1897 Lord Bobs c Dewhurst Stakes, July Cup
1902 Rouge Croix c Dewhurst Stakes
1903 Radium c Goodwood Cup, Doncaster Cup

Kendal went on to sire Triple Crown winner Galtee More. Ormonde sired dual Eclipse Stakes winner Orme. Orbit was exported to Argentina. Such was his success at stud there he was known as "South American Stockwell". Bona Vista went on to sire Ascot Gold Cup winner Cyllene. Through Cyllene's grandson Phalaris, Bend Or is the sire-line ancestor to the majority of thoroughbreds alive today. Radium sired 2000 Guineas winner Clarissimus.

Bend Or did not produce many top race mares, but many of them were top broodmares. His daughter Fairy Gold was exported to America and was the dam of Fair Play and Belmont Stakes winner Friar Rock. Another daughter Ornament was the dam of Sceptre, winner of four classics in 1902. Disorder was produced Eclipse Stakes winner Epsom Lad. Bend Or was also damsire to Prix du Jockey Club winner Ex Voto, through is daughter Golden Rod. Through his daughter Quetta, Bend Or was damsire to Coronation Stakes winner Helm and Dewhurst Stakes winner Frontier (who was sired by his grandson Orme).

Bend Or was twice the leading broodmare sire in Britain before his death at age twenty-six in January 1903.[2] Bend Or's important immediate descendants include The Tetrarch, Phar Lap and Man o' War, and beyond that the American horse Seabiscuit.

Pedigree edit

Pedigree of Bend Or, chestnut stallion, 1877
ch. 1870
ch. 1849
The Baron
ch. 1842
b. 1837
ch. 1860
br. 1848
Miss Twickenham
Ratan mare
b. 1852
Melbourne mare
Rouge Rose
ch. 1865
ch. 1857
br. 1847
Alice Hawthorn
b. 1838
Muley Moloch
Ellen Horne
br. 1844
b. 1833
Pawn Junior

Note: b. = Bay, br. = Brown, ch. = Chestnut

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Osborne, Joseph (1898). Horse-Breeders' Handbook. Seale, London.
  2. ^ a b Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), "Thoroughbred Breeding of the World", Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970
  3. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 30 August 1879 — NEWMARKET JULY". Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  4. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 18 October 1879 — YORK. August 26th, 27th, 28th". Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  5. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 1 November 1879 — ENGLISH". Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  6. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 1 May 1880 — NOTES BY BEACON". Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  7. ^ "Papers Past — Hawke's Bay Herald — 28 July 1880 — EPSOM SUMMER MEETING". Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  8. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 7 August 1880 — RACING IN ENGLAND". Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  9. ^ "Papers Past — Star — 2 September 1880 — THE DERBY SCANDAL". Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  10. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 14 August 1880 — ENGLISH". Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  11. ^ Tony Morris (2011-05-11). "The mystery of Bend Or". Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder Magazine. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  12. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 18 December 1880 — RACING IN ENGLAND". Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  13. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 25 June 1881 — RACING IN ENGLAND. EPSOM SPRING. April 27th". Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  14. ^ "Papers Past — Otago Witness — 24 December 1881 — RACING IN ENGLAND". Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  15. ^ Thoroughbred Heritage: Bend Or Retrieved 2009-11-6

External links edit