Desmond (horse)

Desmond (1896 – 1913) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was at his peak as a two-year-old in the early summer of 1898 when he won three races in quick succession including the Coventry Stakes and the July Stakes. He never won again and was retired from racing at the end of the following year. He later became a very successful breeding stallion and was the Leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 1913, the year of his death.

Desmond
SireSt. Simon
GrandsireGalopin
DamL'Abbesse de Jouarre
DamsireTrappist
SexStallion
Foaled1896[1]
CountryKingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
ColourBrown or black
Breeder4th Earl of Dunraven
Owner4th Earl of Dunraven
TrainerRobert Sherwood Jr.
Record7: 3-1-0
Major wins
Coventry Stakes (1898)
July Stakes (1898)
Awards
Leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland (1913)

BackgroundEdit

Desmond was a dark brown (sometimes described as "black") horse bred by his owner, the 4th Earl of Dunraven. During his racing career he was trained at Newmarket, Suffolk by Robert Sherwood, who had inherited the St Gatien stable on the death of his father (also Robert) in 1894.[2]

He was sired by St. Simon, one of the best racehorses of his era who became a dominant stallion, being Champion sire on nine occasions between 1890 and 1901.[3] Desmond was one of only three live foals produced by the Epsom Oaks winner L'Abbesse de Jouarre.[4]

Racing careerEdit

1898: two-year-old seasonEdit

Desmond showed very good form as a two-year-old in 1898. On 24 May at Epsom Downs Racecourse he started 4/5 favourite in an eleven-runner field for the six furlong Woodcote Stakes and looked likely to win before being caught on the line and beaten a head by the filly Fairy Gold.[5] A week later he started odds-on favourite for the Summer Breeders' Foal Plate over five furlongs at Manchester Racecourse and won "very easily" by three lengths.[6]

At Royal Ascot on 14 June he ran in the Coventry Stakes and started second choice in the betting at odds of 4/1.[7] Ridden by Tommy Loates, he won the five and a half furlong contest by "a couple of lengths" from the odds-on favourite Blackwing.[8] Two weeks later, with Loates again in the saddle, he followed up by taking the July Stakes (actually run on 28 June) at Newmarket Racecourse, beating the favored Eventail by a neck.[9] His winning performance was described as "a rare display of gameness".[10]

After a break of four months, Desmond returned for the Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket on 27 October. Ridden by John Watts, he finished fourth of the seven runners behind Frontier, Caiman and the filly Vara.[11]

1898: two-year-old seasonEdit

As a three-year-old in 1899 Desmond became increasingly temperamental and failed to realise his potential.[2]

He contested the Epsom Derby on 31 May, but started a 33/1 outsider after delaying the state for more than half an hour by his misbehaviour and refusal to co-operate.[12] He finished sixth of the twelve runners behind the 2/5 favourite Flying Fox.[13] On his only subsequent appearance he finished unplaced in the Sandown Foal Stakes over ten furlongs at Sandown Park Racecourse on 19 October.[14]

Stud recordEdit

He became British champion sire in 1913. In that year his sons Craganour and Aboyeur finished first and second respectively in the Derby, although the "winner" was subsequently disqualified.[15] His other offspring included The White Knight who won the Ascot Gold Cup twice and Charles O'Malley, who won the Ascot Gold Vase and was the damsire of Blenheim.[2]

Desmond died in 1913 at the age of seventeen.

PedigreeEdit

Pedigree of Desmond (GB) (16-c), brown stallion, 1896[1]
Sire
St Simon
1881
Galopin
1872
Vedette
1854
Voltaire
Mrs. Ridgeway
Flying Duchess
1853
The Flying Dutchman
Merope
St. Angela
1865
King Tom
1851
Harkaway (IRE)
Pocahontas
Adeline
1851
Ion
Little Fairy
Dam
L'Abbesse de Jouarre
1886
Trappist
1872
Hermit
1864
Newminster
Seclusion
Bunch
1853
Muscovite
Diomedia
Festive
1877
Carnival
1860
Sweetmeat
Volatile
Piercy
1872
Atherstone
Fair Agnes (Family 16-c)[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Desmond pedigree". Equineline.
  2. ^ a b c Mortimer, Roger; Onslow, Richard; Willett, Peter (1978). Biographical Encyclopedia of British Flat Racing. Macdonald and Jane’s. ISBN 0-354-08536-0.
  3. ^ Anne Peters. "St. Simon". Thoroughbred Heritage. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  4. ^ a b "Thoroughbred Bloodlines - Little Agnes - Family 16-c". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  5. ^ "Racing in England". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Otago Witness. 14 July 1898.
  6. ^ "In a Nutshell". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Otago Witness. 14 July 1898.
  7. ^ Abelson, Edward; Tyrrel, John (1993). The Breedon Book of Horse Racing Records. Breedon Books Publishing. ISBN 978-1-873626-15-3.
  8. ^ "Racing in England". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Otago Witness. 4 August 1898.
  9. ^ "Newmarket First July". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Otago Witness. 11 August 1898.
  10. ^ "Racing in England". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Otago Witness. 11 August 1898.
  11. ^ "Racing in England". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Otago Witness. 22 December 1898.
  12. ^ "The Race for the Epsom Derby". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Auckland Star. 11 July 1899.
  13. ^ "Racing in England". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Otago Witness. 13 July 1899.
  14. ^ "Racing in England". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Otago Witness. 7 December 1899.
  15. ^ "Profile: Horses". Horseracinghistory. Retrieved 28 December 2016.