Light Brocade

Light Brocade (1931–1947) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She was one of the best two-year-old fillies in England in 1933 when she won three of her four races including the Molecomb Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes. In the following year she finished second in the 1000 Guineas before recording her biggest win in the Epsom Oaks. She was beaten in her only subsequent start and retired with a record of four wins from eight starts. She made little immediate success as a broodmare but her female-line descendants went on to have great success in Japan.

Light Brocade
SireGalloper Light
CountryUnited Kingdom
BreederJohn Lambton, 5th Earl of Durham
OwnerJohn Lambton, 5th Earl of Durham
TrainerFrank Butters
Record8: 4-1-0
Major wins
Molecomb Stakes (1933)
Cheveley Park Stakes (1933)
Epsom Oaks (1934)


Light Brocade was a "beautiful"[2] brown mare bred in England by her owner John Lambton, 5th Earl of Durham. She was sent into training with Frank Butters at the Fitzroy House stable at Newmarket, Suffolk.[3]

She was one of the best horses sired by Galloper Light, an English-bred stallion who won the Grand Prix de Paris in 1919. Light Brocade's dam Trilogy was a sister to the Ascot Gold Cup winners Trimdon and Foxhunter and a high-class racehorse in her own right, finishing second in the 1000 Guineas in 1926.[4]

Racing careerEdit

1933: two-year-old seasonEdit

As a two-year-old in 1933 Light Brocade was beaten on her debut at Newmarket Racecourse in July[5] before contesting the Molecomb Stakes over five furlongs at Goodwood Racecourse later that month. Ridden by Bernard "Brownie" Carslake she started at odds of 8/1[6] and won from Instantaneous and Flinders. She followed up by winning the Convivial Plate at York Racecourse in August after which she was described as being "amazingly quick".[7] At Newmarket in October, with Carslake again in the saddle, she won the Cheveley Park Stakes at odds of 11/8.[6]

1934: three-year-old seasonEdit

Light Brocade made her first appearance of 1934 in the Column Produce Stakes at Newmarket in April and came home last of the seven runners behind the Jack Jarvis-trained Campanula. She produced a much better performance in the 1000 Guinea at the same track on 4 May when she finished second to Campanula, beaten a length by the odds-on favourite. On her next appearance she was stepped up in distance for the Oaks Stakes at Epsom Racecourse on 8 of June and was made the 7/4 favourite. Her seven opponents included Campanula, Instantaneous and Zelina (Greenham Plate). Looking very impressive before the race, Light Brocade tracked the front-running Instantaneous before taking the lead in the straight and won by one and a half lengths from Zelina with Instantaneous holding on for third ahead of Campanula.[2]

On her only other appearance, Light Brocade was brought back in distance and assigned top weight for the Coronation Stakes over one mile at Royal Ascot in June. She produced a "very moderate display" and was never in contention before finishing unplaced behind Foxcroft.[8]

Assessment and honoursEdit

In the official Free Handicap for 1933, Light Brocade was rated the second best two-year-old filly in England, one pound behind Campanula.[5]

In their book, A Century of Champions, based on the Timeform rating system, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Light Brocade an "average" winner of the Oaks.[9]

Breeding recordEdit

At the end of her racing career, Light Brocade was retired to become a broodmare. She produced at least two foals and one winner:

Light Brocade was euthanised in 1947.[3]


Pedigree of Light Brocade (GB), brown mare, 1931[1]
Galloper Light (GB)
Sunstar (GB)
Sundridge Amphion
Doris Loved One
Santa Fina (GB)
St Frusquin St Simon
Grig Crafton
Merrie Lassie
Trilogy (GB)
Son-in-Law (GB)
Dark Ronald (IRE) Bay Ronald (GB)
Darkie (GB)
Mother In Law Matchmaker
Be Cannie
Trimestral (GB)
William the Third St Simon
Mistrella Cyllene
Ark Royal (Family 1-l)[4]
  • Light Brocade was inbred 4 × 4 to St Simon, meaning that this stallion appears twice in the fourth generation of her pedigree.


  1. ^ a b "Light Brocade pedigree". Equineline.
  2. ^ a b "Oaks Day at Epsom: Light Brocade's Success". Evening Post. 21 July 1934.
  3. ^ a b Mortimer, Roger; Onslow, Richard; Willett, Peter (1978). Biographical Encyclopedia of British Flat Racing. Macdonald and Jane’s. ISBN 0-354-08536-0.
  4. ^ a b c "Paraffin - Family 1-l". Thoroughbred Bloodlines. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  5. ^ a b "England's Classics". Evening Post (New Zealand). 20 January 1934.
  6. ^ a b Abelson, Edward; Tyrrel, John (1993). The Breedon Book of Horse Racing Records. Breedon Books Publishing. ISBN 978-1-873626-15-3.
  7. ^ "Sport in Britain". Auckland Star. 28 October 1933.
  8. ^ "The Mighty Fallen!". Evening Post. 4 August 1934.
  9. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1999). A Century of Champions. Portway Press. ISBN 1-901570-15-0.