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  Royal Oak

Royal Oak  
Bay/Brown Colt, 1823 - 1849
By Catton - mare by Smolensko

Darley Arabian Sire line:
Eclipse Branch

Family #5 - f

Catton His sire, Catton

Royal Oak, at best a modest success in England, both as a stallion and as a racehorse, brought the sturdy, game qualities that characterized his sire, Catton and great-grandsire, Gohanna, to France. Bred to English mares he probably would never have seen, had he remained in England, he became an unqualified success as a sire of racehorses, and a significant influence on French bloodstock breeding through his daughters.

His sire, Catton, was a tough northern stayer that won twenty-two of his thirty-two races over five seasons, including an unbeaten fourteen race streak at age five. In the stud he got two classic winners -- Tarrare and Mundig -- and a good stayer, Mulatto, that got Derby winner Bloomsbury and other useful runners. Catton was also the sire of Trustee, that became a leading sire in the U.S., and of Galopade, a mare that established a significant female line in the U.S.

Royal Oak's dam was an unnamed mare (1818) by the big, black, Smolensko, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas and the Epsom Derby, among other races, and sire of two classic winners. Her dam was Lady Mary, purchased as a yearling by Nathaniel Hodgson -- whose mother's family, Willoughby, had long been involved in northern racing -- from Lord Behlhaven, a Yorkshire-based peer. Hodgson owned Brafferton Hall near Boroughbridge, and Sand Hutton Hall, near Thirsk. Lady Mary was another game distance mare, that won two and four mile races at Durham, Malton, York and Doncaster through the age of six, before lameness finally ended her career. Lady Mary bred five foals for Hodgson, including two good stayers, Skip (1809, by Stride) and Queen Anne (1812, by Remembrancer).

In 1818 Lady Mary dropped her filly by Smolensko, but Hodgson died in January of 1821, and his horses were sold at York in March of that year, and the Smolensko filly was purchased by R. Harrison, who had established his Aislabie Stud at Ripon (Yorkshire). She was bred to Catton while he was standing at Helperby, York, and in 1823, age five, dropped the brown colt, Royal Oak, her first foal. She produced five more foals by Yorkshire-based stallions before dying in 1831 after foaling out a dead foal by Lottery. Her other foals included Maid of the Oaks (1829, by Brutandorf), a winner of north country races for Harrison, and two more daughters, Beatrice (1836, by Blacklock), and an 1830 filly by Lottery that bred on, establishing a solid, long-lived tail-female family that included classic winners and some good stallions.

Royal Oak looked a great deal like Catton, with the short legs and huge, muscular body, and blood-like head. He was not, however, anywhere near the racehorse his sire was.

Royal Oak on the Turf

Royal Oak ran for two seasons (ages three and four), winning eleven (including a forfeit) of his nineteen starts at distances between one and 2-1/2 miles, mostly at the plate level. He ran in the name of four different owners before his career was done, starting in Yorkshire, where he was born, progressing to the midlands, and ending up in the south. He was most successful during his second season for Francis Conyngham, Lord Mountcharles (heir of Henry, the Marquis Conyngham). Mountcharles' mother, Elizabeth Denison, Marchioness of Conyngham, had become King George IV's mistress not long after he ascended the throne in 1820, and her husband, the Marquess, was appointed Lord Chamberlain at about the same time. Mountcharles, who sat in parliament, preferred the racecourse and the hunting field. The jockey -- and later trainer -- John B. Day, who rode the King's horses after he ascended and picked up racing again, steered Royal Oak to five of his six wins at age four.

Royal Oak was first raced by Harrison in Yorkshire as a three-year-old. He ran in a sweepstakes (20 sovereigns each) over 1 mile-6 furlongs at York Spring, unplaced. He won his next race, the Member's Plate at Newcastle-upon-Tyne over a little more than 2 miles. He then went to Doncaster in the fall, and ran unplaced in the St. Leger (won by Tarrare, by Catton). He was sold very shortly after this race to a Mr. Dickenson, renamed "Mr. Catton," and eight days later, at Chesterfield, won two small sweepstakes on successive days: one was over 2 1/2 miles (beating one other horse), and the other over two miles (beating CREAM, by Catton, the only other runner). Four days later he was Rugeley, where he won the Town Plate (heats), beating two others. He then apparently changed hands, sold to Thomas Houldsworth, for whom he ran his last race of the season, a little over a week later, a 50 sovereign plate at Stafford run over 2 miles in heats, where he was unplaced.

He did not start at age four until June, at Ascot, running in the colors of Lord Mountcharles and back with his original name, in the Oatlands Stakes over 2-1/2 miles, won by Black Swan, with eight others in the field, where he failed to place. The same day he received a forfeit from Tirailleur in a scheduled match over the Swinley course. The next day he did not place in the 2-1/2 mile Swinley Stakes (for 3 year olds), won by the King's mare, Maria. After that he went to Hampton, where he was second out of three horses over a mile in the Swinley Stakes (won by Toss). In July he went to Bath/Bristol, where, over two miles and a distance, he won the Original Sweepstakes (with horses that had won over £100 carrying 5 pounds extra) , beating six others. Next was Goodwood, where he was second to Miss Craven in the Goodwood Stakes, with Black Swan and one other behind him. The next day he began a four-race winning streak with the Ladies' Plate at Goodwood, run in one mile heats, beating Logic and Whimper, the only other horses in the field. He went on to Egham, ten days later, where he won the Surrey and Middlesex Stakes over 2-1/2 miles, beating four others, including the good runner Link Boy, who was giving away a stone to the rest of the field; the next day he won the Ladies' Plate, beating three others. At Abingdon, two weeks later, he won the Abingdon Stakes (for three-year-olds), a good race over 1 mile-2 furlongs, beating the King's good mare, Maria, and one other. At Newmarket October he ran second to Goshawk in a handicap plate worth 50 sovereigns (A.F. course, 1 mile-2 furlongs-24 yards), beating four others. His last race, the next day, was a handicap sweep over the Two Year Old course (5 furlongs-136 yards), which he won, beating The Deer, Helenus, and four other three-year-olds.

That was it for Royal Oak's racing career. He seldom ran in high class company, and rarely against a big, or even moderately-sized field; when he came up against either, he was usually unplaced, with the exeption of his surprise win over the game, good mare Maria in the Abingdon Stakes. He was sold to Francis Russell, Lord Tavistock (heir to the Duke of Bedford) at the end of the season.

Royal Oak in the Stud

Royal Oak went to stud at a fee of ten sovereigns at Oakley, in Bedfordshire, the traditional home of the heir to the Bedford dukedom. He got some winners in England, from fairly limited opportunity, notably SLANE (1833), later a leading sire in the U.K. After five years at stud he was bought by Lord Henry Seymour ("Father of the French Turf") for 600 guineas, and shipped off to France in the spring of 1833, as part of Seymour's plan to improve French bloodstock. Seymour was the second son of Francis Seymour-Conway, the third Marquis of Hertford. His grandmother, Isabella (wife of the 2nd Marquess Hertford), had preceded the Marquess of Conyngham as George IV's (then Prince Regent) mistress. Seymour had been born in Paris when his mother, the 3rd Marchioness, was estranged from her husband, and never lived in England. In 1833, Royal Oak's first season at stud in France, both the French Jockey Club and the Société d'Encouragement pour l'Amélioration des Races de Chevaux en France (French breeders association) were formed, with Seymour the president of both groups.

It isn't exactly clear what Seymour saw in Royal Oak -- SLANE, by far his best runner, was born several months after he went to France -- but whatever it was, it paid off. Bred to the highest class of mares in France (mostly English imports), he was the dominant sire of the late 1830s and 1840s, as French racing was changing from irregular meets run by aristocrats to a structure based on the English model, supported by imported English trainers and jockeys. Although some few of France's early races survive to the present, for example, the Prix du Cadran (first run at Champ de Mars), in 1837, and the Grand Prix Royal (later, the Prix Gladiateur, first run at Champ de Mars) in 1834, many of what are today's graded stakes races did not exist when Royal Oak first went to stud in France--in fact, the Prix Royal Oak, France's equivalent of the Doncaster St. Leger and named in honor of Royal Oak in 1869, was first run in 1861. The Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) wasn't established until 1836, and the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) until 1843. The Poule d'Essai was first run in 1840 for both colts and fillies at Champ de Mars, and in 1883 split into the Poule d'Essai Des Pouliches (French One Thousand Guineas) and the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas). The Grand Prix de Paris, considered by many the most important race of the year until the advent of the Arc de Triomphe, was established in 1861.

Also, the venues have changed: the Champ de Mars, an early site for many important French races, no longer exists as a racecourse, replaced by Longchamp. In addition, despite attempts to codify and structure French racing, for many years after Royal Oak was imported, it was a pastime for the very rich, and more a social affair than the serious, if flawed, and comparatively professional sport English racing had become. One other critical difference was the early establishment in France of state-sponsored studs in various regions of France, intended to make high-quality stallions available throughout the country; these were not ostensibly established to encourage racing, per se, but to improve the quality of horses generally in France, especially for the cavalry, and also for draft work, and high quality Arabians and other breeds, in addition to thoroughbreds, were imported and used at the national studs. This had a relatively rapid effect on the establishment of various provincial racing centers, where none had existed before, as compared to dozens of sites in Great Britain that had a history of racing tracing back one hundred years, and more. Throughout this early period in France, about two dozen, at the most, immensely rich individuals, such as Seymour, imported their own bloodstock to breed and race, utilizing government stud horses when inclined, but building up their own base of thoroughbred broodmares, and racing their produce.

It's doubtful anyone would dispute the inferiority of French horses to English runners as the nascent French racing "industry" got underway during Royal Oak's years as a stallion in France -- anyone who could afford to went to England to purchase bloodstock -- but it took just two generations for French-bred horses (admittedly from English stock) to start winning in England, including Royal Oak's grandson (from his daughter, POETESS), Monarque, a winner of the Goodwood Cup and the Newmarket Handicap, and Monarque's son, the outstanding racehorse and winner of the English Triple Crown, Gladiateur.

Royal Oak stood at Neuilly, Sablonville, and was mostly bred to Seymour's nine imported broodmares at his Haras du Galtigny. His stud fee, at its peak, was 250 gold francs. When Seymour's stud was dispersed in 1842, Royal Oak was purchased by the French state stud, and spent some time at the Paris depot, ending his days in 1849, age 26, at Le Pin, the government stud in Normandy.

In England ROYAL OAK got some winners for Lord Tavistock, including LYRNESSUS (1832), a winner of sweepstakes at Goodwood and Ascot, and the Lewes Stakes, beating some good horses, including Bodice, Reuben and Taglioni; and OAK LEAF (1834, from Mona, by Partisan), a juvenile winner at Ascot of some sweepstakes and second in the two mile Ware Plate to the good racemare Miss Camarine. OAK LEAF'S sister, OAK APPLE (1832), a juvenile winner at Newmarket October of a 100 sovereign sweep, would later produce Oakley (1838, by Taurus), a winner of thirty-one races. Royal Oak's best English runners were born in 1833 -- ROYAL GEORGE, and SLANE-- just after he went to France.

SLANE (1833, from an Orville mare) was a good distance horse that became a leading sire in England in 1845, but his only good sire son was Sting, that got some good fillies in France that were later good broodmares. SLANE, despite getting two classic-winning colts --the Derby winner The Merry Monarch, Two Thousand Guineas winner Conyngham, and some other good-running sons -- was also a better filly and broodmare sire. He got the dams of the outstanding French stallion, Dollar; of the stayer Cambuscan -- later sire of the unbeaten race mare Kincsem; and of the beautiful Kingston, the sire of Queen Bertha.

SLANE was bred by Col Jonathan Peel (later General Peel, who served a term as a Minister of War). He was placed in training with William Cooper, Peel's private trainer at Newmarket. He wasn't especially good at ages two and three, but at age four he won a number of good races, from Ascot's 1-1/2 mile Swinley Stakes to a race of 3-3/4 miles at Goodwood, in which he beat seventeen horses running for the Waterloo Shield and £1,000. Most of his wins were in the 2-1/4 mile range, and he won in good company. In the stud, in addition to The Merry Monarch and Conyngham, his runners included the Oaks winner The Princess, and the One Thousand Guineas winner Lady Orford; July Stakes winner Queen Anne (later dam of Kingston); Sting, a brilliant juvenile winner; Ascot Gold vase winner Mildew, Yorkshire Oaks and Great Ebor Handicap winner Adine, and a number of other good horses.

Royal George
Royal George
ROYAL GEORGE (1833, from Destiny, by Centaur) was bred and raced by William Keppel, 4th Earl Albemarle, and trained by William Edwards, a former jockey that had won the Oaks in 1806 on Bronze; he was also the trainer of Lord Tavistock's horses. ROYAL GEORGE was a moderately successful runner: in 1836 and '37, ages 3 and 4, he won a stakes at Ascot, a sweepstakes and the Town Plate at Newmarket First October, the Surrey Stakes at Epsom, and the King's Plate at Bedford, Canterbury (2 mile heats carrying 9 st. 1 lb.), and at Guildford (2 mile heats). He was a poor third to Touchstone and SLANE in the 1837 Ascot Gold Cup, eleven lengths behind the winner. He was also bought by Seymour and taken to France in 1837, along with his dam, Destiny.

ROYAL GEORGE went to Alexandre Aumont's recently established stud, Haras Victot, where he got a few winners -- including PROSPERO (1840, Royal George - Princesse Edwiss), who dead-heated for the 1843 Prix du Jockey Club, but lost the run-off to Renonce -- but made little mark as a sire of racehorses. After a few years he was sold to the French government and served as a remount stallion at Guingamp, and moved with the remount depot to the national stud Haras de Saumur for the last two years of his life, dying in 1845. His dam, Destiny, was a good broodmare for Alexandre Aumont at his Haras de Victot: she produced Cavetine (by Tarrare), third in the Prix de Diane, second in the Prix du Jockey Club and later winner of the Grand Prix Royal (4,000 meters, later called Prix Gladiateur), beating Monarque, and her half-sister Prédestinée (1842, by Master Waggs), also a winner of the Grand Prix Royal; and 1842 Prix du Jockey Club winner PLOVER (by Royal Oak). PLOVER, who had run second in the Grand Critérium as a juvenile, was sold by Aumont to the Vicount de Perrégeux for the huge sum of 20,000 francs prior to winning the Prix du Jockey Club, but other than picking up a win in the Poule Glatigny, that was all PLOVER ever did on the turf, and he was not a successful stallion.

In France Royal Oak was the sire of a few good colts, but his daughters were better, and they were the ones that had a significant impact on thoroughbred breeding in France, providing a second and third generation bloodstock base derived from English imports.

One of Royal Oak's earliest foals in France, JULIETTA (1834, Royal Oak - Mantua), bred and raced by Auguste Lupin -- who went on his own shopping trips to England -- won two Royal Prizes worth 5,000 francs at Aurillac and Bordeaux, and returned to Paris to run second to Corysandre in the Grand Prix Royal at age four.

Seymour's LANTARA (1836, Royal Oak - Naïad, by Whalebone) won the first running of the Two Year Old Stakes at Chantilly, the first official juvenile race held in France. At age three she won the New Betting Stakes, a big race at the time at Champ du Mars, and at Versailles she won the Glatigny Stakes and the Prix de la Ville. To the cover of Royal Oak, Naïad also bred NATIVA (1840), the champion juvenile winner of the Two Year Old Stakes, the Critérium des Pouliches, and the Prix du Comte de Paris at age two, the Prix de Diane at age three, and the Prix du Cadran and Prix des Haras Royaux (worth 4,000 francs) at age four, among other important races, and DORADE (1843), who also won the Prix de Diane. NATIVA was later dam of Nancy (1851, by Master Waggs), winner of the Poule d'Essai, and her brother, Nat (1853, by Master Waggs), whose wins included the Poule d'Essai, the Poule des Produits (Prix Daru), and Prix du Cadran. DORADE later produced Duchess (1854, by Caravan), a winner of the big juvenile race, the Grand Critérium.

In 1836 Seymour purchased the English mare Kermesse (1832, Camel - Martha) and sent her to Haras du Galtigny. Her first foal there by Royal Oak was JENNY (1837, by Royal Oak). She won the Foal Stakes, worth 500 francs, was second to Tontine in the Prix du Jockey Club, and on the same day won a match against Achille Fould's Auriol; at Versailles she took a walk-over in the Porte-Maillot Stakes. Purchased at Seymour's dispersal sale, in 1843 she won the Grand Prix Royal (Prix Gladiateur, then run at Champ de Mars). She later bred Poule des Produits (later Prix Daru, first run at Champ de Mars) winners Lioubliou (1845, by Alteruter) and Babiega (by Atilla), and Fleur de Marie (1847, by Atilla), winner of the Prix de Diane.

QUONIAM (1837, Royal Oak - Noémia), bred and raced by the Duc d'Orléans, won the Prix du Printemps. Eugene Aumont's DÉCEPTION (1837, from Georgina by Rainbow) beat QUONIAM in a small race worth 2,000 francs at age three. The next year she won the Prix du Cadran and three government-sponsored races at Aurillac. She became the second dam of Poule d'Essai winner Nicolet (1864, by Fitz-Gladiator).

POETESS (1838) was Royal Oak's most influential daughter. She was a good race mare, but of much more significance as a broodmare. She produced Hervine (1848), a very good runner in France, that later bred some top-class racehorses and daughters that established an important tail-female line that included the great runner Sea Sick and the outstanding runner Tracery. Even more significant, for French breeding, she produced Monarque, a versatile, sturdy winner in both France and England that later established a long-lived sire line in France.

POETESS was from the good Whisker daughter Ada, that Seymour bought in England and imported in 1829 in foal to St. Leger winner Reveller. The filly from that union, Miss Annette, born in 1830, was one of the earliest stars of the French turf, unbeaten at age five, when she took all the big races, including the Prix Royal, the Grand Prix Royal, the Prix Principal, and a gold vase at Bruxelles. Miss Annette later bred another good filly, Annetta (1839, by Ibrahim), a winner of many races, and in turn the dam of three French classic winners.

To the cover of Royal Oak, Ada dropped POETESS in 1838. POETESS won the New Betting Room Stakes, then an important race worth 1,000 francs, the Prix du Jockey Club and two other races in six years on the turf, but she was not the best filly of her year and never again came close to the class she had exhibited at age three. She retired to Glatigny, but at Seymour's stable liquidation, POETESS, partially crippled, was purchased as a hack by Baron Lecoulteux, who later sold her for the pitiable sum of 100 francs to Alexandre Aumont.

At Aumont's Haras Victot, POETESS bred Hervine (1848, by imported Mr. Wags, a son of Langar). Hervine was a champion runner, winner of the Prix de Diane, Prix du Printemps, a special race for 5,000 francs at Versailles, the Prix de la Ville de Caen, the Grand Saint-Léger de Moulins, and several other races at age three, and at ages four and five many other races, including the Prix du Cadran, the Prix des Pavillons, the Grand Prix National; in England she was second in the Goodwood Cup. In the stud Hervine produced Mon Etoile (1857, by Fitz-Gladiator), winner of the Grosser Preis von Baden, the Prix Gladiateur and Prix Rainbow and other races, later dam of Cambridgeshire winner Peut-Etre. Hervine also produced Minerve, dam of French Oaks winner Serpolette, and New Star, dam of Grand Prix de Paris winner and great stayer Tenebreuse. These mares sent the tail-female line forward: the superior runner Sea Sick (1905, Prix du Jockey Club and others), the famous mare Plaisanterie (1882, winner of the fall double in England), the great runner and sire Tracery (1909), and many other excellent horses were among their many descendants.

In 1852 POETESS dropped Monarque, a colt that would become one of France's most important stallions. Monarque ran for four years, winning at all distances and often carrying the heaviest weight, in both England and France. At age three he was undefeated in ten races in France, including the Poule d'Essai, the Poule des Produits, and the Prix du Jockey Club; the highlights of his many other wins through age six included the Prix du Cadran, the Prix des Pavillons and the Grand Prix Impérial (later Prix Gladiateur, re-named for his famous son) at Longchamp. In England he won the Goodwood Cup and the Newmarket Handicap, but broke down in the running of the Great Metropolitan Handicap. He was retired to Haras Dangu where he got the nineteenth century's greatest racehorse, Gladiateur, winner of England's Triple Crown, and Consul (1866), sire of two Prix du Jockey Club winners, and of Fripon (1883), great-grandsire in tail-male of the great French crack and two-time leading sire Sardanapale (1911). Monarque's daughter Reine (1869, from the great mare Fille de l'Air) won England's One Thousand Guineas and Epsom Oaks, and another daughter La Favorite, a good racehorse, was later dam of Flageolet, a staying winner in England and France and the first French-bred and owned horse to become a leading sire in England.

Other good 1838 Royal Oak foals included the Comte de Cambis' CAUCHEMAR (1838, from Eva by Sultan), winner of the Poule des Produits (Prix Daru) at age three, and MANTILLE (1838, from Manille by Orville), a winner of the Grand Critérium at age two. Royal Oak's 1839 crop included PLOVER and MUSE (1839, Royal Oak - Terpsichore). MUSE, owned by the English-born trainer Thomas Carter, was an excellent juvenile that won the Two-Year-Old Stakes at Chantilly and the Grand Critérium, and was second to Miserere in the Prix du Comte de Paris; at age three won a race at Paris worth 2,000 francs and the Prix Principal (worth 4,000 francs), and was second in the Grand Saint-Léger, and at age four took the Prix Royal, worth 6,000 francs.

Royal Oak's 1840 crop included NATIVA, already mentioned, KARAGHEUSE (1840, Royal Oak- Ada, and so brother to POETESS), MAM'ZELLE AMANDA (1840, Royal Oak - Weeper) and GOVERNOR (1840, from Lydia by Rainbow). KARAGHEUSE raced by F. Sabathier, won the Foal Stakes as a juvenile, the Prix du Comte de Paris, and La Coupe d'Or. MAM'ZELLE AMANDA was a favorite for the Prix de Diane, but could only place third; she went on to win the Prix du Printemps at Paris, beating KARAGHEUSE and The Drummer, and then went to the provinces, where she won the Prix du Ministère at Versailles. GOVERNOR won the Poule des Produits (Prix Daru) at age three.

Royal Oak's 1841 crop included COMMODORE NAPIER (1841, from Flighty by Young Phantom), and EDWIN (1841, from Béguine by Waxy Pope). COMMODORE NAPIER, first raced by Thomas Carter, for whom he won the L'École Militaire at Paris, was purchased by Prince Marc de Beauvau, after which he won the Coupe Janisset, the Poule d'Essai, the Poule des Produits, the Prix de la Ville at Versailles, and a 500 louis race at Chantilly, but could only run second to Coq-à-L'Ane in the Grand Saint-Léger; at age four he won the Prix des Pavillons at Paris, and the Prix des Haras at Chantilly. EDWIN, bred and raced by Nathaniel de Rothschild, won the Prix du Cadran in a canter, beating the grand race mare Lanterne. EDWIN'S younger sister, GLANDA (1844, from Béguine), won the Poule des Produits at age three, and the Grand Saint-Léger.

Royal Oak's last crop bred at Glatigny included DORADE (1843), noted earlier, whose dam, Naïad, had been purchased by Prince Marc de Beauvau at the Seymour dispersal.

After the liquidation of Seymour's stud in 1842, and Royal Oak's move to the state stud, his success as a stallion dropped off. His 1844 crop included TRONQUETTE (from a Redgauntlet mare), a winner of the Poule d'Essai for C. de Pontalba.

The next year Prince Marc de Beauvau's SÉRÉNADE (1845, from Georgina, dam of DÉCEPTION, noted above), was born. She was another tough race mare. She won four races at age three, including the Prix de Diane, and the Grand Prix Royal at age four. At age five she became the highest all-time money winner in France in a single year, having won eight good races worth over 40,000 francs, including the Prix National and the Grand Prix National at Champ du Mars, among other races. She was later the dam of Poule d'Essai winner, Bakaloum (1856, by Ion), and of Tonnerre des Indes (1855, by The Baron), who won the Grand Critérium at age two.

Another foal of 1845 was BABOUNINO. He was bred by the Marquis de Saint-Cloud, whose stud was 30 kilometers from du Pin, and who sent his mare Niobé to Royal Oak, then age 22, in 1844. BABOUNINO was extremely temperamental, and was gelded after acting up one too many times in his first races at Alençon. The horse was indefatigable; the Marquis rode him 30 kilometers to a breakfast meeting with M. de la Motte, who considered Babounino's evident stamina, and made an offer on the horse, promptly accepted. Placed in training with de la Motte's trainer Harry Lamplugh, he was put to steeplechasing under the name FRANC PICARD. A winner of 230,000 francs over the course of his long career, which encompassed 96 races, he became a national hero, famous for winning the Grand Steeple at Dieppe seven times, the last when he was age fifteen. He attempted the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree unsuccessfully, but he did win the Birmingham Grand Annual twice in England.

In 1846 Royal Oak's crop included MARYLAND (Royal Oak - Pécora), a winner of four races for de Beauvau, including the l'Omnium (worth 4,000 francs). In 1849 Royal Oak got PORTHOS (1849, from Lady Fashion by Sylvio); PORTHOS was his last Prix du Jockey Club winner, and in fact, one of his last foals, since he died later that year at Le Pin, where PORTHOS was bred. He had "a small imperfection," but was purchased anyway by Alexandre Aumont. PORTHOS, although good, was not the best of his year; he won two other races, the Prix de l'Administration des Haras and the Prix du Président.

Royal Oak got many other winners in addition to those noted above, and was dam's sire of some other good horses, including the siblings Dulcamara, winner of the 1849 Grand Prix Royal and Experience, winner of the Poule d'Essai and Prix du Jockey Club, both out of ASPASIE (1836, from a Waverley mare) and by imported Physician. Another 1836 Royal Oak daughter, FRANCESCA (1836, from Anna, by Godolphin), became the dam of Allez-y-Gaiment (1852, by The Emperor), a winner of the Grand Critérium and the Grand Prix de Conseil General at Moulins, and later a useful stallion. MARGARITA (1835, from Manille by Orville, and so sister to MANTILLE) bred Meudon (1843, by Alteruter), winner of the Prix du Jockey Club, his sister Nanetta (1845), who took the Prix du Cadran, and Renumerateur (1851, by The Baron), also a winner of the Prix du Cadran.

Royal Oak's daughter GRINGALETTE (1848, from Amie by imported Beggarman) produced Prix de Diane winner Surprise (1856, by Gladiator), winner of the Prix de Diane, the Prix de la Néva, the Grand Prix de Versailles, the Prix Municipal at Gand, and a number of other races; she later produced the grand French-bred race mare Sornette (1867, by Light, a winner of 19 consecutive races at age four), that won the Grand Prix de Paris, the Doncaster Cup, the Prix de Diane, and other good races. She was also the dam of an excellent steeplechaser, Falendra (later L'Africain), by Faugh-a-Ballagh. GRINGALETTE'S daughter, Princesse de la Paix (also by Gladiator) bred on: her descendants included the good running brothers Le Nord (1887) and Le Nicham (1890), both from La Noce and by Tristan, and both winners in England and in France. A filly from Royal Oak's last crop, in 1850, QUI VIVE (from Benediction by imported Physician), produced Salamboo, a winner of the Prix de la Fôret; this female line bred on through the end of the 19th century.

--Patricia Erigero
Special Thanks to Tim Cox for his assistance with Royal Oak's racing career

ROYAL OAK, bay/brown colt, 1823, Family #5 - f
b. 1809
b. 1802
b. 1790
Mare by Herod
b. 1795
Lucy Gray
ch. 1804
b. 1794
b. 1789
Mare by Smolensko
b. 1818
blk. 1810
blk. 1796
Young Giantess
blk. 1797
Lady Mary
b. 1800
b. 1791
King Fergus
Mare by Herod
Mare by Highflyer
Mare by Marske

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