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  Family C-13: Empress

The Empress family had its roots in the historic Australian stud of Lyndhurst, located near Warwick on the Darling Downs of central Queensland. While the family has disappeared from the Australian Stud Book, Lyndhurst, albeit under "new" ownership since the 1950s, persists as one of Australia's most successful thoroughbred nurseries.

The earliest known mare in the family was one of unknown breeding said to have been purchased from a "pound sale" by John W. Henry, a farmer at Drayton on Darling Downs; impounded stray horses, collected by "poundkeepers," could be sold after advertising their descriptions for the purpose of locating the rightful owners. This unclaimed mare was bred to Pioneer (imported 1859, by Voltigeur), producing a mare named Kerosene, who, put to the native-bred Queensland-based stallion Tamerlane, a son of Sir Hercules, dropped Empress around 1875. Tamerlane's recorded progeny include Carbine (not to be confused with the great Carbine (1885) by Musket), a runner in the 1860s that won the QTC Brisbane Cup, and some good producing mares.

Empress was purchased by Charles Edward McDougall, whose family, headed by Malcom S. McDougall, had settled at Lyndhurst in 1875. When his father died in 1882, Charles assumed management of Lyndhurst, and began to assemble a broodmare band, and in 1886 purchased Archie (1880, by the imp. Tim Whiffler's son Rapidity), the first of Lyndhurst's long line of influential stallions. Archie had been a good runner in Victoria, winning the VRC Ascot Vale Stakes, the AJC All Aged Stakes (8 furlongs), and the inaugural running of the VRC Bagot Handicap (10 furlongs). Archie, as sire of the 1893 mare My Colors, is also seen in the pedigree of De La Salle, the great race mare from Family C-10. Archie was followed by Ladurland (1900, by Ladas), imported by McDougall in 1905, a very successful Queensland sire, and then imported Syce (1906, by Cyllene), who got the great race mare Molly's Robe (1915) and many other Queensland winners, and imported Seremond (1910, by Desmond), the dominant sire in Queensland in his era and sire of Mollys' Robe's champion sprinting son Mollison (1925) that won many races in Victoria.

McDougall, albeit conservative politcally, was a progressive pastoralist who became a leader in local farming circles. In the early 1890s he established a beef shorthorn stud at Lyndhurst, soon importing bulls to promote early maturity, and he purchased additional acreage near Yuleba for a cattle stud, managed by his brother, Jack, from whence issued his champion shorthorn bull, Lyndhurst. After Charles died in 1922, his brother Jack assumed management of Lyndhurst, and in 1931 Jack imported The Buzzard (1926, by Spion Kop), twice leading sire in Australia and especially noted as a sire of stayers. Following Jack's death in 1955, Lyndhurst was purchased by the Kruger family which over time expanded its holdings to 2500 acres, and which operates Lyndhurst to this day. Smokey Eyes, a leading sire of winners in Australia, Grand Chaudiere, and other good stallions have since occupied boxes at Lyndhurst.

At Lyndhurst, Empress produced three useful foals by Archie. The first was Sydney Cup winner Realm (1887, first named Empire). Later she bred Czarina (1891), a good winner in Queensland, includng the QTC Derby, and later a stellar broodmare, and Archeress (1895) whose grandson, Stralia (1919, see below), was the last noted runner in the family, although Archeress still had descendants in the ASB through the 1930s.

Notable Descendants


Czarovitch b.c. 1900
(Little Bernie - Czarina)
One of five good runners produced by Czarina and bred by F. Darley in his Queensland stud, he was purchased and raced by a well-known Western Australian character, Patrick "Lucky" Connolly. Connolly, born at Ophir, NSW, rode his family's horses at bush raceracks as a youngster, and made a good deal of money in trade during the Kalgoorie gold rush of the mid 1890s. He later expanded into hotels (notably the Kalamunda Hotel), mines, and land ownership, eventually purchasing the Canning Park racetrack and a controlling interest in the Helena Vale racecourse, which he ran for thirty years, frequently battling the Western Australian Turf Club, Western politicians, and starting-price bookmakers. Czarovitch won the 1905 Perth Cup and the 1907 WATC Imperial Stakes for Connolly; Czarovitch was one of six Connolly horses to win the Perth Cup prior to 1910; one of his other horses was Blue Spec, a winner of the Kalgoorlie, Perth and Moonee Valley Cups, and of the Melbourne Cup in record time. His Western Australian stud was dispersed in 1947, a year after his death; at the dispersal, his horse Remarc sold for a record 2300 guineas. Of Czarovitch's full siblings, by Little Bernie (Family C - 15), Ivan (1899) won the QTC Claret Stakes and Moreton Handicap; Alexis (1902) won the QTC Queensland Guineas and the QTC Derby; and Patrician (1903) won the QTC Hopeful Stakes and Ascot Handicap. A half-sibling, Simmerina (1906), bred after Czarina was sold to E.R. Reynolds of NSW, won races in Tasmania and Victoria, including the TRC Sir James Wilson Handicap.

Realm br.c. 1867
(Archie - Empress)
First named "Empire," he was bred by Edward Mitchell at Sandy Creek, near Warwick, Queensland. Described as a "long, low thickset bay with a round barrel and great square hips," he was owned by L.K. Mackinnon, chairman of the Victorian Racing Club, and later retail king Samuel Horden, owner of Wilton Park stud at Picton. His wins included the Toowoomba T.C. Christmas Handicap, the Forced Handicap, the Queensland Cup, and the Tattersall's Metropolitan Stakes (Queensland). In Horden's ownership he won the AJC Autumn Stakes and the Sydney Cup in 1893. His successes allowed Empress' family entry into the ASB through her daughters Czarina and Archeress.

Stralia br.g. 1919
(True Scot - Austra)
Bred by W.R. Morgan, a prominent racehorse owner in Victoria, he was raced by M.R. Morgan, mostly at small agricultural meetings. In 1925, however, he won the SAJC West End Draught Stakes, and the 13 furlong Adelaide Cup, although in the latter he was lightly weighted at 6 st-10 lbs. His sire, True Scot (1903, by Wallace), was a very good winner in South and Western Australia, and also won the VRC Bagot Handicap (1 mile-5 furlongs). His grandam, Archeress, placed four times in 18 starts. She produced Stralia's dam, Austra (1908), and her sister, Miss Bobby (1902) a good sprinting winner of 13 races, including the Adelaide City Handicap and the VRC Standish Handicap ( 6 furlongs) twice.

Descent Chart

Bold=winners of stakes races and important handicap and weight-for-age races

Kerosene (f.) by Pioneer
 Empress (f. c1875) by Tamerlane
   Realm (br.c. 1887) by Archie
   Czarina (ch.f. 1891) by Archie
   | Ivan (b.c. 1899) by Little Bernie
   | Czarovitch (b.c. 1900) by Little Bernie
   | Alexis (br.c. 1902) by Little Bernie
   | Patrician (b.c. 1903) by Little Bernie
   | Simmerina (f. 1906) by Simmer
   Archeress (f. 1895) by Archie
    Miss Bobby (br.f. 1902) by Bobadil
    Austra (f. 1908) by Bobadil
     Stralia (br.g. 1919) by True Scot

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©2006 Patricia Erigero, Thoroughbred Heritage. All rights reserved.