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  Family C-16: The Steeltrap Mare

This family has its roots in the famous Lee family stud, Bylong, near Bathurst, NSW (see Family C - 1). Steeltrap (1815, by Scud) was imported in 1824 by Aspinall, Brown and Co., a London/Liverpool firm that established an agency in Sydney in 1822. He served as a stallion at Glanmire, Vaucluse, and finally the important Bungarribee stud of Charles Smith's where he got a number of good runners and horses of significance in early Australian bloodstock breeding, including Matilda (Family C - 15). Bungarribee was just west of Toongabbie, where the government horse-breeding station was located, and an imported mare at the station of unknown origin, bred to Steeltrap, produced a chestnut filly around 1833-34.

This filly, now known as the Steeltrap Mare, was recorded as "Colonel Wrenche's chestnut mare by Steeltrap, her dam a Government mare." Barrie believed "Colonel Wrenche" was actually a Colonel C. French, headquartered at Parramatta in 1836, and in 1842 transferred with his 28th Foot Regiment to India. The Steeltrap mare would have been in the Bylong Stud from about that time onward, but was certainly there by the late 1840s when she produced her successful daughters by the Lees' stallion native-bred Marquis (1837, by Dover), who also figures early in the pedigrees of Sappho (Family C - 1), Adeline (C -6) and The Young English Mare (C - 9). These daughters were Beeswing (c. 1848), Marchioness (c. 1850), and Ladybird (c. 1851), bred by George Lee's brothers, John and James.

Beeswing's branch bred on through the mid-twentieth century, with good performers such as Donald (1921, see below) appearing periodically. Her son Kettledrum (1870, by Kingston) got the sprinter William Tell (1880). Ladybird's branch, whose early representatives, including Melbourne Cup winner Zulu (see below) were bred at Bylong, also continued to the mid-twentieth century.

It was the branch of Marchioness that was most successful, both early on, with such winners as Bylong, winner of the first running of the AJC Metropolitan for John Lee, and later, particularly in Queensland, where Needle Gun (1900, by Amberite) was a broodmare. Needle Gun's son Pittsworth Gun (1907) won the QTC Stradbroke Handicap, as did her daughter, Line Gun (1910), who was purchased by Tom Jennings and became a significant matron in his Alma Vale stud at Greenmount. A great many good Queensland winners descended from Line Gun (see Spear Chief, below), and the family has a strong representative today in the gelded Ice Chariot (2002), winner of the Queensland Derby and other good races.

Notable Descendants

Ice Chariot
Ice Chariot

Spear Chief
Spear Chief


Donald b.c. 1921
(Don Reynaldo - Andol)
By imported Don Reynaldo (1909, by St. Frusquin), who stood at the Reynolds famous Tocal Stud on the Paterson River, he was a sturdy long-running winner of the NJC Newcastle Cup (11 furlongs), the City Tattersall's Cup (11 furlongs), the AJC Summer Cup twice (13 furlongs, in 1928 and 1929), and the AJC Anniversary Handicap (12 furlongs); he ran fourth in Phar Lap's 1930 Melbourne Cup.

Ice Chariot b.g. 2002
(Semipalatinsk - Snow Chariot)
Promising young stayer, bred by Queensland trainer Ron Maund of Toowoomba and raced by owners Kevin and Tanith O'Brien, has won six of his ten starts (to mid-2006), including the Jack Hanna QTIS 3 Year Old Handicap, the 2400 meter Queensland Derby, and the 2100 meter QTC Grand Prix Stakes. His sire sent out a number of good runners from Eureka Stud, Cambooya. His dam, Snow Chariot, bred by Ian Crompton, was a good juvenile winner at Brisbane, and her dam, bred at Wattle Brae Stud, near Nobby, also won at Brisbane. Ice Chariot's branch of the family has been bred on or near the Darling Downs, Queensland, for more than six generations, with the famous Lyndehurst Stud's stallions Grand Chaudiere and Lysander figuring in the pedigree. Other good winners from this branch, descending from the Spearfelt daughter Feltline (1930), bred at Greenmount in Queensland, include Piper's Belle (1986), winner of the QTC Ascot Handicap and South Molle Island Handicap, and the VRC Honda Prelude, all at 1400 meters; Light Appeal (1970), winner of the QTC 2nd Claret Stakes, and English Statesman, winner of the BATC Summer Cup.

Spear Chief br.c. 1934
(Spearfelt - Sere Vale)
Spear Chief was a good, fast stayer, with a very respectable race record, but he is most remembered as the spoiler of his contemporary, Ajax's, eighteen race winning streak when he won the 1939 Rawson Stakes. This unexpected upset -- by 7 lengths in a three-horse race -- stunned the racing world. Spear Chief was Queensland's best three-year-old in 1937, winning the QTC Sires' Produce Stakes, the Queensland Guineas, and the Queensland Derby, among other races. He went on to win the VRC Hotham Handicap, the 14 furlong AJC Cumberland Stakes, the King's Plate held in Queensland, the aforementioned Rawson Stakes, and the 16 furlong Brisbane Cup twice (1938, 1939), was second in the 2-1/4 mile AJC Plate, but did not place in the Melbourne Cup or the Caulfield Guineas. His second Brisbane Cup win, carrying 9 st. - 7 lbs, set an Australasian record over two miles in 3:19-3/4. He was trained by the meticulous New Zealand-born Richard Price (Windbag, Murray King, etc.), whose professional approach to racehorse care set a new standard in Australia, and his frequent jockey was the famous New Zealander Maurice McCarten; the Price-McCarten partnership reached its peak in 1939-40, when they ended the season at the top of the lists, greatly assisted by Spear Chief's wins. Spear Chief was bred at Alma Vale stud, Greenmount, Queensland, by Tom Jennings, who purchased his Melbourne Cup-winning sire, Spearfelt, in 1928, after Spearfelt failed to attract broodmares in Victoria; at Alma Vale Spearfelt rose to champion sire in Australia in 1934 and was second twice on the leading sires list. Spear Chief was purchased by W.J. Tucker of Queensland, and after his first Brisbane Cup win, a half-interest in him was bought by J. Harris. At stud in Queensland, Spear Chief was not a successful sire, although he got the dams of some winners. His daughter, Binnia Lassie was second dam of Swiftly Ann (1972), a winner of 17 races and $77,130. Swiftly Ann was second dam of the unraced champion Australian broodmare Pride of Tahnee (1984), dam of Shogun Lodge, Singing the Blues, etc. (see Family C - 12).
Spear Chief's dam, the excellent broodmare and good runner (winner of QTC Newmarket Handicap and over £3,000) Sere Vale, was bred at Alma Vale, from Line Gun (1910, by Sir Simmer). Line Gun won the QTC Stradbroke Handicap in 1912, after which she was purchased by Jennings, for whom she won seven other races. At Alma Vale Line Gun also bred Warwick Gun (1918, by Seremond), winner of the QTC Moreton Handicap, the Spring Stakes, and the Metrpolitan Handicap, and Feltline (1930, by Spearfelt), who bred on (see Ice Chariot, above). Sere Vale produced two staying brothers to Spear Chief: Brownfelt (1933) won the Queensland Guineas, and at age four won the Queensland Tattersall's Cup and the QTC Metropolitan Handicap, and Spearvale (1936) was a winner of the 16 furlong Queesland Cup and the 10 furlong C.A. Morris Stakes. She also produced a daughter, Gay Stepper (1932, by Spearfelt) -- dam of the sire Beau Monde (1941, by Beau Pere), Queensland Tattersall's Cup winner Bon Vite, and of a daughter, Step Dance, who bred on -- and Two Grand (1943, by Mr. Standfast), a winner of the AJC Fernhill Handicap.

Sweetmeat br.c. 1875
(Yattendon - Sultana)
Bred by Sydney innkeeper Thomas Ivory, who owned his dam (bred by John Lee), Sultana (1861), who won a maiden handicap at Randwick in 1866 and became a foundation mare in his stud. Ivory had stables on Bourke Street, Surry Hills, and a thoroughbred stud at Eastern Creek, near Windsor. Her son, Sweetmeat, was an excellent stayer, winning the AJC Epsom Handicap in 1879 and running second in the Melbourne Cup, which was won by Darriwell in record time. In 1880 his wins included the AJC Craven Plate, the AJC Autumn Stakes, the Wagga Wagga Cup, and the AJC Randwick Plate (24 furlongs). The next year he won the VRC Royal Park Stakes, and was third in Zulu's (see below) Melbourne Cup. His younger brother, Sterling, was also a good stayer, winner of the AJC Metropolitan Stakes and the Wagga Wagga Cup, among other races. Sultana's half-brother, Bylong (1863, by Sir Hercules), bred by John Lee at Bylong, won the inaugural running of the 16 furlong AJC Metropolitan Stakes for Edward Lee. Bylong's Sister (1862, by Sir Hercules) produced the celebrated Indian racehorse Kingcraft (1870) to the cover of the Lee's imported stallion Kingston (1860, by Kingston). Kingcraft was sold to India as a three-year-old where he won all seven of his races, at Calcutta, Lucknow, and Bombay, including his first Viceroy's Cup. He changed ownership several times, and owned by Mr. Downall in 1877, won his second Viceroy's Cup, and his third Viceroy's Cup in 1878, ridden and owned by Mr. Maitland; he retired in 1881, after nine seasons, having won 46 of his 68 races.

Zulu blk.c. 1877
(Barbarian - Maiden's Blush)
Bred by James Lee, probably at Bylong, NSW, by the Cutty Sark (Family C - 3)-descendant Barbarian, bred by the Lees at Bathurst (see also Family C - 1). Owned by Charles McDonnell (sometimes McDonell, MacDonnell, McDonald) of Mondook in the Manning Valley, NSW, his only notable win was the 1881 Melbourne Cup, which he won at age four carrying the feather weight of 5 st. -10 lbs. and running at odds of 60:1; two horses fell in this race when a dog ran across the track -- AJC Derby winner Wheatear and Suwarrow, whose jockey was fatally injured. The much better runner, Thomas Ivory's Sweetmeat (1875, by Yattendon), also in this family, was third in this race, carrying 9 st. James Lee bred Zulu's fourth dam, Ladybird (by the Lee stallion Marquis (sire of Saphho, Family C - 1), and her immediate descendants. Others descending from Ladybird included her daughter, Phoebe (1893, by Sir Hercules, winner of the AJC Epsom Handicap and Antonius (1903, by Sir Foote), a top juvenile winner of the VRC Sires' Produce Stakes, Ascot Vale Stakes, and AJC December Stakes, and at age three second to Poseidon in the Melbourne Cup, carrying more weight.

Descent Chart

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

A Government Mare
 Mare ["Colonel Wrenche's] (ch.f. c1833) by Steeltrap
  Mare (f. 18-) by Cap-a-Pie
  | Crucifix (f. 18-) by New Warrior
  |  Moselle (ch.f. 1866) by Cossack
  |  Blue Gown (ch.c. 1868) by Lord of the Hills
  Beeswing (ch.f. c1848) by Marquis
  | Young Marquis (c. 1858) by Little John
  | The Cripple (f. 1859) by Little John
  |  Hebe (f. 1865) by Kingston
  |  | Psyche (f. 1873) by Maribyrong
  |  | | Stanley (ch.g. 1881) by Grandmaster
  |  | Lady Clifton (f. 1877) by Hawthornden
  |  | | Golden Image (f. 188-) by Grandmaster
  |  | |  The Image (f. 1893) by Navigator
  |  | |  | The Idol (f. 1902) by The Warder
  |  | |  |  Andol (f. 1912) by Antonio
  |  | |  |   Donald (b.c. 1921) by Don Reynaldo
  |  | |  Orphan Boy (b.g. 1895) by Navigator
  |  | Secundus (ch.c. 1875) by Kelpie
  |  Kettledrum (ch.c. 1870) by Kingston
  |  Mendicant (f. 1873) by Barbarian
  |   Verania (f. 1884) by Othello
  |    Valeria (f. 1892) by Lord Clifden
  |     Cruiskeen (f. 1899) by Niagara
  |      Hedera (f. 1907) by Golden Ivy
  |       Trilisa (f. 1920) by Trillion
  Ladybird (ch.f. c1851) by Marquis
  | Maid of the Lake (b.f. 1859) by Lambuscat
  | | Maiden's Blush (f.) by Kingston
  | |  Zulu (blk.c. 1877) by Barbarian
  | |  Pearl Powder (f. 1890) by Trenton
  | |   La Perle (f. 1897) by Will o' the Wisp
  | |    Zilper (ch.c. 1907) by Orzil
  | Phoebe (ch.f. 1863) by Sir Hercules
  |   Miss Kingston (ch.f. 1871) by Kingston
  |   | Enid (f. 1891) by Forest King
  |   Miss Phoebe (ch.f. 1872) by Kingston
  |    Latona (ch.f. 1884) by Moorthorpe
  |     Lady Phoebe (f. 1892) by Oudeis
  |     | Lady Fair (f. 1905) by Gambol
  |     |  Fair Murillo (f. 1912) by Murillo
  |     |   Crystal Light (f. 1924) by Limelight
  |     |    Sweet Step (f. 1938) by Earl Cunje
  |     |     Dandy Don (ch.c. 1948) by Ladmond
  |     Antonia (b.f. 1896) by Bengal
  |      Antonius (b.c. 1903) by Sir Foote
  Marchioness (ch.f. c1850) by Marquis
   Sultana (f. 1861) by Little John
   | Sterling (br.c. 1870) by Yattendon
   | Sweetmeat (br.c. 1875) by Yattendon
   Bylong's Sister (f. 1862) by Sir Hercules
   | Kingcraft (c. 1870) by Kingston
   Bylong (ch.c. 1863) by Sir Hercules
   Fancy (f. 1865) by Kingston
   | Surrey (g. 1876) by Barbarian
   The Marchioness Filly (ch.f. 1869) by Kingston
    Helena (br.f. 1879) by Yattendon
    | Triton (br.c. 1890) by Trident
    | Eileen (br.f. 1894) by Trident
    |  Needle Gun (b.f. 1900) by Amberite
    |  | Pittsworth Gun (b.g. 1907) by Honiton
    |  | Line Gun (br.f. 1910) by Sir Simmer
    |  | | Warwick Gun (blk.c. 1918) by Seremond
    |  | | Sere Vale (br.f. 1925) by Seremond
    |  | | | Gay Stepper (f. 1932) by Spearfelt
    |  | | | | Beau Monde (c. 1941) by Beau Pere
    |  | | | | Step Dance (f. 1942) by Mr. Standfast
    |  | | | | | Grove Hall (g. 1953) by Emborough
    |  | | | | Bon Vite (c. 1943) by Mr. Standfast
    |  | | | Brownfelt (br.c. 1933) by Spearfelt
    |  | | | Spear Chief (br.c. 1934) by Spearfelt
    |  | | | Spearvale (br.c. 1936) by Spearfelt
    |  | | | Two Grand (c. 1943) by Mr. Standfast
    |  | | Feltline (f. 1930) by Spearfelt
    |  | |  Cinnafast (f. 1946) by Mr. Standfast
    |  | |   Bush Fire (f. 1959) by Smokey Eyes
    |  | |   | Light Appeal (br.f. 1970) by Non Proven
    |  | |   English Statesman (b.g. 1961) by Tudor Monarch
    |  | |   Lysander Belle (f. 1967) by Lysander
    |  | |    Chaudine (b.f. 1977) by Grand Chaudiere
    |  | |     Piper's Belle (b.f. 1986) by Captain Piper
    |  | |     Seattle Snow (b.f. 1988) by Seattle Siesta
    |  | |      Snow Chariot (br.f. 1996) by Chariot
    |  | |       Ice Chariot (b.g. 2002) by Semipalatinsk
    |  | Pigeon Gun (f. 1913) by Kenilworth
    |  |  High Gun (f. 1924) by Highfield
    |  |   Hyette (b.f. 1942) by Buzzard King
    |  Novel Gun (f. 1902) by Amberite
    |   Peter the Painter (b.c. 1910) by The Painter
    Nina (f. 1880) by Barbarian
    | Young Nina (f. 188-) by The Drummer
    |  Alba (f. 1895) by Albatross
    |   Miss Merton (f. 1902) by Kingsley
    |    Dorrie Merton (f. 1914) by Don Hannibal
    |     Greenbird (br.c. 1924) by Greenstead
    Ailie (f. 1881) by Gemma di Vergy
    | Tridentate (ch.c. 1889) by Trident
    Marchesa (f. 1886) by Epigram
     Margravine (f. 1893) by Invader
      Lady Fucile (f. 1904) by Fucile
       Yandil (b.c. 1913) by Linacre
       Mucilage (f. 1915) by Fortafix
        Herolage (b.g. 1928) by Heroic
        Lady Carlisle (f. 1933) by Grosvenor
         Wood Nymph (f. 1941) by Spear Chief
          French Nymph (f. 1950) by Le Bosc Giard
           French Fairy (f. 1960) by MyKingdom
            Jolie Rouge (ch.f. 1972) by Red Rock
             Truganinni's Image (br/blk.f. 1985) by Attunga Chief
              Cosmic Capers (b.g. 1996) by Lido Gold

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