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  Family B-3: Perion Mare

Lavant and her progeny, members of this family, were admitted to the General Stud Book in March of 1969, after months of agitation by various members of the racing community, including the Council of Thoroughbreed Breeders Association. This was congruent with a change in the conditions for admittance, which were published in Volume 36 (published February, 1970), which stated admission to the GSB was to be allowed first, if a horse traced in "all points of its pedigree to strains already appearing in pedigrees in earlier volumes of the General Stud Book," or second, if it could be proved "satisfactorily eight 'thoroughbred' crosses consecutively including the cross of which it is the progeny and to show such peroformances on the Turf in all sections of its pedigree as to warrant its assimilation with 'thoroughbreds'." The sticking point in barring admission of this family was the fact that Lavant's third dam, Verdict (see below), was by the half-bred stallion Shogun (HB-1), which disrupted the requirement of eight "pure" crosses in the family's pedigree. However after the aformentioned pressure, and the undeniable fact that this was a high-class family of flat racers that once again called into question the rigidity of admission rules and the definition of a thoroughbred race horse, Weatherby's stated: "On this occasion we feel that Lavant and her progeny are a strain which should be assimilated with thoroughbred strains and have decided to admit Lvant and her produce..."

Lavant's son, So Blessed, and her daughter, Lucasland, had both been top sprinters in England in the 1960s, and further, eight of ten mares in direct descent to Lavant had been winners, with their progeny having won such races as the Oaks, the July Cub, the Cambridgeshire, the Coronation Cup, the Ascot Gold Cup, and other important races, and included two colts that had placed second in the Derby Stakes. The family has continued its winning ways since, with the 2004 classic winning filly Attraction its most notable recent member.

The family has its modern roots in a mare by Perion, foaled in the 1830s. Perion, by Derby winner Archduke (son of Sir Peter), had run second in the 1832 Derby. She produced a daughter by Melbourne, who was "a famous mare of Tom Dawson's, winner of races." Dawson was a famous north country trainer based first at Brecongill, Middleham, Yorkshire, and then at Tupgill, Yorkshire: he trained four classic winners, including Pretender, who won both the Two Thousand Guineas and the Derby in 1869, and the fillies Our Nell and Blue Bonnet, who carried off the Oaks and St. Leger, respectively, in 1842.

The Melbourne mare bred fifteen foals for Dawson and Tom Hewett of Gibside Park, Gateshead, Yorkshire, five of them winners, including Birdhill, winner of Goodwood's Stewards' Cup and eleven other races and later, in the Duke of Beaufort's stud, a sire of some winners on the flat and many good hunters. Five of her daughters bred on. Isabel, by Hobbie Noble, ran unplaced in her three races for Captain Coates; in the stud she produced five winners for W.B. Van Haansbergen of the Woodlands in Co. Durham, including St. Vincent, by Lord Clifden, a winner of five races worth £1,160; Jessie, winner of Bilbury's Champagne Stakes and several other races; and Mackintosh, by Macgregor, who won first prize at the Clonmel show in Ireland at age four, and was later sire of good steeplechasers and hunters.

Another daughter of the Melbourne mare, Nelly Rose, by Newminster, was sold to John Dawson, Tom Dawson's younger brother, also a trainer--of Derby winner Galopin and dual classic winner Petrarch, among many others--who trained at Compton, Berkshire, and then at Newmarket. For Dawson she produced four winners, including Julia Lex (later called Our Nell), a winner of five races between the ages of two and six, later dam of Saucy Nell, a winner on the flat who also won and placed in a number of shows as a broodmare, and produced a series of first place winning hunter foals and yearlings. Other Nelly Rose daughters, both by Tibthorpe, were Rosebud, winner of some small hurdle races and steeplechases, and Tib, dam of Curzon (see below).

The Melbourne mare also produced Queen Bee, sister to Nelly Rose, by Newminster, who ran second and third out of five races at age three. She bred three foals for Lord Middleton at Malton, Yorkshire, after which she was sold to William l'Anson, and later ended up in the stud of W. Van Haansbergen in Co. Durham. Beeswing was Lord Middleton's hunter for four seasons, and won a number of first prizes and cups as a hunter broodmare at shows in Yorkshire and in the 1888 Royal show, along with her produce at those events; most of Beeswing's progeny for a couple of generations were used as hunters in Yorkshire, often by Lord Middleton.

The most influential daughter of the Melbourne mare was Polly Johnson, later called Maud. She won thirteen of forty-four races, including Worcester's Flying Stakes as a juvenile. At age four while running in a selling race at Ascot she was claimed by the Earl of Coventry. She won two races for him the following season and then was retired to Croome Court stud in Worcestershire. A branch of her familyremained at the Coventry stud, with La Maudite (won three races, including the Croome Handicap at Worcester), Wrangle (by the Lecomte son, imported Umpire; won five races, six hurdle races and five steeplechases), Parting Shot (unraced dam of six winners on the flat and over fences), and Finale (see below) all serving as broodmares there, and Finale's daughter, Cambridgeshire Stakes winner Verdict (see below) passed to Coventry's daughter, Lady Barbara Smith, for whom she produced a series of winners and yearlings that brought high prices in the sales. The family today descends from this excellent runner and producer.

Notable Descendants

Attraction. Photo © Racing Better. Used with permission.
So Blessed
So Blessed

Attraction b.f. 2001
(Efisio - Flirtation by Pursuit of Love)
A filly whose owner-breeder, the Duke of Roxeburghe, did not consider sending to the sales because her legs were so crooked became one of the two top fillies of the 2004 season in England, winning the 1,000 Guineas in both England and Ireland, the Coronation Stakes, and the rich Sun Chariot Stakes, overcoming a fractured pedal bone during her two seasons on the turf. Her wins at two included the Cherry Hinton Stakes and the Queen Mary Stakes, bringing her total number of wins to nine.

Curzon br.c. 1892
(Ocean Wave - Tib by Tibthorpe)
Curzon, bred by Cannon at Danebury, won the Great Surrey Foals plate and eleven other races, with total winnings of £3,489. He ran second to Sir Visto in the 1895 Derby, beating the 2,000 Guineas winner Kirkconnel and twelve others. His sire, Ocean Wave, was a son of See-Saw. His dam, Tib, bred by Newmarket trainer John Dawson, won five of her nine races as a juvenile, and was picked up by Tom Cannon in a selling race for 320 guineas. For Cannon she won the Chatsworth Plate at age three, dead-heated for Newmarket's September Stakes at age four, and won Goodwood's Stewards' Cup, beating twenty others, at age six. She was retired after her season when six years old, having placed third in one of her three races that year. In addition to Curzon she produced Tipoo Tib by Hermit son Whitefriar, a winner of four races on the flat and two over hurdles; Ebbing Tide, who ran on the flat at ages two and three thirteen times, dead-heating once, and went on to win five steeplechases and a National Hunt race at ages four and five; and Chrysomel, who ran unplaced seventeen times between the ages of three and five, and produced a couple of winners of small races, Chrysolite and Pacific, the latter winning on the flat and over hurdles.

Have A Champ (ARG) dkb/br. c. 1995
(Ski Champ (USA) - Have a Care (GB) by Rainbow Quest (USA))
Winner of Argentina's Grand Premio Jockey Club.

Lucasland b.f. 1962
(Lucero - Lavant by Le Lavandou)
Sister to So Blessed (below), she was champion sprinter in England in 1966, having won four of eight races that year, including the July Cup and Diadem Stakes. Daughter Lucent won the Oaks Trial Stakes.

Quashed b.f. 1932
(Obliterate - Verdict by Shogun)
"Lithe, leggy" race mare who liked a distance, winner of ten races in her twenty starts over three seasons, including Epsom Oaks, the Great Metropolitan Handicap, Ascot Gold Cup, Newmarket's Jockey Club Cup (twice), Chester's Ormonde Stakes. She was leased for running by Lord Stanley, as was her half-sister, Versicle. Disappointment in the stud; Fair Wood, a descendant, won the Indian Derby in 1958, and Veio, four generations removed, was a versatile winner in Italy, at distances from 1200 to 3000 meters, including the Italian St. Leger.

So Blessed br. c. 1965
(Princely Gift - Lavant by Le Lavandou)
Handsome and fast colt, unbeaten winner of three races at age two; at age three he won the July Cup, the King George Stakes, and the Nunthorpe Stakes in seven starts, proving himself one of the best sprinters of that year, and at age four his best in four starts was a second in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket. The best son of Princely Gift, he sired some good running daughters, including Scarcely Blessed (King George Stakes) and Swan Princess (3 stakes wins). His dam Lavant won one race in two seasons, but her offspring were good runners, including Lucasland (above), Prince's Error, Cry Help and Bucklers Hard.

Sonic Lady b.f. 1983
(Nureyev - Stumped by Owen Anthony)
Another excellent race filly from this family, winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, the Sussex Stakes, the Breeder's Cup mile, and the Coronation Stakes, among other races. Champion three-year-old filly in France and Ireland. Dam of Hazaam, winner of four of eight starts in England and the United Arab Emirates; and winners Sharman, Mudallel.

Verdict b.f. 1920
(Shogun - Finale by Pericles)
A "charming" and "model" race filly, winner of 8 of 18 starts. Unbeaten as a juvenile, winning 3 races at Newmarket and the Sherwood Forest Nursery at Nottingham, at age three she won the Cambridgeshire Stakes, beating 22 runners, including Epinard and Pharos; Newmarket's Midsummer Stakes and Birmingham's Burton Handicap, and placed second in the Ascot Gold Vase and Duke of York Handicap at Kempton. At age four she won Epsom's Coronation Cup, and placed in the City and Suburban Handicap and the Great Jubilee Handicap at Kempton. In Lady Smith's stud she founded a dynasty of runners and producers that ultimately led to the inclusion of this family in the GSB. Her six winning foals won a total of £30,657, a big sum in the depression era. They included daughters Quashed (see above) and Versicle (below), and Dictum, who won the Ebor Handicap; her sons were less successful as runners, but Thankerton was runner-up in both the Derby Stakes and the 2,000 Guineas. Her sire, Shogun (Family B1) was also of a half-bred family.

Versicle b.f. 1930
(Sickle - Verdict by Shogun)
Good juvenile, winner of the Prince of Wales's Plate, Sandown's Holiday Plate, and two others, placing second in the Queen Mary Stakes. At age three she won Ascot's Ribblesdale Stakes, beating Dastur, and the Knowsley Dinner Stakes at Liverpool. In all she won six races worth £5,126. She produced five winners, including Firle (dam of Verdict, above), who won six of her twenty starts over three seasons.

Descent Chart

Mare (f) by Perion
  Melbourne Mare (f) by Melbourne
    Polly Johnson [Maud] (b.f. 1855) by Malcolm
    | Tennyson (br.c. 1862) by Ethelbert
    | La Maudite (ch. f. 1864) by Surplice
    | | Little Tim (b.c. 1870) by Tim Whiffler
    | | Wrangle (ch.f. 1875) by Umpire
    | | | Mediator (ch.c. 1889) by Herald
    | | | Vellum (b.c. 1893) by Velleda
    | | | Parting Shot (br.f. 1894) by Petronel
    | | |  Revolution [Ringlet II](ch.f. 1898) by Ringleader
    | | |  Coup de Grace (b.c. 1803) by Raeburn
    | | |  Chef d'Oeuvre (ch.c. 1905) by Raeburn
    | | |  Limner (ch.c. 1906) by Raeburn
    | | |  Finale (b.f. 1908) by Pericles
    | | |   Requiem (b.f. 1917) by Shogun
    | | |    | Record (gr.f. 1925) by Kildare II
    | | |    | Black Minstrel (bl.c. 1926) by Black Gauntlet
    | | |   Verdict (b.f. 1920) by Shogun
    | | |    Silver Gilt (b.c. 1927) by Silvern
    | | |    Dictum (br.f. 1928) by Abbots Trace
    | | |    Priory Court (b.c. 1929) by Friar Marcus
    | | |    Versicle (b.f. 1930) by Sickle
    | | |    | Firle (br.f. 1938) by Noble Star
    | | |    | | Lavant (b.f. 1955) by Lavandou
    | | |    | | | Lucasland (b.f. 1962) by Lucero
    | | |    | | | | Land Ho (b.f. 1969) by Primera
    | | |    | | | | | Bright Landing (ch.f. 1978) by Sun Prince
    | | |    | | | | | | Upper Strata (b.f. 1985) by Shirley Heights
    | | |    | | | | | |  Her Ladyship (b.f. 1991) by Polish Precedent
    | | |    | | | | | |  | Dignify (b.f. 1997) by Rainbow Quest
    | | |    | | | | | |  Lord of Men (ch.c. 1993) by Groom Dancer
    | | |    | | | | | Eastern Shore (ch.f. 1979) by Sun Dance
    | | |    | | | | | | Flirtation (b.f. 1994) by Pursuit of Love
    | | |    | | | | | |  Attraction (b.f. 2001) by Efisio
    | | |    | | | | | Danger Ahead (b.f. 1982) by Mill Reef
    | | |    | | | | |  Have a Care (b.f. 1988) by Rainbow Quest
    | | |    | | | | |   Have a Champ (dkb. c. 1995) by Ski Champ
    | | |    | | | | Luckhurst (b.f. 1972) by Busted
    | | |    | | | | | Stumped (b.f. 1977) by Owen Anthony
    | | |    | | | | |  Sonic Lady (b.f. 1983) by Nureyev
    | | |    | | | | |   Hazaam (b.c. 1989) by Blushing Groom
    | | |    | | | | |   Sharman (b.c. 1990) by Blushing Groom
    | | |    | | | | Lucent (b.f. 1974) by Irish Ball
    | | |    | | | Cry Help (ch.f. 1963) by Martial
    | | |    | | | | The Stork (b.f. 1976) by Club House
    | | |    | | | |  Petorius (b.c. 1981) by Mummy's Pet
    | | |    | | | So Blessed (br.c. 1965) by Princely Gift
    | | |    | | Chanfrin (b.f. 1957) by Chamossaire
    | | |    | | | Rosada (b/br.f. 1980) by Comedy Star
    | | |    | | |  Pride of Place (b.f. 1985) by Prince Bee
    | | |    | | |   | Mainz (b.f. 1991) by Privato
    | | |    | | |   |  Pegaso (b.c. 1999) by Play the Gold
    | | |    | | |  Avignon (b.c.1991) by Privato
    | | |    | | Yasmin (br.f. 1960) by Gilles de Retz
    | | |    | |  Ma Griffe (b.f. 1966) by Eborneezer or Ritudyr
    | | |    | |   Whip It Quick (b.c. 1972) by Philemon
    | | |    | |   Marmellata (b.f. 1973) by John Splendid
    | | |    | |   | Maratoneta (gr.c. 1978) by Brook
    | | |    | |   Etty (b.f. 1978) by Relko
    | | |    | |    Miss Boniface (b.f. 1985) by Tap on Wood
    | | |    | Straight Play (ch 1945) by Straight Deal
    | | |    Quashed (br.f. 1932) by Obliterate
    | | |     Perion (b 1938) by Hyperion
    | | |     Lady Betty (b.f. 1940) by Hyperion
    | | |     | Fair Betty (b.f. 1947) by Fun Fair
    | | |     |  Fair Wood (b/br.c. 1955) by Willoughton
    | | |     Veto (b.f. 1942) by Hyperion
    | | |      Vernet (b. 1951) by Sayajirao
    | | |      Volterrana (B.F. 1953) by Daumier
    | | |       Venere di Capua (ch.f. 1962) by Antonio Canale
    | | |        Veio (b.c. 1970) by Floribunda
    | | Lord Coventry (b.c. 1881) by Prosper
    | Cinderella (b.f. 1867) by Tim Whiffler
    | Ulrica (b.f. 1871) by Tim Whiffler
    |  I Spy (br.c. 1889) by Scout
    |  Peep O (br.c. 1891) by Scout
    |  Malvern Abbot (b.c. 1894) by L'Abbe Morin
    |  Hide and Seek II (br.f. 1896) by L'Abbe Morin
    |   Mob (br.c. 1908) by Boss Roy
     Gift (b.c. 1856) by Windhound
     Birdhill (b.c. 1859) by Birdcatcher
     Isabel (b.f. 1860) by Hobbie Noble
     | Norrington (b.c. 1865) by Alvediston
     | Gladice (b.f. 1866) by Marsyas
     | Jessie (br.f. 1878) by Argyle
     | Mackintosh (br.c. 1879) by Macgregor
     Copenhagen (br.c. 1861) by Newminster
     Queen Bee (b.f. 1863) by Newminster
     | Beeswing (b.f. 1871) by Morocco
     |  Beetle (b.f. 1880) by Scotch Fiddle
     |  Birdsall (b.c. 1882) by Happy Land
     |  Wild Bee (br.f. 1883) by Happy Land
     |  Beefeater (b.c. 1884) by King Harold
     Nelly Rose (bf. 1865) by Newminster
      Blackface (b.f. 1870) by Soapstone
      Julia Lex [Our Nell] (b.f. 1871) by Julius
      |  Julia Lex [Our Nell] (b.f. 1871) by Julius
      |   Saucy Nell (b.f. 1887) by The Bold Marshal
      |    Tinsley (b.f. 1894) by Rotherham
      |    Sea Cook (br.c. 1896) by Cabin Boy
      |    Saucy Poll (b.f. 1898) by Cabin Boy
      Rosebud (br.f. 1882) by Tibthorpe
      Tib (br.f. 1883) by Tibthorpe
       Tippoo Tib (b.c. 1890) by Whitefriar
       Curzon (br.c. 1892) by Ocean Wave
       Chrysomel (br.f. 1893) by Melanion
       Ebbing Tide (br.f. 1894) by Ocean Wave

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