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Dun Colt, c. 1750.
By (Old) Crab - Sister to Buffcoat by Godolphin Arabian.

Alcock's Arabian Sire Line.
Family 6

Old Crab His sire, Old Crab

The dun Brilliant was bred by Charles Colyear, 2nd Earl of Portmore around 1750, who bred and owned a number of famous racehorses in the first half of the 18th century, including Smiling Ball and Victorious, and who purchased, ran, and stood at stud the famous (Old) Crab. Crab's son, Brilliant, was sold to William Crofts, a mid-century racehorse breeder of some repute, located in West Harling, Norfolk, in 1752.

Brilliant ran for Crofts for three years, winning, in 1754, a three mile plate at Ipswich, a four mile purse at Newmarket and at race at Huntingdon, beating Buffcoat (another "dun" horse), Pytho and South, among others during this year. In 1755 he won two races at Newmarket, and one at Burford, apparently easily beating his competitors. In 1756 he won an important race over four miles for the Hundred Guineas and Upwards at Newmarket, and then was retired from the turf.

In the stud, he was highly successful; described by Heber in 1760 as "very lucky in getting foals, which are in general very well -sized and very handsome." He stood at Epsom between 1758 and 1763, where he got a top race horse, DON DUN. From 1764 to 1772 he stood at Crofts' stud at West Harling for 10 guineas a mare (doubled in the 1760s from the previous fee of 5 guineas).

The bay Bellario, undefeated at age four, he won numerous sweeps and matches over 4 miles to age 8, after which he was retired to stud
He got the good race horses BELLARIO (won 10 races at Newmarket), ARIEL and CALIBAN, PARIS (Carlisle's) and ETHON (Duke of Ancaster's) the dun colt DORILAS, and the fillies LAIS (1766) and LORETTA (1774, dun), all from Miss Slammerkin (also called the Whittington mare, 1754). Other offspring included a bay filly of 1768, CATHERINA; the chestnut filly BRILLANTE (1766); the UNNAMED dam of the racehorse Euston (1769) and his siblings Topgallant and Duchess (1776); the UNNAMED dam of the dun horse Custard (1774) and the bay racehorse Crookshanks (1777); the dun colt PETULANT (1767); VIRGIN, a dun filly of 1760; the dun colt DUNNY (1771) from Highflyer's dam, Rachel; the chestnut colt OPINION (1771). He also got several unnamed colts and fillies.

The color "dun" is used in the first volume of the General Stud Book to describe over fifty horses, and some good racehorses of this color ran in the 18th Century, including Brilliant, Buffcoat, Don Dun and others. The "true" dun gene has not been found in the present day thoroughbred population, and, as of this writing, the speculation is these dun horses actually expressed the creme (or cream) gene as what are called "buckskins" today. It seems probable that Brilliant received his color from his maternal family line, which traces back, according to the GSB, to the D'Arcy Yellow Turk, although there is evidence the line may trace to a mare known as the Wyvill Roan mare of unknown parentage (see Family 6 for additional discussion on this family).

-- Patricia Erigero

BRILLIANT, Dun colt 1750 - Family #6
Crab (Old)
gr. 1722
Alcock's Arabian
mare by Basto
Byerley Turk
Bay Peg
mare by Curwen Bay Barb
Curwen Bay Barb
mare by Old Spot
Sister to Buffcoat
d. 1738
Godolphin Arabian
ch. 1725
Bald Galloway
St. Victor Barb
Grey Whynot
Mare by Acaster Turk
Acaster Turk
Mare by Leedes Arabian

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