Harkaway was one of the nineteenth century's great racehorses, although he never contended for a classic race, and spent more time on the Irish turf than on England's racecourses. Referred to more than once as "the Irish Eclipse," some place him as the best runner of the century, ahead of Ormonde, St. Simon, and other stars. He never got a foal that came close to his power and speed on the turf, but his son, KING TOM, sire of five winners of seven classic races and twice leading sire in England, made up for that. Harkaway's successes and failures were inextricably linked with the fortunes and machinations of his colorful breeder and owner, Tom Ferguson.
His sire, Economist
Harkaway's sire, Economist (1825) was by Epsom Derby winner Whisker, the latter bred at the famous Euston stud of the Dukes of Grafton in Sussex and later, as a stallion based in Yorkshire, a successful sire of two Doncaster St. Leger winners and other good stayers and excellent broodmare daughters. Whisker's sire line became dominant through the end of the nineteenth century in Australia through his exported grandson, Cap-a-Pie (1837), sire of the noted Australian stallion Sir Hercules. Whisker's four daughters -- Emma (1824), Maria (1827), Caroline (1828) and Maid of Lune (1831) -- all out of Gibside Fairy, are among the most famous broodmares in the general stud book.
Economist's dam, the Yorkshire-bred Floranthe (1818), by the 1810 St. Leger winner Octavian, was a broodmare in the Northallerton stud of William Metcalfe, scion of a long-established Yorkshire family. Floranthe bred three other foals to the cover of Metcalfe's stallions Grey Middleham and Wanton; of these Flosicula (1824, by Grey Middleham), placed in some races, and Giglet (1826, by Wanton) became the principal conduit for the English foundation mare Family 36.
Economist, born at Hipswell Lodge on the River Swale near Richmond, and by far the best of Floranthe's produce, stood at 16 1/2 hands and was described as a "very large mottled bay, possessing far more power than quality." Another contemporary sportsman said he was a "fine large horse with a good constitution and evidently a good feeder; his appearance, however, impressed upon the mind of the beholder the idea rather of a hunter than a racer, nor were his performances on the turf eminently successful." He turned out in one foreleg, which caused some interference when he ran, and ultimately "ruined him as a racer."
Economist won a sweepstakes at Catterick Bridge at age three, but failed to place in the Derby, the Doncaster St. Leger, or the Richmond Gold Cup. He was sold to to the Irish peer, Howe Peter Browne, (3rd) Marquess of Sligo after that season, and did better the following year, winning four races in seven starts, including a handicap sweepstakes at Liverpool July (beating three), the Stanley Stakes (1-1/4 miles, beating four), a two-mile heats race at Preston (beating four), and York's Knavesmire Handicap (1-1/2 miles) easily, beating Fox, a filly by Blacklock and Belinda. He placed second by a head to Apollonia in a sweepstakes two days later over two miles, with Terror and two others in the field, and also ran second to Laurel (by Blacklock) in the Preston Gold Cup (3 miles).
Sligo, like several other Ireland-based breeders, was very high on Waxy -- the sire of Whisker, Whalebone, and Pope (in Ireland, Waxy Pope, nine times champion sire there, owned by Sligo) -- blood, and Economist was taken to Ireland. He was sold to Dennis Arthur, Lord Clanmorris, whose seat was at Newbrook, Hollymount, Co. Mayo. The next season he placed third in the Northumberland Handicap (one mile) at the Curragh September meeting, won by Lord Sligo's filly, Vat, with six others in the field, and at the same meeting failed to place in the Lord Lieutenant's Plate (4 miles). His last race at the Curragh October meeting was a 100 sovereign match against Coeur de Lion, which he lost.
Economist was retired to the Clanmorris stud at Newbrook, which was famous for its hunters and steeplechasers. Sometime prior to 1837 he was sold to Parsons Persse, member of an extensive family of sportsmen in counties Galway and Mayo; Persse served as agent for his relative, Lord Clanmorris, and owned and bred some horses at his Summerhill stud at Newbrook.
Economist got very few thoroughbred foals in his first years at stud; the earliest seems to have been The General, born in 1832, that ran unplaced in the Westenra Stakes at the Curragh as a two year old in 1834. The next year he got Normanby (1833, from Isora, by Tramp), a long-running useful colt that raced in both Ireland and England whose wins included two King's Plates at the Curragh (over two and three miles) at age three, Croxton Park's Egerton Stakes (beating nine others), and the Drakelow Stakes at Burton-on-Trent. In 1834 came Harkaway, and his superiority as a juvenile, combined with Normanby's wins, brought Economist, tucked away in west Ireland, into prominence. Economist was moved to the Brownston Stud at the Curragh where he saw some good mares, and spent two seasons (1840-41) in York, where he got a handful of English-bred youngsters. In 1842 he was leading sire in Ireland (both progeny earnings and races won), and in 1843 was leading sire (races won; beaten by Philip the First in terms of progeny earnings by a few pounds).
In addition to Harkaway and Normanby, Economist's best winners were Persse's Lord George (1845, from Miss Watts), a winner over fences, including the Railway Hurdle at the Curragh in 1850; Mulligatawney (1839, out of Vinegar), winner of the Madrid Handicap at the Curragh in 1842; Doctor Sangrado (1839, from Remnant), a winner of the Rossmore Produce Stakes at the Curragh and other races that made him the champion runner in Ireland in 1842 for Lord Howth; Condor (1840, out of a Master Robert mare), winner of the First Two-Year-Old Race and the Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh as a juvenile.
Economist's best steeplechaser was the half-bred Economy, "a big slashing bay, " a winner of several flat races at Roscommon, Tuam and other western Ireland meetings; in 1841 he won two steeplechases at Ballymore, and then for his new amateur-rider owner, James Kelly, won the Limerick Steeplechase in 1842, carrying 11 st. -2 lbs over four miles, beating The Fawn and Blueskin, both noted chasers, and nine others, and a few weeks later took a good steeplechase at the Ormond and King's County Meeting. He broke down soon after, terminating a promising career. Another good 'chaser by Economist was Henri Delamarre's Flying Buck (not to be confused with Flying Buck by Venison); he met and beat the famous French steeplechaser Franc Picard many times, including in the 1855 La Croix de Berry steeplechase and important steeplechases at La Marche and at Spa.
In addition to getting one outstanding racehorse and useful sire son -- Harkaway -- Economist got one extremely significant broodmare daughter, the "fiddle-headed" Echidna (1838, from Miss Pratt by Blacklock), bred by George Watts, a noted Irish breeder and trainer in the first half of the nineteenth century. Echidna did not race and went right into the stud. Her first foal, born in 1842, was the roman-nosed The Baron, by Birdcatcher: he won the Doncaster St. Leger and some other races, and in England became the sire of Stockwell ("the emperor of stallions") and his brother, Rataplan, winner of the Doncaster Cup, the Ascot Gold Vase and forty other races and a good broodmare sire. Later sold to France, The Baron got five classic-winning off spring there, including the great Les Toucques. The Baron's daughter, Vermeille (1853), became a significant French matron.
Echidna also produced Citron (1853, by Sweetmeat), a winner of the Anglesey and Railway Stakes at the Curragh for Watts, and The Baroness (1846, by Verulam) and Marchioness d'Eu (1847, by Magpie), both of which won the four mile Royal Whip at the Curragh.
Mademoiselle (1842, from Red Tape by Rowton), one of Economist's English-bred daughters, produced Mounseer (1846, by St. Francis), winner of the Chester Gold Cup, Salisbury's County Cup, a Queen's Plate at Salisbury, and other races. Economist's Madrid Stakes winning daughter Mulligatawney bred on for a few generations. Other than Echidna, whose historic influence, although distant, is manifest, few Economist daughters are seen in pedigrees today.
His dam, Fanny Dawson
Harkaway was the fourth foal of Fanny Dawson (1823). Fanny was bred by Lord Cremorne at his seat in County Monaghan. Her English-bred dam, Miss Tooley (1808, by Teddy the Grinder and out of Lady Jane, sister to Oaks winner Hermione), had been bred by Lord Derby and purchased at Derby's Knowsley stud by an Irish livestock speculator, Jason Hassard. Hassard brought Miss Tooley to Ireland and sold her to Mr. Dawson, one of the many relatives of Richard T. Dawson, Baron Cremorne, who inherited his great uncle's Monaghan estate and considerable fortune in 1813. Miss Tooley ran four times, easily winning the King's Plate at Londonderry and the King's Plate at Downpatrick in 1812. The next year she ran second to Giantess in the mares' Royal Plate at the Curragh, beating four others, and was then purchased by the newly-minted Baron Cremorne. In 1815 she won the mares' Royal Plate at the Curragh, and was retired to the breeding shed, where she produced six foals between 1816 and 1824, dying in 1825.
Miss Tooley's chestnut filly by the Irish-bred stallion Nabocklish, only later given the name Fanny Dawson, was raced by Cremorne. In so far as Irish racing is covered by the calendars of the times, it appears she ran once in 1825, placing third and last in the Stewards' Stakes at the Curragh, and three times in 1826: she was fifth of six youngsters in the Madrid Stakes, won by Drone, fourth of six in three two-mile heats in the Pentland Stakes, and third of five runners in the Gold Cup (won by Mount Loftis), all at the Curragh.
Fanny's Irish-bred sire, Nabocklish, was by the Irish-bred Rugantino (1903, by Commodore), a winner of a King's Plate at the Curragh in 1807, and an indifferent sire that stood for 2 guineas at the Curragh, owned by sportsman John Whaley; Nabocklish was Rugantino's best offspring, by far. Nabocklish, bred by John Kirwan at Castle Hackett, described as "a beautifully proportioned horse, equal to sixteen stone fox hunting," took four King's Plates and was second three times. He was purchased as a stallion by Cremorne and stood in Co. Wicklow until 1821, afterwards sent to County Monaghan, where, in that isolated location, he got Fanny Dawson and a few other runners that made little mark on the turf or in the breeding shed.
Fanny Dawson was given as a present to the colorful Ulster-born Tom Ferguson, a tough, pugnacious former linen factory apprentice who became a crack steeplechase rider, then trainer and owner. In his early years on the turf Ferguson was successful, a good sportsman, and amiable enough to be admitted as a member to the Irish racing fraternity's Coffee Room at the Curragh -- the peak of acceptance -- having become a "general favourite among racing men." His early winning horses included Teetotum, Beagle, Bannathlath and Rust. Rust (by Master Robert) was a grand stayer, winning the Royal Whip, the Wellington Stakes and several four-mile Queen's Plates at the Curragh, as well as a maiden steeplechase before he was killed running in his second race over fences. Bannathlath (by Camelopard), one of the most noted of Irish chasers in the early 1840s, won big steeplchase races at Thurles, Mallow, Trim, Kilkenny, Newry and Castlebellingham.
Most of Fanny's foals, including Harkaway, were bred at Ferguson's small stud at Sheepbridge, County Down. By the end of the 1830s Ferguson and his horses had become the occupants of the famous Rossmore Lodge on the edge of the Curragh, where Sir Hercules stood at stud in 1832; this move was largely financed by Ferguson's betting coups while Harkaway was racing.
Fanny bred seven foals between 1830 and 1840, all but two by Economist; of these, Beagle (1830, by Roller) won a King's Plate (2 miles) at Down Royal Corporation meeting, and placed second to Silly Pat in the King's Plate (2 miles) at Londonderry in 1833. Fanny's unnamed daughter by Economist (1832) would become the dam of The Elk (1858, by Hummingbird), the first winner of the Scottish Grand National Steeplechase. Goneaway (1839, by Economist) was leased by Ferguson to Levi Goodman in England for a season, where he was illicitly substituted (Ferguson may have had nothing to do with this) -- with a shorn tail and dyed leg -- for Maccabeas in a race at Epson by Goodman, a prelude to the infamous Running Rein scandal of Orlando's Derby. Fanny's 1840 colt by Economist, later named Harkforward, was sold as a weanling to Senator Porter of Louisiana, for the large sum of $5,000 -- this, after Harkaway's great wins -- and sent to the U.S.; he was bitten by a rattlesnake and died before leaving any kind of mark.
Fanny dropped Harkaway in 1834 at Sheepbridge. After weaning Harkaway was sent to a "large farm in Westmeath...where he remained nearly a year and a half, up to his knees in grass, among the horned cattle fattening for the Liverpool market, without any other shelter than that afforded by the fine whitethorn hedges intersecting the farm." A dark chestnut "of uncommon brilliancy," with a striking blaze, he grew to 16.2 hands, and with his ultimate height and structure, it's no wonder that as a juvenile he did not win as he did in later years. He was very fast, and when at top speed, he would bring "his stifles up with such force...that they often touched the legs of his jockey."
A contemporary description of Harkaway recounted: "He had a large lean head, broad forehead, listening ears, full good-tempered and soft eye...and very large nostril." His crest was "peacocky with a long and powerful neck, which even in training could never be got lean." He "...had grand shoulders thrown well into the back, an exceptionally high wither, great, but long back, giant forearm, captial rib...a splendid forehand to a hindquarters equally so." His quarters "...were deep, with broad ragged hips, tail set high...powerful gaskins, hocks a trifle 'cow-fashioned,' which brought them closer together than the hoofs...great flat swordy legs, and pasterns rather long." He was "longer from hip to stifle and from hip to hock than any ordinary horse; the formation of his hocks gave him a wide spreading action in his gallop."
As to his faults, he stood a bit over in the knees and was "a trifle" goose-rumped, and an American who had seen him said he turned out in one front leg, as his sire had. Although one commentator said he had "good sound large feet," another said that his feet were poor, which he speculated accounted for Harkaway's wins on the "persian carpet" of the Curragh course and at Goodwood, and his losses on the "hearthstone hard" Liverpool course. He did develop a spavin, and raced lame more than once. But, regardless of disposition of his legs and feet, as the editor of The Sportsman put it: "Harkaway's Legs must be of the very best quality, or he could neither have carried the extra weights allotted him, which are double, at least, the ordinary average, nor yet have come out so often."
Harkaway's companion while racing was a donkey who followed his traveling cart from course to course. Seen as a stallion in his mid-years, a visitor noted: "Harkaway has the sweetest of tempers, so much so that we were told to go under his belly if we wanted to get on the other side of him."
Harkaway on the Turf
In the years he raced Harkaway, Ferguson suffered from excruciatingly paintful episodes of gout, which likely exascerbated his temper -- never the best -- and his outlook on the entrenched racing fraternity. A product of his times, and self-made in the racing game, his racing strategy was determined by the profitable wagers he could secure on his horses. In regards to Harkaway, he was reportedly "immensely riled" when Harkaway was "at times treated very unjustly in weights," to the extent that he could not run the horse in some of the best handicaps because of the incredible imposts that would be laid on Harkaway by the hostile Irish and English racing establishments.
Ferguson had a public (e.g. sporting press) dispute in Ireland with Earl Milltown, with whom he had previously been on good terms. Because he feared the imposts that would be laid on Harkaway, he later said, he had allowed Harkaway to run in Milltown's name, against some of the Earl's horses, in the Constantine and Madrid Stakes. There either was -- or was not -- a deal struck between Ferguson and Milltown regarding the upcoming Kirwan Stakes (June of 1837), when three of Milltown's horses were slated to run against Harkaway: if Harkaway won, Milltown would "save his stakes" on none, one or three of the horses, depending on who was narrating the story. A huge publicly-aired set-to followed regarding £150 stakes withheld from Ferguson after the race, with John Hunter, "Keeper of the Match-book of the Turf Club," following instructions from Milltown; Ferguson eventually won his suit against the stewards in court. Following that embarassing exchange, Milltown, a steward of the Irish Jockey Club, declared he would not weight -- handicap -- any horses belonging to Ferguson (e.g. Harkaway), which left Ferguson the option of only running his horse in non-handicap races, such as the Royal Plates. Then, the Royal Plates usually run at the Curragh in June were moved to the November Mulgrave meeting, apparently upon petition by the Irish Jockey Club stewards -- Milltown supporters -- to Lord Albemarle, Master of the Horse (in England, who was the ultimate stamp on the racing schedule). This conflicted with the schedule of the Royal Plates to be run at Co. Down, and would prevent Harkaway from running in all four Queen's Plates, the only lucrative races for which he was now qualified. This prompted another round of vituperative public letters from various parties, but it seemed clear this was a rather vicious retaliatory measure against Ferguson for taking Milltown to court, rather than submit regarding the money he thought he was owed, and even worse, for airing his grievances in the public press.
Initially in England, in 1838, all was well for Harkaway and Ferguson, and at least in the sporting press, it appeared Ferguson's treatment in Ireland was viewed sympathetically in favor of Ferguson. Then the Doncaster meeting blew that good will away. In the Doncaster Cup, with large amounts of money wagered against Harkaway and with Harkaway penalized with a huge weight, Ferguson refused to let him run, and may not, in fact, have personally entered the horse in the race. This raised the ire of the betting public, sporting press, and a number of individuals in both the upper and lower reaches of the racing fraternity who had laid down money, non-recoverable. It resulted in another round of public finger-pointing in the press, this time in England. Subsequently, the toffs of the Mostyn Hunt, which ran the annual Holywell Hunt meeting in the fall, including the lucrative Mostyn Mile, as a group refused to nominate Harkaway to the race, usually a courtesy extended by a Mostyn Hunt member to outsiders. Other races in England that Harkaway inexplicably lost, or was withdrawn from before the running (the latter not then against the rules) followed.
In addition to all this, Ferguson also developed an intense dislike of the well-connected Lord George Bentinck (England's "dictator of the turf") -- no stranger to large and sometimes questionable wagers himself -- who he confronted in person after he had been scooped by Bentinck in the betting on Harkaway in one of his races, "...by God, the public must understand that Harkaway is my horse, to win money for me, and not for any damned fellow, either a lord or a lord by courtesy and a thief by the curse of God!" This did not prevent Bentinck from visiting Rossmore in the early 1840s with an eye towards purchasing some racing prospects from Ferguson, although he did decline to dine with him after seeing the colts.
Ferguson was condemned by many (and supported by a few) for the "outrageous" manner in which he ran the horse, although he "...made no secret of, but warned the public both by stentorian voice in the ring, and through the press, that Harkaway's running did not depend upon the horse's condition nearly as much as upon the condition of his owner's book." While he believed in Harkaway's abilities, if it were not advantageous to bet on him, he would lay wagers against his own horse, and then the horse would be scratched -- or sometimes, it was alleged, have the jockey pull him. Harkaway, which some, such as Joseph Osborne, considered the horse of the century ("The Irish Eclipse") -- or at the least the best seen on the British turf in his time -- suffered from his owner's exigencies, not unlike another great Irish-bred horse, Barcaldine.
The tallies of Harkaway's wins and losses in subsequent histories vary. A careful count of his races in both Ireland and England show that he raced forty-six times through age seven. In the spring of 1840 he was put to stud in England, but in the fall he was back in Ireland running; this was also the case in 1841, when he was age seven. He won twenty-seven times, and placed second six times. Some of his second placings and losses were, given Ferguson's stratgies, questionable, so it is difficult to use the numbers to assess his true worth as a racehorse. His trainer in England in 1839 was Thomas Flintoff of Hednesford (Staffordshire), who schooled the 1830 Doncaster St. Leger winner Birmingham.
Harkaway debuted as a juvenile, unnamed, in the Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh in September of 1836, running unplaced to Magpie. In October, he was second to Tallyrand in the Paget Stakes, giving two pounds to the winner. At the Mulgrave (November) meeting at the Curragh, now called Harkaway, he won the Constantine Stakes over the Mulgave Mile in a canter, beating three older horses. The next day he ran unplaced in a sweepstakes to Vigo; in this race the handicappers were already piling on the pounds, saddling him with fourteen more pounds than the rest of the field.
Artist Samuel Spode's depiction of Harkaway's wide-behind gallop
||In 1837 Harkaway took eleven of his thirteen races, all at the Curragh. In April he suffered his only true defeat that season, running second (in Lord Milltown's name) to Mercury in the First Class of the Madrid Stakes (giving Mercury 7 pounds). Later that week he won the Second Class of the Madrid Stakes in a canter, beating four, including Bontibok. In these two races Harkaway was classed, as others born before May 1 in Ireland, as a two-year-old, although in England he would have been considered a three-year-old, with the January 1 date in effect. |
He went on at age three (post May 1) in 1837 to win the Kirwan Stakes in July, carrying the highest weight and beating eleven others, most of them four-year-olds. In the Kirwan Stakes Challenge, two days later, he compromised with Lord Mulgrave, and Mulgrave's Gypsy walked-over for the stakes. Two days after, he won the Northumberland Handicap (at the Curragh), beating Birdcatcher (later a famous stallion), the good mare Cruiskeen (owned by Milltown, later a winner of England's Cesarewitch Handicap), and four others. The next day he took the 3 mile King's Plate for three-year-olds, beating Gypsy and Birdcatcher. In September he won the Wellington Stakes, beating seven others, including Austerlitz, Mercury, and Birdcatcher. He whipped Auzterlitz, Mercury, Birdcatcher and three others in the Queen's Plate for three-year-olds at the same meeting, but the next day paid a forfeit, rather than run in the Wellington Stakes Challenge, his only other "loss" in Ireland that year. In October, carrying 8 st.-2 lbs., he won the Kirwan Stakes, beating Blackfoot, Freney, and four others, and the next day was awarded the win in the Kirwan Stakes Challenge, after Blackfoot, who crossed the post first, was disqualified due to his jockey's "foul riding." The same day as the Kirwan Stakes Challenge he won the Queen's Plate over three miles, beating Gypsy, Austerlitz and three others. Two days later he won the Royal Whip (carrying 9 stone-4 lbs.) over four miles, beating Maria (by Sir Hercules) and Blackfoot. |
In 1838 Harkaway began in Ireland, and in July went to England to race, winning eleven of his fifteen starts. He was virtually unstoppable at the Curragh in Ireland. In April he took the Rossmore Free Handicap (carrying 10 stone), beating ten horses, and giving away 35 pounds to the rest of the field; the next day taking the Wellington Stakes, "cleverly," beating three; the third day winning the four-mile Queen's Plate when the first past the post, Bontibok, was disqualified due to a starting error; the following day winning the Wellington Stakes Challenge (carrying 9 stone), and finally, the day after that, taking the second Queen's Plate, over three miles. That was a lot of miles and weight over successive days. In June he was unplaced in the Kirwan Stakes renewal, carrying 9 stone-11 lbs., but came out the next day to win the four mile Queen's Plate (carrying 11 stone!), beating four others, and three days later took the three-mile Queen's Plate, beating three others. Even though the English generally disparaged Irish racing at the time, his reputation preceded him as he embarked for Liverpool in July.
Harkaway's first race in England was Liverpool's two-mile Tradesmen's Cup (later the Liverpool Summer Cup), almost immediately after a two-day crossing of the Irish Sea and a walk to the racecourse. Giving away 15 pounds to the winner, St. Bennett (a two-time winner of England's Northumberland Plate), he was beaten by half a neck, with an impressive field following behind, which included Melbourne, Prizeflower, Cardinal Puff (by Pantaloon), Cruiskeen, Caravan, Vesper, and five others. He came out of the race lame -- one writer felt it was due to the course, "hard as a hearthstone." He was slated to run in the two mile Queen's Plate the next day, and reportedly, Ferguson, stung by a remark about Harkaway not being as good as people said, ran him lame. Heavily weighted -- carrying 127 pounds to the winner's 103 pounds -- he won the first heat "in a trot," but lost the second heat by a length, and was "legless" at the end, and was withdrawn from the third heat.
After this race, from which Harkaway emerged dead lame, Ferguson purchased one of the new-fangled "traveling vans", pulled by four horses, from Lord Suffield, to save Harkaway in his travels to the various racecourses.
Harkaway and his entourage at Goodwood; his traveling van is in the distance between his legs. Ferguson is believed to be on the grey.
Harkaway's next stop was Goodwood. There were huge wagers for the Goodwood Stakes, in which he was slated to run, but Ferguson announced just before the race that Harkaway would not start, prompting a sporting press writer to comment on the purchase of the van to take the horse to races where he would not run. The next day was the 2-3/4 mile Goodwood Cup, with a "course ...heavy and soft, all that Harkaway could have wished, either for body or sole." "The anxiety to get a look at 'the Irish Eclipse' drew together all the cognos-centi (sic), many of whom discovered him, before the race, to be 'a clumsy, overgrown brute,' and after, 'an animal of wonderful power and first rate racing properties.'" He came home in a canter, winning by two lengths "with plenty to spare," beating Adrian (to whom he was giving 7 pounds), and six others. |
Next up was the three mile Cleveland Cup at Wolverhampton, where even more crowds turned out to view the "best four-year-old in Great Britain," and large sums were wagered, because he was meeting Epirus, winner of Epsom's Craven Stakes and other races and one of the "cracks" of the previous season. The two horses provided "a magnificent race, amid the most intense excitement," but after Epirus (in receipt of 3 pounds from Harkaway) pulled ahead near the end of the race, causing many to think he had won, Harkaway dug deep down and came back to win by a short half length.
Doncaster was next for Harkaway. He won the 4 mile Queen's Plate there in a canter, by "three or four lengths...without even being extended," beating Cardinal Puff and two others. Three days later was the Doncaster Cup, where Ferguson refused to race Harkaway, and the true succession of events is unclear, despite all kinds of testimony in the press. First, Harkaway was handicapped at 13 stone-7 lbs. (198 pounds). Second, this was by far the best field Harkaway had met to that date, but all were handicapped far below Harkaway in weight. It included the St. Leger winner Don John (7 stone-5 lbs.), the great mare Bee's Wing (8 stone-10 lbs.), The Doctor , and Melbourne (8 stone-3 lbs.). Third, there were immense amounts of money wagered on this race, with 3 to 1 laid on Harkaway against the field. Fourth, Harkaway, like most big runners, especially those far from home, had an entourage of various characters who either had, or claimed to have, the authority to make decisions for his absent owner. Ferguson later claimed Harkaway was kept in stall, rather than run, because he himself had not entered the horse in the race, but that he had been entered by someone (well-known to Ferguson) acting without his authority. "The excuse," said one sporting magazine writer, "that he was entered without the knowledge of his owner is contemptible, and only makes the thing more palpable. If Harkaway has acquired a high character by the superiority of his performances, his friends have for some time been taking remarkable pains to obtain a celebrity, equally lasting perhaps, but not quite so desirable." From the perspective of over 150 years later, it seems likely Ferguson pulled Harkaway because of the weight he would have to carry and because he was unable to secure a favorable betting position.
In September Harkaway went to Heaton Park to run in the Park Stakes, but at the first turn "...his feet slipped and after sliding some distance came down as if he had been shot and was, of course put out of the race, won by Prizeflower...What a pity Ferguson was not on him!" In this race Cruiskeen fell near the same place, and Rachel and Fairy Queen also went down. Harkaway had been handicapped at 14 pounds more than the rest of the field.
At Chesterfield, Derby, he took a walk-over for 60 sovereigns. Then the plan was to race him in the Mostyn Mile at the Holywell Hunt Meeting, and his connections had already laid down a lot of money on him. But, as stated, not one member of the Mostyn Hunt would nominate the horse, and thus he did not run. After this he was taken to Penrith, and Ferguson entered for the Queen's Plate and Carlisle Cup at Carlisle, but Harkaway never arrived at Carlisle, and did not run at Penrith.
Harkaway was taken back to Ireland for the winter, and there were rumors that he had broken down in exercise, and that he was for sale. Other rumors claimed Ferguson had taken Harkaway hunting to hounds.
In 1839 Harkaway, age five, won three of his seven starts, placing second three times. He ran for the four mile Queen's Plate at the Curragh in April, carrying 9 stone-6 lbs., and was defeated. Then it was back to England, in May, where he ran at Chester. In the two-plus mile Chester Tradesmen's Plate (Gold Cup), carrying 10 stone, he failed to place; the race was won by Cardinal Puff (9 stone-3 lbs.), with sixteen others in the field. The next day he won the 1-1/4 mile Stand Cup, carrying 8 st.-12 lbs., beating five. Two days later, at even weights, he was beaten by Caravan for the three-plus mile Marquis of Westminster's Plate at the same meeting. Some thought the latter, at least, was a set-up, because in July, at Cheltenham, the next stop, Harkaway won the two mile-four furlong Cheltenham Tradesman's Plate (Gold Cup) in a canter, beating Caravan, and Lord George Bentinck's crack, Grey Momus, Caravan carrying the heaviest weight (9 stone-11 lbs.) due to his win at Chester, with Harkaway and Grey Momus at equal weights of 9 stone-4 pounds. In addition to his winning the race and wagers, Ferguson had the pleasure of seeing Harkaway beat Bentinck's prized runner.
At Goodwood this year Harkaway faced a good, strong field of horses in the Cup, run August 1. Carrying 9 stone-4 lbs. and making all the running, from start to finish, he beat Hyallus (age 3, 6 stone-10 lbs.), second by two lengths, Deception (that year's Epsom Oaks winner, 7 stone-3 lbs.), The Doctor (9 stone-2 lbs.), Epirus, Beggarman, and three others in one of the fastest races on record to that time, 4 minutes and 58 seconds.
Back at Wolverhampton in August for a second go at the Cleveland Cup, he was beaten by "the second-rater" Kremlin (by Sultan) by half a length. There was a suspicion Harkaway had been pulled in this race by his jockey, and that Ferguson had bet against his horse, but Harkaway's jockey later protested (again, in print) that Harkaway was short of work, having to be eased in his gallops because he had hit himself when running at Goodwood.
In 1840, now age six, Harkaway did not race until September 9, at the Curragh. The only hint of his whereabouts is a casual reference to Harkaway standing in England at a fee of 100 guineas, and at that price, receiving just three mares. No other details are available. But in September he ran in Ireland for the four mile Queen's plate, carrying 12 stone, where he was unplaced in a field of seven. Three days later, carrying 8 st.-13 lbs., he won the four mile Lord Lieutenant's Plate at the Curragh, beating Fairy Queen, Clinker, and four others. He shipped to England to run in the two mile-four furlong Steward's Cup at Liverpool where, carrying 8 stone-11 lbs., he was third to the winner, Gallipot, and runner-up, Champagne, both carrying 7 stone. Charles XII ran fourth. He was taken back to the Curragh to run for the Royal Whip on October 15, but, carrying 12 stone, could only run third of four in the race.
Again in 1841, Harkaway did not appear on the turf in the spring and summer. He was at stud at Newmarket for a 30 guineas fee for part of the season, and got at least one horse there, PRINCESS ROYAL, a modest winner at age three. Back in Ireland, he served several mares, including Guccioli, the dam of Birdcatcher. In August of 1841 Lord George Bentinck, in Ireland to look at racing prospects, saw Harkaway at Rossmore, and noted: "Harkaway is in training, and appears sound, but has the most frightful leg to look at you ever saw," presumably referring to the spavin noted by various turf writers. In the fall of 1841 Harkaway was back racing. He was unplaced in the four mile Queen's Plate at the Curragh on September 9, carrying 12 stone, and five days later was third of six in the three mile Queen's Plate, carrying 9 st.-4 lbs. That was, finally, the end of his career on the turf.
Harkaway in the Stud
In the stud, Harkaway, like many a great racehorse before and since, did not live up to his racing reputation. He stood first in England for the outrageous fee of 100 guineas -- attracting but three mares in his first season, the spring of 1840. He returned to race in Ireland that fall, and went back to England in the spring of 1841 where he stood at Newmarket for a slightly more reasonable fee of 30 guineas, but it appears he went back to Ireland to complete the season, where he bred several mares that became the dams of PIETY, Ferguson's own filly SINGAWAY, and CONNAUGHT RANGER. In September and October of 1841 he raced at the Curragh.
After "declining a handsome offer" (rumored to be $40,000) from American interests, Ferguson established Harkaway at Rossmore Lodge in 1842, where he stood for 10 guineas, just about all the Irish market would bear for any stallion. His response to Richard Tattersall, acting on behalf of the American interests was: "The price of Harkaway is six thousand guineas, and I hunt him twice or thrice a week." There was no sale, and Harkaway remained in Ferguson's ownership until Ferguson's death in 1848.
After his first season and a half in England, Harkaway crossed back and forth between Ireland and various places in England -- Newmarket (1845), Wolverhampton (1846) and Willesdon/Kilburn (near London, 1850 and 1851) -- several times during and after Ferguson's ownership, apparently relying on the whims of the market and the terms offered by would-be lessees in England. One can't help but wonder how Harkaway's success as a stallion might have been altered had he been allowed to settle in one spot at a reasonable fee in England or Ireland for more than a few consecutive seasons. As with his racing, it seems Harkaway's stud career suffered from Ferguson's erratic judgement.
Harkaway remained in Ireland after Ferguson's death in January of 1848 -- except for the 1850-51 seasons, when he was at Willesdon Paddocks in England, where he got KING TOM -- through the 1853 season. He was sold in January of 1853 at auction for a little over £500 to Henry and Cheslyn Hall, but stayed in Ireland at Friartown, on the Curragh for the season, where he got just a few foals. The Hall brothers operated a large stud farm at Dudding Hill, several miles from Willesdon Paddocks, near London, where, in 1854 Harkaway joined Epirus, Lothario, The Libel, Kremlin and Retriever and some stallions of other breeds. The Dudding Hill enterprise, which also included a huge cattle operation, suffered financial reverses, and in July of 1856 Harkaway was put on the block again. In an auction conducted by Tattersall's he was picked up for 200 guineas by David Marjoribanks Robertson (later Baron Marjoribanks). Robertson owned Ladykirk House and would serve as an M.P. for Berwickshire between 1859 and 1879. And so Harkaway spent his final three years as a stallion in the Scottish borderlands, dying in 1859, age 25.
Harkaway was leading sire in Ireland in 1848 (the year Ferguson died) and in 1856, both in terms of races won and money won, with eight winners of seventeen races totalling £1,435, in 1848, and six winners of 21 races worth a total of £1,696 in 1856. These were the years when Birdcatcher, much the inferior runner, dominated the sire's list in Ireland, ranking first eight times between 1844 and 1857. In England Harkaway was ranked eighth on the leading sires list in 1855, the year Touchstone, Orlando, Birdcatcher (who also spent seasons in England and was leading sire there in 1852 and 1856) and Melbourne were numbers one through four. He was also on the sire's list in England in 1850 (sixteenth), 1853 (sixteenth) and 1854 (twentieth).
He got many winners, but none came close to his excellence as a racehorse, and he did not achieve the success expected of him as a stallion. Many of his offspring were good juveniles in Ireland, and he got horses that won at classic distances, stayers, and steeplechasers in Ireland and England. His best sire sons were IDLE BOY (1845) who reached eighth on England's sires list in 1856, and KING TOM (1851), twice champion sire in England, who had several sons that went to the U.S. and continued the sire line for a few generations. His son HORN OF CHASE (1844) was a leading sire in Ireland in 1858, the only Harkaway son to reach the top of the sires list in Ireland. His son ELCHO (1847) was useless on the racecourse, but as one of the earliest thoroughbred stallions to be imported into Argentina, he had a profound influence on the development of racing in that country. Harkaway's daughters were more successful in the breeding shed, notably IRISH QUEEN, GOLDEN HORN, THORN, LIZZIE, and QUEEN BEE, the latter, at Ballymanus, established one of Ireland's most noted female lines. Many good steeplechasers, including six winners of the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, descended from Harkaway's sons and daughters within a few generations, and several of his sons and grandsons were successful hunter sires in Ireland.
His Irish-bred Winners
Harkaway's Irish-bred son, THE CONNAUGHT RANGER (1842, out of the grand broodmare Guccioli, dam of Birdcatcher and Faugh-a-Ballagh), was in Harkaway's first Irish-bred crop. He won the Corinthian Stakes at ages five and six (1-1/4 miles, the second time carrying 12 stone) at the Curragh; he was later briefly a stallion at Rawcliffe Paddocks in England. PIETY (1842, out of Recluse) would become second dam of some good winners at the Curragh.
Peep o'Day Boy
||PEEP O'DAY BOY (1844, from Rosetta by Roller), a chestnut with much of his sire's looks and some of his weight-carrying ability, but none of his durability, was bred by J. O'Reilly who ran him as a juvenile, and for most of his three-year-old season. At age three he won two races for O'Reilly at the Curragh. In 1848 he won his debut race at the Curragh, for 75 sovereigns against five others, and failed to place in the Queen's Plate. He was third to BALLINAFAD and BLUCHER, both by Harkaway, with seven others in the field in a race for 100 guineas. In June, at the Curragh was second to The Bright Star in a sweepstakes, and then was sold to Lord Howth for 320 guineas, who owned him through 1850, after which he was sold to J. Arnold. A few days after the sweepstakes, he won £170 for Howth, beating ten other horses. |
|Howth sent PEEP O'DAY BOY to race in England in the summer of 1848. He was second to BALLINAFAD in the Granby Handicap at Croxton Park, with six others in the field. At Chester he won the Chester Gold Cup, beating Doncaster Cup winner War Eagle, Montpensier, Inheritress (winner of numerous cups and stakes that year), Rat-Trap (a winner in Ireland), Liverpool July Cup winner Lightning, the 1847 Two Thousand Guineas winner Conyngham, and twenty-seven other horses, including BALLINAFAD, many of them good winners. At Manchester he was second, carrying 7 st-8 lbs., to the Lancaster son Swiss Boy (winner of the Newton Gold Cup, carrying 5 st.-5 lbs), with two others in the field. The next year, 1849, carrying 8 st-7 lbs, he ran second, by a neck, to Fernhill (by Reveller, carrying 6 st-13 lbs.) in Epsom's Great Metropolitan Stakes, with fifteen others in the field, including former Two Thousand Guineas and Liverpool St. Leger winner Flatcatcher and other good ones. |
After Manchester J. Arnold bought PEEP O'DAY BOY from Lord Howth. In 1850, possibly not sound, he failed to place in the Chester Gold Cup and ran last in the Emperor of Russia's Plate (won by The Flying Dutchman). The next year he was third to King Charming and The Swede in Northampton's Trial Stakes, still carrying 13 pounds more than any other in the field. Finally, he won his last race, also at Northampton, the two mile Queen's Plate, beating Priestess, a winner of a number of races including three Queen's Plates.
He was retired to the Dudding Hill stud farm where Harkaway was by then at stud, and was later privately sold for 1600 guineas to Colonel Schreiber, acting on behalf of Tsar of Russia, and was exported.
BALLINAFAD (1844, out of Carabella by Langar), another chestnut colt in Harkaway's 1844 Irish-bred crop, owned by E.J. Irwin, beat BLUCHER and PEEP O'DAY BOY at the Curragh in a 100 guineas race, and took two other races, at The Maze and at Lucan, in 1847. In 1848, after he won two races in Ireland, including the Welington Stakes at the Curragh, and placed second to BLUCHER at the Curragh in the 1 mile-4 furlong Corinthian Stakes, he also went to England to pick up more lucrative prizes, and beat seven, including PEEP O'DAY BOY, in Croxton Park's Granby Handicap. His other wins in England included the Liverpool Spring Cup and the Great Warwickshire Stakes. In 1850, back in his native country, he took a walk-over for the Wellington Stakes, one of the richer races in Ireland at the time, worth £245. He was later a well-used sire of steeplechasers and hunters, and figures prominently in half-bred families.
HORN OF CHASE (1844, out of Victoria, by Philip the First) was yet another chestnut colt of 1844. He was a promising juvenile that won the Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh, beating seven others, and at the same meeting won the Two Year Old Stakes, carrying six more pounds, and also took a walk-over for a sweepstakes. He was taken to England to race, but was injured before he could race and was retired from the turf. He went to stud at Peter Colgan's stables at the Curragh at a fee of 3 guineas, and was later moved to Spring-Garden at Tynagh, County Galway. In 1858 was leading sire in Ireland (races won; five winners of thirteen races), the only Harkaway son to reach that position. Eyrecourt, a winner of the Madrid Stakes at age three, was one of his best runners.
Harkaway's 1844 crop also included LANESBOROUGH (1844, out of Lupin, by Velocipede; later called IMPOSTER), who, in 1848, took the Scurry Stakes at the Curragh in April, and then won the 2 mile Queen's Plate, beating six, immediately afterwards.
The chestnut colt BLUCHER (1845, from a mare by Milesius), owned by John Nolan, contributed to Harkaway's leading sire status in Ireland in 1848 by winning, at age three, the 1 mile-4 furlong Amateur Corinthian Stakes at the Curragh, beating BALLINAFAD and three others in two heats, the Irish Cesarewitch (2 miles) at the Curragh, beating five, the Curragh's Wellington Stakes, and the Kirwan Stakes by three lengths at the Curragh in October. The next year, in England, he was not as successful, running fourth in the Doncaster Plate, although carrying the heaviest weight, and fourth in a Handicap Plate at Newmarket Houghton.
Another chestnut colt from the 1845 crop, IDLE BOY (from Iole, by Sir Hercules), was bred, like PEEP O'DAY BOY by J. O'Reilly, and, while not nearly as good on the turf, became a useful stallion in England. At age three at the Curragh he was third of three horses to BLUCHER in the Wellington Stakes, and was last, but one, in the two-mile Queens Plate, won by Dough. He was also taken to England to race in 1849, where at Manchester he won a two mile selling plate in May, where he was claimed by a Mr. Pedley. In July he was third of four in Lancaster's 1 mile-4 furlong Borough Cup. He was retired to Ashton Paddocks in Lancaster, and later also served as a stallion at the Rawcliffe Paddocks near York. He got some good runners, and placed eighth on the sires list in 1856, due largely to the efforts of his son, Pretty Boy (1853, from Lena by Glaucus), winner of the Manchester Cup, Liverpool Summer Cup, Stockbridge Derby and Goodwood Stakes that year. He was also on the sires list in fifthteenth place in 1861, and twentieth in 1862. He also got The Monk (1857, out of Madeline, by Orlando), from the Half-Bred Family 13, winner of eleven races, including the Newmarket October Handicap, the Flying Dutchman's Handicap and the St. Liz Handicap. His son, Ceylon (1863), was sire of Recruit (1873), winner of the Grand Steeple-chase de Paris in 1880. A daughter, My Mary (1859) was second dam of the outstanding juvenile The Bard, later twice leading sire in France.
Harkaway's long-running daughter ELOPEMENT (1845, out of Frederica by Sultan, first called HASTEAWAY), was a winner of the Lark Stakes at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and other races; MARIA (1845, out of Suspicion by Speculation), was another winner of the First Two Year Old Stakes at the Curragh, and some races at the Heath and other venues; she was later second dam of August Belmont's filly Woodbine (1869, by Kentucky), the first winner of Saratoga's Alabama Stakes.
HENRIETTA (1849, out of Lord Howth's Remnant and so half-sister Doctor Sangrado by Economist), was a winner in England of Abingdon's Town Plate and a Handicap at Newmarket October, among other races.
Harkaway's 1850 crop, born in Ireland, included IRELAND'S EYE (1850, out of a mare by Economist or Troilus), another sturdy Harkaway son that in England, at age three, took Reading's Caversham Stakes (6 furlongs), and Goodwood's Craven Stakes (beating ten), and in 1855 won Epsom's City and Suburban handicap. BALLINASLOE (1850, out of an Elvas mare; previously called THE SLY FOX), won a Queen's Plate at the Curragh April in 1853.
Harkaway's twisted-legged daughter, THE DEFORMED (1850, out of Welfare, by Priam), bred in Ireland by Col. John Westenra, was a brilliant juvenile filly that won the Anglesey Stakes and the National Produce Stakes at the Curragh; her other wins at ages three and four included the Queen's Plate at the Curragh June, and in England, Doncaster's Corporation Plate, a subscription purse at Manchester, Nottingham's Scarborough Stakes, and a produce sweepstakes at Liverpool July, with many second placings. When she retired from the turf she was first sent to Orlando's court at Hampton Court Paddocks in England, where she produced a filly, Bessie. Bessie was purchased by Lord Howth and sent to Ireland where she founded a long-lived family of successful steeplechasers and hurdlers. She herself produced the Irish Grand National winner, The Gift, and a daughter, Eudora, who won over fences and produced Moorside II, winner of the Becher Steeplechase at Liverpool and later sire of 1924 Grand National Steeplechase winner Master Robert. The Bessie branch of THE DEFORMED'S family churned out a series of good jumpers over succeeding generations, including 1940 Conyngham Cup winner Ballyhooley.
Peter Colgan's mare, Victoria, the dam of HORN OF CHASE, produced four more foals by Harkaway between 1848 and 1853: CHASEAWAY (1848), CHEVY CHASE (1849), THE HUNTING HORN (1850) and CHEERFUL HORN (1853), all winners. The chestnut filly CHASEAWAY was the best of these, and possibly the true inheritor of her sire's speed, power, and gameness, and certainly, in the breeding shed, one of his offspring to ensure his name is seen in pedigrees today. She won the Curragh's Sligo Stakes and Sligo Challenge Stakes as a juvenile, the two-mile Irish Cesarewitch and four-mile Royal Whip at age four, and at age five, two Queen's Plates at the Curragh in October over four miles, in both races carrying 11 stone-9 lbs., and the Royal Whip again. CHASEAWAY'S grandaughter, Emma Melbourne (1877, by Young Melbourne) continued CHASEAWAY'S tail-female line; a great many stakes winners descended from her, including Prix du Jockey Club winner Hotweed (1926, by Bruleur) and his sister, Oaks and Goodwood Cup winner Brulette (1928); 1988 triple Oaks (Epsom, Yorkshire, Irish) winner Dimnuendo (1985); and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Vaguely Noble.
CHASEAWAY'S sister, CHEVY CHASE, won the Curragh's Paget Stakes in 1851. Her brother, CHEERFUL HORN, a winner of eight races for the Marquis of Waterford in 1856, became the sire of Cortolvin, who ran second in the 1866 Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, and won it the next year under the impost of 11 stone-13 lbs.
Harkaway's other Irish-bred winners included: FINVARAGH (1843, from Glimpse, by Picton), a winner of the Madrid Handicap in 1846; TALLY HO (1844, out of a Don Juan mare), winner of several races, including the Waterford Stakes at the Curragh in 1847, and a free handicap over 1 mile-4 furlongs at the Curragh in 1848; CAPPARD (1844, from a mare of unknown breeding), winner of the First Two Year Old Stakes at the Curragh. In addition, there were a number of Harkaway-sired winners at smaller venues in Ireland, whose progeny vanished into the hunter ranks, such as FANNY (1843) who won at Phoenix Park, Thurles and Bellestown, HARKOVER, a winner at Lucan and Phoenix Park, and EARTH-STOPPER, and THE HEATH, both winners at The Heath.
His British-bred Winners
From the mares bred by Harkaway at Newmarket in 1841, one winner emerged, PRINCESS ROYAL (1842, out of Miss Newton, by Longwaist) a winner of the Wynnstay Stakes at Shrewsbury and five other races, at Dudley, Stourbridge, and Bridgnorth, at age three. His 1846 crop, born in Great Britain, included KISS-AWAY (out of Yaratilda, by Belshazzar), a winner of Epsom's Great Autumn Handicap in 1849, and SOBRAON (from Monoeda, by Taurus), who took the Riddlesworth Stakes at Newmarket Craven in 1849.
The most important horse in Harkaway's 1847 English-bred crop was ELCHO (1847, from Fanny Kemble, by Paulowitz, originally called EYE THE BOYS). Largely unsuccessful on the turf, winning the six furlong Scurry Handicap at Chester (by two lengths, beating eight) at age three, but for some reason he was deemed worthy enough for the expense of shipment to Argentina, one of the first two thoroughbred stallions (the other was Bonnie Dundee (by Lanercost)), to enter that country, probably in 1853. ELCHO, imported by Wilfredo Latham, stood at Los Alamos, near Quilmes, where he was repeatedly crossed on native-bred mares that had been used as racehorses in the nacent sport in Argentina, and was also crossed with half-bred Bonnie Dundee daughters, creating "almost pure-bred" (casi sangre pura) horses that comprised most of the racing stock in the country, until the sport was picked up by rich patrons who imported more thoroughbred stallions and mares, starting in the late 1880s. ELCHO got two daughters, Bella Donna, and Bridesmaid, both out of the same Bonnie Dundee mare, that established a tail-female line (Argentine Family 1), that continued well into the twentieth century, and included a number of Argentine classic winners, among them 1929 Las Oaks winner Badalona and Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini winner Revancha (1890).
The 1851 foals, bred at Tattersall's Willesden Paddocks near London, where Edmund Tattersall apparently took pains to select some good mares for Harkaway when he was there in 1850, were more successful. KING TOM, born at Willesdon Paddocks in 1851, was the best-known of Harkaway's offspring, on both sides of the Irish sea. He was the only Harkaway offspring to place in a classic race, and later was twice leading sire in England. KING TOM'S sons and daughters were sold to Europe, America and Australasia as breeding stock, where many were successful sire and dams.
||KING TOM was bred from the soon to be famous mare, Pocahontas (1837, by Glencoe) by the executors of her owner's --John Theobald -- estate. Charles Thelluson of Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster later secured Pocahontas, and the Harkaway foal, named KING TOM, was born in his ownership. KING TOM was a tall, rangy bay colt, more refined than his half-brothers Stockwell and Rataplan, with his sire's excellent shoulder, powerful hindquarters, and gentle temperament.
| Unfortunately, KING TOM could not stay sound; he ran three times as a juvenile, winning the Brighton Biennial stakes and the Triennial at Newmarket. At age three -- after being stall-bound due to a hock injury for seven of the ten days leading up to the race -- he was a creditable second in the Epsom Derby to John Gully's Andover, with a field of twenty-seven behind, including Two Thousand Guineas winner The Hermit, but came out of the race lame and did not appear again until the fall of his four-year-old year, when he won the second leg of the Triennial Produce Stakes at Newmarket. He broke down a few weeks later while running in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket. |
KING TOM was retired to Baron Mayer de Rothschild's Mentmore Stud in England. His classic winners were Kingcraft (1867), a lucky winner of the Derby and second in the Doncaster St. Leger; Epsom Oaks winners Tormentor (1863), Hippia (1864) and Hannah (1868), the latter also winner of the One Thousand Guineas and Doncaster St. Leger; and Tomato (1861), a One Thousand Guineas winner. None of his sons in England were more than moderately successful stallions, but Phaeton (sire of King Alfonso, Ten Broeck, Jack Hardy, etc.), Great Tom (sire of Tyrant, Swift, etc.), King Ernest (sire of Report, Mikado, Kinglike), and King Ban (sire of Ban Fox, King Fox, etc.), were all more or less successful in the U.S. Another son, King Lud, was a useful stallion in France. A grandson, Umpire (son of Tom King), was leading sire in Ireland in 1885.
KING TOM'S daughters, like Harkaway's, were better than his sons in the breeding shed, and included St. Angela (1865), the dam of the great stallion St. Simon; Zephyr (1862), the dam of Derby winner and useful stallion Favonius; and many mares that were dams or second dams of successful winners. Several daughters that went to America became foundation mares in August Belmont's stud and some daughters went to Australia, where they produced good winners and established female lines. KING TOM'S sons Skylark and Mogador each got a winner of the Grand National Steeplechase, and daughter Jeu de Mots also produced a winner of that race. KING TOM died at Rothschild's Mentmore Stud in 1878.
Other Harkaway offspring born in 1851 in England, many of which won as juveniles, included NAOMI, AUSTREY, TWINKLE, EL DORADO, STAR OF SURREY, PEBBLES, and WILD HUNTSMAN. NAOMI (1851, from a Defence mare, Half-bred Family 8) was second in the Althorp Park Stakes and third in the Goodwood Nursery Stakes. She later produced three winners, by Windhound and Wild Dayrell. AUSTREY (out of Zeila by Emilius), won a handicap for juveniles at Newmarket, carrying 8 stone-2 lbs. and beating eight. STAR OF SURREY (out of Pergularia, by Beiram) won a produce stakes at Bedford, and was second in Newmarket's Nursery Stakes. PEBBLES (out of a Touchstone mare) won a sweepstakes for juveniles at Nemwarket.
TWINKLE (1851, out of Daughter of the Star, by Kremlin), bred by Rothschild, won the Two-Year-Old Plate at Newmarket Houghton, beating ten; her sister, VENETIA (1855, bred when Harkaway returned to England) was second dam of Miss Hungerford (1867, by Wamba), Lord Minto's ("Mr. Rolly") noted steeplechaser that won the Grand Steeple-chase de Paris in 1875.
EL DORADO (1851, from Epaulette, by The Colonel) took the Produce Stakes at Goodwood; she later produced Turn of Luck (1859, by West Australian) a winner of the Stratton Audley Handicap at Oxford, and Princess Beatrice (1864, by Newminster), who was sold to the Hungarian Imperial Stud where she produced Bulgar (1884, by Eberhard), winner of Germany's 2800 meter Grosser Preis von Baden and other races.
WILD HUNTSMAN (1851, out of Honey Dear, by Plenipotentiary), raced by Scots ironmonger James Merry (owner of Scottish Chief, Marie Stuart, and Doncaster, among others), took four races at age two, including the Two Year Old Stakes at Manchester, York's Zetland Stakes, and the Caledonia Tyro Stakes at Kelso. At age three his wins included The Trial Stakes, the three mile Caledonian Cup, and a four mile Queen's Plate at the Royal Caledonian Hunt meeting at Stirling. At age four his wins included Doncaster's Great Yorkshire Handicap (1 mile-6 furlongs) and some lesser races. He got some winners, including Eola, a winner of the Trial Stakes at Carlisle and the Commercial Visitors Stakes at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and some other races in a long, hard season in 1865. He was also a noted sire of hunters.
Harkaway's Broodmare daughters
In addition to THE DEFORMED and CHASEAWAY, both of which established successful tail-female lines, Harkaway was the sire of several other mares that bred excellent winners and had daughters that established celebrated female families.
W.A. Moore's mare, Emily (1832, by Pantaloon), made the rounds at the Curragh as a broodmare, bred to Birdcatcher, Conqueror, and finally, in 1844, Harkaway, to whom she dropped THE IRISH QUEEN in 1845. After producing a filly, Down with the Dust, by The Star of Erin in 1852 (later dam of Cambridgeshire Stakes winner Lozenge), THE IRISH QUEEN was sold to the (4th) Earl of Annesley, in foal to Sweetmeat, and dropped Sugarplum in 1853. Sugarplum won three races, two at Howth and Baldoyle and the Coffee Room Stakes over a half-mile at the Curragh. Sweetsauce, a brother to Sugarplum, was born in 1857. As a juvenile he placed second in Doncaster's Champagne Stakes and was third in the Gimcrack Stakes. At age three, considered the best of his year, he took won a sweepstakes at Newmarket, Goodwood's Stewards' Cup (beating thirty six other horses) and the Goodwood Cup, beating seven. THE IRISH QUEEN'S next foal, Ace of Clubs (1859, by Stockwell) won the 1-1/4 mile Chesterfield Cup and other races over all distances and was later a stallion near Ipswich. Then came the filly Irish Church (1864, by Newminster), winner of Ascot's eight-furlong Trial Stakes (Queen Anne Stakes) at age four.
Another 1845 Harkaway filly, LUNA (out of Vanity, by Spartacus, from the HB-1 Family) raced over fences at ages five and six for several owners, winning the Kilcock Steeplechase (two out of three heats), the Kildare Hunt Steeplechase (3 miles) and the 3 mile Dublin Car-owners' Challenge Cup. Her son, Fairy Saint (1856, by Young Tipple Cider (a half-bred)) became a noted sire of steeplechasers and hunters. Her daughter, Larkaway (1864, by Royal Oak Day), won five steeplechases at ages four and five. Larkaway, first in the stud of Capt. John Gubbins of Knockany, Co. Limerick, and later at Henry Beasley's Eyrefield House on the Curragh, became a significant Irish matron. Almost all her foals won steeplechases: her bay colt, Come Away (1884, by Cambuslang), won the Conyingham Cup (twice), the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, and four other 'chases. Her daughters also bred really good steeplechasers, including May Day (1874, by Uncas), a winner of six races and two hurdles, and later dam of the famous stallion May Boy (1880, by Xeonophon).
LUNA's sister, Calamity (c.1840, by Vampyre), produced two sisters to the cover of Harkaway: an unnamed HARKAWAY MARE (c. 1847), and STIRRUP CUP (c. 1849). The HARKAWAY MARE was the dam of five winners, including Marksman (1861, by Artillery), a winner of 15 races and later a well-known hunter sire. STIRRUP CUP produed Vandal (1857, by Barbarian), a winner of the Thirsk Cup and four other races. For more information on LUNA's family, see HB - 1.
In 1856 two Harkaway daughters belonging R.H. Copperthwaite, who had established a small stud at Crotanstown House at the Curragh, went on the auction block. One, DEVOTION (1843, from Recluse, by Wanderer), had dropped a colt to the cover of Mountain Deer, a stallion favored by Copperthwaite, and was in foal again to Mountain Deer. She was bought by Mr. Longfield. The 1857 colt, The Druid, won twelve races in Ireland at ages two and three. The other mare, considerably younger, was the unraced QUEEN BEE (1850, out of Calcavella, by Birdcatcher), who had been bred by Richard Whaley, and with a Lord Henry foal at foot was purchased for around £30 by Michael Dunne of Ballymanus, Queen's County, Ireland. QUEEN BEE (taproot of >Family 16-f) produced eleven foals in fifteen years, dying in 1879. One foal died young, and of the ten that raced, only one failed to win. Through her daughters she would establish a long-lived, productive family in the country of her birth.
QUEEN BEE'S Lord Henry foal was Bumble Bee, who won a mile handicap in a canter at Jenkinstown as a juvenile, and later went to England. Her daughter Busy Bee (1867, by Teddington) won the Anglesey Stakes and Anglesey Challenge Stakes and the Paget Stakes and Paget Challenge Stakes as a juvenile at the Curragh. Busy Bee established a long-lived line of stakes winners in Ireland that included Irish classic winners, and has had winners through the twentieth century. QUEEN BEE'S son Roman Bee (1860, by Birdcatcher or Artillery), a winner of the Anglesey Stakes and other races, was the best juvenile of his year in Ireland; he later got some good winners in Ireland, such as Cimaroon, Soulouque and Master Ned.
QUEEN BEE'S 1864 filly, Winged Bee (by Artillery) was a winner and another terrific producer, dam of Irish Derby winner King of the Bees (1877, by Uncas), and Chrysalis (1876, by the sturdy little English stayer Lecturer). Chrysalis was an extraordinary producer. She was the dam of Philomel (1895), a good juvenile and later a Goodwood Cup winner; Christabel (1889, by Kendal), a winner of the Anglesey Stakes and Railway Stakes at the Curragh; Doncaster Cup winner Laodamia (1890, by Kendal); and Philomath (1892, by Philammon). Both Laodamia and Philomath established successful branches of QUEEN BEE'S family that extend into the present: Recitation (1978), the speedy winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and other good races in France and England descended from Laodamia, and Epsom Derby winner Papyrus (1930) was one of the many good winners that traced back to Philomath.
QUEEN BEE'S son Bee Quick (1865, by Artillery) won races and was "useful in his own class." Russian Bee ( 1863, by Artillery or Russian) won Queen's Plates and other races over a distance. The "handsome" Queen of the Bees (1870, by Knight of St. Patrick), was brilliant juvenile winner of the Anglesey Stakes, Railway Stakes and National Produce Stakes at the Curragh; leased by Dunne to Captain Jones, she was taken to England to run at age four, where she won the De Warenne Handicap at Lewes, an important race at the time, Warwick's Studley Handicap, Brighton's Sussex Handicap (carrying 10 st.-6 lbs.), and Liverpool's Molyneux Handicap. She later produced three good winners -- Melliflor, Melianthus, and Mellifont -- but her female line did not breed on.
GOLDEN HORN (1855), bred in England, was out of Lord Dorchester's famous Little Red Rover mare, the dam of Buccaneer and the infamous Cruiser. GOLDEN HORN produced three good running sons and a daughter, all by Wild Dayrell. Her daughter, Hue and Cry (1865) continued the female line into the present with numerous winners. GOLDEN HORN'S son Wild Oats (1866), was a winning juvenile and as a stallion got good juvenile runners such as Champagne Stakes winner Evasion (1877) and Gimcrack Stakes winner Juventus (1888); he spent a season in France where he got Wild Monarch, a winner of the Grand Steeple-chase de Paris, twice, and was also sire of Lady Miltown, the dam of The Peer, a winner of the Scottish Grand National.
GOLDEN HORN'S other sons included Sea King (1860), winner of the Stockbridge Biennial and the Salisbury Queen's Plate, and Wild Moor (1864). Another son, Reverberation (1871, by Thunderbolt), won a Newmarket Biennial and three other races, and in the stud in Ireland got Concussion (1885, out of Astwith), the outstanding Irish broodmare that produced some great runners, such as Epsom Oaks winner Dabchick; Sirenia, an unbeaten juvenile in Ireland and later dam of two classic winners; the terrific staying mare Hammerkop, all by Gallinule. Concussion also produced Llangibby (by Wildfowler) a winner of the Eclipse Stakes, New Stakes, and other races.
Other Harkaway daughters also bred successful horses. THORN (1845, from White Rose, by Plenipotentiary) produced Sprig of Shillelagh (1854, by Simoon), at three a winner of nine races in succession, and in all winner of eleven races in Ireland, England and Scotland. TRY BACK (1853, out of Black Art, by Conjuror) was a winner over three miles at Howth and Baldoyle, and was later dam of the 1868 Irish Derby winner Madeira (1865, by Claret). PIETY (1842, out of Recluse, and so a sister to DEVOTION) produced the Faugh-a-Ballagh mare Rachel (1856), dam of four excellent Irish runners, including Dunsany (Manchester Cup, Royal Whip), Fingal (Wellington Stakes, Queen's Plate), Rob Roy (Kildare Handicap, Kirwan Stakes) and Miriam (two-time winner of the Royal Whip). Harkaway mares were also the dams of numerous winners of less significant races in both Ireland and England.
Thanks to Tim Cox for compiling Harkaway's complete race record