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Little Driver (GB)

Little Driver

Little Driver (foreground)

Aaron (foreground)




Sire Line

Lister Turk




Little Driver ch c 1743 (Beaver's Driver - Mare by Childers). Sire Line Lister Turk. Family 6.

Bred by Philip Brooke, he was owned successively by Josiah Marshall, Richard Vernon and Aaron Lamego. He was a half brother to the 6th dam of the Doncaster Cup winner Mercutio (b c 1819 Mowbray). Little Driver stood 14 hands 3/4 inches. The caption on his portrait notes that: "This Excellent horse is allowed to be the Strongest & best of his size that was ever bred in this Kingdom."

Racing from 1748 through 1754, he won an astonishing thirty-six 50 Plates. In an epic race with Mr Rogers's Aaron (b c 1747 Whitenose) he won the first heat although both of them fell after the finish. Driver's rider, Thos Brett, was said to be hurt from the fall. The second heat was apparently too close to decide. Aaron was awarded the third heat, and after a four month deliberation by a disinterested party (Isaac Tarratt, Epsom linen draper) the Plate was also awarded to Aaron.

In the stud he is said to have covered few well bred mares in spite of his good pedigree and racing success. His son Mr Salt's Cicero won twenty 50 Plates and over 500 guineas in matches and forfeits. Little Driver also sired Lightfoot's Mare*, the 2nd dam of Young Cade (USA) (gr c 1791 Virginia Cade). He died in 1767 at Sutton, in Surrey.

Little Driver Beaver's Driver Snake Lister Turk
Hautboy Mare
Thwaite's Dun Mare Acaster Turk
Childers Mare Childers Darley Arabian
Betty Leedes
Walpole Barb Mare Walpole Barb
Miss Belvoir
Race Record
In his only recorded race in 1748 he won 50 at Leicester.
He fared little better in 1749, losing his first race at Lambourn, worth 50, to Mr Greville's Tawney (br c Crab), who would be a leader in the famous Queensberry carriage match of 1750. Both carried 10 stone. He lost his second race to Mr Rogers's Babraham (b c 1738 Godolphin Arabian) at Burford, in four-mile heats with Driver carrying 9 stone and Babraham carrying 10 stone. Six others ran as well. He then beat Duchess (b f 1745 Devonshire Blacklegs) at Ascot, winning 50, before losing his last race of the season, in October at Newmarket, to Dormouse (br c 1738 Godolphin Arabian), for a give-and-take Plate worth 50.
In 1750, now owned by Mr Marshall, he won 50 at Guildford running four-mile heats. In September at Burford he won 50, defeating Mr Grisewood's Whisker (ch c Hobgoblin) and Verjuice (bl c Crab), all carrying 10 stone 9 pounds in four-mile heats. Later in September he won 50 at Chipping Norton, beating four others, and in October at Newmarket he won another 50.
In 1751 he beat Lord Onslow's Why Not (bl c 1744 Crab) and one other for 50 at Epsom, all carrying 10 stone in four-mile heats. At Winchester he won 50 carrying 9 stone 4 pounds. At Hounslow he won 50 distancing Sir E Hale's Drudge (b c 1745 Crab) and Sir C Goring's Tom Thumb (b c Goldenlocks), all carrying 9 stone 4 pounds. He won another 50 plate at Reading, running four-mile heats, from his final two starts of the year.
In 1752 Little Driver won all but one of his starts. In April at Newmarket he collected a 50 guineas forfeit from the Duke of Ancaster's Tarquin (b c 1745 Godolphin Arabian). In May at Epsom he beat Squirrel (ch c), who was 3/4 of an inch shorter than him, with Driver giving Squirrel 5 pounds. At Winchester and Blandford he won two more 50 plates, running in four-mile heats. He then won a grim 50 race at Ascot, beating Mr Bowles's Johnny Armstrong (b c Old Traveller) who fell in the second four-mile heat and had to be shot. They both carried 10 stone 2 pounds. At Burford he walked-over for 50. In October he finally lost a give-and-take Plate to Silver Leg (ch c 1743 Young Cartouch) at Newmarket.
Ten years old in 1753, and now owned by Mr Vernon, he won 50 at Epsom in May. He received a 50 guineas forfeit from Mr Panton's Slipby (br c Slipby) at Newmarket, and then won 50 at Lichfield in August, running four-mile heats. Moving back to Epsom he won 50 carrying 9 stone 8 pounds in four-mile heats to beat Mr Rogers's Aaron (b c 1747 Whitenose), who stood nearly 14 hands, and one other, in two heats. At Warwick in September he prevailed over Mr Borlace Warren's Camilla (b f 1747 Cullen Arabian)and one other, while carrying 10 stone 10 pounds in four-mile heats, to win 50. Back at Lichfield, still in September, he defeated three others to win another 50 plate.
In April of 1754, now belonging to Mr Lamego, he won 50 plates at both Romford and Reading. Later in April he met Aaron again at Maidenhead, winning the 50 race after both of them had fallen near the finishing post. Apparently recovered, he then won a 50 plate at Maldon, beating Blacklegs (c Blaze). At Epsom in May he again met Aaron for a 50 give-and-take plate, this time losing in three heats of four miles. Aaron was seven years old and Little Driver eleven. Aaron won the first heat by a head, and the second heat was too close to determine. The third heat seemed too close to call, however the Judge gave the heat to Aaron. After a four month consideration, the plate was awarded to Aaron. Later in May he lost a 50 purse to Lord Rockingham's Cato (b c 1748 Regulus) at Ascot, each carrying 10 stone 9 pounds. He then went on to win 50 plates at Hull, Guildford and Durham. At York both Little Driver and Cato lost a purse of 50 to Blacklegs. In his final race he won 50 at Maidenhead over Mr Brooks's Lady Thigh (f 1747 Grisewood's Partner) and two others. He is also said to have won two Legacy Plates in which he carried 12 stone 4 pounds in four-mile heats.

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