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Pretty Polly (IRE)

Courtesy of Fores Gallery

Major Eustace Loder

Sire Line



St Paddy

Pretty Polly ch f 1901 (Gallinule - Admiration, by Saraband). Sire Line Sterling. Family 14-c.

One of the great race mares of all time "Peerless Pretty Polly" was bred and campaigned by Major Eustace Loder (1867-1914). Said to be calm and sensible in training, she won twenty-two of twenty-four races from the age of two to the age of five and she was successful at distances from five furlongs to two and a quarter miles.

Her sire, Gallinule (ch c 1884 Isonomy), after an troubled turf career in which he developed wind infirmities, retired to Brownstown Stud in Ireland, previously the home of Birdcatcher (ch c 1833). His stud career flourished after his second crop produced the Irish Derby winner Portmarnock (br c 1892). Besides Pretty Polly he sired two St Leger winners, and six Irish Derby winners. He led the the Sires' List twice and was among the Champion Sires another fifteen times. He was Champion Broodmare Sire five times and among the top stallions another fourteen times. He died at Brownstown in 1912.

Her juvenile season was brilliant; she won all nine races she started for, including the Middle Park Stakes in which she defeated the future Derby winner St Amant. The following year, although she had not been entered for the Derby, she beat St Amant in both the St Leger, in record time, and the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster. Roger Mortimer says of her, "There was not a horse in England capable of extending her and she looked completely invincible." She was sent to France, but after a long and exhausting journey, she lost her first race to Presto (b c 1901 Rueil). Returning to England, she beat St Amant yet again, conceding three pounds, in the Free Handicap at Newmarket. She was undefeated at four, winning the Coronation Cup, Champion Stakes, Limekiln Stakes, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. At five she won both the March Stakes and the Coronation Cup, before running second to Bachelor's Button (Winkfield) in her final race, the Ascot Gold Cup.

In the stud, Pretty Polly produced ten foals, none of whom measured up to herself. She was, ironically, considered a failure as a broodmare. Described as a "big, powerful, handsome filly" although she was only 15.2 hands, she was said to be too nervous to make a good mother. Her four filly foals, Baby Polly (br f 1924 Spearmint), Dutch Mary (ch f 1915 William the Third), Molly Desmond (b f 1914 Desmond), and Polly Flinders (ch f 1918 Polymelus) bred on to establish the successful family she is known for. Her son Clachmannan (b c 1919 Lomond) was sent to Japan where he led the Sires' List in 1933 and 1934 and was highly regarded as a Broodmare Sire.

St Paddy (b c 1957 Aureole), tracing through Molly Desmond, was the first of Pretty Polly's descendants to win a classic race. Owned by Sir Victor Sasson and trained by Noel Murless, he won nine races, including the Derby, St Leger and Eclipse Stakes, and was at the top of the Free Handicap in 1960.

Among Pretty Polly's many notable descendants are the St Leger winner Premonition (b c 1950 Precipitation), the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Supreme Court (bbl c 1948 Precipitation), the Champion Sire Court Harwell (b c 1954 Prince Chevalier), the Derby winner Psidium (ch c 1958 Pardal) who got the St Leger winner Sodium (b c 1963) and Brigadier Gerard (b c 1968 Queen's Hussar) who won the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes in one of his successful seventeen of eighteen starts.

Popular stallions tracing to Pretty Polly include Vienna (ch c 1957 Aureole) who got the Prix de l'Ard Triomphe winner Vaguely Noble* (b c 1965); Donatello (ch c 1934 Blenheim) who was unbeaten in Italy and got Alycidon (ch c 1945) and Crepello (ch c 1954); Great Nephew (bbr c 1963 Honeyway) twice a Champion Sire; Luthier (bbr c 1965 Klairon) a Champion Sire in France four times; and Nearctic (br c 1954 Nearco) a Champion Sire in Canada seven times and got the incomparable Northern Dancer (b c 1961).

Pretty Polly lived to age thirty and was buried near Spearmint, who was also bred by Major Loder, at his Eyrefield Lodge stud in County Kildare, Ireland.
Pretty Polly Gallinule Isonomy Sterling
Isola Bella
Moorhen Hermit
Skirmisher Mare
Admiration Saraband Muncaster
Highland Fling
Gaze Thuringian Prince
Eye Pleaser
Race Record
In 1903 Pretty Polly won the British Dominion Plate at Sandown Park, the National Breeders Produce Stakes at Sandown, the Mersey Stakes at Liverpool, the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, the Autumn Breeders Foal Plate at Manchester, the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, the Middle Park Plate at Newmarket, the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket and the Moulton Stakes at Newmarket.
In 1904 she won the One Thousand Guineas Stakes at Newmarket, the Oaks Stakes at Epsom, the Coronation Stakes at Ascot, the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster, the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster, finished 2nd to Presto for the Prix du Conseil Municipal at Longchamp and won the Free Handicap at Newmarket.
In 1905 she won the Coronation Cup at at Epsom, the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, the Limekiln Stakes at Newmarket and the Jockey Club Cup at Newmarket.
In 1906 she won the March Stakes at Newmarket, the Coronation Cup at Epsom and finished 2nd to Bachelor's Button for the Ascot Gold Cup.
Produce Record
1908 barren to Laveno Major E Loder
1909   barren to Spearmint Major E Loder
1910   slipped twins to Spearmint Major E Loder
1911 b c Polygonum, by Spearmint [died 1914] Major E Loder
1912 ch c St Polycarp, by St Frusquin [died 1914] Major E Loder
1913 b c Chipilly, by Spearmint [to Australia 1916] Major E Loder
1914 b f Molly Desmond, by Desmond Major E Loder
1915 ch f Dutch Mary, by William the Third Capt G Loder
1916 b c Passchendaele, by Polymelus Capt G Loder
1917   not bred Capt G Loder
1918 ch f Polly Flinders, by Polymelus Major Giles Loder
1919 b c Clackmannan, by Lomond Major Giles Loder
1920 b c Tudor King, by Swynford Major Giles Loder
1921   barren to Lomond Major Giles Loder
1922   barren Major Giles Loder
1923   barren Major Giles Loder
1924 b f Baby Polly, by Spearmint Lt Col Giles Loder
1925   barren to Spearmint Lt Col Giles Loder
1926-1931   inclusive, not bred Lt Col Giles Loder

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