Photograph by W A Rouch
Alexander Holmes Ledlie (1862-1928),
a native of County Cork,
had no stud farm
of his own so he kept most of his breeding
stock at Léopold Cantillon's Belvoir Lodge
in Carrigaline, close to Cork. He came
of Palotta when she was
purchased for him at the Dublin Sales
J J Parkinson for 200 guineas. From her he
Americus Girl who in 1907 won the
most money ever by a horse
|Americus Girl ch f 1905
(Americus - Palotta, by Gallinule)
Family 9-c. Sire Line
|Bred by Alexander Holmes Ledlie she was the third
generation of a line of mares bred in Ireland. Described
as a "remarkably robust and handsome filly" she ran for
her breeder and in the space of 4 years she won 12 of 29 races having a
value of £8,372.
||Emperor Of Norfolk
Americus Girl's great grandmother, the
beautifully bred Querida (b f 1870 King John), was a
product of William's Blenkiron's Middle Park Stud at
Eltham, Kent. Although
she was recorded in the stud book as a bay, in the
racing calendars she was generally said to be a roan.
Having 3 crosses to Sir Hercules (bl c 1826
within 5 generations, and 2 to
Vension (br c 1833
Partisan) within 3 generations, it seems likely that the
grey hairs in her coat owed their inheritance to one or
both of these stallions. There was speculation that she
was the source for the grey hairs in the coat of her
great grandson Lesterlin (br c 1892 Gallinule). Querida
was sold as a yearling for 70 guineas. She had modest success
on the turf, running for three years
in the north of England, starting 18 times and winning
£95 at Pontefract and £60 at Carlisle. She was then sold
to the Smithwick family for 180 guineas and went to Ireland.
She produced 2 foals of interest, the first, Niniche (b
f 1877 Swordsman), who became the grand dam of Lesterlin.
The second was Maid Of Kilcreene (b f 1884 Arbitrator).
Maid Of Kilcreene
A daughter of Querida by the
Irish champion stallion Arbitrator, Maid Of Kilcreene
(b f 1884) was bred in the
Smithwick Stud. She did run on the flat, however, in the
stud she produced 11 foals,
the later of them for T S Plunkett. All of them ran,
of them with some, albeit modest, success. Only one of
them, Palotta, had an enduring significance. Maid Of
Kilcreene's best earner was Baldoyle (ch g 1896 Gallinule)
who ran for 3
years, winning 3 as a two year old, the John O'Gaunt
Plate, the Whitsuntide Plate and the Lancaster Nursery
Handicap, all at Manchester, and finishing 2° for the
Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh. For the
Duke Of Devonshire he won the Durdans Plate at Epsom and placed 2° for the Richmond Plate at Kempton Park.
Another son, Coolock (ch g 1898 Bel Demonio) won the
Baldoyle Derby, beating Merrion (bbr c 1898 Enthusiast),
the future Irish Derby winner Carrigavalla (b c 1898
Gallinule), and the future Royal Hunt Cup winner The
Solicitor (ch c 1898 Winkfield) who was left at the post
and went no further. Having done very well in the stud Maid Of Kilcreene
had her last foal in 1899 and died in 1903.
Although no one could have foreseen it
Palotta (ch f 1893) was a remarkable bargain. She was also bred in County Kilkenny by
E Smithwick. She ran 21 times over 4 seasons in Ireland,
the last year under the name of J Dunbar. As a
two year old she started unsuccessfully in a selling
plate, then finished 2° for the Purdysburn Plate at Down
Royal won by Lady Vic (br f 1893 Atheling), ran unplaced
for the Londonderry Plate, and finally finished 3° for
the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh, won by the future
Irish Oaks winner Kosmos (ch f 1893 Atheling) and
Nimblefoot (ch f 1893 Surefoot). As a three year old she
finished 3° for the Baldoyle Derby won by Drimnakeever
(br c 1893 Kendal) and Josephus (b c 1893 Favo), before
winning the Drogheda Memorial Plate at the Curragh,
beating Golden Crescent (br c 1887 Castlereagh) and
Fairy Isle (b c 1893 Oberon). She was among the field
for the Leopardstown Handicap, the Eastern Plate at the
Curragh and the Curragh Cesarewitch. As a four year old
she was unplaced for the Wellington Plate, then won the
7f Lord Lieutenant's Plate at Cork Park, beating Mill
Mount (ch g 1891 Hagioscope) and Fairy Isle. She did not
place in her next 5 races. As a five year
old she was unplaced for all of her 5 races.
was then sent to the Dublin sales where J J Parkinson
paid 200 guineas for her on behalf of Mr Ledlie.
Initially she went to the Greenfield Stud near
Tipperary but later moved to the Belvoir Lodge Stud. She produced 12 foals. All of them raced, incuding
Lady Catherine (b f 1912 Desmond) who was sold at
Donacaster in 1913 for 2000 guineas, sent to Russia and
did her racing there. Most of the others had some level
of success, some over jumps, racing under the name of E
P Gall in Ireland and under Mr Ledlie's name in
England. Of these, 5 were of interest:
(1) Grace Girl (br f 1901
Buckingham) started 8
times at four, finishing 2° for both the Ashtown Plate
at Phoenix Park and the Crotanstown Stakes at the
Curragh. She was ancestress to 2 German-bred fillies,
the 1000 Guineas and Preis Der Diana winner
Stromschnelle (b f 1927 Dark Ronald) and the 1000 and
2000 Guineas, Grosser Preis Von Baden and Grosser Preis
Von Berlin winner Sichel (b f 1928 Herold).
(2) Exult (br f 1902 Buckingham)
ran 12 times as a three year old winning 3 races, the Tivoli Plate at
Cork Park on an objection, the Visitors' Plate at
Baldoyle, and "easily" by a length the 2m Duffers' Plate
at Phoenix Park. She finished 2° for the Shannon Plate
at Limerick, the City Plate at Leopardstown, and the
Stewards' Plate at Baldoyle, and 3° for a Maiden Plate
at the Curragh and the Fitzwilliam Plate at Carew. She
was ancestress to the German-bred Preis Der Diana winner
Einsicht (ch f 1909 Lally), the 2000 Guineas and Grosser
Preis Von Berlin winner Eckstein (br c 1916 Dark Ronald)
and the Derby Belge winner Engpass (b c 1957 Val Drake).
(3) Americus Girl (ch f 1905 Americus)
(4) Lady Americus
(b f 1909 Americus) ran in England for 2 years, winning
2 races as a two year old, the Redfern Plate at Kempton
Park and the Coventry Stakes at Ascot. Mr Ledlie reduced
his stud and in 1912 Lady Americus was purchased by Sir
Ernest Cassel for 2500 guineas. She was the ancestress
of a number of winners including Royal Lodge Stakes
winner Reach (b c 1982 Kris) and Champagne Stakes winner
Sexton Blake (gr c 1975 Blakeney).
(5) Lady Palotta (ch f 1911
General Symons) was not affected by the stud reduction
and Mr Ledlie raced her for 6 years. She ran 44 times
and won 8, including the Flying Plate at Limerick "in a
canter" by 12 lengths, the Foxrock Handicap at
Leopardstown "in a canter" by 3 lengths and the Lough
Ennel Plate at Mullingar "in a canter" by 6 lengths. She
finished 2° 10 times and 3° 4 times. She was ancestress
of the Argentina Derby winner Tecla Shiner (ch g 2005
On the turf Palotta's offspring won 18,512
and with the sales of some of her offspring (Trepida, 2000
guineas; Lord Belvoir, 1,550 guineas; Lady Americus,
2,500 guineas) added in the result is 24,562 guineas, a
presumably satisfying return on the original 200
died in 1917.
Bred by Mr Ledlie, Americus Girl (ch f 1905) was
the fifth foal of her dam. Her only full sibling was
Lady Americus (b f 1909) who was the eighth foal. Her
sire, Americus (b c 1892),
was a very fast horse with the ability to carry
staggering amounts of weight. His stud career was
undoubtedly limited since he continued to race as late
as 1901, went to Italy for 1906 and 1907, and then was
sold to Germany in 1909. His stud fee was a modest 12
guineas and Mr Ledlie used him when he was available,
saying he selected him as a mate for Palotta since "he
was a very fine looking horse, and a good performer when
Ranked as one of the finest
sprinters of her time she ran in 29 races over 4 years
and won 12 of these. In Ireland she ran under the name
of E P Gall and in England under the name of A H Ledlie.
In her two year old season she won 5 races and more than
£3,959, a greater amount in one year than any other winner
had previously earned in Ireland. Her finest
race was thought to be the Great Surrey Handicap at
Epsom in 1910. She ran the 5 furlongs in the lead from
beginning to end, carrying 9st 10lb (136 pounds),
winning by a length and a half, in a time of 59 seconds.
by three quarters of a length the Drogheda Memorial Stakes over
5 furlongs at the Curragh, beating C J Blake's Landgrave (b c
1905 Portmarnock or Lesterlin), R Croker's Little Dinah (b f
1903 Eager) and 5 others.
Won "in a canter by 6 lengths" the
Baldoyle Foal Stakes over 5 furlongs at Baldoyle, beating James
Daly's Arranmore (b c 1905 Succoth or Enthusiast), J Lowry's
Kilroy (b c 1905 Egerton) and 7 others, including Queen Of
Won "easily by 3 lengths" the Leopardstown Grand Prize
over 5 furlongs, beating A Summers's Railway Stakes winner
Twenty-Third (ch c 1905 Wildfowler), R Croker's Yale Blue (b f
1905 Americus) and 2 others.
Won "easily by 4 lengths" the
Phoenix Plate over 5 furlongs at Phoenix Park, beating J Lowry's
Bachelor's Lodge (ch c 1905 Tredennis), Twenty-Third and 6
others. She gave 14 pounds to the 2° and 17 pounds to the 3°
Finished 2° for the Anglesey (Produce)
Stakes over 6 furlongs and 60 yards at the Curragh, won by W
Dunne's Temeraire (gr c 1905 Grey Leg), beating T K Laidlaw's
Bohemian Boy (ch g 1905 Florizel).
Won "easily" the National
Produce Stakes over 6 furlongs and 60 yards at the Curragh,
beating Twenty-Third, J J Parkinson's America's Pride (b c 1905
Americus) and 2 others.
Won "easily by 2 1/2
lengths" the May Plate over 5 furlongs at Phoenix Park, beating
D Shanahan's Waddles (b c 1905 Wildfowler), giving 19 pounds to
Waddles, and 5 others.
Won "by a
head" the Royal Stakes over 6 furlongs on the New Course at
Epsom, beating A E Bowen's Master Hopson (b c 1903 Comfrey) and
J B Thorneycroft's Damage (br f 1905 Desmond) and 15 others,
including A Spalding's Poule D'Essai Des Poulains winner Ouadi
Halfa (b c 1904 Persimmon), W Raphael's Prix Morny winner
Sagamore (b c 1904 Sainfoin) and Lord Wolverton's Portland
Handicap winner The Welkin (b c 1904 Flying Fox).
Won by a
length and a half the Fern Hill Stakes over 5 furlongs at Ascot,
beating D R Browning's Coventry Stakes winner Prospector (b c
1905 Pioneer), Lord Harewood's Mincian (ch f 1906 Minstead) and
Finished 2° for the Irish
Oaks over 1 mile at the Curragh, won by R Croker's Queen Of
Peace (bbr f 1905 General Peace), beating Sir E C Cochrane's St.
Griselda (b f 1905 St. Gris) and 2 others. Americus Girl gave
Queen Of Peace 26 pounds.
Finished 3° for the Champion Sprint
Race over 5 furlongs at Hurst Park, won by W Gordon Canning's
Ignorance (b f 1903 Pride).
Among the field for the Stewards'
Plate over 6 furlongs at Liverpool, won by Capt N Allfrey's
Hallaton (ch g 1902 Blankney).
Among the field for the
Croxteth Plate over 5 furlongs at Liverpool, won by F Gretton's
Orphah (b c 1905 Orme).
Among the field for the Chaddesden
Plate over 6 furlongs at Derby, won by Hallaton.
Among the field, and carrying the top weight, for the Great
Surrey Handicap over 5 furlongs at Epsom, won by Hallaton, 2° to
W Raphael's Syce (ch c 1906
Among the field for the Princess Of Wales's
Handicap over 5 furlongs at Sandown Park, won by H Lytham's
Retrenchment (bbr c 1905 Galloping Lad), 2° to Lord Ilchester's
Jack Snipe (b c 1905 Americus).
Won the Egmont Plate carrying
top weight over 5 furlongs at Epsom, beating Sol Joel's Mocassin
(b g 1905 Mocanna), R R Jeffrey's Vic (ch f 1906 Loved One) and
11 others, including Lord Rosebery's Molecombe Stakes winner
Perdiccas (ch c 1906 Persimmon).
Won "easily by 3 lengths" at
top weight the Drogheda Memorial Stakes over 5 furlongs at the
Curragh, beating J J Parkinson's America's Pride, J Lowry's
Bachelor's Knot (ch c 1907 Tredennis) and 7 others.
field at top weight for the Chichester Plate over 5 furlongs at
Epsom, won by W Gordon Canning's Foxcote (ch c 1906 Lord Bobs),
2° to Sol Joel's Persuasion (b f 1905 Persimmon).
Won by one
and a half lengths at top weight the Portland Handicap over 5
furlongs 152 yards at Doncaster, beating J B Joel's Stewards'
Cup winner Elmstead (ch c 1905 Amphion), W Hall Walker's Indian
Runner (b c 1905 Ladas) and 13 others, including Lord Howard De
Walden's Glasgerion (ch c 1906 Gallinule) and J Upton's
Mother-In-Law (b f 1906 Matchmaker), the dam of Son-In-Law.
Finished 2° for the Prix
De La Manche over 5 furlongs at Maisons Laffitte, won by Prix
Robert Papin winner Fils Du Vent (b c 1906 Flying Fox), beating
Evohé and 3 others.
Won the 5 furlong Great Surrey Handicap
by 1 1/2 lengths at Epsom carrying the top weight of 9st 10l,
maintaining the lead from beginning to end, beating W Raphael's
Syce (ch c 1906 Cyllene), Lord Ilchester's Jack Snipe and 10
others, including the dam of Tetratema, Scotch Gift (b f 1907
Among the field, carrying top weight of 9st 7l,
for the 5 furlong Stewards' Handicap at Kempton Park, won by A E
Bowen's Master Hopson (b c 1903 Comfrey), 2° to Sir P Walker's
Ben-A-Bhan (ch c 1907 Fortunio or The Baker), 13 started.
Among the field, carrying the top weight of 10st, for the 5
furlong Egmont Plate at Epsom, won by L Naon's Lady Helen (br f
1903 Ugly), 2° to John Powney's Candahar (b g 1904 Ayrshire), 19
Among the field, carrying top weight of 9st 12l, for the
6 furlong Royal Stakes at Epsom, won by Sol Joel's Poor Boy (b c
1905 Perth), 2° to Lord Howard De Walden's Glasgerion, 15 ran.
Finished 2° for the 5 furlong King's Stand Stakes at Windsor,
won by H P Nickall's Spanish Prince (b c 1907 Ugly), beating
Lord M Beresford's Capture (ch c 1907 Cyllene) and 7 others.
Among the field, carrying top weight of 10st 2l, for the 5
furlong Drogheda Memorial Stakes at the Curragh, won by J J
Parkinson's Iron Glove (br c 1907 Lesterlin), 2° to Sir E C
Cochrane's Kilmarnock (ch c 1907 Ayrshire), 9 ran.
field, carrying top weight of 9st 10l, for the 5 furlong 88 yard
Marine Plate at Brighton, won by W Raphael's Louvigny (b c 1907
Ayrshire), 2° to J Powney's Candahar, 8 ran.
Among the field,
carrying top weight of 9st 4l, for the 5 furlong Champion Sprint
Handicap at Hurst Park, won by Mr Fairie's Lady Vista (ch f 1906
Sir Visto), 2° to Sir Carl Meyer's Glenesky (b c 1906
Lesterlin), 10 ran.
Among the field, carrying top weight of
9st, for the Portland Handicap at Doncaster, won by Capt N
Allfrey's Hallaton, 2° to Glenesky, 21 ran.
|After her long career on the turf Americus Girl
entered Mr Ledlie's stud where she bred 6 winners from 7
foals. After racing she was left in
England to be mated with Sundridge (ch c 1898 Amphion),
who, the following year, was sold to a syndicate of
French breeders and sent to the Haras De Bel-Ebat, near
La Celle-Saint-Cloud in France. From this union came the
first and best foal, Lady Josephine, the mating never to
be repeated due the circumstances of Sundridge, who
returned to England in 1920, with
fertility issues, although Americus Girl had a later
foal by his son Sunder (ch c 1907).
raced her all of fillies and two of her colts.
(1) Lady Josephine (ch f 1912 Sundridge). See
(2) Lady Colin
(b f 1913 Colin) ran for 3 years, starting 19 times and
winning 1 race each each year, the Salisbury Stakes by 4
lengths, the Kinsealey Plate at Baldoyle, and the
Mulhuddert Plate at Phoenix Park.
(3) Lady Alex (b f 1915 Spearmint)
raced in Ireland for 2 years, starting 6 times without
success. She had 2 descendants who were winners of the
Trinidad Derby: Jetsam (ch c 1941 Flotsam) and Ligan (ch
c 1945 Flotsam).
(4) The President (ch c 1916 Sunder) ran in
England for T Davidson ran for 8 years, starting 58
times and winning 9 of these, earning £2101. He had
victories in the
Melrose Handicap at York, the July
Handicap at Alexandra Park, the Tilgate Handicap at
Gatwick, the Emscote Plate at Warwick, a Dead-Heat with
Proconsul (ch g 1918 Valens) for the Brackley Water
Handicap at Manchester, the Willows Handicap at Haydock
Park, the Stamford Selling Plate at York in which he was
bought in for 310 guineas, the Carrick Welter Handicap at Ayr
Irvine Plate at Bogside.
(5) Tammany Chief (ch c
1917 Orby) ran only as a two year old, winning the
Shielmartin Plate worth £178 at Baldoyle from 5 starts.
(6) Cambodia (ch c 1920 Flying Orb) ran for 6 years,
starting 56 times, winning 5 and earning £774. In
England he won the Portslade Selling Welter Handicap
Plate at Brighton for S Whitburn and was sold to A
Bassett for 700gs. He then won the Harbour All-Aged
Selling Plate at Folkestone and was sold to W H Allden
for 200gs. His next victories were for the Ratcliffe
Selling Handicap Plate at Windsor in which he was bought
in for 160gs and the Palace Handicap at Alexandra Park.
His final victory came in the Quennevais Plate at Jersey
in the Channel Islands.
Americanus (ch g 1922 Diadumenos) ran in England and
Ireland for 3 years, winning 3 of 12 starts and earning
£269. Among his successes were the Athgarven Plate at
Phoenix Park, the Tower Plate at Leopardstown and the
Newbridge (selling) Plate at Phoenix Park in which he
was sold to H M Hartigan for £340.
recorded cover for Americus Girl was by Tetrameter, to
whom she was barren in 1925. She died in 1928.