|Surplice b c 1845
Priam). Sire Line
Bred by Lord George
Bentinck (1802-1848) from his good mare, the One
Thousand Guineas, Two Thousand Guineas and Oaks Stakes
(b f 1837), Surplice was a half brother to
Royal Hunt Cup winner Chalice (b f 1852
Orlando) who was
later the grandam of the Oaks winner Placida (br f 1874
Lord Lyon). He was foaled early in the year, on January
24. Frightened by his first snowstorm he took a
somersault over a stone wall into a garden, and later
slipped and fell when on the longe, both incidents
enough to cause much anxiety although he was unhurt on
either occasion. Measured as a yearling by his owner at
15 hands he was assessed at the time as "rather leggy".
He was sold as a two year old to the Hon Edward Lloyd Mostyn and later the same year to Henry Agar-Ellis
Clifden (1825-1866), 3rd Viscount Clifden.
Eventually he stood
over 16 hands 1 inch and was described as having strong
quarters, thighs and back although he was thought rather
loose in the back ribs, and his forelegs were said to be
very bad. While "no colt had a sweeter temper," he was very quiet and sluggish until roused.
His walk was notably ground covering.
Racing for four
years, he was undefeated at two and won the Derby
Stakes and St Leger Stakes at three, vanquishing both
the One Thousand Guineas winner Canezou (br f 1845
the Two Thousand Guineas winner Flatcatcher (b c 1845
Touchstone) in the
latter. It was, however, the Derby result which
devastated Lord George Bentinck. His ambition to win the
Derby lingered even after he had disposed of his
bloodstock in order to devote himself to politics. After
Surplice had accomplished the feat it is said that
Disraeli came upon Lord George in the House of Commons
Library and enquired of him the cause of his dejection.
When informed that not only had Surplice won the Derby
but that Disraeli could not possibly understand, he
answered that he could, that "the Derby was the Blue
Ribbon of the Turf". So it is to Surplice and Disraeli
we owe the romantic legacy of the Derby as the "Blue
Riband of the Turf".
In the stud
Surplice got better fillies than colts
although his French-foaled son Florin (ch c
1854) won the Poule d'Essai and sired
the Prix du Jockey Club winner Florentin (ch c 1863).
|In 1847 running for Mr Mostyn he won the £2250 Ham
Stakes at Goodwood, beating Mr T Dawson's Liston (br c
1845 The Doctor) easily by 2 lengths, Mr J
Day's Anglia (b f 1845
Lord Chesterfield's Distaffina (b f 1845
Colonel Anson's Contessa (br f 1845 Colwick) and
Lord Eglinton's Astroea (b f 1845
a 300 sovs each Produce Stakes at the same
meeting, beating Mr Dixon's Hope (br f 1845
Touchstone) by 3
lengths, Lord Glasgow's Clerk of the Council (b
c 1845 Don John)
and Mr Mostyn's Loadstone (b c 1845
the £1000 Municipal Stakes at Doncaster, beating
Sir R Bulkeley's Miss Orbell (b f 1845 Jereed)
in a canter by 2 lengths.
|In 1848 he
won the £5550 Derby at Epsom, beating Mr
Bowes's Springy Jack (b c 1845 Hetman Platoff) by
a neck, Mr B Green's Shylock (bl c 1845
Simoom), Mr Payne's Glendower (b c 1845 Slane),
Lord Eglinton's Eagle's Plume (b c 1845
Lanercost) and 12 others. Finished 2nd for the
£2300 Gratwicke Produce Stakes at Goodwood, won
by Distaffina by a length, beating the Duke of
Richmond's Hornpipe (b f 1845
and Mr Bowes's Wiasma (ch f 1845 Hetman
Platoff). Finished 3rd and last for the £700
Racing Stakes at the same meeting, won by
Glendower, with Colonel Anson's Corsican (b c
placing 2nd. Won the £3075 Great St Leger at Doncaster, beating Lord Stanley's One Thousand
Guineas winner Canezou (br f 1845
by a neck, Mr B Green's Two Thousand Guineas
winner Flatcatcher (b c 1845
Green's Assault (b c 1845
Duke of Bedford's Justice to Ireland (b c 1845
and 4 others. Walked over for the North of
England Produce Stakes at the same meeting. Won
the £1100 Grand Duke Michael Stakes at Newmarket
First October, beating Flatcatcher. Went
unplaced for the Cesarewitch at Newmarket Second
October, won by Mr W S Crawfurd's The Cur (ch
g 1842 Bran).
|In 1849 he
was unplaced for the Chesterfield Cup at
Goodwood, won by Mr Nicoll's Woolwich (ch c
1846 Chatham), with Mr Payne's Crucible (b c
placing 2nd. Walked over for a 1000 sovs each
sweepstakes at Newmarket Second October. Paid a
100 sovs forfeit at Newmarket Houghton to Mr Rolt's Collingwood (b c 1843 Sheet Anchor).
|In 1850 he
lost a 300 sovs match at Newmarket First Spring
to the Duke of Bedford's St Rosalia (b f 1846
Middleton (bl f 1852), 2nd dam of the Suburban
Handicap winner Lowlander (b c 1888 Lowland
Chief). Family 1-o.
Cherry (bl f 1853), 2nd dam of the Middle Park
Stakes winner and stallion Beaudesert (b c 1877
Sterling). Family 8-a.
||Flax (b f
1855), dam of the stallion Honiton (b c 1863
and 2nd dam of the Lincolnshire Handicap winner
Guy Dayrell (b c 1867 Wild Dayrell).
f 1856), won the Queen's Vase.
Princess (ch f 1858), dam of the Two Thousand
Guineas winner Prince Charlie (ch c 1869 Blair
Athol) and the Royal Hunt Cup winner Thuringian
Prince (ch c 1871
Clifden (b f 1858), won the Stewards' Cup, half
sister to St Leger winner Lord Clifden (b c
f 1860), French foaled, dam of Prix du Jockey
Club, Prix Royal Oak and Cambridgeshire winner
Jongleur (b c 1874 Mars).
(br f 1866), dam of the King's Stand Stakes
winner and stallion Hackthorpe (br c 1875
Strafford). Family 5.