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Back to the Future Handicapping
The reason for this not very serious text was a small notice in a newspaper called The Country Journal or, the Craftsman, April 19, 1735: "On Saturday seven Mares started for the King's Plate, for five Years old Mares; the Odds were 6 to 4 for Lord Portmore's against the Field, but Lord Walpole's won."

It was no big problem to find this race in Cheny's Racing Calendar for 1735: 12th ditto [April 1735, at Newmarket], the 2d 100 Royal Guineas of the Year were run for, being for five Year Old Mares only, wt. 10 st. one Heat. This Prize was won by

1. Lord Walpole's Bay, Miss-Slammakin, got by True-blue
2. Mr. Witty's Ches. got by Fox
3. Lord Vis. Weymouth's Ches. Jenny-come-tye-me
4. Mr. Read's, Bay, Rachel, got by a Son of Bay Bolton
5. Sir Michael Newton's Grey, Miss-Parrot, got by his Arabian
6. Duke of Somerset's Grey, bred by his Grace
7. Mr. Rich's Bay, got by Easby-Snake

The first surprise is that while the newspaper identified Lord Portmore as owner of the mare favoured to win, Cheny did not mention him. Checking into the history of these mares revealed that a chestnut mare Jenny-come-tye-me was sold to Lord Portmore by Mr. Routh: "Sold a Chest mare calld Jeny-come-tye-me, that won the 100 Guineas this year at Hambleton, to Ld Portmore for 250 guineas in hand, and 30 Gs more upon her winning a Match, or a Royall Plate, at 6 years old. October 1734." [Prior, Early Records of the Thoroughbred Horse, 1924; p 33]. We can only speculate that a disappointed Lord Portmore sold Jenny-come-tye-me after this race to Lord Viscount Weymouth (Thomas Thynne), and that Cheny in compiling race results at the end of the year recorded her new owner instead of Lord Portmore. Regardless, Jenny-come-tye-me was rightly the favourite based on their previous race records. According to Cheny:

1. Ld Walpole’s Miss Slamerkin
13 Aug 1734. Ipswich. Ld Walpole's b. m. (Miss Slammerkin???) was unplaced, running 4th & 3rd in the 2 heats of the Royal 100 Guineas (King's Plate) for 5yo, 10st, 2m heats, won by Mr. Craggs’s ch. h. Crooke – 4 ran
2. Mr. Witty’s Meliora
25 Jun 1734. Beverley, Yorkshire. Mr. Witty’s ch. m. Fox won, winning both heats of a race for 15gs, by 5yo, 9st – 3 ran.
10 Aug 1734. Black Hambleton, Yorkshire. Mr. Witty’s ch. by Fox was 4th of 15 in Royal 100 Guineas for 5yo mares, 10st, 1 heat, won by Mr. Routh’s ch. m. Jenny-come-tye-me.
3. Ld Visc. Weymouth’s Jenny-come-tye-me
10 Aug 1734. Black Hambleton. Mr. Routh’s ch. m. Jenny-come-tye-me won Royal 100 Guineas in Specie, 5yo m. 10st, 1 heat – 15 ran.
4. Mr. Read’s Rachel
10 Aug 1734. Black Hambleton, Yorkshire. Mr. Read’s b. by a Son of Bay Bolton was 2nd of 15 in Royal 100 Guineas in Specie for 5yo mares, 10st, 1 heat, won by Mr. Routh’s ch. m. Jenny-come-tye-me.
4 Sep 1734. City of Lincoln. Mr. Read’s b.m. Rachel, by a son of Bay Bolton won a Purse of 30gs., for five yrs. old, carrying 9 st – 3 ran.
5. Sir Michael Newton’s Miss-Parrot
23 Apr 1734, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Sir Michael Newton’s gr. m. Miss Parrot, bred by himself, out of a Mixbury Mare and his own Arabian, was 3rd of 7 in a Sweepstakes of 100gs each for four yrs. old colts and fillies, 8st 7lb each, four miles, (7 subs.), won by Ld. Lonsdale’s gr. c. Spider
5 Oct 1734, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Sir Michael Newton's Miss Parrot, beat the Duke of Bridgewater's Patch, 8 st 4 l, 4 m, 100 Guineas
26 Oct 1734, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Sir Michael Newton's Grey M Miss Parrot was 7th of 10, for the 275 Guineas, call'd the October Stakes, wt 9 st, won by The Earl of Godolphin's Brown H Shock.
6. D of Somerset's Grey Mare
No earlier races found
7. Mr Rich's Bay Mare
No earlier races found

If we assume that Ld Walpole did not have two good bay mares born in the same year (which is a pretty safe assumption) we may say that Miss Slamerkin probably had only one race before this one – she was unplaced in the King’s Plate at Ipswich as a 5 year old. Mr. Witty’s chestnut mare by Fox, later named Meliora, was more successful – she won a race for a smaller prize at Beverley and then was 4th of 15 in King’s Plate for 5yo mares at Black Hambleton. Jenny-come-tye-me raced only once winning that most important race for mares in the North, the Hambleton Royal Plate for 5 year old mares. Mr. Read’s Rachel was second in that race, and later won a 30gs purse at Lincoln. Sir Michael Newton’s Miss Parrot raced on home ground where she had 3 starts in the previous year and where she managed to beat Duke of Bridgewater's Patch in a match for 100gs. The Duke of Somerset’s grey mare and Mr. Rich’s bay mare had no identified races before this one and so it seems that the practice of entering horses into important races to be later said that they raced in them is not something new...

Having looked at their background, it is really a surprise that Miss Slammerkin won, so we’ve checked results for the whole careers of these mares. The surprise is even bigger, if we take into account their future results:

1. Ld Walpole’s Miss Slamerkin
4 Oct 1735, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Lord Walpole's Slamekin, paid the Forfeit to the Duke of Bridgewater's Poker. Nine Stone, four Miles, 200 Guineas, half forfeit.
2. Mr. Witty’s Meliora
16 Jul 1735, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Mr Witty's Ches M Meliora won 40 Gs Plate, for 6 yo, wt 10 st – 3 ran.
11 Aug 1735, City of York. Mr. Witty’s ch.m. Meliora ran 1 2 2 2 in His Majesty’s Plate of 100gs, for six yrs. old horses, 12st, four-mile heats, won by Ld. Portmore’s ch. h. Crook – 7 ran.
9 Sep 1735, City of Lincoln. Mr Witty's Ches M Meliora (14 H 1 I) was unplaced (ran 3 2) in 20Gs, won by Mr Rosmil's Ches M Creeping-Kate – 3 ran.
18 Mar 1736, Kipling-Coats, Yorkshire. Mr. Witty’s ch. m. Meliora was 3rd of 3 in 16gs, 10st, 1 heat – won by Mr. Watson’s b. h. Cony-Skins.
16 Jun 1736, Leeds, Yorkshire. Mr. Witty’s ch. m. Meliora was unplaced (ran 4 2 2) in 30, 10st, won by D. of Bolton’s gr. h. Hackney – 4 ran.
1 Jul 1736, Beverley, Yorkshire. Mr. Witty’s ch. m. Meliora was unplaced (ran 3 1 2) in 20gs, 10st, won by Mr. Brewster’s b. m. Hollow-back – 3 ran.
6 Aug 1736, Manchester, Lancashire. Mr. Witty’s ch. m. Meliora ran 3 2 1 in 50, 10st, won by E. of Derby’s b. g. Looby – 3 ran.
9 Jun 1737, Doncaster, Yorkshire. Mr. Witty's ch. m. Meliora ran 2 2 in 15gs, 10st, won by Mr. Collishaw's b. h. Merry-Lad - 2 ran.
3. Ld Visc. Weymouth’s Jenny-come-tye-me
11 Jun 1735, Salisbury. Lord Visc Weymouth's Ches M Jenny-come-tie-me was 2nd of 3 in 100 Royal Gs, for 6 yo wt 12 st, won by Mr Bertie's Ches H Sober-sides – 3 ran.
7 Aug 1735, Lewes, Sussex: Ld Visc Weymouth's Ches M Jenny-come-tye-me, bred by Mr Routh & got by Young-Childers won King's 100gs for 6 yo 12 st (ran 1 1).
19 Aug 1735, Winchester. Lord Viscount Weymouth's Ches M Jenny-come-tie-me won Royal 100Gs, for 6 yo, wt 12 st – 2 ran.
3 Apr 1736, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Lord Weymouth's Jenny-come-try-me, paid the Forfeit (wt eight Stone two Pound) to Mr Vane's Shock.
4. Mr. Read’s Rachel
5 May 1735, Epsom, Surrey. Mr Read's Bay M Rachel was unplaced in a Purse of 30 Gs for 6 yo, as never won a Royal Plate, wt 10 st, won by Mr Bertie's Grey M Brocclesby – 3 ran.
11 Aug 1735, City of York. Mr. Read’s b.m. Rachel was unplaced (ran 7 5 4) in His Majesty’s Plate of 100gs, for six yrs. old horses, 12st, four-mile heats, won by Ld. Portmore’s ch.h. Crook – 7 ran.
5. Sir Michael Newton’s Miss-Parrot
10 Jun 1735, Stamford: Sir Michael Newton's Grey M Miss-Parrot ran 2nd to Mr Hilliard's Brown H Kiss-in-a-Corner for a 40 l Plate for 6 yo (1 heat, 2 entries).
Aug 1735, Market-Harborough: Sir M Newton's Grey M Miss-Parrot ran 2nd (2 2 1) to Mr Harpur's Ches G Squirrel for 20 l, wt 10 st.
6. D of Somerset's Grey
No other races
7. Mr Rich's Bay
No other races

We can see then, that this King's Plate at Newmarket, was the last race of its winner Miss Slammerkin. The second placed mare Meliora, and particularly the third placed Jenny-come-tye-me were much more successful in their future careers. Meliora won a 40gs plate and was nearly beaten in 4 heats for York Royal Plate in that 1735. Jenny-come-tye-me won two Royal Plates that same year (at Lewes and Winchester), and was the most successful mare of them all. On the other hand, Rachel and Miss Parrot were on the downhill side of their careers after this race.

Then what is left for us to try to understand about this race result? Pedigree handicapping is pointless because we don’t have enough pedigree data for most of these early mares. Dosage theory, linebreeding, inbreeding, and other breedings also. The only thing left for understanding the result of this race is what we can call "Back to the Future Handicapping".

If we take a look at the descendants of those mares, we can see that Miss Slamerkin is found at the base of Lowe’s Family 7. All important 19th and 20th century horses from that family trace to Miss Slamerkin. She herself was the dam of several very successful horses (Duchess, Bustard, Othello, etc.). Her influence in the development of TB horses could be ranked as #1 in this field. The next most important, according to this criterion is, of course, the second placed horse in that race, Meliora, dam of only one recorded horse. But that one is Tartar, sire of one of the most important TB sires, King Herod (there's good evidence for at least one other foal – a filly).

What is the conclusion of our little analysis? A combination of various handicapping tools, with particular emphasis on clairvoyance, could predict the result of all important races.

Miodrag Milovanovic and A J Hibbard

 

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