Gimcrack (GB)




Sire Line


Godolphin Arabian


Gimcrack gr c 1760 (Cripple - Miss Elliot, by Grisewood's Partner). Sire Line Godolphin Arabian. Family 23.

He was bred by Mr Gideon Elliot of Murrell Green in Hampshire, and passed through quite a number of hands before coming to Lord Grosvenor. Making his first start at Epsom in 1764 he won all seven of his races that year. Among his victories at Newmarket was the Whip, allegedly given by King Charles II and later said to include hair from the mane and tail of Eclipse. Throughout his active turf career he ran in nearly forty races, the majority of them in heats and over long distances. He was beaten only ten times in eight years. In 1766 when owned by Count Lauraguais he performed the remarkable feat of running twenty-two and a half miles in one hour in France.

He is still remembered today for his racing excellence and commemorated by the Gimcrack Stakes held at York, established in 1846 for two-year olds and run over six furlongs. The Gimcrack Club, also at York and founded in 1766, honours his memory. The owner of the winner of the Gimcrack Stakes is a guest of honour for the annual dinner at the Gimcrack Club. He was also a great favourite of Admiral Rous who acquired a small portrait of Gimcrack and subsequently bequeathed it to the Jockey Club. An honest and thoroughly game little horse, standing only 14.2 hands, he was described by Mr Longrigg as "perhaps the first horse to carve himself a place in turf history by virtue of his charm".

In the stud he made little impact at home. However, his influnce on American breeding would be profound. Gimcrack sired an unnamed mare who became the dam of Sister to Timidity* (ch f 1792), who in turn became the 2nd dam of American Eclipse (ch c 1814) and the 4th dam of Brawner's Eclipse (ch c 1839). His son Medley* was sent to America, and it is primarily through Medley* that his descendants are with us today.

Gimcrack Cripple Godolphin Arabian  
Blossom Crab
Sister to Steady
Miss Elliot Grisewood's Partner Croft's Partner
Hutton Barb Mare
Caelia Croft's Partner
Grey Brocklesby
Race Record

In 1764 running for Mr Green he won 50 for 4yos at Epsom, beating Mr Everet's dun colt Win-If-I-Can, Mr Aldridge's Britannicus (b c 1760 Blank) and 3 others. Won 50 at Guildford, beating Mr Black's Hazard, Mr Tate's Punch and Mr Hawes's Lass of the Mill. Won 50 at Winchester, beating Lord Castlehaven's Sappho. Won the 50 Whim Plate at Bedford, beating Mr Vernon's Rose. Won 50 at Barnet, beating Mr Stoke's Lilly, Mr Castle's Ladies' Pad, Sir C Eversfield's bay mare and Mr Carter's Young Driver. Won 50 at Reading, beating 3 others. Won 50 at Burford.

In 1765 won 50 at Newmarket, beating Mr Vernon's Prophet (ch c 1760 Regulus), Sir J Lowther's Treasure and Sir J Moore's bay colt. Running for Lord Bolingbroke at the same meeting he won a 1000gs match from Mr Panton's Rocket (gr c 1758 Blank) over the Beacon Course. In July at Newmarket he won a 1000gs match from Sir J Lowther's Ascham (br c 1759 Regulus). In October he lost a 500gs match at Newmarket to Lord Rockingham's Bay Malton (b c 1760 Sampson) whilst conceding Bay Malton 7 pounds. Later in October he won a 500gs match at Newmarket, beating the Duke of Cumberland's Drone (b c 1761 Young Cade).

In 1766 running for Count Lauraguais he finished 2nd in a 50 purse at Newmarket won by the Duke of Kingston's Tyrant (b c 1760 Spectator), beating Lord Orford's Commodore, Mr Chaplin's Beau, Lord Ossory's Virago, Mr Shafto's Flyfax, Lord Grosvenor's Fop, Sir J Moore's South-East, Mr Adams's Bounce and Mr Castle's Cripple.

In 1767 won 50 at Wisbeach, beating 2 others. Won 50 at Ascot Heath. Won 50 at Marlborough, beating Mr Bell's Selim and Mr Quick's General. Won 50 at Wells. Finished 2nd for 50 at Wantage, won by Major Brereton's Otterley, beating two others. Finished 2nd for 50 at Odsey won by Mr Croft's Tortoise (br c 1762 Snap), beating Lord Barrymore's Favourite [ex-Nobody], Mr Vernon's Coriolanus, Mr Castle's Spot, the Duke of Grafton's Cheshire Dick, Mr Fairfax's Cruiser and Sir C Bunbury's Tinetta.

In 1768 he won 50 at Epsom, beating 3 others. Won 50 at Ascot Heath, beating Mr Strode's Bully, Mr Medley's Nabob and Mr Larkin's Sloven. Running for Sir Charles Bunbury he went unplaced in the Great Subscription at York won by Lord Rockingham's Pilgrim (bl c 1762 Sampson). Went unplaced for 50 at Newmarket won by the Duke of Grafton's Guardian (b c 1764 Spectator). Won 50 at Odsey, beating Mrs Ellis's Spot, Mr Merritt's Juliet, Mr Strode's Lady Thigh, Mr M'Anella's Barley-Corn and 2 others.

In 1769 he won a 50 each sweepstakes at Newmarket, beating Mr Vernon's Hermione and Lord Farnham's Amazon. At Newmarket First Spring he won 50, beating Lord Grosvenor's Cardinal Puff (gr c 1760 Babraham), Lord Rockingham's Bay Malton (b c 1760 Sampson), Mr Shafto's Hemp, Mr Pratt's Phoenix, the Duke of Grafton's Bashful, Lord Farnham's Admiral, Mr P Blake's Presto, Mr Vernon's Chalfont and Mr Cross's Toper. At the same meeting he won a match for 300gs from Mr Vernon's Baber (b c 1764 Blank). At Newmarket Second Spring he won a 300gs match from Lord Rockingham's Jacko (b c 1764 Godolphin Colt). Running for Lord Grosvenor he finished 3rd for 50 at York, won by Sir Lawrence Dundas's Chatsworth (ch c 1762 Blank) with Mr Wentworths Tortoise 2nd, beating Mr Vever's Morwick Ball (ch c 1762 Regulus), Lord Rockingham's Bay Malton (b c 1760 Sampson) and Mr J S Barry's All-Fours (ch c 1763 Regulus).

In 1770 at Newmarket First Spring he won 200gs and the Whip from Lord Rockingham's Pilgrim (bl c 1762 Sampson). At Newmarket Second Spring he finished 5th and last in the Jockey Plate, won by Sir C Bunbury's Bellario (b c 1763 Brilliant). Running again for Mr Green he won 50 at Blandford. beating Mr Strode's Myrmidon. Running for Lord Grosvenor at Newmarket First October he went unplaced in a 20gs each subscription won by Sir C Bunbury's Bellario.

In 1771 at Newmarket First Spring he won 50, beating Sir C Bunbury's Bellario, Lord March's Sportsman and 6 others.
Notable Offspring
Medley (GB)*
gr c 1776 (Gimcrack - Arminda, by Snap). Sire Line Godolphin Arabian. Family 3. Bred by Lord Grosvenor he was imported into America in 1784 by Malcolm Hart of Virginia. Before his importation, he raced successfully in England winning numerous matches. While his influence primarily descends through his daughters, his sons were turf luminaries in their day. They number among them Tayloe's Bellair 2nd (gr c 1786), Tayloe's Grey Diomed (gr c 1786), Tayloe's Quicksilver (gr c 1789), Page's Boxer (b c 1790) and Hoskin's Melzar (b c 1791). From his daughters, the matriarchs of American Families A3, A4 and A36, descend such horses as Spendthrift (ch c 1876), Sweep On (b c 1916), Hyder Ali (b c 1872), Judge Himes (ch c1900), Durbar (b c 1911), Clyde Van Dusen (ch c 1926), Gulch (b c 1984), Kauai King (br c 1963), Swaps (ch c 1952), Green Desert (b c 1983) and a number of famous broodmares, among them Julia (ch f 1853), Wanda (ch f 1882) and Broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee (bbr f 1968). Medley was esteemed for his ability to transmit to his offspring his own beauty and spirit, along with both speed and bottom. He died of colic in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1792.