Americus Girl (IRE)

Photograph by W A Rouch
© Thoroughbred

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
Stud in Carrigaline, close to Cork. He came
into possession of Palotta when she was
purchased for him at the Dublin Sales by
J J Parkinson for 200 guineas. From her he
bred Americus Girl who in 1907 won the
most money ever by a horse in Ireland.




Americus Girl ch f 1905 (Americus - Palotta, by Gallinule) Family 9-c. Sire Line King Herod.
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.
Americus Girl Americus Emperor Of Norfolk Norfolk
Clara D. Glenelg
The Nun
Palotta Gallinule Isonomy
Maid Of Kilcreene Arbitrator
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 Whalebone) 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, most 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.

She 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) see below.
(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 Indygo Shiner).
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 guineas. Palotta died in 1917.

Americus Girl
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 racing".

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.
In 1907
Won 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 Peace.
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° place finishers.
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.

In 1908
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 4 others.
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.

In 1909
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 Cyllene).
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.
Among the 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.

In 1910
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 Symington).
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 ran.
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.
Among the 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).

Mr Ledlie raced her all of fillies and two of her colts.

(1) Lady Josephine (ch f 1912 Sundridge). See Lady Jospehine.
(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 and the 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.
(7) Dux 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.

The last recorded cover for Americus Girl was by Tetrameter, to whom she was barren in 1925. She died in 1928.