Comus (GB)





Sire Line







Matilda, by Comus





Comus ch c 1809 (Sorcerer - Houghton Lass, by Sir Peter Teazle). Sire Line Matchem. Family 25.

Bred by Sir John Shelley (1777-1852) 6th Baronet, of Michel Grove, Sussex, a member of the Jockey Club who bred a number of classics winners including the Derby winners Priam (b c 1827 Emilius), Phantom (b c 1808 Walton) and Cedric (ch c 1821 Phantom) and the Two Thousand Guineas winner Antar (b c 1816 Haphazard). He was purchased after his turf career by  Christopher Wilson (1764-1842) of Oxton Hall, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, a steward of the Jockey Club and the breeder of record of the Derby and St Leger winner Champion (b c 1797 Pot8os) and the One Thousand Guineas winner Charlotte (b f 1811 Orville).

Comus was said to stand 15.2 hands and possess "capital legs and feet". He ran for two years and won nearly 5,000 guineas in stakes, including a third place finish in Octavius's Derby. He retired to stud at Mr Wilson's Beilby Grange, near Wetherby, Yorkshire, and in his first season he got the first, second and third finishers for the 1818 St Leger Stakes: Reveller (b c 1815), his stablemate Ranter (b c 1815) and The Marshal (gr c 1815). He got another St Leger winner in Matilda (b f 1824), and the Two Thousand Guineas and Ascot Gold Cup winner Grey Momus (gr c 1835) as well as the One Thousand Guineas winner Catgut (br f 1816 by Juniper or Comus).

He is perhaps best known as the grandsire of Melbourne br c 1834 (Humphrey Clinker) who contributed to the perpetuation of the Matchem sire line, represented in the twentieth century in Europe by Precipitation (ch c 1933 Hurry On) and in America by Man o' War (ch c 1917 Fair Play). Comus was shot in 1837.

Comus Sorcerer Trumpator Conductor
Young Giantess Diomed
Houghton Lass Sir Peter Teazle Highflyer
Alexina King Fergus
Race Record

In 1812 he won the 100gs each Produce Sweepstakes at Newmarket in March, beating Mr Thornhill's Aquarius (gr c 1809 Quiz), Sir F Standish's Young Eagle colt and 5 others. Won a 100gs each sweepstakes at Newmarket First Spring, beating Mr Watson's Bodkin (ch c 1809 Trumpator) and the Duke of Rutland's Ptolemy (b c 1809 Quiz). At the same meeting finished 2nd in a 200gs each sweepstakes, won by Lord Lowther's Beningbrough gelding. Finished 3rd for the Derby Stakes at Epsom, won by Mr Ladbroke's Octavius (br c 1809 Orville), with Lord Egremont's Gohanna colt placing 2nd; the rest of the field were not placed but included Mr Wilson's Wisdom (b c 1809 Sir Solomon), Mr Stafford's Whitburn (b c 1809 Firelock), the Duke of Rutland's Ptolemy (b c 1809 Quiz), Mr Hewett's Manuella (b f 1809 Dick Andrews) and 7 others. Finished 3rd for a 100gs each sweepstakes at Ascot Heath, won by the Duke of Rutland's Elizabeth (b f 1809 Orville), with the Duke of York's Pointers (b c 1809 Giles) placing 2nd, beating Lord Lowther's Brother to Briseis. The same day won a 100gs each sweepstakes, beating Lord Lowther's Brother to Briseis, the Duke of Rutland's Ptolemy (b c 1809 Quiz), Mr Forth's Pupil (ch c 1809 Whiskey), Capt H Vyse's Helen (b f 1809 Whiskey) and Mr Newnham's Bobtail filly. Won a 200gs each sweepstakes at Newmarket First October, beating Lord Stawell's July Stakes winner Cato (br c 1809 Sancho), the Duke of Grafton's Woful (b c 1809 Waxy) and 3 others. Finished 2nd for The Thousand Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Second October, won by the Duke of Rutland's Elizabeth (b f 1809 Orville), beating the Duke of Grafton's Joe Miller (b c 1809 Waxy), Lord G H Cavendish's Handel (b c 1809 Waxy) and Mr Andrews's Calyba (ch f 1809 Sorcerer). Won 200gs match at Newmarket Houghton from Mr Lake's Pointers.

In 1813 he won a 50 Subscription Plate at Newmarket in April, beating Mr Wilson's Wisdom (b c 1809 Sir Solomon) and 7 others. Won the 200gs each Claret Stakes at Newmarket First Spring, beating Lord Stawell's Cato (br c 1809 Sancho), Lord Darlington's Two Thousand Guineas winner Cwrw (br c 1809 Dick Andrews) and Mr Thornhill's Historia (b f 1809 Haphazard). At the same meeting won a 100gs each sweepstakes, beating Mr Glover's Mulberry (b c 1809 Lignum Vitae), Lord Foley's Benedick (b c 1809 Remembrancer), Mr Lake's Pointers and Mr Biggs's Lamia (b f 1809 Gohanna).
Notable Comus Mares
1. Comus Mare (gr f 1816), dam of Manchester Cup winner Colchicum (gr c 1836 Physician) and St Leger winner Nutwith (b c 1840 Tomboy). Family 9-a.
2. My Lady (b f 1818), dam of Champagne Stakes winner Jereed (b c 1834 Sultan) and ancestress of many good horses in Family 8-k before her exportation to Virginia around 1836.
3. Euphrosyne (ch f 1819), 3rd dam of Manchester and Chester Cups winner Ben Webster (b c 1857 Barnton) and the good race mare Isoline (ch f 1860 Ethelbert) who numbered the Manchester and Goodwood Cups among her victories before she entered the stud where she got some good winners and became the 2nd dam of Isonomy (b c 1875 Sterling). Family 19-a.
4. Comus Mare (gr f 1821c), dam of Don John (b c 1835 Waverley), stallion and winner of the Champagne Stakes, St Leger Stakes and Doncaster Cup and the stallion Hetman Platoff (b c 1836 Brutandorf). Family 2-c.
5. Matilda (b f 1824), herself the winner of the St Leger Stakes, dam of Champagne Stakes winner Eliza (b f 1836 Physician) and 2nd dam of Cambridgeshire Stakes winner Nat (b c 1840 Jereed). Family 5-a.
6. Comus Mare (ch f 1832), dam of Manchester Cup winner The Swiss Boy (b c 1845 Lanercost) and 2nd dam of Ebor Handicap winner El Hakim (b c 1854 The Cure). Family 5.
Other Notable Offspring

The Juggler (b c 1815), won the Doncaster Cup.

Trinculo (br c 1822), owned by F Mills, won the Craven Stakes.

Birdlime (b f 1831), owned by Mr Mostyn, won the Chester Cup.
Humphrey Clinker

1826 Doncaster Gold Cup, won by Fleur-de-Lis, 2nd Mulatto,
3rd Humphrey Clinker, 4th Helenus, 5th Jerry
b c 1822 (Comus - Clinkerina, by Clinker). Sire Line Matchem. Family 8-a. Bred and raced by Lord Fitzwilliam, he stood nearly 17 hands high and was considered to be the tallest horse of his time. Described as a golden yellow bay horse with a close-ribbed short back and "rather too much leg, but splendid middle-piece," he had some respiratory issues. In 1825, running for Lord Milton, he won a 50gs each Produce Sweepstakes at Pontrefact, beating Mr Lambton's Baroness and Mr Petre's Lord John. Running for Lord Fitzwilliam he finished 2nd for the 100gs each Foal Stakes at Doncaster, won by Mr Petre's Saladin (b c 1822 Selim), beating Mr Houldsworth's His Grace and Androgeus. In 1826 running again for Lord Milton he won the 20 sovs each Constitution Stakes at York, beating Mr Whitaker's Lottery (br c 1820 Tramp), Mr Holyoak's Dauntless, Lord Kelburne's Dare Devil and Mr B Peters's Tramp filly. Running for Lord Fitzwilliam he won the 30 sovs each Knavesmire Stakes at York, beating Mr Richardson's Brownlock and Mr Kelburne's Purity. Won a 25 sovs each Handicap Sweepstakes at Doncaster, beating Mr Petre's Rothelan. At the same meeting won the 100 sovs each Produce Sweepstakes, beating Mr Houldsworth's Escape (b c 1822), Mr Petre's Saladin and Lord Milton's Beatrice. Finished 3rd for the 200gs Gold Cup at Doncaster, won by Sir M W Ridley's Fleur-de-Lis (b f 1822 Bourbon), with Earl Fitzwilliam''s Mulatto (b c 1823 Catton) placing 2nd, beating Mr Payne's Helenus (ch c 1821 Soothsayer) and Lord Kelburne's Jerry (bl c 1821 Smolensko). In 1827 he won the 10 sovs each Craven Stakes at Malton, beating Mr Richardson's Brownlock (br c 1822 Blacklock) and 4 others. Finished 3rd for the 20 sovs each Constitution Stakes at York, won by Sir M W Ridley's Fleur-de-Lis, with Lord Kelburne's Jerry placing 2nd, beating the Duke of Leeds's Sirius. Despite his short career in the stud he got Melbourne (br c 1834) and the St Leger, Doncaster and Goodwood Cup winner Rockingham (b c 1830). He was also sire of Minx (b f 1835) dam of Royal Hunt Cup winner Sir Charles (b c 1847 Hetman Platoff) and Ebor Handicap winner The Grand Inquisitor (bbr c 1851 Cowl). Humphrey Clinker died after the 1834 season, and before his sire, at the age of twelve.

Grey Momus (GB) gr c 1835 (Comus - Mare, by Cervantes). Sire Line Matchem. Family 2-d.
Reveller (GB) b c 1815 (Comus - Rosette, by Beningbrough). Sire Line Matchem. Family 19.