Surplice (GB)






Sire Line





Surplice b c 1845 (Touchstone - Crucifix, by Priam). Sire Line Camel. Family 2-i.

Bred by Lord George Bentinck (1802-1848) from his good mare, the One Thousand Guineas, Two Thousand Guineas and Oaks Stakes winner Crucifix (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 Melbourne) and 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).

Surplice Touchstone Camel Whalebone
Selim Mare
Banter Master Henry
Crucifix Priam Emilius
Octaviana Octavian
Shuttle Mare
Race Record
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 Venison), Lord Chesterfield's Distaffina (b f 1845 Don John), Colonel Anson's Contessa (br f 1845 Colwick) and Lord Eglinton's Astroea (b f 1845 Touchstone). Won 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 Touchstone). Won 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 Venison) 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 1845 Venison) placing 2nd. Won the 3075 Great St Leger at Doncaster, beating Lord Stanley's One Thousand Guineas winner Canezou (br f 1845 Melbourne) by a neck, Mr B Green's Two Thousand Guineas winner Flatcatcher (b c 1845 Touchstone), Mr Green's Assault (b c 1845 Touchstone), the Duke of Bedford's Justice to Ireland (b c 1845 Birdcatcher) 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 1846 Touchstone) 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 St Francis).


Notable Surplice Mares

1. Lady Middleton (bl f 1852), 2nd dam of the Suburban Handicap winner Lowlander (b c 1888 Lowland Chief). Family 1-o.
2. Wild Cherry (bl f 1853), 2nd dam of the Middle Park Stakes winner and stallion Beaudesert (b c 1877 Sterling). Family 8-a.
3. Flax (b f 1855), dam of the stallion Honiton (b c 1863 Stockwell) and 2nd dam of the Lincolnshire Handicap winner Guy Dayrell (b c 1867 Wild Dayrell). Family 1-s.
4. Schism (b f 1856), won the Queen's Vase. Family 13-a.
5. Eastern 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 Thormanby). Family 12.
6. Lady Clifden (b f 1858), won the Stewards' Cup, half sister to St Leger winner Lord Clifden (b c 1860 Newminster). Family 2-h.
7. Joliette (ch f 1860), French foaled, dam of Prix du Jockey Club, Prix Royal Oak and Cambridgeshire winner Jongleur (b c 1874 Mars). Family 2-n.
8. Rosary (br f 1866), dam of the King's Stand Stakes winner and stallion Hackthorpe (br c 1875 Strafford). Family 5.