|Record||16:8-0-1 (in Europe)|
| Tote Free Handicap (1977)|
1000 Guineas (1977)
Fen Ditton Stakes (1977)
Strensall Stakes (1977)
|Timeform rating 101 (1976), 123 (1977)|
Mrs McArdy (1974 – 5 August 1991) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for winning the classic 1000 Guineas in 1977. She won four minor races as a two-year-old in 1977 before emerging as a top-class performer in the following year. As a three-year-old, she won the Tote Free Handicap before winning the Guineas as a 16/1 outsider. She went on to win the Fen Ditton Stakes when conceding weight to colts and older horses and then took the Strensall Stakes. She was exported to race in the United States but failed to reproduce her European form. After her retirement from racing, she had some success as a broodmare.
Mrs McArdy was a "shapely, attractive"bay mare with a large white star bred by Christopher Beckett, 4th Baron Grimthorpe at his Westow Hall stud near York. She was arguably the best horse sired by Tribal Chief, a sprinter who won the New Stakes and the Norfolk Stakes as a two-year-old in 1969. Her dam, Hanina, was a poor racehorse but was a granddaughter of Star of India, the outstanding British two-year-old of 1955.
In 1975, Lord Grimthorpe sold all his bloodstock, with most being bought by trainer Mick Easterby. Easterby sold the horses on but kept Mrs McArdy and trained at her at his farm near Sheriff Hutton in Yorkshire. He later sold the filly privately to Edith Kettlewell, the wife of a hotelier.
Campaigned exclusively in the North of England, Mrs McArdy made little impact in the earliest part of her racing career, finishing unplaced in her first four races before winning a maiden race over five furlongs at Newcastle Racecourse. She then made steady improvement, winning a nursery handicap race over six furlongs at Thirsk and the Prince of Wales's Nursery over a mile at Doncaster, receiving fifteen pounds from the runner-up, Fair Season. On her final appearance of the season, she took her winning run to four with a victory in a minor race over six furlongs at Redcar Racecourse in September, beating Sarasingh by three quarters of a length.
On her first appearance as a three-year-old, Mrs McArdy finished unplaced in the seven furlong Tote Spring Handicap at Doncaster in March. She began to show good form in training gallops, however, and was strongly fancied when she ran in the Tote Free Handicap at Newmarket Racecourse in April. Carrying 112 pounds and ridden by the lightweight jockey Taffy Thomas, she won by two and a half lengths from the colts Baudelaire and Brighthelmstone. Two weeks later, Mrs McArdy, ridden by Eddie Hide, started at odds of 16/1 for the 165th running of the 1000 Guineas over the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket. Cloonlara, the leading two-year-old filly of 1976, started 6/4 favourite, with the other leading contenders appearing to be Freeze The Secret, Sanedtki, Flota Armada, River Dane, Icena, Miss Pinkie, and Danseuse Etoile. Durtal, regarded as the best British filly of her generation, was withdrawn on the eve of the race. Hide tracked Cloonlara before sending Mrs McArdy into the lead two furlongs from the finish. Mrs McArdy established a decisive advantage and was never seriously challenged in the closing stages, winning by two lengths from Freeze The Secret, with Sanedtki narrowly beating Cloonlara for third.
Mrs McArdy was then moved up in distance to contest the Oaks Stakes over one and a half mile at Epsom Downs Racecourse in June. As she was the daughter of a sprinter, there was serious doubt about her ability to stay the distance. She was in contention until early in the straight but then rapidly faded and finished thirteenth of the fourteen runners behind Dunfermline. Unusually for a British classic winner, Mrs McArdy was then asked to concede weight to colts and older horses in a handicap race (the Fen Ditton Stakes) over a mile at Newmarket in July. Carrying 133 pounds,she took the lead approaching the final furlong and won by two and a half lengths. Timeform described her performance as "a striking achievement". Mrs McArdy became agitated before the start of the Sussex Stakes at Goodwwod Racecourse and failed to reproduce her best form, finishing sixth behind Artaius. In August, the filly was assigned top weight in the Strensall Stakes over seven furlongs at York Racecourse. She took the lead two furlongs from the finish and won by a length and a half from the Molecomb Stakes winner Be Easy, despite being eased down by Eddie Hide in the closing stages. On her final appearance of the season, she finished third to Boldboy in the Sanyo Stakes over seven furlongs at Doncaster in September.
In December 1977, Mrs McArdy was sent to the Tattersalls horses-in-training sale and was bought for 154,000 guineas by Bertram R. Firestone and exported to race in the United States. The price was a record for the sale.
Mrs McArdy ran five times in North America, failing to win and finishing second once before being retired from racing.
In 1976, the independent Timeform organisation gave Mrs McArdy a rating of 103, twenty-seven pounds below their top-rated two-year-old filly, Cloonlara. In the Free Handicap, a rating of the best two-year-olds to race in Britain in 1976, the filly was assigned a weight of 105 pounds, 28 pounds below the top colt, J. O. Tobin, and fifteen pounds below the leading filly, Durtal.In the following year, she was given a rating of 123 by Timeform, fourteen pound behind their top-rated horse, Alleged, and ten pounds below their leading three-year-old filly, Dunfermline. In the official International Classification for three-year-olds, she was rated thirteen pounds behind Alleged and five pounds inferior to leading fillies Dunfermline and Madelia.
In their book A Century of Champions, based on the Timeform rating system, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Mrs McArdy an "average" winner of the 1000 Guineas.
Mrs McArdy was based as a broodmare in Europe for several years before being exported to Japan. She died at the Taiki Farm in Japan on 5 August 1991.Her progeny included:
Tribal Chief (GB)
| Princely Gift (GB)|
|Blue Gem||Blue Peter|
|Darling Boy (GB)|
|Blue Sash (GB)|
|Star of India||Court Martial|
|Eastern Grandeur (Family: 14-b)|
Time Charter was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare who won several major middle-distance races between 1982 and 1984. After winning twice as a two-year-old in 1981, she developed into a classic filly in the following year, finishing second in the 1000 Guineas before winning The Oaks in record time. Later that year she won the Sun Chariot Stakes before beating a field of colts and older horses by seven lengths in the Champion Stakes. As a four-year-old she won England's premier weight-for-age race, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and successfully conceded seven pounds to the outstanding French filly All Along in the Prix Foy. In 1984 she recorded an impressive four length victory in the Coronation Cup and was retired from racing at the end of the year having won nine of her twenty races. She later became a very successful broodmare.
Park Appeal was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She was one of the leading two-year-old fillies of 1984 when she was undefeated in four races including the Moyglare Stud Stakes in Ireland and the Cheveley Park Stakes in Britain. Her later career was disappointing and she was retired with a record of five wins in eight races between August 1984 and August 1986. Having been bought by Sheikh Mohammed at the end of her two-year-old season, she later became a highly successful broodmare for the Darley Stud.
Cairn Rouge was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. After showing promise as a two-year-old in 1979, Cairn Rouge improved to become one of the best three-year-old fillies in Europe in the following year. She won the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes against horses of her own age and sex, before defeating strong weight-for-age competition in the Champion Stakes. She failed to win in five starts as a four-year-old, but showed good form when finishing second in a controversial race for the Champion Stakes. After a brief, unsuccessful period racing in North America she was retired to stud, where she had some success as a broodmare.
Mrs Penny was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She won six of her twenty-two races and was rated the best British filly of her generation at both two and three years of age. In 1980 she won three of her six races including the Cherry Hinton Stakes, Lowther Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes. In the following year she recorded her biggest wins in France where she won the Prix de Diane and the Prix Vermeille, but produced arguably her best performance in defeat when finishing second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. In 1981 she was sent to race in the United States where she won the Queen Charlotte Handicap, but failed to reproduce her European form. She was then retired to stud, where she had some success as a broodmare.
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Scintillate was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for winning the classic Oaks Stakes in 1979. She showed promising form as a two-year-old although she failed to win in three races. After recording her first win in the Sandleford Priory Stakes in the following spring she won the Oaks as a 20/1 outsider. She ran poorly in two subsequent races and was retired to brood where she had limited success as a broodmare.
Sanedtki was an Irish-bred, Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare who was trained in France for most of her career before moving to the United States for her last two races. Although she was capable of competing at the highest level against specialist sprinters, she showed her best form over distances between 1400 metres and 1600 metres.
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Cherry Hinton was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. Despite never competing above Group Three level, she was officially rated the best two-year-old filly in Britain, and was rated the best juvenile filly in Europe by Timeform. She ran well in defeat in her first two races before winning the Tadcaster Stakes at York Racecourse and then establishing her reputation with a wide-margin victory in the Argos Star Fillies' Mile. She was expected to play a leading role in the following season's classics but had a series of training problem and failed to win in three starts. She later had some success as a broodmare.
Durtal was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She was the best British-trained two-year-old filly of 1976 when she won three of her five races including the Cheveley Park Stakes, and finished second in both the Lowther Stakes and the Champagne Stakes. In the following year she won the Fred Darling Stakes and finished second in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches before being injured shortly before the start of the Oaks Stakes, a race for which she had been favourite. After one more race she was retired from racing and became a successful broodmare, producing the dual Ascot Gold Cup winner Gildoran and the Royal Hunt Cup winner True Panache.
Pasty was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She was the leading two-year-old filly of her generation in Britain in 1975 when she was undefeated in five races including the Lavant Stakes, Lowther Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes. She failed to progress as a three-year-old and finished no better than fourth in her five races. She was then retired to become a broodmare and produced at least three minor winners.
Cry of Truth was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a racing career which lasted from May 1974 until April 1975 she won five of her seven races. After finishing second on her racecourse debut she won her next five races including the Lowther Stakes and the Cheveley Park Stakes and was rated the best two-year-old filly of her generation in Britain by a wide margin. She failed to reproduce her best form on her only start in 1975 and was retired to stud, where she had some success as a broodmare.
Roussalka was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a racing career which lasted from May 1974 until July 1976 she won seven of her seventeen races and was placed on four occasions. As a two-year-old in 1974 she won four races including the Cherry Hinton Stakes and the Princess Margaret Stakes. In the following year, she showed her best form in summer, winning the Coronation Stakes and the Nassau Stakes. In 1976 she ran only three times, but became the first filly to win the Nassau Stakes for a second time. She was then retired from racing and became a very successful broodmare.
May Hill was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a racing career which lasted from October 1974 until October 1976 she won four of her thirteen races and was placed on seven occasions. She won her only race as a two-year-old but showed moderate form in the early part of her three-year-old season. In the late summer and autumn of 1975, however, she emerged as a top-class filly, winning the Yorkshire Oaks and the Park Hill Stakes and was subsequently rated the best British filly of her generation. She remained in training in 1976, but failed to win in five races. She was then retired to stud and had some success as a broodmare. She is commemorated in the May Hill Stakes a race for two-year-old fillies at Doncaster Racecourse.
Bitty Girl (1971–1994) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She was one of the leading fillies of her generation in 1973 when she won her first five races including the Queen Mary Stakes, Molecomb Stakes and Lowther Stakes. In the following year she failed to win but ran prominently in some major sprint races before being sold at the end of the eaon and sent to race in the United Stakes where she won three minor races. After her retirement from racing she had some success as a broodmare, producing the Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Beaudelaire. [sic]
Gentle Thoughts was Kentucky-bred Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. After she showed promising, but unremarkable form in the early part of her two-year-old season, she established herself as one of the leading fillies of her generation in the autumn of 1973, recording consecutive Group One victories in the Flying Childers Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes. At the end of the year she was the joint-best two-year-old filly in both Britain and Ireland. She failed to reproduce her form as a three-year-old and had little success as a broodmare.
Connaught Bridge was an Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse. Trained in the United Kingdom by Henry Cecil she raced for two seasons, winning five of her nine races. As a two-year-old she showed some promise, winning twice from five attempts. In the following year she did not run competitively until July, but after finishing third on her seasonal debut she established herself as one of the best middle-distance in Britain by winning the Nassau Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Twickenham Stakes. She was retired from racing at the end of 1979 and has had some influence as a broodmare.
Olwyn was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for her win in the 1977 Irish Oaks. A daughter of The Derby winner Relko she won once from twelve races in 1976 and 1977. She finished no better than third in four starts as a two-year-old, but showed promising form in the spring of 1977, finishing second in the Pretty Polly Stakes and the Lancashire Oaks. After failing to win in her first nine races she recorded her first and only victory when narrowly winning a poorly contested Irish Oaks in July 1977. She was well beaten in two subsequent races and retired at the end of the year. She made little impression as a broodmare.
Sookera was an American-bred Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. Racing only as a two-year-old in 1977, she won three times and finished second twice, from five races. After winning on her debut and finishing second on her next appearance, she recorded her first major success when defeating male opponents in the Chesham Stakes. She returned from a late summer break and finished second in the Moyglare Stud Stakes before winning the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes. Sookera never ran again but became a very successful broodmare. She produced several winners including So Factual and is the female-line ancestor of numerous major winners including Dansili, Leroidesanimaux, Banks Hill and Intercontinental.
Devon Ditty was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a racing career which lasted from April 1978 until August 1980, she won eleven of her twenty-four races, finished second three times and third on four occasions. As a two-year-old she won two minor races from her first four starts but then emerged as arguably the best British filly with five consecutive wins in the Cherry Hinton Stakes, Princess Margaret Stakes, Lowther Stakes, Flying Childers Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes. At three she was mainly campaigned over sprint races: she won the Gus Demmy Stakes at Haydock Park and was placed in the Nell Gwyn Stakes, King George Stakes, Goldene Peitsche and Haydock Sprint Cup. In the following year she raced in California where she won three times from seven races. She later had some success as a broodmare, producing several minor winners.