Supreme Court (horse)

Last updated
Supreme Court
Sire Precipitation
Grandsire Hurry On
DamForecourt
Damsire Fair Trial
Sex Stallion
Foaled1948
Country United Kingdom
Colour Brown
BreederThomas Lilley
OwnerVera Lilley
Trainer Evan Williams
Earnings£36,949 [1]
Major wins
Horris Hill Stakes (1950)
Chester Vase (1951)
King Edward VII Stakes (1951)
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1951)
Awards
Timeform rating 135

Supreme Court (19481962) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After winning the Horris Hill Stakes as a two-year-old, Supreme Court was undefeated in four races as a three-year-old in 1951, taking the Chester Vase and King Edward VII Stakes before beating a strong international field to win the inaugural King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Following his win in the most valuable race ever run in Britain, Supreme Court was retired to stud, where he had some success as a sire of winners.

Contents

Background

Supreme Court was a brown horse with a white star and two white feet bred in Britain by Tom Lilley. His dam, Forecourt, won one race for her owner-breeder Giles Loder and was sold for 8,100 guineas to Lilley in 1947. The mare was pregnant at the time, having been covered by two stallions, Persian Gulf and Precipitation earlier that year, and she produced a colt foal, later named Supreme Court in 1948. It was generally assumed that Precipitation, the 1937 Ascot Gold Cup winner was Supreme Court's father, although the horse was officially registered as being "by Persian Gulf or Precipitation". [2]

As a yearling, Supreme Court was sent to the sales, but failed to reach his reserve price of 2,000 guineas. Lilley therefore gave the horse to his wife Vera as a wedding anniversary present, [3] and Supreme Court was sent into training with Marcus Marsh at his Egerton House stables at Newmarket, Suffolk. [4] When the Aga Khan sent a number of horses to Marsh in 1950, Supreme Court was forced to leave to make room for the new arrivals and the colt was then sent to be trained by Evan Williams at Kingsclere, in Berkshire. [5] He was ridden in most of his races by the veteran jockey Charlie Elliott. [6]

Racing career

Racing as a two-year-old in 1950, Supreme Court won the Horris Hill Stakes over seven furlongs at Newbury Racecourse at odds of 5/2. [7] The colt was not entered in the 1951 British Classic Races [8] and with no supplementary entries allowed at the time, he was unable to contest the Triple Crown. In spring 1951, Supreme Court won the White Lodge Stakes at Hurst Park and then took the Chester Vase, a race which usually serves as an important trial race for the Epsom Derby. In June, Supreme Court was sent to Royal Ascot for the King Edward VII Stakes. He started the 6/4 favourite and won from Sybil's Nephew, a colt who had finished runner-up in the Derby. [2]

July saw the running of a newly inaugurated race over one and a half miles at Ascot. The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Festival of Britain Stakes was devised by Sir John Crocker Bulteel as a race which would bring together the best three-year-olds and the best older horses, and carried prize money of over £25,000, making it the most valuable race ever run in Britain. [8] The race, was, to some extent, a British imitation of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, [9] which, since a large increase in prize money in 1949, had been the most valuable all-aged race in Europe. The event attracted a strong field of nineteen including the Derby winner Arctic Prince and the previous season's Arc winner Tantieme, as well as the winners of the most recent runnings of the 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas and St Leger. [10] Elliott restrained Supreme Court, a 100/9 chance, towards the rear of the field as a strong pace was set by Mossborough. As the leaders tired in the straight, Supreme Court challenged on the outside, together with Zucchero, ridden by Lester Piggott. The two British-trained three-year-olds drew clear of the field inside the final furlong, with Supreme Court prevailing by three quarters of a length. Tantieme was six lengths further back in third, just ahead of Sir Winston Churchill's five-year-old Colonist. [11] The winning time of 2:29.4 was a new track record. [3] Supreme Court never raced again and was retired to stud at the end of the season.

Assessment

The independent Timeform organisation gave Supreme Court a rating of 135 in 1951, making him their joint top-rated three-year-old of the year, alongside Arctic Prince and the French-trained Sicambre. [12]

In their book, A Century of Champions, based on the Timeform rating system, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Supreme Court an "average" winner of the King George. [13]

Stud record

Supreme Court stood as a stallion at the Banstead Manor stud for ten years until his death in 1962. He was not considered a success as a sire, [9] but his offspring did include several good winners including Pipe of Peace (Middle Park Stakes, third in the Derby), Cadmus (Prix d'Harcourt), Test Case (Gimcrack Stakes) and Court Prince (Jockey Club Stakes). He also sired the 1964 Champion Hurdler Magic Court. Supreme Court's daughter Athene produced the 1973 Arc de Triomphe winner Rheingold.

Pedigree

Pedigree of Supreme Court (GB), brown stallion, 1948 [14]
Sire
Precipitation (GB)
1933
Hurry On
1913
MarcovilMarco
Lady Villikins
Toute Suite Sainfoin
Star
Double Life
1926
Bachelor's Double Tredennis
Lady Bawn
Saint JoanWillbrook
Flo Desmond
Dam
Forecourt (GB)
1943
Fair Trial
1932
Fairway Phalaris
Scapa Flow
Lady JurorSon-In-Law
Lady Josephine
Overture
1937 
Dastur Solario
Friar's Daughter
OvermantleApron
Arabella (Family: 14-c) [15]

Related Research Articles

Bahram (horse) Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Bahram (1932–1956) was an Irish-bred, English-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. In a career which lasted from July 1934 until September 1935 he was undefeated in nine races. The leading British two-year-old of 1934, he went on to take the Triple Crown in 1935 by winning the 2000 Guineas Stakes, Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes. He was retired to stud at the end of the year. After a promising start to his stud career in Britain he was exported to the United States, where he had moderate success before being exported again to Argentina.

Dante (1942–1956) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse who was the last horse trained in northern England to win the English Derby. In a racing career which lasted from the spring of 1944 until June 1945 he ran nine times and won eight races. He was the top-rated British two-year-old of 1944 when he was unbeaten in six races including the Coventry Stakes and the Middle Park Stakes. In 1945 he was beaten when favourite for the 2000 Guineas but won the Derby, despite being afflicted by an eye condition which eventually left him completely blind. He was retired to a successful stud career before dying in 1956.

Bustino was a British Thoroughbred Champion racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from August 1973 until July 1975 he ran nine times and won five races. He was the best British three-year-old of 1974, when his wins included the Classic St Leger, as well as the Sandown Classic Trial, Lingfield Derby Trial and Great Voltigeur Stakes. As four-year-old he won the Coronation Cup in record time and finished second to Grundy in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in what was described as the Race of the Century.

Never Say Die (1951–1975) was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. After winning only once from his first nine races, he demonstrated much improved form in the summer of 1954 to win The Derby, becoming the first American colt to win the race in seventy-three years. Later that year he added a second British Classic when winning the St. Leger Stakes by a record margin of twelve lengths. He was later retired to a successful stud career.

Charlottown British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Charlottown was a Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from 1965 until 1967 he ran ten times and won seven reces. He is best known for winning the 1966 Derby.

Arctic Prince (1948–1969) was an Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and sire who was trained in England during a brief racing career which lasted from 1950 to 1951 and consisted of only five races. Arctic Prince won two races including the 1951 Derby and was retired after breaking down at Ascot in July of the same year.

Psidium (horse) Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Psidium was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career that lasted from 1960 to 1961 Psidium ran eleven times and won twice. He is best known for his win, as a 66/1 outsider in the 1961 Epsom Derby. He later became a successful stallion.

Airborne (horse) Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Airborne was an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After showing little worthwhile form as a two-year-old, Airborne improved to become one of the leading three-year-olds in Britain in 1946. He won five successive races including two Classics: the Derby at Epsom and the St Leger at Doncaster. He was the most recent of four greys to have won the Epsom Classic. Airborne went on to have a stud career of limited success.

Big Game (horse) British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Big Game (1939–1963) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from April 1941 to October 1942, the colt, who was owned by King George VI, ran nine times and won eight races. He was the best British two-year-old colt of his generation in 1941 when he was unbeaten in five starts. Two further wins the following spring including the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket took his unbeaten run to seven, but he suffered his first defeat when odds-on favourite for the wartime "New Derby". He won his only other race in the Champion Stakes before being retired to stud. Big Game's royal connections and racecourse success made him one of the most popular horses of his time.

Kalaglow (1978–1994) was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred race horse. In a career which lasted from August 1980 until October 1982 he ran fourteen times and won ten races. He is most notable for his performances in 1982 when he "lit up the summer" with a series of victories including the Eclipse Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Rockfel British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Rockfel was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare, best known for winning two Classics in 1938. In a career which lasted from July 1937 until May 1939 she ran thirteen times and won eight races. Rockfel began her career at the lowest level, being beaten in a selling race, but improved to become recognised as one of the best British racemares of the 20th century. In 1938 she was the dominant three-year-old in England, winning the 1000 Guineas over one mile at Newmarket and the Oaks over one and a half miles at Epsom. In the autumn she defeated colts in the Champion Stakes and the Aintree Derby and was retired after winning her only race as a four-year-old. She produced one foal before dying in November 1941.

Your Majesty (horse) British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Your Majesty (1905–1934) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for highly unpopular wins the Eclipse Stakes and the Classic St Leger Stakes in 1908. The colt ran at least twelve times and won five races in a career which lasted from June 1907 until July 1909. Your Majesty was campaigned against the best of the year's two-year-olds in 1907 but won only once from five starts. The following season he finished unplaced in the 2000 Guineas and missed the Derby through illness. He then won four races in succession: the St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park, the St George Stakes at Liverpool and the St Leger at Doncaster. He was the leading money-winner of the British season but his successes were poorly received owing to the unpopularity of his owner. Your Majesty stayed in training as a four-year-old but failed to win. He was retired to stud where he became highly successful as a breeding stallion in Argentina.

Tiffin (horse) Thoroughbred racehorse

Tiffin was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare, who was undefeated in a career of eight races. Tiffin won five races in 1928 including the National Breeders' Produce Stakes at Sandown Park and the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket and was the highest-rated British two-year-old of either sex. Her three-year-old season was disrupted by illness and injury, but she won all three of her starts, proving herself the year's best sprinter with wins in the July Cup at Newmarket and the King George Stakes at Goodwood. At her peak she was regarded as one of the fastest racehorses in the world. At the end of her racing career she was retired to stud where she produced one foal before dying in 1931.

Belle of All was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare who won the classic 1000 Guineas in 1951. In a racing career lasting from the spring of 1950 until July 1951, the filly ran six times and won four races. Belle of All won both her races as a two-year-old, beating a strong field in the National Stakes at Sandown Park and winning the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse in autumn. She won the 1000 Guineas on the first appearance of 1951 and added the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Her only career defeats came when she was tried over longer distances in The Oaks and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She was retired from racing at the end of the season and had some influence as a broodmare.

Nearula (1950–1960) was an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1953. Trained in Yorkshire, he was the top-rated British two-year-olds of 1952 when he won the Middle Park Stakes. In the following year he won the 2000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes over one mile and the Champion Stakes against older horses over ten furlongs. He won two further races as a four-year-old before being retired to stud, where he had some success as a sire of winners before dying at the age of ten.

Aurelius was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic St Leger Stakes in 1961 and for becoming one of the few classic winners to compete in steeplechases. As a two-year-old he finished fourth in his only appearance but was one of the best colts in Britain in the following year, winning the Craven Stakes and the King Edward VII Stakes before taking the St Leger. He was even better in 1962 when he won the Hardwicke Stakes and was narrowly beaten in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was retired to stud but had serious fertility problems and later returned to the racecourse where he had a reasonably successful career in National Hunt racing.

Chamossaire (horse) British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Chamossaire (1942–1964) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic St Leger Stakes in 1945 and siring the Derby winner Santa Claus. After winning twice as a two-year-old, Chamossaire contested all three legs of the Triple Crown in 1945. He finished fourth in both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby before winning the St Leger. He was retired to stud where he proved to be a successful sire of winners. Chamossaire died in 1964.

Petition (1944–1964) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was officially rated the second-best two-year-old in Britain in 1946 when he won the New Stakes, Richmond Stakes, Gimcrack Stakes and Champagne Stakes. He won on his debut in 1947 but sustained an injury when finishing unplaced in the 2000 Guineas and failed to win in two subsequent races that year. In 1948 he returned to his best form to beat a strong field in the Eclipse Stakes. He was retired to stud where he became a successful and influential breeding stallion.

Ki Ming (1948–1957) was an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1951. As a two-year-old he showed promise to win at Royal Ascot but his season was disrupted when his trainer was banned for a doping offence. At three, he recorded an upset win over a large field to win the Guineas but failed when favourite for The Derby. In autumn he returned to sprint distances and won the Diadem Stakes at Ascot. His record as a breeding stallion was very disappointing.

Scratch, also known as Scratch II was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the Prix du Jockey Club and the classic St Leger Stakes in 1950. Scratch won the Solario Stakes in England as a two-year-old and emerged as one of the best of a very strong generation of French-trained colts in the following year. He won the Prix de Guiche and Prix Greffulhe in the early part of the year and then defeated the year's outstanding three-year-old colt Tantieme in the Prix du Jockey Club. In the autumn of 1950 he won the St Leger by defeating Vieux Manoir, who had beaten him in the Grand Prix de Paris. He won the Prix Jean Prat as a four-year-old before being retired to stud where he had an unremarkable record as a sire of winners in Europe and South America.

References

  1. Patricia Erigero Thoroughbred Heritage (1957-03-09). "Hurry On". Tbheritage.com. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  2. 1 2 Mortimer, Roger; Onslow, Richard; Willett, Peter (1999). Biographical Encyclopedia of British Flat Racing. Macdonald and Jane’s. ISBN   0-354-08536-0.
  3. 1 2 "Gift horse wins rich Ascot stake". Palm Beach Post. 22 July 1951. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  4. "Person Profile : Marcus Marsh". Horseracing History Online. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  5. "Person Profile : Evan Williams". Horseracing History Online. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  6. "Person Profile : Edward Elliott". Horseracing History Online. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  7. Abelson, Edward; Tyrrel, John (1993). The Breedon Book of Horse Racing Records. Breedon Books Publishing. ISBN   1-873626-15-0.
  8. 1 2 "Supreme Court wins rich race". Calgary Herald. 21 July 1951. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  9. 1 2 John Randall (21 July 2008). "Supreme Court first to secure a verdict". Racing Post . Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  10. "Arctic Prince should repel French challenge". Evening Times. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  11. "FESTIVAL STAKES". British Pathé. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  12. Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1990). Horse Racing: Records, Facts, Champions (Third Edition). Guinness Publishing. ISBN   0-85112-902-1.
  13. Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1999). A Century of Champions. Portway Press. ISBN   1-901570-15-0.
  14. "Supreme Court". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  15. "Pretty Polly - Family 14-c". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2012-09-12.