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  Family B-18: Warlike Mare

This family was included in the Family Table of Racehorses because one of its members, Wild Man from Borneo, won the Grand National Steeplechase. It was a family of early good Irish steeplechasers. The earliest mare to be traced by F. Prior in this family was a mare by Warlike, who was a son of 1834 Derby winner Plenipotentiary. She was purchased by George Keays of Newtown, Co. Tipperary, at a farm sale at Borrisokane for fifty shillings; the story, says Prior, is that at the time she had her colt, Rufus, at foot, and was carrying Merlon, and that both horses were purchased by Captain Montgomery when they were respectively four and three years old (as it turns out, Merlon was actually the older horse). Most of her foals were produced to the cover of William the Conqueror ( a son of Rataplan), including Merlon (or Merlin), winner of the Irish Grand Military steeplechase at Punchestown; Rufus, a famous Irish steeplechaser; Courthouse, winner of six steeplechases; Bonnie Doon (The Swine), winner of six steeplechases, including the Irish Grand Military steeplechase; and four sisters to these horses that bred on.

According to Prior, George Keays did not keep accurate records of his stud, and determining which foals came from which of the three unnamed "Sister to Rufus" mares, who were not ever broken and all of which, at one time or another, were bred to the stallion Ireland Yet, was a tangled web which Prior attemped to unravel. Rather than reproduce all her cautionary notes here, only the line leading to Wild Man from Borneo is presented. A list of of her other descendants is summarized below.

Rufus' sister ("number 1" in Prior's H-B Stud Book)was bred to Ireland Yet ( a son of Artillery (a good steeplechase sire) or Lance and out of Gramachree, a sister to Birdcatcher). The Ireland Yet mare, bred to Sheldrake, dropped the filly Wild Duck, who won steeplechases before being retired to stud and bred to Decider, producing Wild Man from Borneo.

A summary of good winners of more than 1 steeplechase, descending from the various mares out of the Warlike mare, as suppositioned by F. Prior:

Sister to Rufus No. 1 by William the Conqueror
-Mare by Ireland Yet [Conquest's dam] (c.1876): Conquest (b.c. 1881) won 2 steeplechases
-Mare by Ireland Yet [Wild Rake's dam] (c.1878): Wild Rake won 8 steepelechases; Wild Duck won 3 steeplechases, Clanricarde, won 5 steeplechases, Balbriggan won 2 steeplechases.
-Mare by Victor (c.1881) (may have been out of Adela the Outlaw, rather than Sister to Rufus No. 1): The Harlequin won 3 steeplechases
-Hard Times (ch.c. 1882), winner of 11 steeplechases
-Souvenir (b.f. 1886), see "Notable Descendants"

Sister to Rufus No. 2 by William the Conqueror
-The Wolf (b.c. 1882), winner of 3 steeplechases
-Shamrock (b.c. 1886), winer of 2 steeplechases
-Royalty (br.f. 1887), winner of 9 steeplechases, producer
-Glendarg (ch.c. 1892), winner of 2 steeplechases
-Mare by Castlereagh (ch.f. c1894): Drumkerrin, 11 steeplechases
-Well Done II (br.c. 1896), winner of 3 steeplechases

[probably] Sister to Rufus No. 3 by William the Conqueror
-Mare by Ireland Yet: Knight of St. Patrick won 8 steeplechases; The Tyke II won 3 steeplechases

Adela the Outlaw (ch.f. 1871) by William the Conqueror
-Lugnashinna (b.f. 1888), won 2 steeplechases
-[probably] Mare by Victor (f. c1879): Albert Victor, 3 steeplechases, 2 hurdle races, match race on the flat; Lady Lawless, 1 steeplechase

-[probably] Mare by Arabi (f. c.1889): Cloverfield, winner of 13 steeplechases; Tusculum, winner of 9 steeplechases, Freedom, winner of 6 steeplechases, all three of these from her daughter by Sheldrake, c. 1897.

Notable Descendants

Wild Man from Borneo
Wild Man from Borneo

Rufus ch.c. 1864
(William the Conqueror - mare by Warlike)
Rufus was a popular and successful steeplechaser in Ireland, owned by Captain John Montgomery, a founding member of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee in 1869, and one of its first three stewards. Rufus won a total of nineteen steeplechases, with a value of about £1,921, plus two cups. His wins included the Prince of Wales' Plate at Punchestown and the receipt of a forfeit in a match. He ran twice in the Grand National, making the running in the 1871 race until the water jump, where he was passed by The Lamb (who won) and others, and finished seventh; in the 1872 National he finished well down the field. Montgomery also purchased Merlon, or "Merlin," a year-older brother to Rufus from Keays, a winner of the Irish Grand Military steeplechase at Punchestown in 1870, and third placed in Reugy's 1874 Grand National, in the latter race owned by Captain Thorold.

Souvenir b.f. 1886
(Ireland Yet - Sister to Rufus No. 1 by William the Conqueror)
Bred by Keays, she apparently did not race, and was in the stud of Mrs. Hussey of Westown, Naul, Co. Dublin until the end of 1893, after which she was purchased by Mr. Fradswell. She was an exceptional producer of high-class chasers. Son Ford of Fyne won 5 chases, and placed third in the Grand National of 1897 to Manifesto and Filbert, sixth in 1898, and second in the 1899 National to Manifesto, owned during that period by Major J.A. Orr-Ewing. Son Buckaway II won six steeplechases and ran three times National, owned by P.E. Speakman: he placed third to Kirland and Napper Tandy in the 1905 National. Her other produce included: Westown, winner of three steeplechases; Greenmount, winner of three steeplechaes; Aughamore, winner of two steeplechases; Benvenir, winner of 4 steeplechases, and fifth in the Grand National of 1904; Benvolio, winner of three steeplechases; The Gift, winner of three steeplechases; Hard to Find, winner of six steeplechases.

Wild Man from Borneo ch. g. 1888
(Decider - Wild Duck by Sheldrake)
Winner of the 1895 Grand National in heavy going and fog, to the delight of Irish and English chaser fans, who thought his brilliant jumping the year before merited putting him first in the place wagering.

He was bred in Ireland by George Keays, and sold as a foal, with his dam, to the great Irish steeplechase breeder and developer, J.J. Maher. He ran third in the Conyngham Cup and second in Liverpool's Joliffe Chase before being purchased in 1893 by the Waterford-born brothers John and Joe Widger, who were looking for a horse that could win the National. In December of that year, with Joe Widger riding him, he won the Great Midland Handicap Chase at Nottingham. He ran in the National (Joe Widger up) of 1894, leading over the fences, but only finished third. The next year he won the race for the brothers, with Joe again in the saddle, beating Cathal by a length and a half, with a young Manifesto coming in fourth. He ran at Aintree twice more; in 1896 he fell, and in 1897 was pulled up. His total number of wins was eight chases.

His sire, Decider, was by American-bred Umpire. Umpire (by Lecomte), was shipped to Great Britain by his owner, Richard Ten Broek, where he won the 1876 Irish Derby Stakes and the Manchester Cup; he was purchased by the Earl of Coventry (owner of the steeplechasing sisters Emblem and Emblematic, both winners of the Grand National for the earl. He was also owner of another great half-bred horse, Verdict) for 500 guineas, who ran him successfully in matches and then retired him to his stud in Worcestershire.

His dam, Wild Duck (1884), by Sheldrake, was purchased with Wild Man from Borneo at foot by J.J. Maher when she was four years old, and after he was weaned she was put in training, winning the Ward Hunt Cup and two other steeplechases at age six, and placed once at age seven. She was sold in 1891 to E. Richardson of Leeds, in 1891, who sold her on to Germany "where is is stated to have won some races." Her brother, Wild Rake, won eight steeplechases; brother, Clanricarde, won five steeplechases, and brother Balbriggan won two steeplechases.

Descent Chart

Mare (f) by Warlike
  Merlon (ch.g. 1863) by William the Conqueror
  Rufus (ch.g. 1864) by William the Conqueror
  "Sister to Rufus" no. 1 (b.f. c1867) by William the Conqueror
    Mare [Conquest's dam] (f. c1876) by Ireland Yet
    Mare [Wild Rake's dam] (f. c1878) by Ireland Yet
    | Wild Rake (br.c. 1882) by Sheldrake
    | Wild Duck (ch.f. 1884) by Sheldrake
    | | Wild Man from Borneo (ch.g. 1888) by Decider
    | Clanricarde (ch.c. 1888) by Castlereagh
    | Balbriggan (b.c. 1891) by Cassock
    Mare (f. 1881) by Victor [probable]
    Hard Times (ch.c. 1882) by Ireland Yet
    Neagh (b.f. 1884) by Ireland Yet
    Souvenir (b.f. 1886) by Ireland Yet
    | Ford of Fyne (br. c. 1891) by Studley
    | Westown (ch.c. 1892) by Cassock
    | Greenmount (ch.c. 1893) by Bird of Freedom
    | Aughamore (ch.f. 1894) by Brown Prince
    | Benvenir (bl.f. 1896) by Bennitthorpe
    | Benvolio (bl.c. 1897) by Bennitthorpe
    | Buckaway II (bl.c. 1898) by Bennitthorpe
    | The Gift (bl.f. 1899) by Bennitthorpe
    | Hard to Find (br.c. 1900) by Rapallo
    Mare (f. c1887) by Memory

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