Chester was a third generation native-bred Australian stallion, a versatile, record-setting racehorse, and a four-time leading sire. He got many brilliant juveniles, numerous classic winners, and some good stayers. While a number of his sons became stallions, none were as successful as he, and it is primarily through his daughters that he is seen in the far reaches of pedigrees today.
His dam, Lady Chester (1870), was by the great 19th century English stallion Stockwell. Her dam, Austrey (1851), was by the Whisker grandson Harkaway, a weight-carrying winner of the Goodwood Cup and many other races, whose son, King Tom, was a two-time leading sire in the U.K. Austrey was out of the Emilius daughter Zeila (1840), bred by Thomas Thornhill at Riddlesworth, Norfolk. Zeila was sold to and raced by Henry Temple (Lord Palmerston, twice Prime Minister of Great Britain), and later was a broodmare for Palmerston at his Hampshire estate, Broadlands, where she bred Palmerston's Ascot Stakes winner Buckthorn (1849, by Venison). Her daughter, Austrey, was also a broodmare at Broadlands, producing five foals for Palmerston, and, after his death in 1865, she passed into the hands of his stepson, William Francis Cowper, nephew of another Prime Minister (Lord Melbourne), an M.P. for Hertford for 30 years, and recipient of a number of political sinecures via his step-father. In 1868 Cowper became an M.P. for south Hampshire, having inherited Broadlands, along with, apparently, Palmerston's stud. Austrey's third foal, the colt Baldwin (1860, by Rataplan), was Palmerston's last racehorse, and won the Wiltshire Stakes at Salisbury. In 1870 Austrey produced Lady Chester.
Chester's sire, Yattendon (1861), was the best sire son of the most influential native-bred Australian stallion of the 19th century, Sir Hercules (1843, by imported Cap-a-Pie). Yattendon was a superior stayer, winning the AJC Derby and St. Leger and the inaugural running of the Sydney Cup in 1866, also taking the AJC Craven Plate, the Champagne Stakes, the Bruie Stakes, and the 3 mile Randwick Plate. He won eleven of his seventeen starts, all at Randwick between 1864 and 1867. Yattendon had been bred by Charles Tindal at his Ramornie stud on the Clarence River (New South Wales) out of the twenty-year-old mare Cassandra (1841, by imported Tros).
|Cassandra had been a good racemare, and had beaten the great gelding Jorrocks once at Maitland. In the famous Camden Park Stud of John Macarthur's sons, James and William, she was an exceptional broodmare, dam of AJC St. Leger (at Homebush) winner Camden (1851), later a useful sire; AJC Derby winner Kyogle (1858), and other winners for the Macarthurs. When the Macarthur stud was dispersed in 1858, Tindal purchased the aged Cassandra, and, at Ramornie she produced AJC Derby and St. Leger winner Ramornie (1860, by imported Pitsford); when bred to Sir Hercules, she dropped Yattendon in 1861, the best of her many successful foals.
Yattendon passed through several hands during his racing career, and was used as a stallion while racing as a three-year-old, with offspring born before he finished his career on the turf. When he was done racing he was owned by Thomas Rutledge, who owned Carwoola on the Molongo River, from whom he was purchased by Edward King Cox for 1,500 guineas and installed at Cox's Fernhill stud at Mulgoa. As a stallion, he was at least as influential as his sire, Sir Hercules, getting many top runners, including Chester, the unbeaten champion Grand Flaneur (1877), Dagworth, an oustanding runner at Randwick and Flemington, Auckland Cup winner King Quail, Sweetmeat, and Dual Dunedin Cup winner Lady Emma, among many others. Many of Yattendon's daughters, such as Yatterina (Family C - 2) and Black Swan (Family C - 7) became significant broodmares that had a long-lasting influence on Australian and New Zealand bloodstock, and, both Chester and Grand Flaneur became successful sire sons. |
Edward King Cox had deep roots in Australia. His grandfather, Lieutenant William Cox arrived in Sydney in January of 1800 as a paymaster of the New South Wales Corps on board the Minerva, which was carrying his charge of transported Irish prisoners. He purchased John Macarthur's Brush Farm at Dundas and adjoining property and livestock, partially funded with regimental funds; he was caught, and his property disposed of to the benefit of his creditors, and his livestock dispersed. He later settled on 100 acres, a property later known as Clarendon, that he was able to retain through the settlement of his debts. Despite being recalled to England to answer for his misappropriation of funds, and ultimately resigning his commission, when he came back to Sydney he was appointed magistrate for the Hawkesbury district. He supervised construction of the first road through the Blue Mountains, and, as a result, received a grant of 2,000 acres near Bathurst where he ran sheep. He stood the stallion Mars (1808, by Northumberland) at Clarendon.
Cox's sons established a number of important sheep and horse studs. William Jr., who also served in the New South Wales Corps, built Hobartville at Richmond; James established Clarendon in Tasmania, and Edward developed a noted sheep station at Rawdon and his famous thoroughbred nursery, Fernhill, near Penrith, west of Sydney. Edward King Cox was the son of Edward, and the most notable of the family's thoroughbred breeders, one of Australia's most influential breeders in the 19th century. As a young man he spent four years in England and the Continent studying sheep breeding, and returned to Australia to eventual notice as a significant improver of the Australian Merino sheep. He also bred cattle and throughbreds at Fernhill, where Yattendon became king, supplemented by the imported stallion Lord of Linne (1859, by Heir of Linne) and the native-bred Elastic (1849, by Aether). Yattendon was bred to many mares of unknown antecedents, and some of arabian ancestry, probably, historian Keith Binney says, inherited from Cox's father, and to a number of outside thoroughbred mares.
When, by 1871, it became evident that Yattendon was on his way to becoming an exceptional stallion, Cox travelled to England, intent on acquiring high quality thoroughbred mares. According to Keith Binney, Cox was particularly interested in purchasing daughters by Stockwell, who had died the year before, after leading the sires list in Great Britain seven times in the 1860s. Cox brought back two young Stockwell daughters, the filly Lady Chester and Lady Hooton (1869), two daughters by Stockwell's English Triple Crown-winning son, Blair Athol -- Atholine (1869) and Q.E.D. (1869) -- and also the young mare London Pride (1868) by Stockwell's son Honiton, and the filly Stockdove (1870), who was out of Stockwell's daughter Anonyma (later dam of Oaks winner Lonely) and by Macaroni. Cox also purchased a Stockwell daughter, First Lady (1865, a tail-female descendant of the famous broodmare Banter, dam of Touchstone), not long after she was imported into Australia (but not by Cox): she became the dam of Yattendon's second most famous son, Grand Flaneur, and her grandaughter, Fine Lady (1885), was sent to the U.S., where she is seen in the pedigree of Double Jay (1944, by Balladier). All but two of these mares, Lady Hooton and Stock Dove, bred stakes winners when crossed with Yattendon, but these two were still successful broodmares. Lady Hooton was second dam of three stakes winners, one of which was from a Yattendon daughter, and Stock Dove became the dam of the superior runner The Australian Peer (1884, by Darebin).
Lady Chester, however, was the prize of the lot. In addition to producing her first and most famous foal, Chester, in 1874, she bred six more foals by Yattendon: Roodee (1875), later a useful sire of such horses as Caulfield Cup winner Oakleigh (1882, Family C - 6); St. George (1876), a successful sire in New Zealand of classic winners and stayers such as New Zealand Oaks winner Ich Dien (1890), Loyalty (1890), who won the Great Northern Derby and other good races in New Zealand and the VRC Melbourne Stakes and AJC Craven Plate in Australia, and the AJC Derby winner Bonnie Scotland (1891); Silver Bell (1877), dam of the good runner Chatham (1887) and tail-female ancestress of good winners, including 1974 VRC Oaks winner Leica Show; Monmouth (1878); Grosvenor (1879), and Clieveden (1880, the latter sent to America and then returned to Australia, a good broodmare sire).
After Yattendon's death Lady Chester produced Buckingham (1881, by Chandos), winner of the AJC December Stakes; Lady Granville (1882, by Chandos), dam of two winners in Lord Grenville (South Australian Stakes) and The Prize (Newcastle Cup) and daughters that bred on to the present day -- the champion New Zealand-bred filly Leilani (1970) and the great 1950s Australian stayer Gold Scheme (1949) descended from Lady Granville; and Chesham (1883, by Grand Flaneur), winner of the VRC Ascot Plate. Lady Chester died at age sixteen in 1886; in 1884 she had passed from Cox hands into the stud of James White, where she was bred to Darebin, but the name of her 1885 foal by that stallion is not recorded.
Chester was a plain-headed, slightly cow-hocked colt with clean legs and muscular hindquarters, reportedly good natured and quiet. He grew to a little under sixteen hands, and was plagued with shelly feet throughout his career.
Chester on the Turf
Chester won nineteen of his twenty-nine races, with six seconds and one third, and was unplaced only three times in his career, winning at distances from five furlongs (as a juvenile) to three miles, against the best horses of his time, and like other sturdy Australian runners of the 1870s, his crowded schedule included races run on successive days and weeks. He set three race records in some of the country's most important races. His successes ensured he carried top weight in a number of his races.
He started for Cox as a juvenile in 1876-77. In his first race, Sydney Tattersall's Two Year Old Stakes, he ran second to Viscount, beating Tim Whiffler (later winner of the Great Northern Derby in New Zealand) by a head and eight other youngsters. He then took three races in succession -- The AJC Champagne Stakes, the AJC Breeders' Plate (6 furlongs), and the AJC Sires' Produce Stakes (7 furlongs) -- and was put away to await his three-year-old season. Over the winter he was sold for 2,000 guineas to sportsman James White, leading racehorse owner in Australia for many years. Chester was placed in training with Etienne de Mestre, by then a successful trainer of three Melbourne Cup winners.
At age three Chester won seven of his ten starts, setting three race records. He ran second in the AJC Derby (12 furlongs), beaten by a short head by Woodlands, with some of the blame for his loss placed on his jockey, Donnelly, who had wasted himself into weakness. Chester beat Woodlands by 3/4 of a length in his next race, the AJC Mares' Produce Stakes (10 furlongs), with the two other horses in the field six lengths behind. He then beat eleven other colts in the VRC Derby (12 furlongs), in 2:43, a record that stood until 1897. His next race, three days later, was the Melbourne Cup over a muddy, slippery track; de Mestre removed his plates for the race, but left some nails in the hoof to provide traction, in an early version of today's studs. Chester held on to beat the lightly-weighted horse Savanaka by a half-head, and 31 other horses, in the record time of 3:33-1/2. In his next race, the VRC Mares' Produce Stakes over ten furlongs, he set another race record while beating five other colts, including First King.
Two months later Chester ran second by four lengths to First King (who set an Australian record for 3 miles) in the VRC Champion Stakes, a weight-for-age race over three miles, with the good horse Robinson Crusoe third, and four others trailing behind. First King beat him again in the VRC St. Leger (14 furlongs), called in First King's favor by a short head, although many thought Chester had won, or at least dead-heated. A week later Chester beat First King by two lengths in the two mile VRC Town Plate; only three ran. In the AJC Cumberland Stakes (2 miles), he dead-heated with Andrew Town's Cap-a-pie, that had won the AJC St. Leger. Chester won the run-off in a last minute sprint by half a neck, although he appeared sore before the decider. In his final race of the season, held the following day, Chester won the AJC Plate over three miles, beating Cap-a-pie by two lengths, with the remaining two horses twelve lengths back. That was it for the season.
In 1878-79 Chester raced from his owner's recently purchased and substantially refurbished Newmarket stables at Randwick, schooled by White's private trainer Michael Fennelly. Chester came out as a four-year-old to win his first four races in succession: the AJC Spring Stakes (12 furlongs), beating Woodlands and three others; the AJC Craven Plate (2 miles), beating Woodlands and one other easily; several days later the AJC Randwick Plate over a mile, beating his brother, Roodee, and two others, and the VRC Melbourne Stakes (10 furlongs), beating Cap-a-pie by 3/4 of a length, with two other horses four lengths further back. High-weighted for the Melbourne Cup three days later, half-way through the race the horse Glengarry slammed into him, and Chester's jockey, J. Morrison was thrown from the saddle, while Chester ran on without his rider; the race was won by Calamia. Two days later he was second to Warlock in the VRC Royal Park Stakes, a two mile weight-for-age race, and two days after that he ran unplaced in the VRC Canterbury Plate (2-1/2 miles), won by Warlock.
After his grueling spring schedule, he was given time off, and did not appear on the turf again until April, when he won the AJC Autumn Stakes (12 furlongs). Two days later he ran second by 3/4 of a length to Savanaka in the two mile Sydney Cup, giving Savanaka 12 pounds. Two days after that, on April 18, he won the AJC Cumberland Stakes over two miles, beating the good colt Le Loup, and the next day beat Le Loup again in the AJC Plate (3 miles). His record for the season was seven wins, two seconds and two not-placed runs, one of which was a result of losing his rider.
Lame for much of the next season, Chester ran twice, winning the AJC Spring Stakes over 12 furlongs, and a month later made a poor showing in the AJC Craven Plate (10 furlongs), where he ran in third, six lengths behind the winner Baronet, an indifferent runner. He was not seen on the turf again until a year later, when he came out for the VRC Melbourne Stakes, which he won, beating seven other horses, despite being lame. He entered the list for the Melbourne Cup two days later, assigned the top weight of 9 st.-6 lbs., but sore and out of condition for the race, the best he could do was sixth, with another Yattendon son, Grand Flaneur, winning the race. It was Chester's final appearance on the turf, and he was taken home to White's Kirkham Stud, where he immediately began to turn out top juveniles, classic winners and some good stayers that put him at the top of the sires list four times.
Chester in the Stud
Chester spent his entire stud career at his owner's Kirkham Stud near Camden, New South Wales, about 20 miles from Fernhill, the place of his birth. James White, born at Stroud in Australia's Hunter Valley, was the eldest son of James White (Snr.), who emigrated to Sydney in 1826, in charge of a flock of French merino sheep for the Australian Agricultural Company. The elder White was able to parlay his connections and his comparative wealth into huge pastoral holdings in the Hunter Valley, eventually operated by his various sons, who bred cattle, sheep and some thoroughbred horses. James (Jr.) dabbled in horse breeding at various family holdings, and in the late 1860s served in the New South Wales parliament's legislative assembly. In 1868 he took an extended four year tour of Europe and America, visiting various famous thoroughbred stud farms, periodically purchasing horses for himself and his friends back in Australia. When he returned to Sydney, he bought a townhouse, Cranbrook, in Sydney, and property at Kirkham, which he developed into a showplace estate (American architect J.H. Hunt designed two houses there, including the castellated fantasy "Camelot") and thoroughbred stud farm. He also became a member of the New South Wales legislative council and became a prominent member of various local societies, serving as a committee member and director of a number of important local cultural and financial institutions.
According to Keith Binney, White began horse racing with steeplechasers Goulburn and Hotspur, but it was his purchase of and success with Chester that initiated and spurred his interest in flat racing, leading, eventually, to his prominence as a thoroughbred breeder (due largely to Chester) and his unmatched success as a racehorse owner -- in thirteen years, between 1877 and 1890, he ran 66 winning horses of over 252 races; his list of the equivalent of Group 1 and Group 2 winners and important plates is unmatched to this day. Initially, most of his runners, like Chester, were purchased, but in later years they were homebreds. He and his team -- trainer Michael Fennelly and jockey Tom Hales -- were as famous and successful as the great contemporanous English team of Lord Falmouth (Busybody, Atlantic, Oaks and St. leger winner Jannette, Oaks winner Queen Bertha, Derby winners Silvio and Kingcraft, etc., in all winners of sixteen classic races) , trainer Mat Dawson and jockey Fred Archer. As an owner, White also pulled off some huge betting coups, notably when he collected £10,000 from a £400 wager on Chester's double Melbourne win. White also served as chairman of the Australian Jockey Club through most of the 1880s.
By the time Chester retired to Kirkham, White had purchased a number of well-bred mares from colonial (untraceable) families, and many thoroughbred mares imported from England, and he continued to build up a high-quality broodmare band through the '80s, including Chester's dam, Lady Chester, that White purchased at the Cox dispersal sale in 1885. White also added the champion New Zealand-bred colt, Martini-Henry (1880), by Musket, as a stallion at Kirkham, and he was used as a cross on Chester daughters with some success.
Chester led the sires list in Australia in 1887-88, 1889-90, 1891-92, and 1892-93, the latter two posthumous placings since Chester died in November of 1891, age seventeen, after rupturing his bowels. White had preceded him in death by a little more than a year, having succumbed in July, 1890, to a heart attack. White's widow, Emily, continued breeding horses at Kirkham through the mid 1890s, but many of Chester's offspring, bred by White, were passed on to his nephews and brothers, and contributed to the success of the White-owned Belltrees stud for a decade or so.
Chester's first crop, born in 1882, hit the ground running. FIRST CHESTER (1882), from Marie Stuart by Maribyrnong, won the AJC Second Foal Stakes as a juvenile, and the grey colt MONTE CHRISTO (1882), from Kathleen, by Lord of Linne, took the VRC Sires' Produce Stakes that fall for White. But the star of this first crop was URALLA (1892), a bay filly out of the imported Blair Athol daughter Moonstone, carrying Stockwell close-in both the top and bottom in her pedigree. She won the AJC Champagne Stakes, First Foal Stakes, and Sires' Produce Stakes, and the VRC Ascot Vale Stakes as a juvenile, and at age three went on to win the AJC and the VRC Oaks Stakes (both 12 furlongs), the first of Chester's many classic winners.
The 1883 crop included TAMARISK (1883), from the colonial family mare Guelder Rose (Family C - 10) by Kingston, another winner of the AJC Oaks Stakes. She later produced the colt Mahee, bred by White, a winner of the 1895 AJC Summer Cup and a daughter, Tamara, that bred on. Also in this crop were PHILLIP AUGUSTUS, from imported Phillina by the West Australian son Bonnyfield, winner of the 1885 6 furlong AJC December Stakes, and PLUTARCH, a gelded son of the non-studbook mare Cameo, by Kingston, who sprinted his way to a juvenile win in Tattersall's 6 furlong Carrington Stakes in 1885.
The two really good ones in this 1883 crop, however, were VOLCANO (1883, out of Etna, by Maribyrnong, Family C - 8) and the dark brown filly ACME (1883, out of the imported mare Princess Maud, by Adventurer). VOLCANO was another speedy juvenile that won the AJC First Foal Stakes and Second Foal Stakes, and at age three the VRC Mares' Produce Stakes. ACME was also a good two-year-old, winning the VATC Debutant Stakes and the VRC Maribyrnong Plate, and went on to take the 1887 9 furlong Tattersall's Carrington Stakes and the 1888 16 furlong Tattersall's Club Cup. Acme went on as a broodmare to produce Acmena (by Martini-Henry), winner of the AJC Champagne Stakes and the AJC Oaks of 1894, and her brother, the gelded Acton, who won Adelaide's Parkside Stakes. Their sister, Achray (1894), was shipped to England, where she bred Achtoi (1912, by Santoi), winner of the Newmarket St. Leger and Chester's Dee Stakes among other races, and later a moderately successful sire of such horses as Irish Two Thousand Guineas and Derby winner Baytown.
Chester's 1884 crop was full of quality youngsters. These included the champion runner ABERCORN, the good stayer CARLYON, the successful mid-distance horse CRANBROOK, and AJC Oaks winner LAVA.
|ABERCORN (1884) was out of Cinnamon, by the successful native-bred stallion Goldsbrough, and was bred by White at Kirkham. A good-looking, compact, flashy chestnut, he eventually reached 15.2 hands. He has been frequently ranked as the best 19th century Australian racehorse, second only to Carbine, a horse he met and beat three times. He won 20 of his 35 starts, and was unplaced just twice in his four seasons on the turf, meeting and beating some of the strongest hoses to race in 19th century Australia. It was through his much-inferior son, Coil, that Chester's sire line continued for one further generation of stakes winners before it petered out.
|Abercorn was first schooled by Fennelly, and after Fennelly's death in August of 1887, by White's new trainer, Tom Payten; jockey Tom Hales rode Abercorn in all his races. Like most of Chester's progeny, Abercorn was a very good juvenile runner, winning five of his seven starts: the AJC December Stakes, the VRC Sires' Produce Stakes, the Hawkesbury Claret Stakes, the AJC Sires' Produce Stakes, and the AJC Foal Stakes. He was second in the AJC Champagne Stakes to Matador, and third to Moorhouse and Huntingtower in the Sydney Tattersall's Club Lady Carrington Plate. Of these races, his most significant was when he beat the tough New Zealand-bred colt Maxim (later a successful stallion in California) by a short head in the VRC Sires' Produce Stakes.|
Of his ten races at age three, he won six, including a dead-heat with Niagara in the ten furlong AJC Foal Stakes, and was second three times to The Australian Peer (by Darebin), one of these placings a dead-heat for second with Niagara in the VRC Derby in which 9 horses ran. Throughout the early part of the season he appeared lame in some of his races, and was given time off after the Canterbury Plate in November, reappearing in March to win the VRC St. Leger (14 furlongs, beating The Australian Peer by 3/4 of a length, and three others, setting a race record); the VRC weight-for-age Champion Stakes over three miles; the AJC St. Leger over 14 furlongs, beating The Australian Peer, his only opponent, by 1-1/2 lengths; the AJC Plate over three miles, beating The Australian Peer and one other, and running second to The Australian Peer in the two mile AJC Cumberland Stakes.
He was unplaced in the Melbourne Cup that year, won by Dunlop in record time, with The Australian Peer third and Niagara and Abercorn, almost head-to-head, fourth and fifth. In addition to the dead-heat with Niagara in the Foal Stakes, Abercorn won the AJC Derby (12 furlongs, with Niagara second and The Australian Peer third) prior to his layoff, and was second to The Australian Peer in the 2-1/4 mile VRC Canterbury Plate.
At age four, in 1888-89, he won four of his twelve races, and was unplaced once, coming up against Carbine in five of his races in the latter half of the season, and still contending with The Australian Peer, but the combination of these three great horses made for outstanding racing in Australia that season. His most impressive win was the AJC Autumn Stakes (weight-for-age) at Sydney over 12 furlongs in April of 1889, where he beat Carbine by a neck after a thrilling duel down the final stretch, with The Australian Peer and two others left in the dust eight lengths behind. His other wins were the AJC Craven Plate over 10 furlongs, beating The Australian Peer and the good mare The Queen, the VRC Essendon Stakes over 12 furlongs, and the VRC Place Handicap over 12 furlongs. He ran second to The Australian Peer in the AJC Spring Stakes (12 furlongs), to Wycombe in the AJC Randwick Plate (3 miles), and to Carbine in the VRC Champion Stakes (3 miles) and the AJC Plate (3 miles). His third place finishes included the 2 mile AJC Metropolitan Stakes (to Lamond and Arsenal); the AJC Sydney Cup (2 miles) to Carbine and Melos, and the AJC Cumberland Stakes to Carbine and the good New Zealand-bred colt (and later leading sire) Lochiel.
Abercorn had a triumphant final season, winning all six of his races: the AJC Spring Stakes, the AJC Metropolitan Stakes :(2 miles), the AJC Craven Plate, the AJC Randwick Plate (3 miles), the VRC Melbourne Stakes, with Melos second and Carbine, by now seriously hampered by his sore heel third, and the VRC Canterbury Plate (2-1/4 miles), the only race in which Carbine ever ran unplaced.
Abercorn was retired to Kirkham, but without White guiding his stud career, having died during Abercorn's first year at stud, he probably did not have the impact on Australian bloodstock he might otherwise have achieved. He got eight good winners to 1896, including Caulfield Guineas and AJC St. Leger Stakes winner Cobbity (1891), VRC Derby winner Cocos (1895), and Coil (1893), his best runner, who, like his sire, was a good juvenile winner (AJC Champagne Stakes, VATC Oakleigh Plate, VRC Sires' Produce Stakes) and went on to win the VATC Caulfield Stakes, the VRC Essendon Stakes (12 furlongs), and the 18 furlong Australian Cup. Coil was later the sire of Sea Bound (1914), a moderately successful mid-distance winner of the South Australian Stakes, the 1918 Williamstown Cup (11 furlongs), the VRC Hotham Handicap (12 furlongs) and Adelaide's 14 furlong Alderman Cup. Sea Bound was the last successful sire-line descendant of Chester. In 1898 Abercorn was sold to Ireland, where he failed to make a mark as a stallion.
The other good runners in Chester's 1884 crop were CARLYON, CRANBROOK, and LAVA. The first two, despite being overshadowed by ABERCORN and The Australian Peer, managed to rack up some good wins.
|CARLYON, a brother to the Oaks winner URALLA, from Moonstone, first won at age three, when he took the VATC Caulfield Guineas. He went on to prove himself and versatile mid-distance and staying colt for White, winning the VRC Royal Park Stakes (16 furlongs), Essendon Stakes (10 furlongs), Loch Plate (16 furlongs) and Australian Cup (18 furlongs), the AJC Autumn Stakes (12 furlongs), and, in 1889 the STC Anniversary Handicap (11 furlongs). Carlyon was later a fairly successful sire, mostly of speedy juveniles and sprinters, but he also got some classic winning horses in South Australia, including SAJC Derby and Adelaide Cup winner Gunga Din and SAJC Derby winner Rienzi, both from the mare Brown Alice.
CRANBROOK (1884), from the imported mare La Princesse, by the imported Newminster son, Cathedral, won the VATC Caulfield Stakes and the VRC Newmarket Handicap (6 furlongs) and the VRC All Aged Stakes (8 furlongs). Cranbrook was later a useful sire of some good sprinters and mid-distance racehorses. |
LAVA (1884), a sister to VOLCANO, from the Maribyrnong daughter Etna (Family C - 8), won the AJC Oaks, and in the famous Widden Stud she bred a filly, Loch Lava (1893, by Lochiel), from which the colonial family C - 8 descends into the present.
In 1885 Chester got another filly that became an important conduit for a colonial family. VAIN GLORY (1885) from Vanity, by The Fop, was a granddaughter of the New Warrior mare, Flirt, a non-stud book mare that could only be traced back to a mare by Bay Camerton. VAIN GLORY produced three notable foals to the cover of Martini-Henry: the gelded Dandy (1895), winner of the STC Anniversary Handicap and other races; his brother, Vanitas (1891), a winner of the 6 furlong Tattersall's Carrington Stakes, and later of the Viceroy's Cup in India, and their sister Amera (1896), who continued this old colonial mare line through the mid-20th century. Other good broodmare daughters of Chester born this year included KICKSHAW (1885, from the Goldsbrough mare Kaipara, dam of the Brisbane Cup winner Haidee (1900, by Nevada), and PARAPHRASE (1885, a sister to PHILLIP AUGUSTUS) who produced AJC Doncaster Handicap winner Parapet (1895, by Lochiel); Parapet was later second dam of Melbourne Cup winner Bitalli (1918, by October).
The standouts in Chester's 1886 crop were DREADNOUGHT and SPICE, both bred and raced by White. SPICE was a chestnut filly from ABERCORN'S dam, Cinnamon. She won the VRC Ascot Vale Stakes as a juvenile, and, like her brother, a classic winner, taking both the VRC and AJC Oaks as a three-year-old in 1889. She bred on, but her branch of Family 3 - j produced no significant flat runners and appears to have vanished in the 1940s. Another 1886 Chester filly, SEQUEL (from The Alpaca, and so half-sister to Etna, Family C - 8) became the dam of Western Australian Derby winner Benbow (1903), and second dam of Caulfield Guineas winner Woolerina.
|DREADNOUGHT was a son of the imported Blair Athol daughter, Trafalgar, yet another confirmation of White's belief in Stockwell bloodlines for Chester. He was running when Abercorn, The Australian Peer, and Carbine were on the turf, and still managed to hold his own. He won the VRC Foal Stakes, the AJC Wycombe Stakes and the VATC Caulfield Stakes (Carbine was second), the VRC Victoria Derby, and the VRC St. Leger Stakes. In 1889-90 he was also second to Carbine in the VRC weight-for-age Flying Stakes (7 furlongs) and in the AJC Cumberland Stakes (2 miles), to Melos in the VRC Champion Stakes (3 miles, with Carbine third), and third to Carbine and Melos in the AJC 3 mile AJC Plate. One of the most exciting races that season was the AJC Autumn Stakes (12 furlongs), in which he, Carbine, and Melos, raced neck and neck to the finish, with Carbine declared the winner by a nose, and Melos and Dreadnought declared a dead-heat for second. He also won the 1890 VRC Australian Cup (18 furlongs).
|Dreadnought was sold to the prominent New Zealand breeder John Ormond, a member of New Zealand's General Assembly for almost thirty years and a minister under several Premiers. Ormond began breeding in a significant way in the 1890s, and Dreadnought was part of the plan, installed at Ormond's Karamu Stud at Hawke's Bay. There he got Ormond's excellent runner Renown (1897), a winner of good juvenile races at Auckland, the Wanganui Guineas, the Great Northern Derby and the CJC New Zealand Derby, and the Wellington Cup. Other good offspring included the good colt Dauntless, winner of the Wellington Cup and other good races; Ideal, who dead-heated for the CJC New Zealand Cup; and the CJC New Zealand Oaks winner Ismene. He was also a good broodmare sire, but his sons were unable to continue the sire line.|
Chester's 1887 crop included a couple of speedy horses. VICTOR HUGO (1887, a grey brother to MONTE CHRISTO) won the VATC Debutant Stakes, and went on to take the AJC The Shorts (6 furlongs) and Tattersall's New South Wales Tramway Handicap (7 furlongs). The chestnut gelding TITAN (1887, from Tempe, by imported Somnus), won high-class juvenile events for White, including the Ascot Vale Stakes, the AJC First Foal Stakes, the AJC Sires' Produce Stakes and the VRC Sires' Produce Stakes, and then took the STC Challenge Stakes (6 furlongs), and the VATC Oakleigh Plate (5-1/2 furlongs). White, suffering from progressive heart disease, sold most his racing stable in 1890, and TITAN brought a record price of 4,600 guineas. In his new owner's colors TITAN won the 1893 VATC Toorak Handicap (8 furlongs), and in 1894 the VRC All-Aged Stakes (8 furlongs), the Farewell Handicap, and the AJC Cumberland Stakes over 16 furlongs.
Also in 1887 White bred several foals by Chester on Northern Hemisphere-time, and repeated his experiment in 1888 with the stallion Martini-Henry and the mare Malacca. His plan was to ship the foals to England to run, and he nominated two 1888 colts, both by Chester, to the English classics after their birth -- NARELLAN (1887, from Princess Maud) and KIRKHAM (1887, out of La Princesse, the dam of CRANBROOK). The colts were both sent to the aged trainer Mat Dawson at Newmarket: Narellan broke down during training, but Kirkham made it to the Epsom Derby, and, although he could only run sixth (second last) to Sainfoin, he was the first Australian-bred horse to run in that classic. Kirkham was later employed as a hunter sire in the stud of the Reverend E. Cliford of Newcastle, Co. Limerick, Ireland. There he got the brothers Kirkland and Kirko, both gelded, out of a half-bred mare by Perizonius (Family B - 21). The chestnut Kirkland was purchased by Tom Hartigan, for whom he won the Kilmallock Steeplechase and four other country chases, after which he was sold to Liverpool-based industrialist Frank Bibby, for whom he won ten steeplechases, including the Grand Sefton. He was fourth in the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree in 1903, and second to the New Zealand-bred Moiffa, in 1904, and in 1905 he won the race. His brother, Kirko, won the Irish Grand National in 1903 for Hartigan.
White's 1889 filly, Mons Meg (Martini-Henry - Malacca), bred to Northern Hemisphere time, was also shipped off to Dawson, but when White died she and White's other Australian-breds in England were sold. Mons Meg was purchased for 2,600 guineas, and she proved to be a good runner, winning the 1891 Ascot Gold Vase.
Chester's 1888 crop, bred on Southern Hemisphere time, included another classic winner, STROMBOLI (1888), a brother to VOLCANO AND ETNA, and like them, bred at Kirkham. Running for J.C. Bowden, he won both the VRC and AJC Sires' Produce Stakes, and then the Hawkesbury Guineas and the AJC Derby. In 1892 he won the 16 furlong Sydney Cup, and then retired to stud in Queensland. The next year Stromboli was in San Francisco, California, where the Australian bloodstock agent Bruce Lowe, author of Breeding Racehorses by the Figure System, leased him out, either as a racehorse or stallion. As far as can be traced, he got one filly in the U.S., Strombolita (1896, from Inez Norfolk by Prince of Norfolk), a broodmare in the Grass Valley, California, stud of C.V. Turner.
In 1889 Chester's offspring included the classic winners CAMOOLA and TRIESTE, and AUTONOMY, MOONRAY, ESCAPADE, and WARPAINT. TRIESTE (1889), a sister to TITAN, won the VATC Debutant Stakes, the VRC Flying Stakes, and then the AJC Mares' Produce Stakes, Tattersall's NSW Carrington Stakes, and the AJC Oaks. AUTONOMY (1889), from Aveline by Yelverton, was yet another good juvenile, winner of the AJC Champagne Stakes, and the AJC and VRC Sires' Produce Stakes. At age three he won the VATC Caulfield Guineas, the STC Anniversary Handicap (11 furlongs), and the VRC Melbourne Stakes (10 furlongs). He was later a very modest sire, slightly better as a broodmare sire. ESCAPADE (1889), from imported Episode, by See Saw, won the 1894 VRC Coburg Stakes. MOONRAY (1889), sister to URALLA and CARLYON, won the 1891 AJC December Stakes.
WARPAINT (1889), from Wheel of Fortune ( a sister to Cinnamon), by Goldsbrough, was a good winner in South Australia, winning the West End Draught Stakes and the Adelaide Cup in 1896; as a stallion in Queensland he got some good runners, including Brisbane Cup winner Black Paint. Warpaint's daughter Microbe (1915, Family C - 24), in the famous Lyndhurst Stud at Warwick, Queensland, became the dam of three good runners : Star Robe, the gelded Vaccine, and the speedy Molly's Robe, the latter a two time winner of the QTC King's Plate and other good races, and later dam of the champion juvenile runner Mollison. It was through Molly's Robe that Family C - 24 continued to the present.
|The chestnut colt CAMOOLA (1889), from Copra, by the native-bred stallion Robinson Crusoe, was Chester's last extravagantly good runner. He was another Chester juvenile that won the VRC Ascot Vale Stakes, and at age three was easily the best of his year, winning the VATC Oakleigh Plate, the VATC Caulfield Stakes, the AJC Derby and the VRC Derby, the VRC Champion Stakes (3 miles) and the AJC Cumberland Stakes (2 miles). The next season, 1893-94, age four, he won the AJC Randwick Plate 2- 1/2 miles, weight-for-age).
|Chester's 1890 crop included PROJECTILE, out of the Musket daughter Percussion, another winner of the Ascot Vale Stakes, and in 1894 of the AJC Metropolitan Stakes. Also born in 1890 was MADRAS, from Gymkhana, by Emulation; she became second dam of the two-time Auckland Cup winner All Red and was ancestress of Melbourne Cup winner Sasanof (1913, by Martian). |
In 1891 ESCAPADE'S dam, Episode, produced CHESTERMAN, winner of the 1894 3 mile Randwick Plate. He was later a sire in Tasmania, and got three Launceston Cup (12 furlongs) winners, one of which, the filly Watchful (1900), won it twice. Also born in 1891 was DUKE OF YORK, from Queen of Nations, a winner of the QTC Claret Stakes (6 furlongs). Chester's last crop included PRINCE CHESTER (1892, out of La Princesse, dam of CRANBROOK and KIRKHAM); he was used as a stallion by White's nephew, Ernest, at Belltrees.
Chester was an enormously successful sire of winners in late 19th century Australia, and his sire line continued in a modest way for several generations in Australia and New Zealand. Through his owner's desire to breed an Epsom Derby winner, Chester became the grandsire of a Grand National Steeplechase winner and some other good jumpers. It was, however, his daughters that had a lasting influence on the breed.