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Chestnut Colt, 1829 - 1852
By Muley - Mare by Election

Darley Arabian Sire line:
King Fergus Branch.
King Fergus Sire Line Quick Chart.

Family 2 - l

Muley His sire, Muley.

Margrave was the best colt of his year in England After two seasons at stud in England he was purchased by a U.S. bloodstock importer and sent to Virginia, part of a wave of English horses that supplanted native-bred stallions descended from eighteenth century imports. He was a useful, if not wildly popular, pre-Civil War stallion in America, noted for throwing speedy two and three mile horses, and through some of his daughters can be seen in the pedigrees of horses today.

His sire, Muley (1810), was out of the dual classic-winning mare, Eleanor, and by the great stayer and stallion, Orville. A big, 16.1 hand horse with a powerful appearance and good bone, Muley ran for just one year, age five, and won some handicap races at Newmarket over two miles. In the stud, Muley got winners from his first year onward, but it was the impressive seventeen wins of his big son Leviathan (1823) that caught the attention of Alexander Nowell, who was establishing his stud at his newly-built manor, Underley, near Kirby Lonsdale, on the Yorkshire border. Purchased by Nowell in 1827, and supported by Nowell's expenditures on high-class broodmares, Muley became an influential sire, getting three classic winners in his middle age, and many other good runners. Leviathan was the first Muley to go to America, and was such a hit from the moment his youngsters began to race, that more of his offspring and their near-relatives, including Margrave and Priam, were secured for American breeders. Muley's sons and daughters had an important influence on bloodstock breeding in England, France, Australasia and America.

Margrave (1829) was the first big winner that came from Underley, bred by Nowell's stud manager. He was out of an Election mare (the dam of Chatham and Principessa) bred at Hampton Court and purchased by Nowell in 1823. The Election mare's daughter by Comus, bred by Nowell, produced Dick (1833, by Muley), a winner of the Gold Cups at Newton and Knutsford, and a number of other races, and his sister Rachel (1934), a winner of the Shrewsbury Tankersville Stakes (2 miles) and other races. Margrave's dam's sire, Election, by the great four-miler Gohanna, was a winner of the Epsom Derby, and would also get a Derby winner, Gustavus, and two other classic winners before his relatively early death.

Margrave was a big, plain --"ugly looking" was a term used -- dark chestnut colt with lop ears and an unattractive head, but ran with a "fine sweeping action." He was purchased as a yearling at the Doncaster sales by Samuel Wreford of Gratton, in Devonshire. Wreford, who had made money in the tanning business, kept a pack of harriers and had a small stud of seven or eight inexpensive mares he sent to good stallions, breeding such horses as Wintonian, Wisdom, Tyrant and Wit's End. He also purchased inexpensive yearlings, and engaged his youngsters in the more important races. Wreford sent Margrave to trainer John Day at Danebury.

Margrave on the Turf

As a juvenile Margrave won two races, taking a walk-over in one, and placing second once in four starts;. He won the sweepstakes (3/4 mile) for two-year-olds at Stockbridge, and at Winchester took a walk-over. At Newmarket in October, with a bad start and then some knocking about, he was second to Emiliana in the Clearwell Stakes, beaten in an exciting two-horse finish by half a length, with thirteen other good youngsters in the field. A week later he won the Criterion at Newmarket Houghton, beating Archibald (winner of the Two Thousand Guineas the next year), and six others in the field, distancing the lot by three-quarers of a mile.

At the end of his juvenile year, Margrave was sold for 2,600 guineas to the former champion boxer John Gully, who at the time was associated with Robert Ridsdale, a professional better, on the turf. At age three Margrave did not place in the Derby, won by Ridsdale's colt, St. Giles; it was rumored -- and generally believed -- that Margrave, whom many thought the best horse in the race, was sacrificed to St. Giles to ensure a betting coup for Gully and Ridsdale. At Doncaster on September 20, he became Mulely's first classic winner by winning the St. Leger, beating Birdcatcher (by St. Patrick) by 1-1/2 lengths, with sixteen others in the field; the Ridsdale-Gully partnership broke up after the win in a squabble over the £45,000 profits from the stakes and betting on this race. Also at Doncaster the big colt beat Julius easily in the Gascoigne Stakes. He then traveled by foot 120 miles to Newmarket, where, in October, he won the Grand Duke Michael Stakes, beating the Muley daughter Salute, the Oaks winner Galata, and two other horses, and the next day, meeting fresh horses, was second by a head to Archibald in the Newmarket St. Leger (about two miles). He paid a forfeit for a match against Camarine at Newmarket Houghton, and retired for the season. He was generally credited with being the best colt of his year.

The next year, in some way "amiss," he came out for the Claret Stakes at Newmarket Craven, won by Trustee, and ran fourth and last. At Newmarket Spring he received a half-forfeit from Bassetlaw, who had died. That was the end of his career on the turf.

Margrave in the Stud

Margrave went to stud at Richard Watt's Bishop Burton stud, near Beverley in Yorkshire, and covered mares in 1834 and '35. One of his foals from this brief time in England was FAME (1836, from a Cerberus mare), winner of the Roodee Stakes at Chester in 1839 for William Scott, later sold to Germany. Other winners included LUTZOW (1836), who won the second class of the Madrid Stakes at the Curragh as a juvenile; Wreford's MULBERRY WINE (1835, from a Chateau Margaux mare), a good two milers whose wins included Queen's Plates at Winchester and Guildford; MARGRAVINE (1835) a winner at Manchester over 1-1/4 miles; MARGARET (1835), a long-running mare that won at Beverley, Mansfield, Northallerton and other country venues over 1-1/2 and 2 miles; PERRY (1835), a winner over a mile at both York and Doncaster, and VICTORIA (1835), winner of a produce sweepstakes at Beverley over 1-1/2 miles. Margrave was also dam's sire, through an unnamed MARGRAVE MARE, of Sir Tatton Sykes, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas and Doncaster St. Leger, and of his half-sister, Lady Elizabeth (1845, by Sleight of Hand), dam of Gimcrack Stakes winner Coast Guard and daughters that established a long-lived tail-female family.

After the 1835 season, Margrave was sold to the U.S. horse importers, Merritt & Co. (of Hicks' Ford, Virginia), and sent to Virginia, where he first stood at a fee of $60 at Pittsylvania. He went to Tennessee for a couple of seasons, standing at Thomas Alderson's Nashville stable for $75, and returned to stand in Virginia, at Richmond for R.C. Williamson and then at Charlotte for Wyatt Cardwell. He was later sold to Major Gee of Alabama. For whatever reasons, he did not get the business or support some other imported stallions received -- for example Leviathan, also by Muley, standing in Tennessee -- in 1843 he served only twenty-four mares, at the relatively reasonable fee of $30. Between 1840 and 1855 he got 54 winners of 119 races. The highest he ever placed on the leading sires list was when he tied for sixth place with Priam in 1849, with five winners of eleven races. Despite this, he got some very good runners in the U.S., noted for their speed, and some broodmare daughters whose tail-female branches survived the American Civil War.

Margrave started his stud career with a bang by getting BLUE DICK (1837, from a mare by Lance), who had "matchless speed for three miles," a winner of numerous races over four tough seasons for Virginians Col. John White and his trainers, Col. William Johnson and Col. Francis Johnson. He was a gelding and he died at age seven, while still in training. Although forgotten now, he was a celebrated racehorse, compared to the best of his day, and frequently mentioned as a runner equivalent to American Eclipse, based on the times he posted in his many races. In the history books, he is noted as the horse that most frequently met the queen of racing, Fashion, and always went down to her in defeat.

BLUE DICK started at age three in May, where at Lynchburg, Virginia, he won the Post Stakes for 3 year-olds (mile heats, which he won in the first two heats); in September, also at Lynchburg, he won the sweepstakes for three-year-olds (2 mile heats, in two heats). In 1841, age four, he won the $400 Jockey Club Purse (3 mile heats, beating three) at Lynchburg, Virginia, and in September took the Jockey Club Purse at the same place, followed by the Jockey Club Purse ($400, 3 mile heats) at Pittsylvania (Oakland Course), Virginia. In 1842 he met the great race mare Fashion in a $2000 Jockey Club Purse (4 mile heats) at the Camden Course, New Jersey, in October, and was beaten by her in two heats, although he was well up in the finish, and both horses passed the record for three miles during the race. Just a week later he met Fashion again at the Eagle Course in Trenton, New Jersey, in an $800 Jockey Club Purse (4 mile heats) and once again fell to her in two heats: the winning time in the first heat of that race, of 7:36, beat the time in the famous match race between American Eclipse and Henry, almost 20 years earlier and still a standard against which others were measured. In the second heat, BLUE DICK was done after three miles, and Fashion trotted in to win. Both these races were regularly scheduled, not match races, although no other horse showed up to challenge these two giants, and both horses carried the same weight, since they were the same age.

In 1843 BLUE DICK won the $200 Jockey Club purse at Washington D.C. (Mount Vernon Course, 2 mile heats), in two heats beating John Causin, his sole opponent, and at the Washington D.C. National Course that month (May) he won the $500 Jockey Club Purse (4 mile heats), beating the good runner Pryor (by imp. Priam) easily in two heats. In October, "dodging" Fashion (who also ran at that meet and won) he met Pryor again at the National Course in a $300 purse over three miles, and again beat him easily in two heats. A week later he was at the Kendall Course in Baltimore, where he met Fashion again in the $800 Jockey Club Purse (no others ran), and once again was closely beaten in the first heat, won by Fashion in 7:35-1/2; in the second heat he was pulled up. They met again a week later at the Camden Course in New Jersey, in the $700 Jockey Club Purse, and he was once again second (this time, The Colonel by imp. Priam was also in the field, running third).

In 1844 BLUE DICK won at Baltimore ($350 purse, 3 mile heats), Petersburg Virginia ($400 Jockey Club Purse, 3 mile heats), Washington D.C. ($500 Jockey Club Purse, 4 mile heats), and Camden (New Jersey, $700 Jockey Club Purse, 3 mile heats). In June BLUE DICK went the furthest north he had ever been, to meet Fashion at Long Island's Union Course in the $1000 Jockey Club Purse (4 mile heats). A third horse, Young Dove, was also entered and ran in the first few heats, but was seriously outclassed. This was a chance for northerners to see their belle, Fashion, meet the best the mid-Atlantic states could throw up, and there was a huge crowd that included crammed stands and the field in front, six hundred carriages lined up three and four deep, and wave after wave of fans brought over by ferry from Brooklyn. In the first heat, Fashion outran BLUE DICK, but came out of the heat in some distress. The second heat was a dog-fight between the two horses, with the judges split on who won, and so a dead-heat was declared. After this run, BLUE DICK'S supporters believed Fashion to be done in, and near the end BLUE DICK finally beat Fashion in a heat, by two lengths. This led to a fourth heat with two horses that had already run twelve miles each. It seemed clear that Fashion, who was not drying out between heats, was done, and that BLUE DICK, who had recovered from each heat very well, would finally triumph. In the fourth heat, BLUE DICK, who was being jerked about by his jockey, apparently decided he had had enough, and bolted through the palings lining the course and running into the field, going about fifty yards before he could be pulled up and brought back through the palings to continue racing (this was allowed), but Fashion, leg-weary and laboring, had opened up a 400 yard lead, and won the heat by four lengths. The sarcastic headline in the American Turf Register -- almost certainly prompted by all the money that was laid on BLUE DICK before the fourth heat -- was : "Fashion Saved from Defeat by Accident! Nine Cheers for Blue Dick! Bolting of Blue Dick through the fence when victory was sure!"

BROWN DICK (1850, from Fanny King, by Glencoe), bred by T.B. Goldsby of Alabama, and born towards the end of Margrave's stud career, was another celebrated runner. He was a handsome horse that specialized in three-mile races -- and set a record at that distance that stood for nine years -- but also won at one and two miles, usually in fast times. His wins included numerous purses and stakes at Charleston, Atlanta, Mobile, and New Orleans, and in his extended career, limited to three miles or less, he lost only two races. He was MARGRAVE'S best sire son, surviving the Civil War, and as a stallion at B.F. Cockrill's Richland Stud at Nashville, Tennessee, got some good runners and producing daughters. Bobinet (1867, from Valentia by Childe Harold produced Withers Stakes winner Biggonet (1883, by Bramble), later the dam of Futurity Stakes winner Martimas (1896). Another daughter, Panchette, was second dam of Gazelle Handicap winner Ambulance (1888), and had winners in tail-female descend through the second decade of the twentieth century.

DOUBLOON (1845, from Picayune by Medoc), was another fast son, "one of the best racers any time in any country," a popular and well-known racehorse throughout the border states and the south. He won the Phoenix Hotel Stakes (mile heats) and the Galt House Stakes at Louisville, and many thousands of dollars in the south, particularly New Orleans, where in 1849 he won six of seven races at the Metairie and Bingaman Courses, at two and three miles. His brother, FLORIN, won a big $1900 stakes over two miles at Lexington (beating four) at age three, and thirteen consecutive races at age five, and then dropped dead after winning the first heat of his fourteenth race, having broken a blood vessel.

Another Margrave son, the gelded HENRY PERRITT (1851, from Odd Stocking by Thornhill), won good races in New Orleans over a mile (three consecutive heats at 1:50-1/2, 1:46 and 1:46) and five days later won two heats over two miles.

Other winning sons included LANDSCAPE (1838, from a Sir Archy mare), won the Jockey Club Purse (3 mile heats) at DeKalb, Georgia at age three. PRINCE ALBERT (1839, Jockey Club Purse at Belfield, Virginia, 3 mile heats, and other races), GOSPORT (1839, out of Miss Valentine), that won at Baltimore (Kendall Course), taking the $400 Proprietor's Purse (3 mile heats, beating three others); at the Camden, New Jersey, course, taking a $350 purse over three miles, beating one other in two heats; at Trenton, New Jersey, and elsewhere, over two miles; and of one-mile races, including a $100 purse at the National Course beating four others); and Thomas Doswell's black gelding, TOM PAYNE (1841), a long-time campaigner that passed through several hands, and won regional races, including sweepstakes for three-year-olds at Richmond, Virginia and the Mount Vernon Course at Washington D.C., races in Tennessee, and at age nine was still winning two and three mile heats in Canada (at Montreal, Quebec, and St. Hyacinthe).

Margrave's American daughters were good producers. The most notable was probably FANNY G. (1845, from Lancess by Lance), a good three-miler that also won at shorter distances. In 1849 she won both a $200 purse (two mile heats) and a $300 purse (three mile heats) at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and purses at Versailles and Lexington Kentucky (two mile heats); a $300 purse at Natchez over two miles (beating one); and in 1850 four mile heat races at Natchez and New Orleans -- in one of these mile races, run at the Bingaman Course (New Orleans) in March of 1850, she lowered the American mile record to 1:45-1/2. In Robert Alexander's Woodburn Farm in Kentucky, she was a foundation broodmare that produced Endorser, the best son of Wagner, and several daughters that bred on; through her grandaughter Alma Mater (1872, by Mambrino Patchen), she was influential in the development of standardbreds.

Other influential Margrave daughters included: ELEANOR MARGRAVE (1846, from Fanny Wright, by Silverheels), third dam of United States Hotel Stakes winner Kosciusko (1881, by Kyrle Daly) and his half-brother, Inspector B. (1883, by Enquirer), winner of the U.S. Hotel Stakes, the Belmont, Lorillard, Tidal and Travers Stakes, and his sister, Alabama Stakes winner Bella B. (1885). Some of her other tail-female descendants included 1908 Kentucky Derby winner Stone Street, ad De Muno (1904, by Goldfinch), a winner of the U.S. Hotel Stakes and the Tobaggan Handicap, important races in their day. ELEANOR MARGRAVE'S sister, EMMA WRIGHT (1845), was in the tail-female pedigree of 1908 Kentucky Derby winner Stone Street (1905, by Longstreet), and was second dam of the stallion Monday (sire of Joe Hooker, Mollie McCarty, and other good winners).

MARGARET HUNTER'S (1845, from Mary Hunt, by Bertrand) successful tail-female line included Aristides (1872, by Leamington, winner of the Withers Stakes, Jerome Handicap, Kentucky Derby); Maribert (1897, Tremont Stakes), Loftin (1881, Dixie Handicap), Lou Bramble (1894, Latonia Oaks), and other good winners through the 1920s..

UTILLA (1845, from Too Soon, by Sir Leslie) became a broodmare at Alexander's Woodburn Farm, where she produced Ulverston (1861, by Lexington), a good runner and later a useful sire, and his sister Ultima (1862), dam of Hidalgo, whose tail-female line survived the war, and included some good runners including Matron Stakes winner Tree Top (1921), and the good broodmare Nettie Hastings (1912, by Hastings), the latter the dam of four good winners, including Sweep All (1928), a useful sire, and Peter Hastings (1925), the sire of the two-time American champion filly Mata Hari.

COUNTESS (1847, from an unknown mare, Family A-7), was second dam of the excellent racing son of Lexington, Tom Ochiltree (1872), whose wins included the Preakness Stakes, the Dixie Handicap and the Saratoga Cup; his sister, Item (1867) produced Idalia (1874, by Glenelg) a winner of the Ladies Handicap and other races, and her brother, Dan Sparling (1876), a winner of the Withers Stakes.

VICTOIRE (1847, from Argentile, by Bertrand) was second dam of Withers Stakes winner Dublin (1871, by Kentucky), with other winning tail-female descendants, including the Belmont Stakes winners Saunterer (1878) and General Duke (1865). An unnamed MARGRAVE MARE (1841, from Rosalie Somers, by Sir Charles) was second dam of Kentucky Derby winner Apollo (1879, by Lever).

--Patricia Erigero

MARGRAVE chestnut colt, 1829 - Family # 2-l
b. 1810
b. 1799
b. 1791
King Fergus
Mare by Herod
br. 1791
b. 1798
b. 1789
Young Giantess
b. 1790
Mare by Election
gr. 1814
ch. 1804
b. 1790
Mare by Herod
Chestnut Skim
ch. 1794
Mare by Herod
Fair Helen
gr. 1808
b. 1792
King Fergus
Grey Highflyer
gr. 1801

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