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Bay Colt, 1833 - 1858
By Royal Oak - mare by Orville

Darley Arabian Sire line:
Eclipse Branch

Family #25

Royal Oak His sire, Royal Oak

Slane was a winning two-mile horse that became a leading sire in England, but he was the last good stallion in the Eclipse sire line descending from Mercury. His gift to the thoroughbred breed was through his daughters, the dams of the superior French stallion, Dollar; of the stayer Cambuscan, and of the beautiful Kingston. Dollar continued the Byerley Turk sire line in France through his good sons; Cambuscan got many winners in Hungary, including one of the best race mares of all time, Kincsem, and Kingston was the sire of the classic winning mare and superior broodmare, Queen Bertha.

Slane's dam was an Orville mare, out of Epsom Lass, by Sir Peter Teazle. Epsom Lass had been a typical sturdy and precocious Sir Peter offspring, and had won the Royal Plate at Chelmsford at age three, and the Royal Plates at Newmarket and Guildford (4 miles), the Town Plate at Newmarket, at age four. Her Orville daughter was put in the stud at age three, and had already bred ten foals when she dropped Slane, two of which, Bradley (1828, by Filho da Puta) and Minster (1829, by Catton), had been decent runners. While in the ownership of Col. Jonathan Peel, she was put to the Catton son, Royal Oak, who was standing at Oakley, in Bedfordshire, the traditional home of the heir of the Duke of Bedford, Lord Tavistock. Lord Tavistock at this time was Francis Russell, a keen racing man; he acceded to Duke a few years later, in 1839. Peel was the younger brother of the Tory Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, who was later General Peel (a purchased commission) and served as a Minister of War, was likewise keen on racing, and was a friend of those avid turfites, Lord George Bentinck and his cousin, Charles Greville.

Slane's sire, Royal Oak (1823, Catton - Smolensko mare) had run mostly at plate level, and won eleven races worth £995, including the Abingdon Stakes, Egham's Surrey Stakes and a Ladies Purse over one mile in heats at Goodwood. He was not the stayer his sire, Catton, was, and was generally best at a mile to two miles. He got some winners for Lord Tavistock, but he went from being a barely useful stallion in England to the premier sire in France in the late '30s and 1840s after Lord Henry Seymour bought him for 600 guineas in December of 1832, and sent to his stud in France. When Seymour's stud was dispersed in 1842 he was purchased the the French government stud, and spent some time at the Paris depot, ending his days at Le Pin, the government stud in Normandy. In France, he got numerous classic winners, mostly fillies, and many successful broodmare daughters, including Poetess (1838), the dam of superior French stallion Monarque.

Slane resembled his grandsire, Catton, with the broad forehead and small muzzle that had been seen as far back in the sire line as Gohanna. He had a long, almost ewe neck, when young, and a powerful body -- which could be attributed to either Royal Oak or Orville -- with good shoulders and bone. He was more on the leg than the typical Catton descendant, or his sire, Royal Oak, and had Orville's knees. He had a bit of a temper and would "stop suddenly in his exercise gallops, and then think better of it, and go on and catch his horses again like the wind."

Slane on the Turf

Slane was schooled by Peel's private trainer at Newmarket, William Cooper, who would later oversee Orlando's racing career. He showed some promise at age two, and at three only had two outings, but at age four, like his grandsire, Catton, he showed good class, winning seven of his ten starts, and placing second once.

He ran four times in 1835, the fall of his juvenile year, in the important Newmarket races for two-year-olds, and was second, once, at Newmarket Houghton in the Criterion, won by Elis, beating Mr. Waggs, who would become a good sire in France, and four others. At age three he did not place in Bay Middleton's Derby; in the fall, at Newmarket Second October he beat the 1835 St. Leger winner, Hornsea, in a match for 200 sovereigns over the Ditch Mile course.

At age four, 1837, his first race was a 300 sovereign match against Elis, which he lost by three lengths. At Reigate he won the two mile Dinner Stakes, beating Venison, Edgar and one other horse. At Ascot he won the Swinley Stakes over 1-1/2 miles, beating Rat-Trap. A few days later he was second by six lengths to Touchstone in the Ascot Gold Cup, with another Royal Oak son, Royal George, five lengths behind in third, and one other horse in the race. He went on to Bath, where he won the 2-1/4 mile Somerset Stakes, beating Heron and four others. Next, at Chelthenham, he took the Glocestershire Stakes over two miles, beating Heron and seven other horses. At Winchester, carrying 9 st.-1 lbs., he won the two mile Queen's Plate, beating two other horses easily in both heats. At Goodwood he won the Waterloo Shield, a £1,000 prize added to a sweepstakes over the Queen's Plate Course (3 -3/4 miles), beating Zohrab, The Drummer, and fifteen others. He failed to place in the Goodwood Cup at the same meeting. His last race in August at Oxford, was the Oxford Gold Cup, held over 2-1/4 miles, which he won.

Slane in the Stud

The royal stud at Hampton Court was entirely dispersed in the fall of 1837, which turned out to be perfect timing for Peel and his sometime confederate, Charles Greville, who leased the paddocks there from the Dowager Queen Adelaide. Slane went right into the stud at Hampton Court, and spent most of his active stud career there; in 1847 his fee was 25 sovereigns. When Peel sold most of his horses at a dispersal sale in August of 1851, Slane was purchased by Greville, but he was quickly resold to yet another new stud venture, the Rawcliffe Stud Company in Yorkshire, which was the first such stock farm organized by investors with the intent of breeding and selling yearlings. The principal owner-investor was Henry Stafford Thompson, who had purchased The Flying Dutchman prior to his famous match with Voltigeur, and installed him as the premier stallion at Rawcliffe, at a fee of 30 guineas, when it opened for business in the fall of 1851, with the first season to start in 1852. Slane, even at age seventeen, was a perfect adjunct, with a by then solid -- if not stellar -- reputation in the south, and his fee was set at 20 guineas. Chanticleer was also brought in at 20 guineas, and two other lesser stallions, Connaught Ranger and Ratcatcher at 5 guineas each. Venison's notorious son, Cruiser, was there -- briefly -- in 1857 at 5 guineas, and Newminster would join the roster that same year, starting at a 15 guinea fee and rising dramatically to 100 guineas later in his career. Slane was at Rawcliffe until his death in 1858, age 25.

Slane was leading sire in England in 1845, the year his son, THE MERRY MONARCH, won the Epsom Derby, and he was in the top ten on the sires list from 1850 through 1853, placing third in 1850. He got four classic winners -- one of each race except the St. Leger, somewhat ironic considering his own aptitude for two miles and more. He did get some distance runners, but most were good at 1-1/2 miles and less. He had, said The Druid, "...a sad aptitude for getting roarers and there were no less than ten or twelve by him in one year...their specialty was to be game and slow." Still, turf observers liked their looks..."the sons and daughteres of Slane are, without exception, the finest I have seen for many years..."

Several of Slane's sons went to stud, but he had only one really good sire son, STING, who made his mark in France with a series of good fillies. Slane was much more important as a broodmare sire. He got the dams of the outstanding French stallion, Dollar; of the stayer Cambuscan -- later sire of the unbeaten race mare Kincsem; and of the beautiful Kingston, the sire of Queen Bertha.

THE PRINCESS (1841) was bred by Lord Jersey from a sister to the racing queen and classic-winning producer Cobweb, by Phantom and out of the Soothsayer mare Filagree. The Princess' dam had already produced Ishmael (later sire of the gallant little Grand National Steeplechase winner Abd el Kader) and Two Thousand Guineas winner Ibrahim, both by Sultan. The Princess, an attractive chestnut, was purchased by Col. George Anson as a yearling; Anson, a friend and associate of Lord George Bentinck and his cousin Greville, rose to the rank of general and later served as Commander-in-Chief in India, dying there in 1857. He had his stable at Goodwood House.

THE PRINCESS started her career in the fall at Doncaster. She failed to place in the Champagne Stakes, which had a big field of really good juveniles, including the future One Thousand Guineas winner Sorella, Fanny Eden, Coal Black Rose, and The Cure, who won. At the same meet she won the Two Year Old Stakes, beating eight other youngsters, with The Cure third. At Newmarket Second October she was third by a neck to the dead-heating Joan of Arc and Sorella in the Bretby Stakes for two-year-old fillies.

At age three she started by beating a big high-class field of fillies in the Oaks at Epsom, with Merope second and Barricade third. She went to Ascot where, carrying an extra stone for winning the Oaks, she won the Coronation Stakes, beating Mocha. She went on to Goodwood where in the Nassau Stakes she was second to Bentinck's All-round-my-Hat, a filly she had beat twice before, with Peel's Slane filly ZENOBIA third, and two others in the field. She did not run again until Doncaster, where in the St. Leger she was third to Faugh a Ballagh, who beat The Cure by a length, with The Princess half a length behind; other horses in the field included a future Liverpool Cup winner, and a future Chester Cup winner. At the same meeting she was second by a length to Sorella in the Park Hill Stakes, beating two other good fillies. Retired to the breeding shed, she produced The Great Unknown and Sycthia, the latter the dam of Chester Cup winner Sycthian; her daughter, Christina (by Don John) bred on in tail-female.

Merry Monarch
Merry Monarch
THE MERRY MONARCH (1842), was bred by William Gratwicke, whose stud farm was at Ham Manor, Angmering, in Sussex, from his home-bred mare, The Margravine, by Little John, a sister to Frederick, who had won the 1829 Epsom Derby for Gratwicke. He was stabled at the Duke of Richmond's Goodwood stables, Gratwicke and Richmond long-time neighbors, and trained by the aging John Forth, who had trained and ridden Frederick. But Gratwicke, believing his horses were being slighted, eventually, upon the urging of Admiral Rous, moved his racing stable to Newmarket. His filly Governess would win the One Thousand Guineas and the Oaks in 1858.

THE MERRY MONARCH, who, before the Derby was described as "a beautiful specimen of an English thorough-bred colt," was an indifferent racehorse. He started once as a juvenile, running unplaced in Goodwood's Ham Stakes, won by the future Oaks winner, Refraction (owned by the Duke of Richmond). At age three his first event was the Derby at Epsom, and he was considered a lucky winner -- he had barely figured in the betting -- when there were several false starts, and then a fracus between Alarm, the best horse in the race, and The Libel, where Alarm threw his jockey and had to be caught up before the race could start. His only other race that season was the Gratwicke Stakes at Goodwood, where he was second to Hersey, beating Laird o'Cockpen and Cowl, who broke down during the running. The next year he ran once, in the Grand Stand Plate at Epsom, where he was unplaced. He was purchased by Lord George Bentinck as a stallion, but Bentinck's entire stud and stables were sold during the Goodwood meet to Edward Lloyd-Mostyn for a flat £10,000. Soon after, most of the 200 horses were sold at auction, including THE MERRY MONARCH, who was purchased back by Gratwicke for the low sum of 78 guineas.

THE MERRY MONARCH went to stud at Ham, alongside Chatham (sire of Governess) and Robert de Gorham; in the mid 1850s his fee was 10 guineas, the lowest of the three. From very limited opportunity, he got a modest winner, Lady Harriet (1849 from Cestus), the dam of Atherstone (by Touchstone), and the unraced The Princess (1849, from Queen Charlotte), the dam of Nutbourne (broke down in the Derby) and Bertha (by Stockwell), the latter a stellar juvenile winner of Goodwood's Hurstbourne Stakes, Bentinck Memorial Stakes, and Sussex Stakes of Newmarket's Bretby Stakes, and other races, and at age three of Goodwood's Nassua Stakes and the Biennial at Brighton, among other races, and placing second in the One Thousand Guineas. The Princess' tail-female line bred on for several generations.

In 1843 mares bred to Slane had three good winners: THE MARQUIS OF CONYNGHAM (1843, from Voluptuary by Reveller), a winner of the 1-1/2 mile Chesterfield Cup at Goodwood in 1848; Peel's QUEEN ANNE (1843, from Garcia, by Octavian), who won Newmarket's July Stakes as a juvenile, and STING (1843, out of Echo, by Emilius), a brilliant juvenile. QUEEN ANNE was later the dam of Kingston (1849, by Venison), a beautiful, stout runner, sire of two classic winners, including Queen Bertha, that in the breeding shed produced two classic-winning daughters and other good runners.

STING, first raced by his breeder and trainer John Forth, for whom he won Goodwood's Lavant Stakes, was sold to Lord Edward Russell, and in the fall won the Clearwell and the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket. At age three his wins included the Newmarket St. Leger, and he was second to Prior of St. Margarets in the Cambridgeshire in the fall. At age four he was second in a good handicap at Newmarket, giving away 32 pounds to Clermont, who won, then easily took Newmarket's Port Stakes, beating the classic winner Sir Tatton Sykes by eight lengths, but could only run fourth in the Emperor of Russia's Plate (Ascot Gold Cup) where he was favored to win. He broke down running in the Goodwood Cup. In all he won eight races.

M. Le Chevalier de Place, who arrived in July of 1846 on a purchasing trip for the French Government studs had bought Gladiator for £2,000, and he added Worthless, Ionian, Roebuck, and Prime Warden to his list over the course of the late summer. STING, who had been purchased by Tattersall's as a possible export, was almost picked up as an afterthought for £600. He stood at the government stud in Paris through 1851, and then was transferred to the stud at Tarbes. Like his sire and grandsire, Royal Oak, he got better fillies than he did colts, and they included good juveniles, classic winners, and distance runners. His daughter Jouvence (1850, from Currency by St. Patrick), was his best; her wins included the dual French classics, the Prix de Diane and Prix du Jockey Club, and in England, the Goodwood Cup (2-1/2 miles) and Egham's Surrey Stakes and a Royal Plate.

STING'S other good daughters included Échelle (1849, from Eusébia (imported 1844) by Emilius), winner of four races, including l'Omnium at age three, and at age four the Prix Gladiateur, and five Royal Plates, among other races, and also won races at age five; Lysisca (1851, from Cassica by Touchstone), whose only race and win was the Poule des Produits (Prix Daru); Péripétie (1866, out of Peronelle by Elthiron), a winner of the Poule des Produits and the Prix de Diane, among other races. STING'S son, Moustique (1850, from Essler by Cadland) won six races at age three, including the Poule d'Essai, the Prix du Printemps, and L'Omnium, and the Prix de la Ville in Paris at age four and later joined his sire at Tarbes. Peu de'Espoir (1852, possibly also by Monarque or The Baron) won a grueling 8,000 meter race in France in four heats, and five other races before breaking down. His other winners included Miss Anna, Merlin, Pilgrim, and Marianne.

STING was one of three possible sires of the great stallion Monarque; The Druid always claimed Monarque, who ran some races in England, was the image of Sting, although most believed The Emperor was his sire. STING was a good broodmare sire. His daughter Agar was the dam of Bois-Roussel (1861 by The Nabob), champion of 1864, winning the Prix du Jockey Club, the Poule des Produits, and the Prix de l'Empereur, although he could only run third in the Grand Prix de Paris. Another good grandson was Perplexe (1872, out of Péripétie and by Vermout), winner of the Grand Criterium as a juvenile, and the Prix Royal Oak, among other races at age three, and later a leading sire in France. STING'S daughter Échelle produced Orphelin (1859, by Fitz-Gladiator), who strongly resembled his dam, was one of the best of his generation in France, and was later a good sire that got the dual French classic winner Revigny and Cambridgeshire winner Montargnis. STING was also dam's sire of Nicolet (1864, winner of the Poule d'Essai), Dictateur (1879, winner of the Prix de Longchamp (Prix Hocquart)), and Waverley (1885, winner of the Grosser Preis von Baden), among other good ones.

In 1844 Slane's crop included Sir Robert Pigot's CONYNGHAM (1844, from a Whisker mare), Slane's third classic winner. He was a speedy horse that easily won the Two Thousand Guineas, but could not stay in Cossack's Derby. The next year won Ascot's 7 furlong Royal Hunt Cup. He was an indifferent stallion. The next year, 1845, the best of Slane's crop was GLENDOWER (1845, from Glencairne by Sultan). Another speedster, his wins at age three included Ascot's 8 furlong St. James' Palace Stakes, and Goodwood's Racing Stakes.

Peel's ZENOBIA (1844, Hester by Camel) was another in Slane's 1844 crop. As a juvenile her first race had been a match at Newmarket Second Spring against a filly by Velocipede, which she won by ten lengths. She did not place in Goodwood's Ham Stakes (won by Orlando), but was second to Barricade in the Sussex Stakeas at the same meet. Also as a juvenile, she was third to Antler (by Venison), in the Predergast Stakes at Newmarket October and took a walk-over for an uncontested sweepstakes at Newmarket. ZENOBIA later produced some daughters that bred on in tail-female. Her older brother, MURAT (1843, from Hester), bred and raced by Peel, won four races at age three, including a match over the Ditch Mile against Anti-Dickens at Nemarket, a sweepstakes at Ascot over the Swinley course, and a match at Newmarket Houghton, beating Auld Lang Syne over three miles.

LADY ORFORD (1847, from the Emilius mare Exotic) was Slane's fourth classic winner. She won the One Thousand Guineas and Ascot's Coronation Stakes for her owner, the Earl of Orford. MILDEW (1847, from Semiseria by Voltaire) was another good one from the 1847 crop. Bred by Robert Jaques at his Easby Abbey stud at Richmond, Yorkshire, his juvenile wins included Doncaster's Gimcrack Stakes and York's Sapling Stakes and was second in Catterick's Champagne Stakes. Jaques sold a half-interest in MILDEW to a Captain Bastard, and he was sent to Newmarket, where, after winning a hard 1-1/2 mile race against Lady Evelyn, he started to roar. In the Derby the next week, the best he could do was fifth to Voltigeur. Jaques re-purchased his interest in the horse, and a month later he surprised everyone by winning the two mile Ascot Gold Vase; he won eight races that year, despite his roaring. He retired to stud at Easby Abbey, and later passed through several hands in Yorkshire, ending up at Rawcliffe Stud on lease. Mildew's Yorkshire-bred son, High Treason (1857, from Gipsy Queen by Tomboy), won Newmarket's Chesterfield Stakes, York's Prince of Wales's Stakes, Doncaster's Glasgow Stakes, and was second in the Doncaster St. Leger; another son, Apollyon (1857, out of Athena Pallas) won the Liverpool Spring Cup. He had some daughters that bred on, including Leprosy, dam of the 1869 two mile Ascots Stakes winner Bete Noir (by Marsyas).

Slane's 1848 crop included LITTLE JACK (1848, from Coral by Sir Hercules), a winner of numerous races in Scotland, including the Silver Bell at Paisley, and was second by a neck to Cariboo (by Venison) in the 1851 Ascot Gold Vase; and PAYMENT (1848, out of Receipt, by Rowton). PAYMENT won Newmarket's rich Column Stakes at age three, and bred a couple of foals in England before being purchased, in foal to Surplice, by Auguste Lupin and sent to Haras Vaucresson in France. The Surplice foal, named Florin, won the Poule des Produits (Prix Daru) and the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas). Bred to The Flying Dutchman during his first season at the French government depot in Paris, she dropped Dollar in 1861, a game horse that won some distance races in both England and France, and later was a leading sire in France that established a long-lived sire line that has recent reprentatives with Indian Ridge (1985) and the English champion Dr. Devious (1989).

Slane's best winner from his 1849 crop was ADINE (1849, from a Glencoe mare). Her wins at age three included the Yorkshire Oaks and the Great Ebor Handicap, and at age four she won the two mile Goodwood Stakes and two other good races. Her tail-female line bred on for a few generations.

Slane's last few Hampton Court crops included LITTLE DAVID (1850, from Olla by Mus), winner at age three of the Cambridgeshire and Epsom's Autumn Handicap; QUINCE (1851, from Preserve by Emilius), who took the 1855 Goodwood Stakes, and other winners at lesser venues and/or smaller races. He also got THE ARROW (1850, from Southdown by Defence), a half-sister to Alarm. She was bought privately in 1854, not long after the Royal Stud was reestablished at Hampton Court, and returned to the place of her birth. There she bred Cambuscan (1861) to the cover of Newminster, a good juvenile and later a high-class stayer, and she also produced a good steeplechaser, His Lordship (1870, by Lord Clifden). Cambuscan got some winners in England and was purchased for the Hungarian National Stud at Kisber in late 1872; he was a successful stallion in Hungary, getting numerous winners, including the unbeaten Kincsem.

Slane's only good winner from his last years at Rawcliffe was PRINCESS ROYAL (1855, from a Bay Middleton mare). She won Doncaster's Gimcrack Stakes as a juvenile and later produced a good runner in her son, Crown Prince (1863, by Newminster). An unnamed SLANE MARE (1854, out of Letitia by Sir Hercules), bred at Rawcliffe, produced the versatile colt Restitution (1865, by King Tom), a winner of Ascot's two mile Queen Alexandra Stakes and the Goodwood Cup at age four, and placed second in Ascot's St. James' Palace Stakes and Prince of Wales' Stakes and Newmarket's Cesarewitch.

Slane was dam's sire of many other good runners, in addition to Kingston, Cambuscan, and Dollar. His daughter THE WRYNECK (1842) later produced a good stayer in Stilton (1849, by Cotherstone), winner of the two mile Northumberland Plate and Epsom's 2-1/2 mile Great Metropolitan at age three, in addition to other races, and second in the Chester Cup. Her tail-female line continues to the present, with numerous stakes winners. MISS SLANE (1844, from Elissa by Elis) produced a very good race filly in Mishap (1851, by Alarm), a winner of the Palatine Stakes and the Coronation Stakes at Ascot, the Epsom Town Purse, Epsom's Autumn Handicap, and the Brighton Stakes (beating Ascot Gold Cup winner Winkfield). She was later second dam of Derby Belge winner Pascal (1887). FORTUNA (1848, from Gipsy Queen) bred a good stayer in Fortunio (1864, by Voltigeur), a winner of the Northumberland Plate and the Great Ebor Handicap. CROSSLANES (1851, from Diversion by Defence), a half-sister to Oaks winner Miami (by Venison), bred a good juvenile, Alvediston (1859, by Tadmor), a winner of Ascot's New Stakes (Norfolk Stakes); her tail-female descendants through daughter Crossfire included the half-sibling classic winners Sunstar (Derby, Two Thousand Guineas) and Princess Dorrie (Oaks, One Thousand Guineas), and many other good runners.

Slane was also the dam's sire of Gallant (1846, Actaeon - JUNG ROSABEL), winner of the 1849 Mehi-Mulhens Rennen in Germany, and another Mehi-Mulhens Rennen winner in Adalbert (1863, Ethelbert - GLENLUCE); Woodcote Stakes winner Lawn (1853, Accident - CAMBRIC); Miss Armstrong (1860, Rifleman - MISS CONYNGHAM), winner of the Yorkshire Oaks and other races; Liverpool Summer Cup winner Success (1862, Turnus - POMME DE TERRE); Speculation (1869, Adventurer - VERBENA), a winner of the four mile Royal Whip in Ireland, and Christiana (1870, Ruy Blas - CHRISTMAS EVE), who won the Prix de la Forêt as a juvenile and the Prix Gladiateur at age four. Slane's daughters produced many other winners, and a number of them bred on in tail-female.

--Patricia Erigero

SLANE, bay colt, 1833, Family #25
Royal Oak
br. 1823
b. 1809
b. 1802
Lucy Gray
ch. 1804
Mare by Smolensko
b. 1818
bl. 1810
Lady Mary
b. 1800
Mare by Highflyer
Mare by Orville
b. 1819
b. 1799
b. 1791
King Fergus
Mare by Herod
br. 1791
Epsom Lass
b. 1803
Sir Peter Teazle
br. 1784
ch. 1788
King Fergus

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