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Brown colt, 1911.
Dark Ronald - Mother-in-Law by Matchmaker
Darley Arabian Sire line:
Newminster Branch.

Family 5 - d.

Dark Ronald His sire, Dark Ronald

Son-In-Law was one of the best stayers and sires of stayers of the first part of the 1900s. Writing in Sire Lines, author Abram S. Hewitt described him as "the best source of stamina in the British Isles." In Ulbrich's Peerage of Racehorses, he is described as "one of the principal influences for stamina in the modern thoroughbred."

Born on April 22, 1911, he was bred and owned by Sir Abe Bailey. He was from the first crop of his sire, Dark Ronald (who was sent to Germany in 1913) and was the first foal of his dam, the good juvenile winner, Mother-In-Law. Despite his mother's precociousness, Son-In-Law made only three starts late in his juvenile season, placing second in the first one by a head behind Tears and Smiles, followed by two unplaced performances.

It took two more starts as a three-year-old before he broke his maiden, in the Mildenhall Stakes over a mile and a half, winning by eight lengths. Unplaced behind classic prospects in his next out, he bounced back to win the Londesborough Plate against cheaper horses at the same distance as his previous win. A third in the Newbury Summer Cup was followed by an unplaced effort in the Ascot Gold Vase, but he won again at a mile and a half in the Dullingham Plate at Newmarket.

Bumped up to cup distances, Son-In-Law hit his best stride, winning the Goodwood Cup (2 miles, 5 furlongs) and Jockey Club Cup (2 1/4 miles) by year's end. Returning at four, there were some questions that Son-In-Law was insufficiently prepared for his campaign, yet he won the Cesarewitch Stakes (2 1/4 miles, setting a new stakes record) and a second running of the Jockey Club Cup (2 1/4 miles), proving his trainer, Reginald Day, knew exactly what was required to keep his horse fit.

Son-In-Law's only start at five was a win in the Warren Hill Handicap (2 miles, 24 yards). He was retired to stud with a record of 18 starts and eight wins, a record that would have been even more impressive had he been able to compete for the Ascot Gold Cup. This greatest of stayer's prizes was not run from 1915 to 1918 due to war in Europe, so Son-In-Law missed out on that cup, but his descendants dominated the race for decades.

Son-In-Law was a strong, handsome, masculine type with the leggy, short backed look of a stayer. His shoulder was tremendous but his withers were low. His hindquarters were strong, although with a high point of hip and marked drop to the croup, giving the appearance that he was lacking something behind. His front legs were not perfect, being a little steep in the pasterns. His head was long and elegant with a bright, alert, kind expression. He had no face marking and a white pastern on the right hind.

Son-In-Law retired to a long and productive stud career, dying at the age of 30 on May 15, 1941. He stood at Terrace House Stud in Newmarket, with a stud fee, in the Depression, of 300 guineas. He was the leading sire in Great Britain in 1924 and 1930. His only classic winner was Straitlace (1921 out of Stolen Kiss by Best Man), who took the Oaks in 1924, but his list of best runners is still a distinguished one. Rustom Pasha won the 1930 Eclipse Stakes and Champion Stakes. Trimdon won two Ascot Gold Cups. Foxlaw and Bosworth also won the Gold Cup. Epigram won the Goodwood and Doncaster Cups. Parenthesis won the Coronation Cup. Generally speaking, like their sire, his runners got better with age and distance.

Foxlaw sired two Gold Cup winners.
Rustom Pasha
Rustom Pasha became a top sire in Argentina.
Son-In-Law's sons continued the tradition as top influences for class and stamina. His most important sire son was undoubtedly BEAU PERE, a modest runner but a top sire in three of the four countries where he stood at stud. There is a separate portrait for this important stallion.

RUSTOM PASHA (1927 out of Cos by Flying Orb) began his stud career in France, but was moved to Argentina for the 1938 season, and there became a tremendous sire, getting Black Out and Moslem. TRIMDON (1926 out of Trimestral by William the Third) sired French-bred Marsyas II, one of the greatest stayers of the century in Europe, and himself sire of Macip, who also won the Ascot Gold Cup.

FOXLAW (1922 out of Alope by Gallinule), who died at the age of 13, sired Ascot Gold Cup winners Foxhunter and Tiberius in his short but successful career. Foxlaw also sired Foxbridge, who became a perennial leading sire in New Zealand, as well as Irish Oaks winner Foxcroft II.

BOSWORTH (1926), out of the outstanding broodmare Serenissima, proved particularly effective, getting St. Leger winner Boswell, Irish Oaks winner Superbe, Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Gainsworth, as well as Plassy, the main source of this male line today, through Plassy's son Vandale, sire of Herbager.

Epigram (1933 out of Flying Sally by Flying Orb) was bred on the same cross as Rustom Pasha, both out of mares by the same sire. Epigram sired Ascot Gold Cup winner Souepi, who was sent to Chile to stud, besides Irish St. Leger winner Esprit de France.

Although he was only a minor winner, Son-In-Law's son THE WINTER KING (1918 out of Signorinetta by Charleureux) proved influential, first as the sire of Barneveldt, winner of the Grand Prix de Paris, and then as the sire of King O'Connor, winner of the Canadian classic, the King's Plate. Barneveldt sired Derby winner Pont l'Eveque. Son-In-Law's son, Knight of the Garter was a good winner at age 2, and in the 1930s was second and third in the list of leading sires of jumpers, both hurdlers and steeplechasers, for several years. Other useful sons of Son-In-Law included APRON, WINALOT, DIADOCHOS, COMEDY KING, SON AND HEIR, CONSTANT SON, EMPIRE BUILDER, VALERIAN, and YOUNG LOVER, a top two-year old runner, which was out of the ordinary for his sire.

Son-in-Law, along with his sire, Dark Ronald, is seen more frequently in the pedigrees of the top 100 international show jumpers in the past decade than any other horse from any studbook. Their influence is primarily through the Holstein studbook. Son-in-Law was highly influential through his grandson, Cottage Son (by Young Lover), seen fourteen times in the pedigrees of sires of the top 100 show jumpers of the 1990s.

Lady Juror
Lady Juror, dam of Fair Trial
Epsom Oaks winner Straitlace
Son-in-Law's daughter, MAUREEN, was the dam of Furioso, who sired Olympic medal winning and World Champion show jumpers, and was significant in Selle Francais, Oldenburg and Hanoverian breeding. Son-in-Law's son, Tourist II, won the American Grand National twice, and was a good sire of top steeplechasers in America. Another son, Within-the-Law, sired 1947 Grand National winner Caughoo.

Daughters of Son-In-Law also proved worth their salt in flat racing. STRAITLACE (1921 out of Stolen Kiss) won the Epsom Oaks. However, the most important of his daughters was probably LADY JUROR (1919 out of Lady Josephine), dam of the great Fair Trial, as well as Riot (dam of Oaks winner Commotion), SANSONNET (dam of Tudor Minstrel), and The Recorder.

Another good daughter was ALOE, a sister to FOXLAW, from which the great American runner and sire Round Table descends.

Other important daughters included INKLING (dam of Stalino, Bright News), CASTELAIN (dam of Casterari), TRICKY AUNT (dam of Dhoti), LADY LAWLESS (dam of Uvira II), TRILOGY (dam of Light Brocade), BUCHANITE (dam of Breughel), GRASS WIDOW, SHOW GIRL, CONCORDIA, LA MOME, and BELLE ALLIANCE.

--Anne Peters

SON-IN-LAW, Dark Bay/Brown colt, 1911 - Family # 5- d
Dark Ronald
b. 1905
Bay Ronald
b. 1893
b. 1872
Lord Clifden
Lady Langden
Black Duchess
br. 1886
Black Corrie
blk. 1889
br. 1875
b. 1882
Blair Athol
br. 1892
blk. 1886
Match Girl
br. 1882
Be Cannie
ch. 1891
Jock of Oran
Blair Athol
Tunstall Maid

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