Origins Of the Breed: Darley Arabian

Author: Jana Nemeckova, published: 7th October 2017, updated 11th January 2018

Error report

Darley Arabian

Darley Arabian was born in 1700 in Syria, and the story of his arrival in England is a fairy-tale on its own as he was acquired by British Consul, Thomas Darley, in neither a very clear, nor probably very honest way from his loving owner, Sheikh Mirza. His family cared for the horse until his death at the age of 30, and although it is said that he only covered a few mares outside Darley's own, he sired a number of good runners. But this article is about his early influence on the breed, so apart from the family "running" matters - which applies to his great son "Flying" Childers too - we should start with the first descendants of Darley Arabian.

The oldest one was Aleppo, born in 1711 out of Hautboy Mare. His influence wasn't very distinctive, as his son Spark became damsire of Lee's Mark Anthony, one of the early American stallions - who can be, however, traced very far through the pedigrees, including the 1940 Triple Crown hero Count Fleet via Lee's Mark Anthony’s ancestor Arab, or solely through broodmares, like the German stallions Gundomar and Grande, from the same era. A similarly subtle influence is that of Bonny Lass, Darley Arabian's granddaughter and the foundation mare of the family No.1 - her granddaughter Julia became the ancestress to no less than 17 classic winners in the third and fourth generation, some influential stallions like Whisker and Whalebone included. Moreover, Julia was half sister to Crab colt Spectator, damsire of the first Epsom Derby winner and major sire Diomed, among other classic winners.

Flying Childers, often celebrated as the first really great racehorse, actually ran only six times, including two walkovers, one match and one three-horse race, but he retired untested and with a lot of interest from breeders. As a sire, aside from his male influence, he was damsire of mare Horatia, who, when bred with Spectator, produced two full sisters, future dams of Diomed and Young Eclipse - the first and the second Epsom Derby winner, respectively. Young Eclipse left no mark, but Diomed by Florizel did, being ancestor of Sorcerer, Muley, Phantom and Priam, and above all, sire of Sir Archy, a fundamental American stallion. Flying Childers's son Blaze had a similar influence, being damsire of Herod, and through his son Sampson, also an ancestor of influential sires like Orville, Sir Paul or Cervantes. Another big part of Blaze's influence was his male line, which continued through Sampson to grey colt Messenger, who was exported to the United States - and became damsire of Diomed's grandson American Eclipse, among others. More about grey colt Messenger will be published soon in an article about the origin of the grey colour in thoroughbreds.

As for Sampson, he probably deserves a few more words, or better to say that his ancestors deserve them. Sir Paul was a direct male line ancestor of Wild Dayrell and third sire of Physician by Brutandorf. Orville by Beningbrough sired several influential stallions, including Octavius, Mulley, Emilius and Touchstone's damsire Master Henry. And finally, Cervantes was, first and foremost, damsire of Melbourne, giving Sampson's influence a much wider perspective. However, Sampson was no match for another grandson of Flying Childers, called Snap. Being born 25 years before the first classic race was ever run, Snap was the direct ancestor of almost 40 classic winners in the first four generations, counting only those of his female or less known descendants - which is very important to note here, meaning that many others were left out, including foals by sires like Sir Peter Teazle, Conductor or Waxy. Snap did well with Godolphin Arabian's line, resulting in Conductor by Matchem, and much later in two sons of Sorcerer, Thunderbolt and Smolensko - Thunderbolt was the fourth sire of several less known, yet important stallions like Plum Pudding, The Peer, The Prime Minister or Pippermint; Smolensko was damsire of Royal Oak and Venison. Another fine example is Medley, an early, influential American stallion who was born by Godolphin Arabian's grandson out of Snap mare, Godolphin Arabian's granddaughter. Linebreeding to Eclipse and Marske was even better, producing Shark, Saltram and Waxy, and later Waxy's sons Whalebone and Whisker. However, probably the biggest Snap's influence was Sir Peter Teazle by Herod's ancestor Highflyer, followed by Herod’s two sons, Justice and Fortitude - Justice's son Mentor was damsire of Smolensko, and Fortitude's grandson John Bull became the third sire of Newminster. Spadille, another Highflyer colt, didn't have that much influence, but his son Highland Fling was the third sire of Whalebone's major son Defence. Sir Peter Teazle's son Walton moved the nick further, producing Partisan, sire of the great French horse Gladiator. And finally, for smaller stallions - Buzzard's son Bustard became the damsire of Lanercost, the third sire of The Ill-Used and Alarm, among many good horses; Rugantino's son Nabocklish was damsire of Harkaway, and Buffer became the grandsire of grey stallion Drone, damsire of Chanticleer and more interestingly (if not importantly), he passed on the grey gene to many modern grey thoroughbreds.

It's very well known that Flying Childers's branch wasn't the one which continued the line. Well visible from the scheme, both Sampson and Snap were great sires of mares, and the same applied to both Mambrino and Messenger, who moved the line to its furthest point. It's worth saying that apart from American Eclipse out of Messenger mare, Mambrino was third sire of Bertrand, ancestor of Longfellow by Leamington, major sire of Waxy's sireline. Longfellow's blood can easily be traced via his son Riley to Burgomaster, Halcyon and Admiral's Voyage to Danzig, to say the least. But as stated, the male line's successor was Flying Childers's unraced full brother Bartlet's Childers.

Bartlet's Childers's daughters produced several stallions, who were actually no match for the progeny of Flying Childers. As for Janus, it took several generations before his families started to produce some great horses; his full brother Blank was the fundamental son of Godolphin Arabian, whose daughters can be traced in the families of Diomed, Stamford, Delpini or Higflyer, not to mention his own son Pacolet. But that's exactly where the glory ends, as both Old England's and Slouch's progeny includes only several classic winners. Spark - son of Aleppo - was damsire of Lee's Mark Anthony, mentioned a while ago, and Skim became the fourth sire of Little John and Election, useful sires. Technically speaking, the only important son of Bartlet's Childers, Squirt, wasn't much better, as he only sired two important colts, both born in 1750. "Technically" disappeared really quickly with Squirt's grandson Eclipse, but long before him there's was Squirt's own son Syphon.

Syphon's dam was inbred to Bay Bolton, and she was granddaughter of the great Crab granddaughter. Like Marske later, he was the first sign of change in Bartlet's Childers's descendants, as he was not only the ancestor of several classic winners, but also the sire of two good stallions. Older Sweetbriar was the third sire of the brothers Rugantino and Buffer, who were already mentioned when speaking about Snap; Recovery was the damsire of Gemma di Vergy’s colt Rococo, and Drayton was the damsire of Marignan, sire of Le Petit Caporal, who can be found in the Le Pompon family. Younger Tandem was even better, having 8 classic winners among his progeny and being damsire of Sir Paul, male line ancestor of Wild Dayrell. He was also the third sire of Humphrey Clinker, sire of Melbourne. As for Syphon himself, he was the third sire of Sancho, whose son Prime Minister influenced several good sires in the first half of the 19th century.

As for Marske, he and Syphon had little in common, except one cross called Bay Bolton. But Marske showed similar abilities to Syphon, siring two more good sons as well as Eclipse, Shark and Young Marske. As for Shark, "good son" is maybe a bit of an exaggeration, as all his fame comes from his one daughter named Violet, who produced two classic winners and became the granddam of a third one, a Sorcerer colt named Soothsayer, the third sire of Bay Middleton, to name his most important descendant. On the other hand, Young Marske and his son Shuttle proved to be a powerful duo, the former being fourth sire of Comus, sire of Humphrey Clinker, and of Merlin and Buzzard - ancestors of Mortemer and Doncaster, respectively. The latter, Shuttle, became damsire of Bustard - not only the paternal grandsire of the influential Australian stallion Fisherman, but also the third sire of Orlando. His other grandson, Godolphin by Partisan became the third sire of Eclipse by Orlando, or Eclipse II, a major American early sire best known for siring Ruthless, the first female winner of the Belmont Stakes.


Still one of the greatest legends even more than 250 years after his birth, Eclipse was the one who turned a successful line into a really powerful and progressive one. Not only thanks to his own impressive record - his number of stallions he influenced was quite close to the Snap himself; but mostly thanks to his descendants, who were, probably, even much more successful than Eclipse himself. This may sound like a blasphemy, but Touchstone's record of almost 70 classic winners is absolutely astonishing, and Birdcatcher isn't very far behind. Not to mention tens of stallions, who made greater broodmare impact than Pot-8-Os or King Fergus themselves. However, Eclipse was definitely the one who started this "revolution" and deserves to be credited for it.

It's worth reminding what kind of pedigree Eclipse had. Aside from his notoriously known sireline, his damsire was Regulus by Godolphin Arabian, giving him his part of a credit for the birth of this giant. However, Eclipse's pedigree is completely free of Byerley Turk, who was born in the early 1680s. This may be a bit surprising fact, but actually, Byerley Turk's line was quite "slow", producing Jigg and Basto around 1700, Partner and Soreheels around 1720, Tartar, as the third generation of Byerley Turk's ancestors, in 1743, and successful sire Squirrel in 1754. It was Tartar, whose daughters produced the first major representatives of this combination in Eclipse's sons King Fergus, Mercury and Volunteer, and Herod's daughters became important partners of Eclipse too, but it was too soon for the chestnut wonder himself. To get back to Eclipse's pedigree, aside from these two "big" lines, Eclipse wore no less than five crosses of Lister Turk, two via Snake and two via Rutland's Coneyskins, and even 9 crosses of Hautboy, son of Darcy's White Turk. Four more crosses, although quite hidden in the pedigree, were added by D'Arcy's Yellow Turk. So much for Eclipse being perceived as some kind of a "modern" stallion.

It's a well-known fact that Eclipse had several important sons at stud. Both Pot-8-Os and King Fergus sent their lines forward deep into the 20th century, but the line of King Fergus, despite playing the major role for the most of the century, slowly disappears in the second half of it. It happens simultaneously in numerous branches, including all descendants of St. Simon - Prince Rose, Bois Roussel, Ribot and Wild Risk, which is a very painful loss. Pot-8-Os's line, on the other hand, got Phalaris in 1913, solving the problem probably once for all; Nearco in 1935 and Native Dancer 15 years later did the rest. But both sirelines were spreading widely since their beginning, and we'll look at it in a moment. As for other sons of Eclipse, Joe Andrews never got quite the same power as the previous two, although his line is co-responsible for Herod's great successor Glencoe, Thormanby, Vedette, Parmesan, Buccaneer, Gladiateur, Hampton and American sires Alarm and The Ill-Used, to name a few. The last two carried the blood of Lanercost, born in 1835, who was one of the last major stallions of one small branch of Joe Andrew's line; the other led through Lottery and Sheet Anchor to Weatherbit, whose sons Kelpie and Beadsman sent the line to the threshold of 20th century, the former in Australia, and the latter in Great Britain and France.

Joe Andrews wasn't the last major son of Eclipse, but the last one who kept the line going. Mercury, born in the same year, sired successful stallion in Gohanna, the ancestor of Venison, St. Albans, Sir Hercules, and West Australian. More importantly, Gohanna's grandson Catton was a much greater influence - his son Sandbeck was the ancestor of The Flying Dutchman, Lord Lyon, and Bend Or, while Mulatto added Voltigeur and Lord Clifden, and Royal Oak the whole French branch, including Monarque or Dollar. However, the line was done with Prince Charlie's third sire Sesostris, born in 1845, and with useful, but not any influential American stallion Planet, born in 1855.

Dungannon, born two years later, was only a minor influence compared to others, as he was only the damsire of Walton, sire of Phantom and Partisan, with the latter one spreading Walton's line to a great success. Phantom's damsire was Whiskey by Saltram, who in fact left nobody else; aside from Phantom, Whiskey had great success with King Fergus's grandson Orville, producing Muley, Priam and Emilius. Volunteer, the third colt born in 1780 as well as the previous two, made the biggest impact with his grandson Ardrossan, future third sire of Newminster. Volunteer's son Spread Eagle also became the third sire of Medoc, American foundation sire and the fourth sire of Spendthrift. Alexander, born in 1872, was the third sire of both Sir Hercules and Touchstone and the fourth sire of Macaroni; a year younger Meteor added Pantaloon. Brush was only a local influence, which can be, however, traced in the pedigree of Dollar, and Pegasus's only important foal was Expedition, damsire of Medoc. The very last important son of Eclipse was Don Quixote, especially through his son Cervantes, who became the damsire of Melbourne and the third sire of Thormanby. Another son Amadis became the third sire of brothers Van Tromp and The Flying Dutchman.

With this list, we named a good part of thoroughbred breeding history, but Pot-8-Os and King Fergus added incomparably bigger ones. Let's start with the latter one, the chestnut colt born in 1775.

King Fergus

Paternal part of his pedigree aside, his dam Creeping Polly was the rare success of Portmore's Othello, son of great Crab by Alcock's Arabian; other crosses were added by Tartar and Bolton Starling, the direct male descendant of D'Arcy's White Turk. Creeping Polly was inbred to Sister One to Mixbury through Tartar's sire Partner and his half-sister, dam of Crab; another curiosity is six times present Old Morocco Mare - through six different horses, namely Crab's damsire Basto, Tartar's sire Jigg and his damsire Spanker, Tartar's damsire Fox, in the family of Flying Childers, who's King Fergus's fifth sire, and finally, in King Fergus's own family.

King Fergus's line quickly split into two major branches. The first one was of Beningbrough, a bay colt born in 1791, out of Herod mare out of Pyrrha, who was 3x3 linebred to Godolphin Arabian via Matchem and Whitenose. Beningbrough, his son Orville and Orville's sons Muley and Emilius were all outstanding sires of mares, and sons of Emilius later proved the same, especially Priam and Plenipotentiary. From all their influence, let's only briefly name horses like Royal Oak, Longbow, The Baron, Sheet Anchor, Stockwell, Rataplan, Rayon d'Or, Adventurer, Sting, Weatherbit, Vermouth, Speculum, Oxford, Bonnie Scotland, Androcles or Bend Or. Another son of Orville, Master Henry, added Touchstone, and grandson Muley Moloch another titan in Thormanby. Also, several stallions had the impact on early American breeding - Emilius's son Sarpedon became the damsire of Lexington, his grandson Yorkshire had the influence in Virgil and Bramble, and Muley's sons Leviathan and Margrave are co-responsible for Himyar and King Alfonso. But as successful as the line was - a huge number of classic winners included - it was unable to get the tail-male successor, and its swan song was the generation of the late 1830s, which included Tros - the damsire of Yattendon, Ambassador - the third sire of Himyar, Pompey -the third sire of Arbitrator, St. Martin - the third sire of Billet, and Albion - the fourth sire of Irish Lad, although all of them were already nothing more than random successes.

Hambletonian, a bay colt born in 1792 and the St. Leger winner, was, interestingly, bred on much the same pattern as Beningbrough. His damsire was Highflyer, the son of Herod, and his granddam was also linebred to Godolphin Arabian, also via Matchem and via Babraham. His fourth dam, Crab Mare, had, aside from her sire, a great influence of both Hautboy and Byerley Turk. Hambletonian's line wasn't so successful at the first sight. Camillus was the ancestor of only Voltigeur, and his paternal grandson Rowton was the ancestor of Dollar; Hambletonian himself added nothing more than two good sons of Emilius. Everything changed with Hambletonian's grandson Blacklock, born in 1814, who spread the line not into any top producers, but still good sires with a solid impact. This included Blacklock himself as the third sire of The Baron; Brutandorf - the fourth sire of Musket, The Cure - the third sire of Ormonde, his son Lambton - the third sire of Marco, Hetman Platoff - the third sire of Solon, Ratan - the third sire of Doncaster, Laurel - the third sire of Leamington, Maleck Adel - the third sire of Wild Dayrell, and Belshazzar - the third sire of Hermit. There were only two outstanding colts in the line, sons of Blacklock born in 1825 and 1826, respectively - Velocipede and Voltaire. Velocipede became the damsire of Ithuriel and the fourth sire of Alarm, to name only a few of his achievements; his son Hornsea became the little-known fourth sire of St. Simon. Voltaire became the damsire of Sweetmeat and the third sire of both Lord Clifden and Galopin, but more importantly, also the sire of Voltigeur. Born good half of the century after Hambletonian, Voltigeur not only won the St. Leger, but also the Derby; his indirect influence included several good horses, led by American Colin by Commando, and it's important to say that his sons made some impact too, as Skirmisher was the third sire of Gallinule, John Davis was the damsire of Chaleureux, and Billet the ancestor of Whisk Broom. But it was Voltigeur's dark bay son Vedette out of Birdcatcher mare, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas, who sent the line forward on the border of the 1850s - and he did so amazingly, being the direct male ancestor of St. Simon, to say the least.

King Fergus's surviving line:

However - we're still left with the pure fact that King Fergus's line survived with the only one branch. With Pot-8-Os, the story was totally different.


Once again, Pot-8-Os was a good sire, but no miracle compared to his successors, or even to Eclipse himself. However, he did sire dams of Partisan, Lottery or Brutandorf, and he also had several classic winners among his progeny. But the line got much stronger with his son Waxy, grandson of Herod and the Derby Stakes winner of 1793, who became the third sire of Glencoe and the fourth sire of Bay Middleton, and the number of his classic winners wasn't "several", but several tens. Waxy, once again, had two major successors, and just like King Fergus, the one which was born later was the one less important - Whisker. Out of a great family of Prunella and inbred 3x4 to Herod, although his damsire Trumpator was the descendant of Godolphin Arabian, Whisker was another Derby winner from 1815. He was no shame to his own sire, as he became the damsire of Marsyas and Cotherstone, the third sire of both West Australian and his son Australian and also of Monarque, and the fourth sire of Parmesan or Strathconan. He sired two good colts in 1825, Economist and The Colonel; the latter one was the founder of strong Australian sireline running from Cap-A-Pie to Yattendon, Chester and Grand Flaneur. Economist himself became the damsire of The Baron and the grandsire of King Tom. Son of great Pocahontas, King Tom was half-brother to Stockwell and Rataplan, and he ran second in the Derby 1854. King Tom didn't possess any sire dominance, which was so typical for the rest of the Waxy line; however, he was able to continue his sireline in America to King Alfonso, which is the reason he's listed as a successor in the following scheme. Another American influence, which can't be left aside, is his son Tomahawk's daughter Cinderella, dam of Hastings and Plaudit, but actually, King Tom had greater impact as the European sire of mares, as he was the damsire of St. Simon and Royal Hampton, and the third sire of Orme and Cyllene's sire Bona Vista. Which means that there's really a lot to talk about in the future article about King Tom.

Speaking of the "dominance of the rest of Waxy's line", there's only one thing which needs to be said: King Fergus left only one successor. So did Whisker. Waxy's another son Whalebone left ELEVEN more.

And, to be exact, he did so via four different branches of his sons, and via eight different stallions in total. The first of these sons, Whalebone, was actually the full-brother to Whisker, and the Derby Stakes winner of 1810. He was the third sire of Bonnie Scotland, but he was a better sire of sires than of broodmares, and so was his first important son Waverley, from an unimportant family out of Sir Peter Teazle mare, who was 2x2 inbred to Highflyer. The second son was black Camel, born five years later in 1822, out of Selim Mare from another an unimportant family; he was only a small stakes winner over two miles. The third one, bay colt Defence, born in 1824, broke down in his first race, and it took another six more years before his brother Dangerous won the Derby. Their dam was by Rubens out of Highland Fling mare, which was good, but not any top pedigree. And the last one, Sir Hercules, another black colt of 1826, ran third in the St. Leger to Rowton and Voltaire. He wore three crosses of Eclipse - his own sireline and two more via Mercury's son Gohanna and Eclipse's son Alexander. Anyway, if there was a less probable group to literally save the world, we would be probably searching for it for a very long time.

But Waverley sired Don John, the St. Leger winner heavily inbred to Sir Peter Teazle, who left only a handful of foals - but they included the future third dam of Sainfoin, and a colt named Iago, who ran second to the Derby winner Pyrrhus the First in the Newmarket Stakes 1846. Iago, from similarly few foals, got Gladiator's grandson Bonnie Scotland, winner of the Doncaster Cup and second from the St. Leger, who was sent to America - to become a leading sire there, and he established one of the major sirelines of Ben Brush, Broomstick, Sweep and many others.

Defence was good a sire of mares, being the damsire of Pyrrhus the First, and the third sire of a group of very good stallions in Cambuscan, Rosicrucian, See Saw or Glenelg. His best son The Emperor was a kind of genetic mistake, being 2x3 inbred to Defence's own dam - this Rubens x Highland Fling mare, who was accompanied by Beningbrough, Dick Andrews, and Gohanna - the descendants of Eclipse from all possible branches. The Emperor was the double Ascot Gold Cup winner from years 1844 and 1845; he was sent to France after breeding season 1850. He apparently sired only one crop of foals there, which included the first two from the Prix du Jockey Club 1855, Monarque and Baroncino. Monarque, the grandson of Royal Oak, not only sired the Triple Crown winner Gladiateur, but also Trocadero and Consul, who sent the line far into the 20th century, thanks to Le Pompon and his son Sardanapale.

Both Sir Hercules and Camel proved to be superstars. The first of them, Camel, was the ancestor of several good sires by himself, The Nabob or Musket included, but his son Touchstone was far beyond any superlatives. Linebred to Eclipse via Master Henry, the son of Orville and the descendant of King Fergus, Touchstone wore a real curiosity in inbreeding to another Eclipse's son Alexander, who was his third sire, but also one of the ancestors of his sire Camel. Touchstone also had several crosses of Highflyer, and Godolphin Arabian via his grandson Amaranthus. Touchstone proved to be the excellent stayer, winner of the St. Leger in 1834, the Doncaster Cup in 1835, both the Doncaster Cup and the Ascot Gold Cup in 1836 and one more Ascot Gold Cup in 1837. As for his stud career, he's the close ancestor of almost 70 classic winners, and of more than 20 influential stallions - West Australian, Parmesan and several Australian and New Zealand sires included. Many sons of Touchstone had some influence at stud, including Annandale - the damsire of Saxifrage, Paragone - the damsire of Lord Lyon, Assault - the third sire of Strathconan, Flatchatcher - the damsire of Sterling, Surplice - the damsire of Prince Charlie, Ambrose - the damsire of Rayon d'Or and Wellingtonia, Lord of the Isles - the sire of Scottish Chief, Tournament - the third sire of Gost, and Atherstone - the fourth sire of Desmond. But Touchstone's sireline continued through three more sons - Ithuriel, Orlando, and Newminster.

Ithuriel was the grandson of Velocipede, the descendant of Hambletonian, and the most interesting thing on his pedigree isn't the third cross of Alexander, but his third sire Milo, son of Sir Peter Teazle, who was 2x2 inbred to Sir Peter Teazle's dam Papillon, beside being 3x3 inbred to Herod. Ithuriel wasn't any important winner and not a good sire either, but one of his few sons, Longbow, won the Doncaster Stakes and the Stewards Cup, and also ran only one length behind the double classic winner Stockwell in the Great Yorkshire Stakes. Longbow was a better sire, the ancestor of both Gay Hermit and St. Frusquin, but it was his son Toxophilite, the second from the 1858 Derby behind Beadsman, who brought the line to fame. The first part of it was Musket, the classic sire in Great Britain and outstanding influence in Australia and New Zealand, including the great Carbine. The second part was his famous granddaughter La Fleche and her half-sister Maid Marian, who produced John O'Gaunt, the sire of Swynford, and Polymelus, the sire of Phalaris, respectively. Toxophilite's sireline, carried on by Carbine's sons Spearmint and Spion Kop, was able to survive through the whole first half of the 20th century, so it clearly earned a place in another article.

As for Orlando and Newminster, both were simply great sires. Orlando, the Derby Stakes winner of 1844 and later multiple champion sire, got a number of sires among his progeny, as well as a number of classic winners; his sons didn't do any worse, as Teddington became the damsire of Doncaster, Marsyas the damsire of Springfield, Chevalier d'Industrie the third sire of Isinglass, and Chattanooga's son Wellingtonia the third sire of Ajax and Tracery. But the line continued with two colts, Eclipse and Trumpeter. Eclipse, or often "Eclipse II", was the grandson of Bay Middleton, and his dam was 3x3 inbred to Phantom and Filagree, through their daughter Cobweb and her full unnamed sister. He was from the same crop as Toxophilite, and actually dead-heated with the Derby winner Beadsman for the Newmarket Stakes in 1858. As a four-year-old, Eclipse was sent to the United States, where he became the major influence. Aside from filly Ruthless, who was mentioned before, he became the ancestor of Foxhall and Henry of Navarre, as well as other classic winners, and above all, his son Alarm continued the line towards Domino, Peter Pan, Equipoise, famous American "B" sires - Black Toney, Blue Larkspur, Balladier and others, and also to Alsab, Ack Ack, and Broad Brush, which means that the whole line survived well into the 21st century. Another important son of Orlando, Trumpeter, hailed from the family of Whalebone and Whisker, with his damsire Redshank being from the Mercury's branch of Eclipse's line. His dam was four times inbred in the fourth generation, to both Beningbrough and Evelina - parents of Orville and his full sister, and to Buzzard and Alexander Mare, parents of Selim and Rubens. Trumpeter ran third in the Derby to Newminster's son Musjid, and with his son Plutus, who was exported to France, he was able to establish the small, several decades lasting line, which included Flageolet, Rayon d'Or or Beauminet.

The last of three major sons of Touchstone, the St. Leger winner Newminster, didn't have any fashionable pedigree, with sires along his family being Dr. Syntax, Ardrossan, Whitworth and Spadille; for the record, Whitworth was by Agonistes, a Sir Peter Teazle colt once again inbred 2x2 to his dam Papillon, and out of mare by Jupiter, son of Eclipse. But Newminster's dam was great staying filly Beeswing, the winner of 60 out of her 63 starts, and four times winner of the Doncaster Cup - in addition to the Ascot Gold Cup in 1842. Interestingly, Newminster was the full brother to the Two Thousand Guineas winner Nunnykirk, and also to the One Thousand Guineas third Honeysuckle, which is quite interesting considering the fact that both his parents were the Ascot Gold Cup winners. Newminster's sire record was slightly less impressive than the one of Orlando, but he became the third sire of Carbine and Le Samaritain and the fourth sire of Bona Vista. As for his less important sons, Adventurer was the third sire of Barcaldine, Cambuscan the third sire of Ogden and the fourth sire of Grey Leg, and Strathconan the third sire of Le Sancy and the fourth sire of his son Le Sagittaire, and also of Colin. Like Orlando, Newminster left two successors, Lord Clifden and Hermit.

Chestnut Hermit was the Derby Stakes winner of 1867, although his pedigree wasn't any more fashionable than his sire's. His dam was by Tadmor, a son of Ion, followed along the family by Cowl, a very good, yet not famous son of Bay Middleton; by Blacklock's son Belshazzar, and finally Starch, rather obscure Irish colt by Waxy Pope. Hermit became the excellent sire, having some influence through broodmares in Hurry On's sire Marcovil, Nearco's fourth sire The Sailor Prince, Negofol, both Desmond and Chaucer, Swynford, Gallinule, major German sire Prunus, Omnium - the damsire of Bruleur and Ksar, Exterminator's sire McGee, Sundridge's sire Amphion, Bachelor's Double, Rock Sand, Tredennis, Cyllene, Marco, Friar Rock, Star Shoot and Peter Pan - to give at least instant idea how great he was. Hermit had several influential sons like Tristan, St. Blaise, Candlemas or St. Mirin, bud he also became the grandsire of Voter, establishing his own small American sireline. But his major successor was the double French classic winner Heaume, who ran the line towards Sans Souci, La Farina and Bubbles, who kept the line alive to the second half of the 20th century.

Lord Clifden, on the other hand, was a royally-bred colt of 1860; the grandson of Melbourne, who was followed in pedigree by Voltaire, Mulatto and Filho da Puta. He hailed from the female family of Martha Lynn - the dam of Voltigeur, the granddam of Compiegne, the third dam of Camballo and the fourth dam of Xaintrailles, Friar's Balsam, Le Samaritain, and Carbine, not to mention numerous classic horses in the whole family. Lord Clifden had somewhat of a wild career, being the top juvenile, winner of the Woodcote Stakes and the Champagne Stakes, but he lost the Derby by a short head after a delayed start due to more than 30 false starts. He had to fight for the Great Surrey Foal Stakes the very next day after the Derby - and only two weeks before he was taken to France for the Grand Prix de Paris, where he got beaten by seven lengths in a fifth-place finish. Lord Clifden was then sent for the St. Leger, losing 100 yards to the rest of the field early, and still he won by half a length - after this effort, he was claimed the best horse in the world. Only two days later he was forced to contest the Doncaster Stakes, and won by the same margin over Borealis. His four-year-old campaign was the overall failure, framed by such stories like the Chesterfield Cup, where he was shot down by his own half-sister and fell badly; the very same day, he walked over for sweepstakes of £100. His indirect influence wasn't as strong as Hermit's, although he was the damsire of Sir Hugo and the third sire of Perth. His own son Wenlock became the damsire of Isinglass, and another son Petrarch established a small line in France thanks to The Bard. But the key name here was Hampton, a bay colt from the family of Bonnie Scotland, Blair Athol, Breadalbane, Beauclerc, and Broomielaw, who sent the line deep into the 20th century with two major branches of Son-in-Law and Hyperion.

The last missing son of Whalebone is Sir Hercules, whose branch continued via two sons, this time full brothers Birdcatcher and Faugh-a-Ballagh. Their Irish dam Guiccioli was inbred 3x3 to Bagot, and once more in the fourth generation to his sire Herod. Mating to Sir Hercules added quite sophisticated fifth generation inbreeding to Eclipse, Woodpecker, Highflyer and one more cross of Herod, despite the pedigree itself wasn't any impressive, with sires like Bob Booty, Escape, Bagot and even Hero, son of Cade out of a mare by Spinner, son of Almanzor. Faugh-a-Ballagh won the 1844 St. Leger over The Cure, the same horse who beat him for the Champagne Stakes; he added the Cesarewitch Handicap in the same season and lost the Cambridgeshire Handicap only to Evenus. Faugh-a-Ballagh is well remembered for three names: his daughter Fille de l'Air, his grandson Bertram, who became the sire of Robert the Devil, and for Leamington - talented stayer, whose career was probably too much affected by his betting owners. Leamington's biggest wins were two editions of the Chester Cup, although he was able to defeat great rivals like Prioress or Fisherman with no effort, only to lose in much more important races. Leamington started his stud career alongside Newminster, which would be a complete disaster for any horse, and so it was for Leamington; he was sold to America in 1865, and immediately produced the outstanding first crop, which included Longfellow and Enquirer, both future major sires. Leamington's line didn't last too long, but it did existed for several decades, including American double Horse of the Year Henry of Navarre, and British classic winner Iroquois.

Birdcatcher won or placed in all but one of his 15 races, although not many important stakes. At stud he had a great record similar to the one of Touchstone; he had more than 50 classic winners and became the damsire of Vedette and Solon, the third sire of Kendal and the fourth sire of Barcaldine, Ormonde, and half-brothers Hastings and Plaudit. He was also the good sire of sires at the same time, getting Chanticleer - the damsire of Strathconan and The Ill-Used, Knight of St. George - the third sire of The Bard and the fourth sire of Knight of Ellerslie, and Saunterer - the damsire of New Zealand sire Stepniak. Birdcatcher got three stallions who continued his line - one son and two grandsons. This only son was Oxford, the grandson of Plenipotentiary from the family of Weatherbit. In fact, neither of Birdcatcher's sons was able to emulate his stud record, and Oxford was no exception, although he became the damsire of New Zealand sire Hotchkiss by Musket, and the damsire of Pepper and Salt. But one of his sons was Sterling, second in the 1871 Two Thousand Guineas to Bothwell, who possessed much more talent. He was the damsire of Australian sire Bill of Portland and New Zealand sire Castor, the third sire of Bay Ronald and the fourth sire of Minoru and Black Jester, aside from many other successful horses. And if this wasn't enough, he was the sire of great Isonomy. Isonomy's line led directly to Swynford, founder of one of the greatest dynasties in the history of turf; his son Isinglass started its smaller analogy in the German line of Louviers, the tail-male ancestor of Ticino.

The very last branch remaining, with two more descendants of Birdcatcher, came from his son The Baron, a chestnut colt linebred through Whalebone and Whisker. The third major influence in his pedigree was King Fergus via Hambletonian and Blacklock, and one generation further via Beningbrough and Orville. The Baron won the 1845 St. Leger, and much like Oxford fifteen years later, he wasn't any great producer of broodmares, leaving a nice number of classic winners, but only grandsons Vermouth, Vertugadin and Mortemer, and great-grandson Galiard. But The Baron was bred twice to mare Pocahontas - two years before she gave birth to Harkaway's son King Tom, the very first Pot-8-Os's successor mentioned here - and resulting foals were Stockwell and Rataplan. Quite interestingly, this mating added another cross of Waxy and Penelope, parents of Whalebone and Whisker, this time through their daughter Web, granddam of Glencoe; it also brought the inbreeding to Orville. Younger Rataplan was the unlucky member of the crop of the Triple Crown winner West Australian, to whom he ran third in the St. Leger and fourth in the Derby. Overall Rataplan won more than a half of his 82 starts, which is quite a unique achievement for any major stallions, which he definitely was, being the damsire of Cremorne, Wenlock and Kisber, and the third sire of Elf II and Amphion. Rataplan was also a good sire of sires, including Blinkhoolie, Kettledrum and Ben Battle; Blinkhoolie's sireline was active in the 1920s in both USA and Australia, and it survived four more decades longer in Argentina to Guatan, the ancestor of Pleasant Colony or Turkoman. But as almost always in the line, the older sibling was the one much more successful, and so it was with Stockwell, who, with all the respect especially to Eclipse, Lord Clifden and Oxford, established far the most powerful branch of all Eclipse's ancestors. Stockwell was very impressive racehorse especially in his three-year-old season, winning both the Two Thousand Guineas and the St. Leger; he ran eighth in the Derby but concluded the season with eight consecutive wins, including an easy defeat of the Cesarewitch Handicap winner Muscovite. As a four-year-old, Stockwell ran second only by a head in his only start, the Ascot Gold Cup. Stockwell's stud career is definitely a topic for another series of articles; let's only say now that his sireline continued to such giants as Tracery or Friar Rock in America; Blair Athol's line existed for several decades, and so did those of Master Kildare, Robert the Devil and Lord Lyon. Bend Or continued the line towards German sire Fervor and Bachelor's Double; his son Ormonde added another branch of Flying Fox and Teddy, leading to Americans Sir Gallahad and Bull Dog, and much later to Sword Dancer, but also to French colts Tantieme, Sunny Boy, British Borealis, Italian Ortello and German Magnat. Ormonde's son Orby added the branch of The Boss, and Bend Or's son Orbit line of Argentinian Old Man. Another son of Bend Or was Radium, sire of Clarissimus. And finally, the most important son of Bend Or was, retrospectively seen, Bona Vista, sire of Cyllene - who added numerous own branches like Chateau Bouscaut, Friar Marcus, Valais, great Phalaris and his sons, including Pharos - sire of Nearco, Sickle - ancestor of Native Dancer, Fairway - ancestor of Court Martial, Petingo or Great Nephew, and finally Pharamond, ancestor of Tom Fool.

The following scheme - aside from the fact it tries to explain the complicated structure of all Eclipse's descendants - is, in fact, a brief description of the most of major roots of the modern thoroughbred.

Pot-8-Os's surviving lines:

Darley Arabian's complete sireline

The following scheme contains all major sires since the inception of the line in the early 18th century, to approximately 1850 - with the exception of stallions, whose line didn't continue for more than 3 generabotions after this date. In this case, their line is completed in this article. The sirelines which continued after 1850 (Vedette and all ancestors of Pot-8-Os) will be analyzed in full in the future articles.

Colour distinction:

Classic winners are, in most cases, direct tail-female ancestors of daughters of designated sire; with the exception of influence via really minor and unimportant stallions, which means that these classic winners would otherwise completely fall out of the scheme.

Please note that coloured names serve also as links between themselves, although only within this sireline. Once the articles about Byerley Turk, Godolphin Arabian, and other foundation sires are done, all the names will be interconnected within the one "interactive" file. For now, hover the names with your mouse to find out which one is linked: the first one is Orville on the 16th line.