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DEATH OF THORMANBY.

{The Field, March 6.) The man who puts his trust in the health of a horse has not, according to Shakespeare', any very satisfactory security for his investment — a proverb of which Mr. Gee has of late felt the full force. The death of Lord Clifden at Pewhurst has been followed by that of Thormanby at Newmarket, the one a winner of the St Leger in 1863, and the other of the Derby in 1860 ; while either had at one time promised to be amongst the moat successful noises at the stud. In fact, the loss of two such valuable animals, under the control of the same person, within so short a period, is altogether unprecedented. Thormanby, bred by Mr Plummer, in 1857, waa thought to be by Windhound ; ulthough his dam, the famous Alice Hawthorn, was also served by Melbourne, then quite woin out. Windhound, an immensely powerful bloodlike horse act-off by coarse (junrters, was by Pantaloon out of Pliryne by Touchstone ; and certainly Thormanby bore the leuat possible resemblance to hia reputed sire. Neither did he take much after hia dam, no doubt one of the best mares of the century, and a daughter of Muley Moloch, out of Rebecca by Lottery. Her produce included tho especially good-looking Lord i'auconberjj, full of quality and subßtance, and, barring hifi Blnlwitoher hock, perhaps at all points the "likeliest" horse ever seen in a show ring ; his being bought up for the foreign market was a great loss to the country. Then the stylish lop-eared Oulstort had much of the high-bred character of hia dam, but for proof Thormanby was far away the pick of her produce. Still, most of them could ! run a bit, and it is somewhat extraordinary, with such antecedents as Torrona, Oulston, and Lady Hawthorn) that Thormanby wa>, as a yearling, offered in vain at tilt- hammer, but ultimately tukuti towards the close of the season by Matthew Dawson for Mr, Merry, to whom he whs then private trainer, for <"JSO guineas, Just about this time the m.inifest abuses of two year-old racing wero coming to attract more and more attention, but Thormanby 's career clearly furnished an exception. In 1858, as a two-year-old, he started fourteen times, and won nine, inivariably running close up when he was not absolutely first ; he began, however, at the very commencement of the season, in March at Northampton, and finished quite at the closeof the Hougbton meeting at Newmarket ; while duriui? this time he went all over the country—to Northampton, York in the spring and summer, Chester, Ascot, Goodwood, and Newmarket in the October meetings. We certainly fancied he looked stale and ran a jaded horse in the Socond October when Aurora cut him down for the Clearwell j but in the same week he won the Prendergast, and in the Houghton the Criterion, when he changed places with Aurora. Hut, great as was these performances, it was considered that he had been rather overmarked, while rumours got about of high blowing, as his half or own brother Oulstoa was a terrible roarer. Thus, although he wintered well, Thormanby was by no means the rage for the Derby—a race for which he waa reserved, and which he eventually won. The field was a large one and a sensational one, Farmer Wyatt, the owner of Nutbourne of the faulty forehand, objected before starting to the American Umpire ; but being, as he after* j wurdn wrote, " hi a state of some excitement i as the owner at a favourite," he made the I fullest apology to Mr. Tea Broeck, Again, the piacy of that gmt horse JUua'tuwr fa

the race did much to weary his owner, Lord Portsmouth, of racing; while the way in which the fnvourite, the faint-henrteii but good-looking Wizard, cut it when culled upon, served to show the essential difference between the first and second ; how the one wanted, and the other had, a heart. Nevertheless, there was only a point between the two at starting, for Thcrmanby came into more favour directly he wns seen, iis one of the fittest horses ever stripped. "I don't want to look at any more of them," was the curt commentary of a good judge an he hurried out of the paddock back to the ring. " Our little lad," as Daw son called distance, was up, and he proved then and hereafter how worthy he was of his mount. Thormanby went amiss soon after Epsom, and never won atrnin during the season, being beaten off in .the St Ledger by lorns which had succumbed to him in the Derby. He came back to his true form, however, by the next season, when he won the Ascot Cup against a good field, including St. Alban (who won the St. Leger when they had last met), that nood mare Fiiirwater, and the since celebrated Parmesan. We never remember seeing n horse run atraighter or gamer than Thormanby over these two miles and a half, and we should be inclined to rank it as his very best perform, ance. He never ran in public after tins season, but in the spring of 1862 we saw him leading gallops for Buck-stone over Russley Down, and may be pardoned repeating here a sketch the writer then gave of him : " Mark that lazy, careless, self-satisfied looking 'old horse' as they fondly call him, which leads the string ! See how the boy has actually to kick him along in his lolloping walk, or even to strike at him sharply through the heavy clothing with his ash plant ! But the chestnut, as he honours you with just one sagacious glance through that plaided cowl, says, as plainly as can be, that he knows this :s all child's play, and that he can go away when he is really wanted to ko. He speaks but the pimple truth, for he is the champion of his order, the best horse in the world -at tins moment, who has done more, and has done it better, and has worn longer than anything else we should see. were our pilgrimage on the Downs to reach on to its utmost limit. The Derby, the Royal Cup, the Great Two-yea--old—-even his trainer can scarcely trust his memory to tcll^of all- that low lengthy animal has achieved." That lazy, Belf. satisfied, or self possessed temperament tells something of the secret of hi« wearing as well rh he has done Then, he was long and low, standing something under sixteen hands high, short in the cannon, and capital over his back and quarters, a wiry, clean-made, but rather plain horse, throwing back neither to the beauty of his dam nor the beef of Ins sire. With his stock first appearing in 18GG, Thormanby proved himself in nine seasons the aire of close upon a hundred winners ; while at one time, what with Plaudit to begin with, backed by the magnificent Sunshine, he looked like becoming a great horse at the stud. This promise, however, has not been fulfilled, and latterly his reputation in this sphere had not been maintained, and, iv fact, anything especially good amongst his stock has always been the exception. Still such winners as Sunshine, Atlantic, Plaudit, Hester, Thorwaldsen, Tomahawk, Crocus, and Cashmere will always do him credit, and the strain may be sought for hereafter.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18750508.2.74

Bibliographic details

DEATH OF THORMANBY., Otago Witness, Issue 1223, 8 May 1875

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DEATH OF THORMANBY. Otago Witness, Issue 1223, 8 May 1875

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