Jump to: navigation, search

Gainsborough (horse)

Sire Bayardo
Dam Rosedrop
Grandsire Bay Ronald
Damsire St. Frusquin
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1915
Country Great Britain
Color Bay
Breeder Lady James Douglas
Owner Lady James Douglas
Trainer Alec Taylor, Jr.
Record 9: 5-1-1
Earnings £14,080[1]
Gainsborough is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Rosedrop by Bayardo. He was born around 1915 in Great Britain, and was bred by Lady James Douglas.
Major wins
Autumn Stakes (1917)
2,000 Guineas (1918)
Epsom Derby (1918)
St. Leger Stakes (1918)
Ascot Gold Cup (1918)
13th U.K. Triple Crown Champion (1918)
Leading sire in Britain & Ireland (1932, 1933)
Leading broodmare sire in Britain & Ireland (1931)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on 17 October 2009

Gainsborough (1915-1945) was a British bred Thoroughbred racehorse who won the English Triple Crown in 1918 and became a superior sire.



Owned and bred by Lady James Douglas (1854-1941), she named him for the town of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire because she liked how it sounded. Gainsborough was sired by Bayardo, who also sired the 1917 Triple Crown winner Gay Crusader, and was out of Rosedrop who won the 1910 Epsom Oaks and £9,809. [2] Gainsborough's damsire was St. Frusquin who won 11 races including the 1896 2,000 Guineas, and £33,960. Galopin was duplicated in the third and fourth generations of Gainsborough’s pedigree. He was not a big horse, but possessed very good conformation and a kind temperament. Gainsborough was quite mature when he was offered at the yearling sales, but did not reach the reserve that was placed on his price.[1]

Racing record

Lady Douglas sent Gainsborough to trainer Alec Taylor, Jr.'s training centre in Manton, Wiltshire to prepare the colt for racing. As a two year old, Gainsborough made three starts at the Newmarket Racecourse but showed limited promise, winning just one race, the Autumn Stakes by two lengths.[2]

When a three-year-old, Gainsborough's winning performance in the 2,000 Guineas marked the first time a horse bred by a woman won one of the British Classic Races and the first time a Classic winner carried a woman's colours. Ridden by jockey Joseph Childs, to help the War effort he donated his winnings to his 4th Hussars regiment to which he was attached.

Triple Crown

Following his win in the 2,000 Guineas, Gainsborough won the most prestigious race in England, the Epsom Derby. He then earned victory in the Ascot Gold Cup at a distance of just over two miles (3,219 metres) and in September won the St. Leger Stakes by three lengths over a strong field to become the 13th U.K. Triple Crown Champion in history. Gainsborough finished second in the Jockey Club Stakes following which he was rested as a four year old. [3]

Stud record

In 1920 Gainsborough was retired to Lady Douglas's newly established Harwood Stud horse breeding operation at Woolton Hill, near Newbury, Berkshire. [2]

Gainsborough had a brilliant stud career, becoming the leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland in 1932 and 1933. A breeding source for great stamina, he was the sire of a number of Classic Race winners such as:

  • Hyperion - won the 1933 Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes and himself was a champion sire six times.
  • Solario - winner of the 1925 St. Leger Stakes and the 1926 Ascot Gold Cup who went on to be 1937's leading sire in England
  • Singapore - won the 1930 St. Leger Stakes
  • Orwell - won the 1930 2,000 Guineas and £29,251.

Gainsborough's daughters did not distinguish themselves on the track but were good broodmares, that included: [3]

  • Gainsborough Lass was his best race mare having run third in 1,000 Guineas and won £7,984.
  • Mah Iran, the dam of Migoli who won £22,950.
  • Una Cameron - dam of 1931 2,000 Guineas winner Cameronian

Ownership change

In 1940, failing health forced Lady James Douglas to sell her Harwood Stud, including Gainsborough. Under an agreement with new owner Herbert Blagrave, Gainsborough remained there until his death in 1945. He is buried on the 120-acre (0.49 km2) Harwood property that was eventually renamed Gainsborough Stud in his honour and since 1981 has operated as Gainsborough Stud Management Ltd. under the ownership of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), Thoroughbred Breeding of the World, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Prior, F.M., "Register of Thoroughbred Stallions", Vol. VI, The Sportsman Office, London, 1923
  3. 3.0 3.1 Leicester, Sir Charles, Bloodstock Breeding, J.A. Allen & Co, London, 1969

External links


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...