|Breeder||Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster|
Sir William Bass
Edmund Somerville Tattersall
Alec Taylor, Jr.
|Sceptre is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Ornament by Persimmon. She was born on 1899 in Great Britain, and was bred by Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster.|
July Stakes (1901)|
2,000 Guineas (1902)
1,000 Guineas (1902)
Epsom Oaks (1902)
St. James's Palace Stakes (1902)
Nassau Stakes (1902)
St. Leger (1902)
Hardwicke Stakes (1903)
Jockey Club Stakes (1903)
Duke of York Stakes (1903)
Champion Stakes (1903)
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
|Last updated on January 2, 2008|
Breeding and pedigree
Sceptre was bred by Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster at his Eaton Stud in Cheshire. Her sire, Persimmon, had won the Epsom Derby and St. Leger in 1896 and the Eclipse Stakes and Ascot Gold Cup in 1897. Sceptre's dam, Ornament, was sired by the Duke of Westminster's Bend Or and was herself a full sister to the Triple Crown winner, Ormonde.
The 1st Duke of Westminster died in 1899 and his bloodstock was auctioned. The Duke's trainer, John Porter, wanted the 2nd Duke to buy him but he was outbid by Robert Sievier who bought her for 10,000 guineas. Sceptre was not only an outstandingly good filly, she was also an extremely tough one. Sievier who trained her himself for most of her three-year-old season, was in almost constant need for funds and betting on Sceptre was one way to keep himself afloat. He ran Sceptre in a number of major races, particularly as a three-year-old, before finally selling her at the age of four.
Sievier sent Sceptre to be trained by Charles Morton at Wantage. She ran three times at two, winning the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom and the July Stakes at Newmarket before being beaten in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse. At the end of the season Morton became private trainer to Jack Joel and Sievier decided to train his own horses at a yard at Shrewton in Wiltshire which he leased from John Porter.
Staggeringly by modern standards, Sceptre began her season in the Lincolnshire Handicap with Sievier backing her to win £30,000. She carried 6 stone 7 pounds but was beaten by a head. She then went to Newmarket and won both the 2,000 Guineas, in a then record time of 1 minute 39 seconds and then two days later 1,000 Guineas. Her next target was the Derby but she bruised a foot ten days before the days and finished fourth behind Ard Patrick after being left at the start. Two days later she came out and won the Epsom Oaks. Despite this busy programme Sieiver then ran her in the Grand Prix de Paris, where she was unplaced and then twice at Royal Ascot, where she was fourth in the Coronation Stakes and won St. James's Palace Stakes. Sceptre also ran twice at Glorious Goodwood where she was beaten in the Sussex Stakes on the opening day but won the Nassau Stakes three days later after being galloped on the intervening two days. At the autumn meeting at Doncaster she won her fourth classic, the St. Leger but Sieiver than ran her again two days later over the same course and distance in the Park Hill Stakes, in which she was beaten. At the end of the season, Sievier sent Sceptre to auction to raise money but she failed to reach her reserve price.
1903 and 1904
Sceptre's four-year-old season began with Sieiver making another attempt to win the Lincoln to raise money. She carried 9 stone 1 pound this team and was beaten into fifth place. Sievier then sold her for £25,000 to Sir William Bass who sent her to Manton to be trained by Alec Taylor, Jr.. She won the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot before losing by a neck to Ard Patrick in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park with the 1903 Derby winner Rock Sand behind her in third. Sceptre won all her four remaining races in 1903, taking the Jockey Club Stakes, Duke of York Stakes, Champion Stakes and Limekiln Stakes. In her final season, 1904, she raced only three times but was placed in all three, finishing second in the Coronation Cup, and third in the Hardwicke Stakes and Ascot Gold Cup. She retired with 13 victories to her name, worth over £38,000.
Sceptre changed hands several more times, being owned by Edmund Somerville Tattersall of the Tattersalls family, John Musker and finally Lord Glanely. She produced eight foals (one colt and seven fillies), and although none of her offspring were anywhere near as good as she was, four of her daughters won races. One of them, Maid of the Mist, established a bloodline which could be found in classic winners Relko, April the Fifth and Craig An Eran. She remains the only horse to have won four British Classics outright - Formosa won the same four classics as Sceptre in 1868 but dead heated for the 1,000 Guineas.
In 1923 after failed attempts to get Sceptre in foal, Lord Glaneley sold her to a Brazilian breeder despite the promise that when he purchased her she would his remain in his care for the remainder of her life. However there was such a public outcry by her adoring fans that Lord Glanely canceled the sale. Sceptre lived peacefully in England until her death in February 1926.
- The Complete Encyclopedia of Horse Racing - written by Bill Mooney and George Ennor