Kincsem's sire, Cambuscan, was owned by Queen Victoria. He was sold to Hungarian interests in 1873 and was brought to stand at the Hungarian National Stud, Kisber. Cambuscan, second in England's St. Leger Stakes in 1864, was by Newminster, his dam, The Arrow was by Slane. Kincsem was out of the Hungarian mare Waternymph, a daughter of the English horse Cotswold, by Newcourt (by Sir Hercules). Kincsem's third dam, Seaweed was also by Slane making her inbred to him in the third and fourth generations. A perhaps apocryphal story surrounds the beginnings of Kincsem. Running with a group of fifty horses on the grounds of her owner's ancestral Hungarian home, she alone was lanky and ungainly. She would stand with her head low and her eyes half-opened. One night she went missing and when found again, was with a band of gypsies. "Why," asked her puzzled owner of the thief, "steal this horse when there were so many better to choose from?" "Because," answered the gypsy, "The other horses may be better looking, but she was the best of the lot. She'll be a champion
Kincsem's career began in 1876. She was entered for ten races in ten different places in Hungary, Germany and Austria as a two-year-old and won them all.
As her unbeaten streak against Europe's best horses continued, Kincsem attracted great interest from the European racing public. Emperor Franz Josef was known to be a fan. As a three-year-old she won the Two Thousand Guineas in Pozsony, the One Thousand Guineas and the Oaks in Budapest, not to mention the Austrian Derby, the Kaiserpreis in Vienna and the Grosser Preis von Hanover and Grosser Preis von Baden. In all she had seventeen victories.
Her four-year-old campaign was equally successful, beginning with nine straight victories. She travelled to England to take part in the Goodwood Cup, but injury to the fancied Verneuil meant it was an easier challenge than expected.
As a four-year-old Kincsem won the Grand Prix de Deauville and the Grosser Preis von Baden again (after a run-off following a dead-heat).
Kincsem had her fiftieth victory in Frankfurt the next year. Her last race was the Hungarian Autumn Oaks which she won for the third time.
Kincsem (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈkint͡ʃɛm]; Hungarian for "My Precious" or "My Treasure"; March 17, 1874– March 17, 1887) was the most successful Thoroughbred race horse ever, having won 54 races for 54 starts. Foaled in Kisbér, Hungary in 1874, she is a national icon, and is revered in other parts of the world, too. Over four seasons she won all her races against both female and male company at various race tracks across Europe, a record still unbeaten
Kincsem retired at the age of seven and was only at stud for a short time.
Her five offspring were:
Budagyöngye ("Pearl of Buda"), filly 1882, by Buccaneer. Won German Derby
Olyan Nincs ("None Such"), filly 1883, by Buccaneer. Won Hungarian St Leger.
Talpra Magyar ("On Your Feet Hungarian"), stallion 1885, by Buccaneer. Untried, but sired the exceptional, Tokio, winner of the Austrian Derby, Grosser Preis von Baden, and the Hungarian St Leger.
Kincsőr ("Guardian of Treasure"), stallion 1886, by Doncaster, second in the Austrian Derby and died shortly before the German Derby in which he was highly favoured.
Kincs ("Treasure"), filly 1887, by Doncaster. Untried, she became an influential broodmare, her daughter Napfény ("Sunshine") being a major stakes winner and in turn producing the good filly Miczi, winner of stakes races in Hungary and Austria.
The progeny of Kincsem's three daughters won 41 classic races in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary and Italy.
She died on her thirteenth birthday March 17, 1887 from a colic attack, shortly after the birth of her last foal, Kincs. Newspapers across Hungary edged their pages in black the day she passed. Flags were flown at half mast.
There is a life sized statue of her near the stadium at Kincsem Park in Budapest where the Kincsem Museum is located.
Melbourne Cup week 1930: Phar Lap’s Flemington onslaught
Derby Day. 1 November 1930.
On this day, a week after winning the Cox Plate, Phar Lap backed up in the Melbourne Stakes over a mile and a quarter. Today this race is the 2000m Mackinnon Stakes. This race was at WFA and Phar Lap beat another champion and second favourite in the race Amounis (Amounis ran third) and a horse named Tregilla that ran second. This race since almost the dawn of time has been used to warm up a horse for the Melbourne Cup; so the fact that Phar Lap won this race was no real surprise. Well actually it was a little bit of a surprise because the day before the Melbourne Stakes, gangsters or bookies had tried to kill Phar Lap to avoid the huge Melbourne Cup payouts that they were facing. Phar Lap jumped at 5-1 on ($1.20) and won untouched in what was a training gallop by three lengths.
Melbourne Cup Day. 4 November 2013.
We all know that Phar Lap won the 1930 Melbourne Cup, and it was a stunning win. The champ won effortlessly by three lengths while carrying what today equates to 62.5kg and Phar Lap started odds on; he is still the only horse ever to start odds on in the Melbourne Cup. Consdiering the amount of people who bet on the Cup, it is still amazing that despite the big weight and the Great Depression, this horse started odds on. The weight of money behind him to get him to odds on must have been huge. This shows that the public support was simply huge; the Great Depression was raging, but people still found a little money to all to a man back Phar Lap. The Cup win makes it two for the week for Phar Lap and he was not even half done. The champ again won by three lengths and was again untouched. He paid 11-8 on ($1.72).
After winning the Melbourne Stakes and the Melbourne Cup (with a record weight for a four-year-old) Phar Lap was not sent for a spell, but rather the connections kept him running. Harry Telford’s theory was if you want a pet get a dog. Racehorses are born to run. With this in mine, Phar Lap took on a crack field of hard and fit milers over the mile in the Linlithgow Stakes. This race has now been reduced from 1600m to 1200m and moved to Emirates Stakes day. We cannot estimate how hard it is for a horse to comeback from 3200m to run in a 1600m race two days later. On the Tuesday Phar Lap had effortlessly carried a weight that would have killed Atlantic Jewel, to victory over 3200m. Now he was lining up in a 1600m race just for the sake of it. And of course he won. He was 7-1 on ($1.14) and won accordingly untouched by 4 lengths. This made it three wins in Cup week 1930 and he still had one more to go.
The Final Day; today known as Emirates Stakes Day. 8 November 1930.
On the 4th and final day of the carnival Phar Lap was entered in the mile and a half C.B. Fisher Plate (2400m) and betting for one of the only times in the history of Australian racing was stopped due to everyone accepting that Phar Lap was over the line. He had won three races in the week already but the bookies still felt he was unbeatable and as such they did not take bets on the champ. That basically means he jumped at $1.00. If you bet ten dollars and he wins you get back your ten and nothing else. Not really worth the risk is it? Well the bookies were right and Phar Lap won untouched by 3.5 lengths thus giving him four wins in Melbourne Cup week 1930. One win per day for the four day carnival. Extraordinary.
It is highly unlikely a horse will ever race on all four days again.
Four wins in a week. Sensational stuff.
CARBINE THE BEST OF ALL TIME?
During his career on the race track, Carbine started 43 times for 33 wins, six seconds and three thirds, failing to place only once due to a badly split hoof. He was popular with racing fans, and sporting commentators of the day praised him for his gameness, versatility, stamina and weight-carrying ability, as well as for his speed.
Carbine, nicknamed Old Jack, was undefeated in five starts in top-class races as a two-year-old in New Zealand. He then was taken to Australia, where he won nine of 13 starts as a three-year-old. One highlight that year was his win in the AJC Sydney Cup of 2 miles (3,220 metres) carrying 12 lb (5.5 kg) over weight-for-age. Despite suffering interference at the half-mile post and being buffeted back to last place, Carbine won by a head in a record time of 3 min 31 s. (Race times were slower in Carbine's era than now due, among other factors, to the rough state of tracks and the upright posture in the saddle assumed by 19th-century jockeys.) At the end of his three-year-old racing season, Carbine was sold by his owner-trainer Dan O'Brien for 3,000 guineas and prepared by his new owners for racing in Sydney and Melbourne.
As a four- and five-year-old, Carbine won 17 of what would prove to be his last 18 races. On four occasions Carbine won twice on the same day. His victory in the 1890 Melbourne Cup was noteworthy. He set a weight-carrying record of 10 st 5 lb (66 kg) in the Cup, defeating a field of 39 starters and setting a record time for the race. He carried 53 lb (24 kg) more than the second-place horse, Highborn.
Carbine was owned for most of his Australian career by Donald Wallace, a wealthy horse-breeder, investor, and Member of the Victorian Parliament. Walter Hickenbotham, a prominent Melbourne-based horseman, trained him. Wallace and Hickenbotham planned to enter Carbine in the 1891 Melbourne Cup and other major events of that year's turf calendar but a chronic heel injury thwarted their intentions, and Carbine was retired to Wallace's stud.
Over half of the 65 Melbourne Cup winners from 1914 to 1978 were descendants of Carbine, including Comic Court, Phar Lap, Rising Fast, Rain Lover and Think Big. Statistics and contemporary assessments indicate that he was a dominant antipodean racehorse of the 19th century, and he still ranks with such 20th-century Thoroughbreds as his descendants Danzig, Nearco, Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Nasrullah, Nijinsky II (winner of the UK Triple Crown), Royal Charger and Royal Palace (who have established their own sire-lines] in terms of renown among turf historians.
The descendants of Carbine include eight of the nine horses to earn $10,000,000 or more in stakes wins. These horses are Deep Impact, Makybe Diva, Narita Brian, Sunline, Symboli Kris S, T M Opera O, Viva Pataca and Vodka. Modern day competitors Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra trace to Carbine through both their sire and dam.
Carbine died at Welbeck on 10 June 1914. He had suffered a stroke and was put down with a drug to end his suffering, according to the horse's 'biographer', Grania Polliness. The Duke of Portland gave his skeleton to the Melbourne Museum. Today it is displayed at the Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Melbourne. Carbine's combined record of documented success as both a racehorse and an international sire is possibly unequaled by any other Australasian Thoroughbred.
Carbine had his portrait painted by the noted equine artist, Martin Stainforth and it was reproduced in Racehorses in Australia.
Carbine's mounted head and tail are in the collection of the Auckland War Memorial Museum
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