Bat­ten res­ur­rects fa­mous scar­let silks

One Night Stand will carry the colours worn by Clas­sic win­ners in the 19th cen­tury

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Racing - MAR­CUS ARMYTAGE

On Satur­day, One Night Stand will carry the hopes of trainer Wil­liam Jarvis and owner David Bat­ten and his part­ners in the Tat­ter­salls £150,000 Oc­to­ber Auc­tion Stakes. Of course Bat­ten, who worked for Tat­ter­salls man and boy, clock­ing up 47 years’ ser­vice, would dearly love to sup­ple­ment his mea­gre pen­sion with a dol­lop of his old em­ployer’s cash.

But the well-named geld­ing – he is out of Tipsy Girl – will carry the all-scar­let silks that, dur­ing the lat­ter half of the 19th cen­tury, were as fa­mous and suc­cess­ful as the all-blue of Godol­phin to­day.

Back then they be­longed to Wil­liam Stir­ling-craw­furd, who was mar­ried to the dowa­ger Duchess of Mon­trose, an enor­mous lady whose size was only matched by her for­tune and who dyed her hair red – it clashed badly with the silks, earn­ing her the nick­name “Car­rie Red”.

In those days the Jockey Club did not ac­knowl­edge the ex­is­tence of women and they were not al­lowed to own horses, let alone train or ride them.

But the Duchess, who had “an un­even temper, lit­tle of the Duchess about her” and fell out with ev­ery jockey who rode for her, bred them and ran them in her third hus­band’s name.

They were car­ried to vic­tory in the 1878 Derby by Sefton (af­ter whom she named her Newmarket sta­bles, Sefton Lodge).

Other Clas­sics in­cluded the 1,000 Guineas win­ners May­on­aise (1859), The­bais (1881) and St Mar­guerite (1882), the 2,000 Guineas win­ners Moslem (1868) and Gang For­ward (1873), the Oaks with The­bais (1881) and St Leger with Craig Mil­lar in 1875.

Grad­u­ally the silks have worked their way down­wards and side­ways through Bat­ten’s pedi­gree. Though there was a fal­low spell when the colours were not used much, he res­ur­rected them when he had a few syn­di­cate horses in the Eight­ies and even­tu­ally in­her­ited the fa­mous silks a few years ago.

If noth­ing else, One Night Stand de­serves to win for Bat­ten’s long ser­vice. He only had one other job in his work­ing life, which was in the now de­funct Dil­lons Univer­sity Book­shop in Gower Street. In order to get a job there, you had to be go­ing to a univer­sity, which Bat­ten had no in­ten­tion of do­ing.

When asked what sub­ject he was go­ing to study, he re­called what a friend was about to read and replied: “Law and phi­los­o­phy.” He was duly put in the depart­ment dis­pens­ing books on the sub­ject and, af­ter a month of be­ing asked for books by “yet another weirdo au­thor”, he quit, join­ing Tat­ter­salls as a tea boy.

Well done to the straw­berry roan 16-year-old 138cm rac­ing pony Push The But­ton, who won her 50th race in the Charles Owen (race­course) se­ries at Mus­sel­burgh on Sun­day. She and Thomas Brad­burne, her 12-year-old jockey (I had bet­ter de­clare an in­ter­est here, he is my nephew) won by a nose. If you add in her wins in Pony Club and point-to-point races it comes to about 70 vic­to­ries, and she can claim to have set Char­lotte Green­way, Sean and James Bowen and So­phie Smith – shortly to be an ap­pren­tice with Ed Dun­lop – on their way.

Like a lot of ponies which come out of Ire­land, her ori­gins are not en­tirely clear, but it is be­lieved she started life as a driv­ing pony and I can only imag­ine col­lect­ing the gro­ceries can­not have taken long, with her pulling the cart.

It is a mark of Gee Brad­burne’s pow­ers of per­sua­sion that when it came to fund­ing her pur­chase, she not only roped in god­par­ents and friends, in­clud­ing BBC rac­ing cor­re­spon­dent Cor­nelius Lysaght, Hen­nessy-win­ning trainer Lavinia Tay­lor and Eve John­son-houghton, but she even per­suaded the pony’s for­mer owner, Kate Smith, to re­tain a quar­ter share.

When she was taken to run at the Fife point-to-point so that Thomas’s grand­par­ents, train­ers Sue and Johnny Brad­burne, could see her run, the book­mak­ers had never heard of her and she opened up at 5-1. Af­ter ev­ery­one had helped them­selves, she was sent off at 1-10.

Half-cen­tury mile­stone: Thomas Brad­burne and Push The But­ton

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