) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse
and one of the most successful sires
in the history of the thoroughbred. In The Sporting Times
ranking of the Top 10 Great Britain Racehorses of the 19th Century (1886), St. Simon was ranked #4.
St. Simon was a dark brown colt, with a small star on his forehead and a few white hairs on the inside of his pasterns
and heels. He also tended to produce bay or brown foals, with the exception of his final foal, a gray filly. His final height was 16 or 16.1 hands (1.63 or 1.65 m) (sources differ in opinion), but his fine build made him look even smaller. His offspring also were usually slightly smaller than average. He had a fine head that was slightly dished, clean legs—although quite over at the knee—and a small back (another trait his offspring tended to inheirit). However, he was most certainly built for racing, with strong quarters and a very good shoulder, quoted as being "a study. So obliquely was it placed that it appeared to extend far into his back, making the latter look shorter" by the 1916 Bloodstock Breeders Review. His girth was said to be 78 inches (1.98 m), and his cannon bone 8.5 inches (215 mm) around.
St. Simon was quite hot, excitable, and nervous and was known to attack grooms and even kill barn cats. His offspring would also prove to have this same temperament, usually quite difficult to work with.
Foaled at William Barrow's Paddocks near Newmarket, St. Simon was by the good racehorse and sire, Galopin
. Galopin won 10 out of 11 races, including the Derby, and was a 3-time Leading sire, and his get included the dams of Triple Crown winner Flying Fox
, and Bayardo
. At the time of St. Simon's birth, however, he had not produced his best stock.
St. Simon's dam, St. Angela, was by King Tom, who also produced the broodmare Rudstone and Derby winner The Little Wonder. St. Angela was overall quite disappointing as a broodmare up to the time she had her sixth foal, St. Simon, at 16. However, she did produce the filly Angelica (by Galopin), dam to the stallion Orme (1889 by Ormonde).
The death of his owner in May 1883 led to a dispersal sale of all his stock, where he was purchased for only 1,600 guineas by the 25-year-old Duke of Portland, and moved to Heath House stables at Newmarket. The 16.1 hh colt began his racing career under jockey Fred Archer, at the 5 furlong Halnaker Stakes at Goodwood, winning by 6 lengths, and the following day he won the 6f Maiden Plate (to which he was eligible because he was a miaden at the time it closed, before his first race) by a length, carrying 133 lb. He then easily won a 5 furlong race against Clochette and Fleta, the 5 furlong Devonshire Nursery Plate (against 19 other horses, carrying 124 lb) by two lengths at a canter, and the 7 furlong Princes of Wales's Nursery Plate (Doncaster) carrying 126 lb and winning by 8 lengths against 21 other horses. St. Simon followed this by a win in a 6 furlong match against Duke of Richmond, to end his 2-year-old year considered the best of his age, despite never having won a major stakes race.
At three, St. Simon won by walk over at the 10 furlong Epsom Gold Cup. He then won the 2.5-mile Ascot Gold Cup by an incredible 20 lengths, despite having trailed in the beginning of the race, to beat Tristan (the best older horse of the year) and Faugh-a-Ballagh, and was so strong that it took almost a whole lap for his jockey to pull him up. At the 1-mile Newcastle Gold Cup, he beat his only other competitor, Chiselhurst, by 8 lengths, but suffered some damage due to the hard ground. He then beat former St. Leger winner Ossian by 20 lengths in the 2.5-mile Goodwood Cup. Additionally, St. Simon had easily beaten The Lambkin (who would win that year's St. Leger), that year's 2,000 Guineas winner Scot Free, and St. Gatien, who had dead-heated for the win a the Derby, showing he had the talent to win the Triple Crown had he ever had the chance to pursue that route.
The Newcastle Cup running caught up to him, producing serious leg problems, and he never raced again. However, he was kept in training, so did not begin his breeding career until he was 5.
Breeding career of St. Simon
He was a very successful sire and Champion Sire
in Britain nine times. He sired 10 classic winners including Diamond Jubilee
(winner of England's Triple Crown
), La Fleche (Fillies' Triple Crown) and Persimmon
(Great sire, winner of Derby
, 2,000 Guineas
, and Ascot Gold Cup). His skeleton belongs to the British Museum of Natural History
- 1893: Persimmon (Epsom Derby, St.Leger, Ascot Gold Cup, Champion Sire 4 times)
- 1889: La Fleche (Fillies' Triple Crown, Ascot Gold Cup, Champion Stakes, Cambridgeshire Handicap, 2nd Epsom Derby, dam of John O'Gaunt)
- 1897: Diamond Jubilee (Triple Crown, Eclipse Stakes, Argentina Champion Sire 4 times)
- 1893: St.Frusquin (2000Guineas, Eclipse Stakes, 2nd Epsom Derby, Champion Sire twice)
- 1887: Memoir (Epsom Oaks, St.Leger)
- 1887: Semolina (1000Guineas)
- 1887: Signorina (dam of Signorino, Signorinetta)
- 1888: Simonian (French Champion Sire twice)
- 1890: Mrs Butterwick (Epsom Oaks)
- 1890: Soult (NZ Champion Sire 5 times)
- 1891: Amiable (1000Guineas, Epsom Oaks)
- 1893: Roquebrune (dam of Rock Sand)
- 1896: Desmond (Champion Sire)
- 1897: La Roche (Epsom Oaks)
- 1897: Winifreda (1000Guineas)
- 1898: Pietermaritzburg (Jockey Club Stakes, Argentina Champion Sire)
- 1898: William the Third (Ascot Gold Cup, Doncaster Cup)
- 1900: Chaucer (Successful bloodmare Sire)
- 1900: Rabelais (French Champion Sire 3 times)