MR. DARLEY'S ARABIAN: A History of Racing in 25 Horses


MR. DARLEY'S ARABIAN: A History of Racing in 25 Horses

CHRIS MCGRATH    Book Number: 87197    Product format: Paperback

Thomas Darley was an adventurous employee with the Levant Company based in Aleppo in Syria, and in 1691 he joined a risky expedition to find the marble pillars and exquisite carvings of the fortress at Zenobia. In 1702, in another sortie to the land of the Bedouin, he bought a colt with a large blaze and three white ankles. This was "Mr Darley's Arabian" and after Darley's death the horse was eventually shipped by a friend back to England, where it became the ancestor of most of today's thoroughbred racehorses. This fascinating book traces 25 of its descendants through three centuries. Darley's Arabian was one of about 2000 stallions imported from North Africa in the later 17th century, most of which found their way to north Yorkshire, where a group of wealthy aristocrats had established a near-monopoly. Cromwell's generals had recognised the need for faster, lighter horses, and General Fairfax became a leading breeder at his estate in Helmsley. The Darley Arabian never raced, but produced about 20 foals, the most famous of which, Flying Childers, was a great racer but not a stud, while its brother, the thin-skinned Bleeding Childers, was more successful siring foals. Their descendants include the commercial stallion Eclipse, painted by Stubbs, and the story culminates in the astonishing 1987 victory of Frankel in the Dewhurst Stakes. Trainers, owners and jockeys all come vividly to life, while each chapter has a description of "A Day at the Races" featuring a spectacular win. 426pp, paperback, colour photos.
Published price: £13.95
Bibliophile price: £7.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781681776804
Browse this category: Sport

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