With a two-year trophy laden spell that many horses would struggle to match, Brigadier Gerard is a true legend of the horse racing industry. In a devastating career, the legendary British thoroughbred captured seventeen trophies across eighteen races. For many, it’s rated as one of the finest – if not the finest – of British horseracing in the whole of the 1900s.
With a win as a two-year-old in the Middle Park Stakes, things went from there as BG started to win more and more. From ages two to four, it claimed trophies galore suffering just a single defeat across its whole career.
That defeat came at the end, when it was beaten by Roberto in the first-ever running of the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup. With just one loss across a stellar spell, though, it’s safe to say that the career of BG could be summed up as one of perennial achievement.
Praised for a calm and cool temperament even when the heat was on, BG was a crowd favourite as it pulled itself into positions of power with ease. Joe Mercer was the lucky jockey to sit on the back of this legendary horse, trained by the likes of Dick Hern.
Together, they created a race machine that finished with a Timeform rating of 144. It was also elected by all 40 of the members of the Racegoers’ Club for the 1972 British Horse of the Year poll. It is, so far, the only horse to win the vote unanimously.
Achievements & Highlights
An incredible career that witnessed wins in everything it took part in bar one, it would be hard to give a single highlight or achievement for the horse. It even went on to become a stud in later life, although it’s success on the track was far more than its success as a sire. It’s two winning returns – Light Cavalry and Vayrann – are well-reputed horses, however. While it may have been a better racer than a sire, it’s still an important achievement to add to the plentiful list of successes it has already shared.
Wins – Washington Singer Stakes (1970), Middle Park Stakes (1970), 2000 Guineas (1971), St. James’s Palace Stakes (1971), Sussex Stakes (1971), Goodwood Mile (1971), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1971 & 1972), Champion Stakes (1971 & 1972), Westbury Stakes (1972), Lockinge Stakes (1972), Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1972), Eclipse Stakes (1972), K. George VI & Q. Elizabeth Stakes (1972).
Associations – John Hislop, Dick Hern.
Earnings – Over £250k.