Eclipse Introduction


With a composure on the track as cool as its name, Eclipse is one of the most famous horses of the era that it comes from. A powerful stallion of British origin, the stunning chestnut was bred by the Duke of Cumberland himself, and was owned by William Wildman and Dennis O’Kelly.


An undefeated horse across its career, it took on 18 races and won every last one of them, before retiring into the sunset. Afterward, it led a second ‘career’ as a wonderful sire, and today is seen as the pedigree in the vast majority of successful, modern thoroughbred horses.


Career Summary


Given the time that it ran in, the races that Eclipse won are rarely heard of today, if ever. From the first win at the Winchester King’s Plate to the Newmarket October King’s Plate, this fantastic beast took an incredible sum of success. Starting at the age of five, it won its first race with absolute ease. Early success seen it bought by Dennis O’Kelly, and ridden by John Oakley. Apparently, Oakley was the only one who could handle Eclipse, given its wild nature and hard to handle temper.


Also, it allegedly won all of its races without having to be fully extended – it was simply better than all who came before it. With over 63 miles ran during its career, it’s one of the most memorable horses in racing history.


While it may have run so long ago that nobody alive seen it run, this is a horse that has entered the book of legend for all the right reasons.


Achievements & Highlights


Wins – Winchester King’s Plate (1769), Salisbury King’s Plate (1769), Canterbury King’s Plate (1769), Lewes King’s Plate (1769), Lichfield King’s Plate (1769), VS Bucephalus (1770), Newmarket First Spring King’s Plate (1770), Gullford King’s Plate (1770). Nottingham King’s Plate (1770), York King’s Plate (1770), 6yo+ Great Subscription Purse (1770), Lincoln Heath King’s Plate (1770), Newmarket October King’s Plate (1770)


Associations – William Wildman, Dennis O’Kelly, John Oakley, the Duke of Cumberland.


Earnings – 2,149 Guineas.




L’Escargot Introduction


Many horses enter the racing sphere, win a few trophies, and vanish into relative obscurity. Like many sports, horseracing will see stars shine for a brief period of time before they leave the sport for various reasons. L’Escargot was one of the horses in this manner, having gone through a six-year spell winning five major trophies. Noted for being the horse that stopped the unstoppable movement of the world-class Red Rum at the Grand National in 1975, L’Escargot is remembered more for stopping history being made than the successes it had itself!


Career Summary


Running in four Grand Nationals, from 72-75, it eventually was the winner as it lifted the 1975 edition – the famous year where it stopped Red Rum on its path to dominance. Under the guidance of the likes of Tommy Carberry and Dan Moore, it managed to stun Red Rum with a 15-lengths victory, ensuring that it became one of the most controversial yet celebrated wins on the circuit.


With Cheltenham Gold Cup wins in 1970 and 1971, too, this was a horse that managed a fleeting but majorly successful period of time on the race course, before fading away to relatively obscurity.


Today, the horse can be found as part of the brilliant National Museum of Racing in the United States. It’s also listed as a Hall of Fame inductee, when it was voted as the American Champion Steeplechase Horse of the Year in 1969.


These impressive stats and feats across a 53 race career showcases that, despite being most remembered for its 1975 successes, that there is more to L’Escargot than meets the eye.


Achievements & Highlights


Wins – Meadow Brook Steeplechase (1969), Cheltenham Gold Cup (1970, 1971), Grand National (1975).


Associations – Raymond Guest, Dan Moore, Tommy Carberry.


Sam Twiston-Davies



Noting on the official Twiston-Davies – a common name in racing fans lexicon – website that he has ‘been riding really sine I could stand’ it’s no surprise that Sam Twiston-Davies is growing up to be one of the most respected young jockeys on the circuit. With aristocratic blood in him from the success of his father, Nigel, Sam is a chip off the old block!


A rider for the fun of it as well as to avoid having to a get a ‘real job’ by his own admission, Twiston-Davies has been riding from a young age. Like many sports stars, he realizes that this allows him to live a life that few could dream of, while doing something that he truly loves.


Career Summary


With a budding career in the sport that awaits, Twiston-Davies started to see major success when he made his Grand National debut in 2010. He rode Hello Bud on the 10th April, creating what was the very beginnings of a truly exemplary and memorable career path for both. His first major win came at Christie’s Foxhunter Chase, when he rode Baby Ru to success at the Cheltenham Festival.


It’s not just who he is related to that sets Sam Twiston-Davies apart from the rest: it’s that desire to win and to always success regardless of the depth or the scale of the challenge that awaits. At 21, he was already the top jockey for Paul Nicholls, replacing Daryl Jacob. Over time, we’re going to see the emergence of one of the true stars of the next generation.


Achievements & Highlights


Major Wins – (very hard to research this guy – the information is so vague, not sure what would be considered ‘major’ for him, sorry!)


Associations – Twiston-Davies family, Paul Nicholls.