Charles XII, 1839 by J.F. Herring Senior


Charles XII, 1839


J.F. Herring Senior

Ref GM1520
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 20" x 16" (50 x 40 cm)
Price Add to basket
Charles XII was a brown colt bred in 1836 by Major Nicholas Yarburgh. He was out of the Prime Minister mare Wagtail, whom the Major had also bred at Heslington Hall, near York; she also produced the Blacklock son Laurel who was a great cup winner in the north, and Laurel's sister, Belinda, second in the Doncaster St. Charles XII was a weedy and somewhat delicate youngster who reached 16 hands by the age of three, but he proved to be a game stayer who ran for five seasons. He won what was apparently his first race, at age three, the Liverpool Cup, beating some good horses, such as Epirus and Lanercost. Yarburgh sold Charles XII after this season to Andrew Johnstone, a native of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, who was a partner in the firm of Jardine, Matheson & Co., a trading company that did business in China and India. Johnstone had been in India and the far east for a number of years, and returned home in 1839 with a fortune and a yearning for a good racehorse to spend it on. He commissioned the innovative trainer Tom Dawson, then at Brecongill stable at Middleham, Yorkshire, to buy him a horse for £3,000; Dawson advised him he could purchase two good horses at that price, and initially proposed he purchase Hetman Platoff and The Provost, neither of which were of sufficient quality for Johnstone. An offer was made on Euclid for £2,000, which his owner, Mr. Thornhill, turned down. Finally, a deal was struck with Yarburgh for Charles XII for £3,000, and Johnstone had the pleasure of running the horse for the remainder of his years on the turf. Upon hearing of her son's purchase of Charles XII, Mrs. Johnstone purportedly exclaimed "I cannot think what Providence was doing to allow me to give birth to a son who is sae daft as to pay all that money for a racehorse." In 1840, his first season owned by Johnstone, he won only one race, the Grosvenor Stakes at Liverpool, beating the three year old and more lightly weighted Maroon. At age six his best wins were a 1,000 sovereign match against Hyllus (by Sir Hercules) at Goodwood, and a few days later a win of the Goodwood Cup for the second time, beating eight other horses. That year he also won the Challenge Whip and 65 sovereigns at Perth, and the Gold Cup at Dumfries, both times beating only one other horse, the Voltaire son Foxberry. His other races included second place to Bee's Wing, by four lengths, in the 2 mile Newcastle Cup; second to Bee's Wing by five lengths in the Doncaster Cup, beating two others; second to Cabrera in the Kelso Cup, in which three horses ran.