The internationally acclaimed bloodstock and racing writer Tony Morris has a new series in Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, an online publication that is attracting some worthy contributors.

The goal of the series is to profile 100 breed-shaping horses, and Morris is up to number 5 at present. One subject that I found of particular interest was the racehorse and stallion Sultan (bay 1816 by Selim x Baccante, by Ditto).



Sultan as he appeared in a portrait by Lambert Marshall at the Marquess of Exeter’s stud. Are there hints of Northern Dancer about him? (photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)


Sultan was quite a good racehorse who became a much more notable stallion, siring four consecutive winners of the 2,000 Guineas, among other things. I had been aware of Sultan because he sired classic winner Glencoe, who was exported to America after a single season at stud in England, where he sired the great producer Pocahontas.

That alone was enough to guarantee Glencoe a place in breeding history, but here in the States, the handsome chestnut became a major sire in his own right, and standing at R.A. Alexander’s Woodburn Stud in Kentucky, Glencoe’s daughters became the underpinnings of much of the success of the great sire Lexington, “the blind hero of Woodburn.”

In addition, Glencoe established a male line of his own, primarily through the Woodburn-bred Vandal, and more about him can be found here.

The principal strength of this “American” line came through Kentucky Derby winner Hindoo and his son Hanover, a leading racer and sire. Together, they made the Byerley Turk male line as strong in America as any other at the turn of the 20th century. More about Hindoo can be found in a series I put together (1, 2, 3).