Born To Run

28th March 2019

Headstrong, spirited and extraordinarily fast, St Simon was a thoroughbred who loved winning so much, it was sometimes hard to make him stop.

Words by Tom Peacock

  • goodwood newsletter

  • Goodwood Magazine

born_to_run.jpg

Widely regarded as one of the greatest racehorses in the history of the Thoroughbred – so much so that his skeleton now resides at London’s Natural History Museum – the legendary St Simon is inextricably linked with Goodwood, as he began and ended his unbeaten career on the Downs.

The dark-coloured colt with a small white star was bred in 1881 by Prince Gustavus Batthyany, but shortly before he was ready to race, the Hungarian émigré died and he was sold to the Duke of Portland. On 31 July 1883, St Simon was ridden on his debut by the great Fred Archer in Goodwood’s Halnaker Stakes, winning so effortlessly that he repeated the feat in another race the very next day. By the following season, he had added the Epsom, Newcastle and Ascot Gold Cups to his collection, on the latter occasion taking full circuit of the track before he could be pulled up.

This isn’t a horse, it’s a blooming steam engine

goodwood_beer_2018_alexbenwell098-st-simon.jpg

St Simon was a spirited individual with an elastic stride; Archer once rode him on the Newmarket gallops and said famously, “This isn’t a horse, it’s a blooming steam engine.” Indeed, the only way he could be manipulated in his stable was by pointing an umbrella or a hat on a stick at him. This headstrong tendency resurfaced in that summer’s Goodwood Cup, when he not only finished 20 lengths headstrong, spirited and extraordinarily fast, St Simon was a thoroughbred who loved winning so much, it was sometimes hard to make him stop ahead of the field but continued galloping over Trundle Hill and into the distance. That was to be the last of his nine starts but he went on to become an exceptionally influential stallion whose very distant relatives, including the modern champion Frankel, continue to win races today.

St Simon Lager, named after the legendary racehorse, is available at Goodwood’s Farmer, Butcher, Chef and at the Racecourse

This article was taken from the Spring 2019 edition of the Goodwood Magazine.

  • goodwood newsletter

  • Goodwood Magazine

  • hen-party-goodwood-magazine-2.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    Hen Party

  • bruce.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    Say Cheese

  • goodwood__light-background_-101.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    Interview: Sarah Ayton