The Tale of Dubonnet

06th February 2020

A fascinating tale from Goodwood from the brink of World War II, as told by one of our members...


The Qatar Goodwood Festival last year marked 80 years since my companion Bernard’s great grandfather, Pitt Hornung, won the Goodwood Cup with Dubonnet. That was 1939, and there were no more Glorious Goodwoods until 1946, following the outbreak of World War II.

Apart from winning a Classic, Pitt Hornung's ambition had been to win the Cup at Goodwood; his home meeting which he adored. He achieved it at the very last meeting he ever attended, that final festival in 1939, with the horse he had bred himself.

It was a remarkable performance, for Dubonnet was lame the previous night. He cantered to the post short (not fully relaxed), but warmed up in the race and with the utmost courage put his head in front where it matters most. Basil Jarvis was the trainer, Tommy Lowrey the jockey.

In all Pitt Hornung won 129 races in his lifetime as an owner.

Sadly, after that Goodwood meeting in 1939 he never went racing again; war broke out and Pitt died aged 78 in February 1940.

Felicity Ann Croft
Goodwood Horseracing Member

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