• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5129

    Sporting Art, Wildlife & Dogs

    7 November 2007, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 152

    William Henry Hopkins (British, 1853-1892) and Edmund Havell (British, 1819-1894)

    Kilwarlin with Jack Robinson up

    Price Realised  


    William Henry Hopkins (British, 1853-1892) and Edmund Havell (British, 1819-1894)
    Kilwarlin with Jack Robinson up
    signed 'W.H. Hopkins & Havell.' (lower right) and inscribed and dated '"Kilwarlin"/W.Robinson 1888.' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)

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    Kilwarlin was owned by George, 7th Baron Rodney and won the Classic St. Leger Stakes in 1887. He was a brown colt foaled in 1884 by Arbitrator out of Hasty Girl and a half-brother to the very good racehorse and stallion Bendigo. His trainer was James Jewitt and he was ridden to victory in the St Leger by William T. Robinson beating Merry Hampton and Timothy at odds of 4 to 1. The colt won four other career races, comprising the Wynyard Plate at Stockton, the Harrington Stakes at Derby and the Great Challenge Stakes at Newmarket. William Robinson, always know as "Jack", was born in London and apprenticed to the trainer Tom Cannon Snr., riding his first winner in 1884. As a jockey he partnered the winners of four Classics. He retired from riding at the end of 1892 and began to train privately for Lord Gerard at Moulton Paddocks in 1893. Later he purchased the stable and gallops at Foxhill, Wiltshire. His patrons included Charles Ismay and the future Lord William Wavertree, for whom he won the St Leger with Night Hawk in the same year as his disappointment at losing the Derby on Craganour. This dramatic reverse left Jack Robinson a broken man, and he died five years later. The St. Leger Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in the United Kingdom for three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies run over a distance of 1 mile 6 furlongs and 132 yards (2,937 metres) at Doncaster Racecourse in September. First held in 1776, it is known as "the oldest classic turf race", having eclipsed the even older Doncaster Cup as the most important race run at the course. It is one of the five United Kingdom Classic Races and also the final leg of both the colts" and fillies" Triple Crowns. A sweepstake of 25 Guineas was held over two miles on Cantley Common, two miles east of the current racecourse, on 24th September 1776. The rules stipulated that colts should carry eight stone (50.8 kg) of weight, and fillies seven stone twelve pounds (49.9 kg). The event was organised by Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marguess of Rockingham, a prominent politician and former Prime Minister and was the idea of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony St Leger, a former MP. On the day, the winning horse from a field of five was owned by Rockingham, with a horse owned by St Leger following in second. The event didn't receive its name until a meeting held between the 1777 and 1778 meets. When it was suggested that the race should be called the Rockingham Stakes, the Marquess is said to have replied, "No it was my friend St Leger who suggested the thing to me - call it after him."

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