Burleigh, by Stamford out of Mercury mare, was bred and owned by Henry Vansittart of Kirkleatham Hall. He won two matches in 1808 and a further five in 1809. 1810 saw further wins but he showed the best form of his career in 1811 winning the Jockey Club Plate, and taking on two Derby winners in Pope and Whalebone being second both times in strong fields. Burleigh only ran at Newmarket and the setting in the present picture appears to be the start of the Beacon course with four mile stable to the left. The jockey is Sam Chifney Junior at the start of his career. He was the son of the Prince of Wales's old jockey Sam Chifney Senior, and brother of the trainer of Priam, Will Chifney.
A second version of this picture, signed and dated 1812, was sold at Sotheby's, New York, 27 May 2004, lot 263.