Busto, a brown colt, foaled in 1812 by Clinker out of Bronze, was bred by William, Lord Lowther, 2nd Earl of Lonsdale (1787-1872). Busto first appeared for Lord Lowther at Craven Meeting at Newmarket in 1815, where he finished second in a 200 guineas Sweepstakes. Later that year on 36 April, he beat Mr. Payne's Zora and the Duke of Grafton's Whistler to win the Newmarket Stakes over the Ditch Mile. Lord Lowther sold him to General Leveson Gower for whom he ran in the Derby of 1815 and in 1817, he won races at Epsom, Ascot and Engham. In 1818 he raced four more times and recorded his final win in a Sweepstakes at Egham on 26 August.
Lord Lowther, elected Member of Parliament for Wearmouth in 1808 and Cumberland in 1813, had great influence in the Tory Party at that time. Politics, however, were not his only interest. He was a keen hunter, collected fine porcelain and frequently attended the opera. As a young man, he had shown a keen interest in racing and became a member of the Jockey Club. His first stud was at Oxcroft, eight miles from Newmarket, and he moved it to the outskirts of the town after a few years. His most famous stallion, Partisan sired Zeal, the winner of the 1821 1,000 Guineas; Marmeluke, who won the Derby in 1827; Patron, the winner of the 2,000 Guineas in 1829; and Cyprian who won the Oaks in 1836.