Teddington, by Orlando (himself the winner of the1844 Derby), out of Miss Twickenham, was bred near Huntingdon in 1848 by a Mr Tomlinson. Bought as a foal by Sir Joseph Hawley, he was to prove to be the first and best of the celebrated owner's four Derby winners. As a two-year-old Teddington came into form winning the Chesterfield Stakes at Newmarket and The Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood, but it was the ease with which he beat Vatican, a good five-year-old, in a trial the following year that set him up as favourite for the Derby at 3-1. In a field of thirty-three, Marlborough Buck also ran at very short odds, with Hernandez and The Prime Minister also attracting keen followings. In the event, however, Teddington won easily. Roger Mortimer recounts an amusing exchange which supposedly took place mid-race between Flatman on Ariosto and the overtaking Marson on Teddington: '"Where do you think you're going to?" shouted Flatman. "I'm sorry, I can't hold my horse," Marson replied. "I wish I couldn't hold mine," said Flatman...' (The History of the Derby Stakes, 1973, p. 161). Teddington's career continued successfully until as a five-year-old, having won the Ascot Cup that year, he retired to the stud at Deans Hill, Stafford.
Sir Joseph Hawley, heir to the Laybourne estates in Kent, was born in 1814. After service in the 9th Lancers and time in Italy (where he met John Stanley with whom he formed a horse-owning partnership), he returned to England. Initially he had his horses trained at Newmarket, but before long he bought a small stable near Marlborough where he installed the young Alec Taylor, who brought him immediate success with Fernhill winning The Great Metropolitan at Epsom in 1849. The figure holding Teddington in this picture has traditionally been identified as Hawley but seems much more likely to be Taylor. However successful, the relationship between owner and trainer was short, as 1851 brought not only victories on the turf but also arguments between Hawley and Stanley which resulted in their partnership being dissolved and Hawley selling many of his horses and moving the remainder to John Day at Danebury.
Sir Joseph Hawley's other three Derby winners were Beadsman in 1858, Musjid in 1859 (see lot 50), and Blue Gown in 1868; a feat only bettered by the five winners owned by Lord Egremont (between 1782-1826) and The Aga Khan (between 1930-1952).