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SireMark Anthony
Damsister to Postmaster
CountryKingdom of Great Britain
BreederMr. Carteret
OwnerLord Clermont
TrainerJ. Pratt
Major wins
Epsom Derby (1785)

Aimwell (1782 – after 1786) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. In a career that lasted from autumn 1784 to spring 1786 he ran eight times and won five races. In 1785 he won the sixth running of the Epsom Derby as well as three races at Newmarket. He was beaten in his only race in 1786 and did not appear in any subsequent records.


Alcock's Arabian, Aimwell's male-line ancestor

Aimwell, named after a character in The Beaux' Stratagem, was a brown horse bred by William Fortescue, 1st Earl of Clermont, who owned him during his racing career.[1] Unlike all modern Thoroughbreds, which descend in the male line from either the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian, or the Byerley Turk, Aimwell was descended from a grey stallion usually known as Alcock's Arabian.[2] Although the Alcock Arabian's sireline became extinct, his influence survives as the probable source of the grey colour in the modern Thoroughbred.[3]

Aimwell's sire, Mark Anthony, a half-brother to Highflyer, won twenty races at Newmarket for his owner, the Duke of Ancaster, in the early 1770s.[4] Aimwell was the second of ten foals produced by a mare by Herod, known as the sister to Postmaster, who was bred by Mr Carteret and later sold to Lord Clermont.[5]

Racing career[edit]

1784: two-year-old season[edit]

Aimwell began his career at the Houghton meeting at Newmarket in late October or early November 1784. He won a 150 guinea race, beating Mr Panton's colt Archer over the six furlong Two Year Old Course. Archer was the 8/11 favourite and the only other runner.[6]

1785: three-year-old season[edit]

In spring 1785, Aimwell won 100 guineas by defeating Archer again over the same course and distance. On this occasion Aimwell carried seven pounds more than his opponent and started the 2/5 favourite. At the same Newmarket meeting, he finished third in the Prince's Stakes, a race won by Mr Fox's Balloon, who defeated Lord Grosvenor's Grantham in a run-off after a dead heat. At Epsom on 5 May, Aimwell started at odds of 7/1 for the Derby in a field of ten runners, with Grantham and Balloon joint favourites on 2/1. Ridden by C. Hindley he won the race from Grantham, with Balloon unplaced.[7]

After a five-month break, Aimwell returned for three races at Newmarket in the autumn. At the First October meeting he won a match race over the four mile Beacon Course, winning a 300 guinea prize by beating Mr Vernon's horse Mousetrap. Aimwell was beaten in a 200 guinea Sweepstakes at the Second October meeting, in which he finished second of the four runners to Guyler.[8] At the Houghton meeting two weeks later he conceded 35 pounds to Sir Charles Bunbury's Blacklock and won a match over ten furlongs "Across the Flat" to claim a prize of 100 guineas.[6]

1786: four-year-old season[edit]

Aimwell stayed in training at the age of four years, but ran only once. At the Second Spring meeting at Newmarket he was beaten in a two-mile match in which he attempted to concede six pounds to Balloon.[7]

Stud career[edit]

Nothing is recorded of Aimwell after his match race against Balloon. He does not appear in any list of stallions and he had no foals registered in the General Stud Book.[9]


Pedigree of Aimwell (GB), brown stallion, 1782
Mark Anthony (GB)
Crab Alcock's Arabian
sister to Soreheels
Partner mare Partner*
Bonny Lass
Blank Godolphin Arabian
Regulus mare Regulus
Soreheels mare
sister to Postmaster (GB)
Tartar Partner*
Cypron Blaze
Snap mare Snap Snip
sister to Slipby
Gower Stallion mare Gower Stallion
Grey Childers mare (Family:10)[10]


  1. ^ Patricia Erigero Thoroughbred Heritage. "Thoroughbred Foundation Sires - A". Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  2. ^ "Curwen's Bay Barb". Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  3. ^ Swinburne, JE; A Hopkins; MM Binns (2002). "Assignment of the horse grey coat colour gene to ECA25 using whole genome scanning". Animal Genetics. 33 (5): 338–342. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2052.2002.00895.x. PMID 12354141. All grey Thoroughbred horses trace back to the Alcock’s Arabian (b1700).
  4. ^ "Early Studbook M". Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  5. ^ The General stud book. J. S. Skinner. 1834. p. 208. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  6. ^ a b William Pick, R. Johnson (1822). The turf register and sportsman & breeder's stud-book Vol. III. W. Sams. p. 405. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  7. ^ a b William Pick, R. Johnson (1822). The turf register and sportsman & breeder's stud-book Vol. III. W. Sams. p. 409. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  8. ^ William Pick, R. Johnson (1822). The turf register and sportsman & breeder's stud-book Vol. III. W. Sams. p. 303. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  9. ^ The General stud book. J. S. Skinner. 1834. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  10. ^ "Fair Helen - Family 10". Retrieved 2012-02-08.