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Sire Charlottesville
Grandsire Prince Chevalier
Dam Meld
Damsire Alycidon
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1963
Country Great Britain
Colour Bay
Breeder Someries Stud
Owner Lady Zia Wernher
Trainer Towser Gosden
Gordon Smyth
Record 11: 7-3-0
Major wins
Solario Stakes (1965)
Horris Hill Stakes (1965)
Epsom Derby (1966)
Oxfordshire Stakes (1966)
John Porter Stakes (1967)
Coronation Cup (1967)
Timeform rating 127
British Horse of the Year (1966)

Charlottown (foaled 1963 in England) was a Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from 1965 until 1967 he ran ten times and won seven reces. He is best known for winning the 1966 Epsom Derby.[1]


Charlottown was bred in England by his owner, Lady Zia Wernher's Someries Stud[2] at Newmarket, Suffolk. He was sent into training with John "Towser" Gosden at Lewes in Sussex. He was sired by the Prix du Jockey Club winner Charlottesville and was the fifth and best foal of the racemare Meld who won the Fillies' Triple Crown in 1955.[3]

Racing caree[edit]

1965: two-year-old season[edit]

Charlottown had a successful first season, being unbeaten in three starts. He won the Solario Stakes at Sandown by eight lengths, the Blackwood Stakes and the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. In the Free Handicap, an end of year ranking of the best two-year-olds he was rated five pounds below the top weight Young Emperor.

At the end of the 1966 season, Towser Gosden was forced to retire for health reasons and the training of Charlottown was taken over by Gordon Smyth.[4]

1966: three-year-old season[edit]

As a three-year-old in 1966 Charlottown's wins included the Epsom Derby and the Oxfordshire Stakes. Charlottown lost his unbeaten record on his three-year-old debut, when he finished second to Black Prince II in the Lingfield Derby Trial. There was some criticism of his jockey Ron Hutchinson's performance in the race, and the Derby ride on Charlottown was given to Scobie Breasley.[5]

In the Derby at Epsom, Charlottown started 5/1 third choice in the betting behind Right Noble and Pretendre who started 9/2 joint favourites. The start of the race was delayed when Charlottown lost one of his racing plates and had to be re-shod by his farrier.[3] In the race Charlottown was towards the rear of the field in the early stages before Breasley began to make progress along the rails. In the straight he moved through a gap on the inside to challenge for the lead inside the final furlong. He won the race by a neck from Pretendre, with the two colts finishing five lengths clear of the rest of the field. He became the first Lewes-trained horse to win the Derby since Waxy in 1793.[5]

In the Irish Derby at the Curragh a month later, Charlottown finished strongly after being held up in the early stages but was beaten a length by Sodium, a talented but unpredictable colt who had finished fourth in the Derby. There was some criticism of Breasley, who rode Charlottown a long way back from the early pace, giving the colt a great deal of ground to make up.[6] In August, Charlottown beat Sodium easily in the Oxfordshire Stakes at Newbury. On his final race of the year, Charlottown started favourite for the St Leger at Doncaster but was beaten a head by Sodium.

1967: four-year-old season[edit]

Charlottown stayed in training as a four-year-old and won the John Porter Stakes at Newbury on his debut in April. At Epsom he defeated a field which included Sodium and the Prix du Jockey Club winner Nelcius in the Coronation Cup. In July, Charlottown was sent to France for the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. He ran poorly, finishing sixth of the eight runners behind Taneb. Charlottown never ran again and was retired to stud at the end of the season.[3]


Charlottown was named British Horse of the Year by the Racecourse Association in 1966, gaining 176 of the 240 votes.[7] By the time of his retirement, Charlottown's earnings of £78,000 made him Britain's leading money-earner, breaking the record set by Tulyar.[8]

In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Charlottown as an “inferior” Derby winner.[9]

Stud record[edit]

Charlottown was not a success as a stallion in England. His influence is seen through his daughter Edinburgh, who was bred by the Ballymacoll Stud. She became the grand-dam of the Derby winner North Light, and the great grand-dam of the Two Thousand Guineas winner Golan. Charlottown was exported to Australia in 1976 and died there after a paddock accident in 1979.[5]


Pedigree of Charlottown (GB), bay stallion, 1963[10]
Charlottesville (GB)
Prince Chevalier
Prince Rose Rose Prince
Chevalerie Abbot’s Speed
Nearco Pharos
Empire Glory Singapore
Meld (GB)
Donatello Blenheim
Aurora Hyperion
Rose Red
Daily Double
Fair Trial Fairway
Lady Juror
Doubleton Bahram
Double Life (Family: 2-i)


  1. ^ Wray Vamplew, Joyce Kay (2005). Encyclopedia of British Horseracing. Routledge. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7146-8292-1. 
  2. ^ Patricia Erigero Thoroughbred Heritage (1957-03-09). "Hurry On". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  3. ^ a b c Mortimer, Roger; Onslow, Richard; Willett, Peter (1978). Biographical Encyclopedia of British Flat Racing. Macdonald and Jane’s. ISBN 0-354-08536-0. 
  4. ^ "Smyth, trainer of Epsom Derby winner Charlottown, dies". Thoroughbred Times. 2004-07-23. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  5. ^ a b c Tony Morris (2011-10-01). "Consistent, honest colt who put Lewes back on the Classic map". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  6. ^ "Irish colt Sodium wins Sweeps Derby". Miami News. 3 July 1966. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  7. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1990). Horse Racing: Records, Facts, Champions(Third Edition). Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-902-1. 
  8. ^ Encyclopedia of British horseracing - Wray Vamplew, Joyce Kay - Google Books. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  9. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1999). A Century of Champions. Portway Press,. ISBN 1-901570-15-0. 
  10. ^ "English Derby Winner: Charlottown". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 

External links[edit]