Colt by Fidget

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Colt by Fidget
Sire Fidget
Grandsire Florizel
Dam Highflyer mare
Damsire Highflyer
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1794
Country Great Britain
Colour Brown
Breeder 5th Duke of Bedford
Owner Duke of Bedford
Trainer Matthew Stephenson
Record 2:1-0-0
Major wins
Epsom Derby (1797)

The Colt by Fidget (1794 – after 1799) is a name used to refer to an otherwise nameless British Thoroughbred racehorse. In a career that lasted from June 1797 to April 1798 he ran at least twice and won once. On his racecourse debut in the summer of 1797 he won the Epsom Derby. He was unplaced on his only other confirmed race.


The Fidget Colt was a brown horse bred by his owner the 5th Duke of Bedford. Until 1913 there was no requirement for British racehorses to be named,[1] and in the late eighteenth century it was common for horses to be known by their owner, colour, sex and pedigree rather than by an official name. The Duke of Bedford's previous Derby winner had been known as "the Florizel colt" or "the Brother to Fidget" during his three-year-old season, but was later given the name Eager. The Fidget Colt, however, was never given an official name: he was known only as "the Fidget colt" or "the colt by Fidget".[2]

The colt's dam, an unnamed mare by Highflyer was a half-sister to the notable broodmare Young Giantess, who produced the Derby winner Eleanor and was the grand-dam of two others in Phantom and Priam.[3] Fidget was not a particularly important stallion: in the year of the Derby winner's birth Fidget was standing at Woburn in Bedfordshire at a fee of three guineas, making him the cheapest of the four stallions at the stud.[4]

Racing career[edit]

1797: three-year-old season[edit]

On 2 June 1797 The Fidget Colt made his racecourse debut in the Derby at Epsom. Running as "D. of Bedford's br c by Fidget out of a sister to Pharamond" he started at odds of 10/1 in a field of seven runners, with Sir Frank Standish's Sir Peter colt (later named Stamford) sent off the 11/8 favourite. Ridden by John Singleton, Jr., he won from the 20/1 outsider Escalus with Plaistow third and the favourite fourth.[5]

1798: four-year-old season[edit]

On 11 April "D. of Bedford's c. by Fidget out of Caelia's dam" reappeared after a break of ten months at Newmarket Racecourse in the third class of the Oatlands Stakes. He carried a weight of 102 pounds in the handicap race over the two mile "Ditch In" course and finished seventh behind the 1796 St Leger winner Ambrosio.[6]


Pedigree of The Fidget Colt (GB), brown, 1794
Fidget (GB)
Herod*[8] Tartar
Cygnet mare[9] Cygnet
Young Cartouch mare
Matchem mare
Matchem*[10] Cade
sister 2 to Miss Partner
Syphon mare[11] Syphon
Shakespeare mare
Highflyer mare (GB)
Herod* Tartar
Rachel[12] Blank
Regulus mare
Matchem* Cade
sister 2 to Miss Partner
Molly Longlegs[13] Babraham
Foxhunter mare (Family:6-a)[3]
  • The Fidget Colt was inbred 3x3 to Herod and Matchem, meaning that both of these stallions appear twice in the third generation of his pedigree. The Fidget Colt therefore had only two great-grandfathers, instead of the usual four.


  1. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1990). Horse Racing: Records, Facts, Champions(Third Edition). Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-902-1. 
  2. ^ Montgomery, Sue (3 June 2006). "Searching for the big-race winner: Just pick a name that will look right on the roll of honour". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Cream Cheeks - Family 6-a". Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  4. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1794. John Whitworth. p. 334. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  5. ^ Sporting magazine : or, monthly calendar of the ... v.10 1797. Rogerson & Tuxford. p. 346. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  6. ^ Robert Hunter. Racing calendar. 1798. John Whitworth. p. 5. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  7. ^ a b c d Staff. "Fidget Colt (GB)". Equineline. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Taunton, Thomas Henry (1887). Portraits of celebrated racehorses of the past and present, Volume 1. Liverpool: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington. p. 85. 
  9. ^ Weatherby, James (1891) [1832]. "Cygnet Mare". General Stud Book 1–2: 73. 
  10. ^ Taunton, Thomas Henry (1887). Portraits of celebrated racehorses of the past and present, Volume 1. Liverpool: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington. p. 64. 
  11. ^ Weatherby, James (1891) [1832]. "Syphon Mare". General Stud Book 1–2: 208. 
  12. ^ Weatherby, James (1891) [1832]. "Rachel". General Stud Book 1–2: 162. 
  13. ^ Weatherby, James (1891) [1832]. "Molly Longlegs". General Stud Book 1–2: 142.