Grey Sovereign

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Grey Sovereign
CountryUnited Kingdom
BreederWilliam Hill
OwnerJ K Measures
TrainerGeorge Beeby
Major wins
Richmond Stakes (1950)

Grey Sovereign (1948–1976) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a racehorse he was a successful sprinter but not a champion, recording his biggest success when he won the Richmond Stakes as a two-year-old in 1950. His career was compromised by his difficult and unpredictable temperament. After his retirement from racing he became a successful and influential breeding stallion.


Grey Sovereign was a grey horse bred by the bookmaker William Hill. He was sired by Nasrullah who was the Leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 1951[1] and went on went on to become the Leading sire in North America on five occasions.[2] Grey Sovereign's dam, Kong, was a sprinter whose victories included the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot. Kong also produced Grey Sovereign's three-quarter brother Nimbus (sired by Nasrullah's sire Nearco) who won the 2000 Guineas and The Derby in 1949.[3]

As a yearling Grey Sovereign was offered for sale. George Colling, who had trained Nimbus, was interested in the colt but was deterred from buying him by his fractious behaviour in the sales ring. He was bought for 6,700 guineas by J K Measures and sent into training with George Beeby.[4]

Racing career[edit]

As a racehorse, Grey Sovereign was described as "brilliant but hot-tempered".[5] He recorded his most important success as a two-year-old when he won the Richmond Stakes over six furlongs at Goodwood Racecourse. In the same year he finished third to Belle of All and Royal Serenade in the National Breeders' Produce Stakes after having been left behind at the start,[6] and was the beaten favourite in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. In the following year he finished second to Hard Sauce in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse.[4]

As a four-year-old, Grey Sovereign won the Festival Stakes at Birmingham Racecourse in June, beating Royal Serenade by a head.[7] He was narrowly beaten by Royal Serenade in the Nunthorpe Stakes,[8] but returned to win the Union Stakes at Birmingham in September.[4]

Stud career[edit]

At the end of his racing career, Grey Sovereign was retired to stud where he became a very successful breeding stallion. He was the leading sire of two-year-olds in Britain in 1958 and 1961 and the leading sire of two-year-olds in France in 1967.[9] Grey Sovereign was retired from stud duty in 1972 and died in 1976.[10]

Grey Sovereign's offspring included:


Pedigree of Grey Sovereign (GB), grey stallion, 1948[11]
Nasrullah (GB)
Nearco (ITY)
Pharos Phalaris
Scapa Flow
Nogara Havresac
Mumtaz Begum (FR)
Blenheim Blandford
Mumtaz Mahal The Tetrarch
Lady Josephine
Kong (GB)
Baytown (IRE)
Achtoi Santoi
Princess Herodias Poor Boy
Queen Herodias
Clang (GB)
Hainault Swynford
Vibration Black Jester
Radiancy (Family 6-f)[12]


  1. ^ "Leading Sires of Great Britain and Ireland". Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  2. ^ "Leading Sires of America". Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  3. ^ "Nimbus Horse Pedigree". Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Ken McLean (2005). Designing Speed in the Racehorse. Russell Meerdink. p. 237. ISBN 9780929346809. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  6. ^ "Even The Tetrarch was nearly beaten". Evening Times. 12 July 1951. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  7. ^ "Canadian horse is beaten". Calgary Herald. 3 June 1952. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  8. ^ "Grey Sovereign can make amends at Birmingham". Evening Times. 1 September 1952. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  9. ^ Melanie Greene (2013). Nasrullah: Forgotten Patriarch of the American Thoroughbred. The History Press. ISBN 9781626190146. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  10. ^ "Grey Sovereign". Archived from the original on 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  11. ^ "Grey Sovereign pedigree". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  12. ^ "Testatrix - Family 6-f". Retrieved 2012-06-15.