John Scott (horseman)

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John Scott
Occupation Trainer
Born 8 November 1794
Great Britain
Died 4 October 1871
Career wins Not found
Major racing wins

Ascot Gold Cup (1834, 1836, 1837, 1854)
Doncaster Gold Cup (1835, 1836, 1839, 1849)
Northumberland Plate (1836)

British Classic Race wins:
2,000 Guineas (7)
1,000 Guineas (4)
Epsom Oaks (9)
Epsom Derby (6)
St. Leger Stakes (16)
Significant horses
Matilda, The Colonel, Velocipede, Rowton, Touchstone, Canezou, Cotherstone, Mündig, Attila, The Baron, Daniel O'Rourke, West Australian, Imperieuse, The Marquis, Newminster

John Scott (1794–1871) was a leading horse trainer in British Thoroughbred racing during the 19th century. Known as "The Wizard of the North," he was a brother to the successful jockey Bill Scott.[1]

Early life[edit]

John Scott and Bill were the sons of a former jockey who became a trainer.[1] John was born on 8 November 1794 at Chippenham, Cambridgeshire. Although John also was a jockey while young and won his first race as a jockey at age 13, as he became older he gained too much weight to continue to ride and became a trainer instead. The brothers began their careers under their father,[1] who managed an inn at Oxford - The Ship Inn.[2] By 1814 were employed by James Croft of Middleham. In 1815 was involved in victory of Filho da Puta in the St. Leger Stakes. Scott then trained for a Mr Houldsworth for 8 years before moving on to train for Edward Petre of Stapleton Park near Darrington.[1] In 1825 Scott bought Whitewall Stables in Malton, where he was able to stable 100 horses. This remained his home until his death.[2]


Scott won his first St. Leger in 1822 with Theodore while training for Petre. This was the first of 16 St Leger wins, 9 Oaks wins, and 6 Epsom Derby wins. 6 of his St Leger wins were with his brother Bill as jockey. But in 1844 the brothers parted company and Frank Butler became the main jockey for John Scott, going on to win 10 Classic wins for Scott.[1]

During his career, John Scott trained for notable owners such as Edward Smith-Stanley the Earl of Derby, Evelyn Boscawen Viscount Falmouth, and John Bowes.[citation needed] Scott disparaged The Baron to the horse's owner George Watts by describing the stallion as "fat as a bull" as well as having been "made twice the savage he was by muzzles" but still asked to have the horse put in training with himself, promising Watts that he would win the St Leger. Watts agreed to send The Baron to Whitehall, and Scott trained the horse to a win in the race. But Scott maintained that The Baron "took more work than I ever gave a horse in my life, and required more management".[3]

During his training career, John Scott won 41 British Classic Races and in 1853 became the first trainer to win the English Triple Crown when his colt West Australian won the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby, and the St. Leger Stakes.[1]

In his old age, Scott was noted for his long white hair. He was also known to entertain guests at home by carving meat with a knife whose handle was the shank bone of Rowton, who was the third horse he trained to a St. Leger win.[2]


John Scott died on 4 October 1871 at Whitehall House after catching a chill in August while observing morning workouts. He was buried on 9 October 1871 at Malton. He married twice. He had two children, a daughter with his first wife and a son with his second wife.[2] A miniature watercolour portrait titled "John Scott of Whitewall Malton" from the English School (19th century) is on display at the Bowes Museum. His Whitewall Stables is today owned by trainer Mark Campion.

Selected major race wins[edit]

  • 2,000 Guineas - (7) - Meteor (1842), Cotherstone (1843), Nunnykirk (1849), West Australian (1853), Fazzoletto (1856), The Wizard (1860), The Marquis (1862)
  • 1,000 Guineas - (4) - Canezou (1848), Imperieuse (1857), Sagitta (1860), Hurricane (1862)
  • Epsom Oaks - (8) - Cyprian (1836), Industry (1838), Ghuznee (1841), The Princess (1844), Iris (1851), Songstress (1852), Marchioness (1855), Queen Bertha (1863)
  • Epsom Derby - (5) - Mündig (1835), Attila (1842), Cotherstone (1843), Daniel O'Rourke (1852), West Australian 1853)
  • St. Leger Stakes - (16) - Matilda (1827), The Colonel (1828), Rowton (1829), Margrave (1832), Touchstone (1834), Don John (1838), Charles XII (1839), Launcelot (1840), Satirist (1841), The Baron (1845), Newminster (1851), West Australian (1853), Warlock (1856), Imperieuse (1857), Gamester (1859), The Marquis (1862)
  • Ascot Gold Cup † - (3) - Touchstone (1836, 1837), West Australian (1854)
  • Doncaster Gold Cup † - (4) - Touchstone (1835, 1836) Charles XII (1839), Canezou (1849)
  • Northumberland Plate † - (1) - Cyprian (1836)

† Note: Scott may have won more editions of the Ascot Gold Cup, Doncaster Gold Cup, and the Northumberland Plate than reported here.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Vamplew and Kay "Scott brothers" Encyclopedia of British Horseracing pp. 278-279
  2. ^ a b c d Vamplew "Scott, John (1794–1871)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  3. ^ Willet Classic Racehorse p. 89


  • Vamplew, Wray; Kay, Joyce (2005). "Scott brothers". Encyclopedia of British Horseracing. London: Routledge. pp. 278–279. ISBN 0-714-68292-6. 
  • Vamplew, Wray (2004). "Scott, John (1794–1871)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  • Willett, Peter (1982). The Classic Racehorse. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1477-2. 

Further reading[edit]