Morston (horse)

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Morston
Owner Mr A M Budgett.svg
Racing silks of Arthur Budgett
SireRagusa
GrandsireRibot
DamWindmill Girl
DamsireHornbeam
SexStallion
Foaled1970
CountryFrance
ColourChestnut
BreederPark Farm Stud
OwnerArthur Budgett
TrainerArthur Budgett
Record2: 2-0-0
Major wins
Epsom Derby (1973)

Morston (1970–1993) was a French-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He is best known for winning the 1973 Epsom Derby on his second racecourse appearance. He was then injured, and retired undefeated.

Background[edit]

Morston was bred in France by his owner Arthur Budgett's Park Farm Stud. He was sired by the Irish Derby winner Ragusa out of Budgett's mare Windmill Girl. This made him a brother of the 1969 Derby winner Blakeney.[1] He was named after a village in Norfolk.

Racing career[edit]

Unraced at two, Morston made his debut in the Godstone Plate, at Lingfield in May 1973. He won comfortably,[2] but showed his inexperience- according to Budgett he was "all over the place".[3]

In the Derby he was made a 25-1 outsider. His jockey Edward Hide was told by Arthur Budgett not to be too hard on the colt, if he was not in a winning position. In the race he hit the front a furlong out and stayed on well to beat Cavo Doro by half a length.[2]

Morston was being trained for the Great Voltigeur Stakes when he suffered a tendon injury[4] which ended his career.

Assessment[edit]

Morston has been regarded as one of the least distinguished Derby winners. Writing in the Racing Post, John Randall rated him the worst Derby winner since the Second World War.[2] Budgett, however, regarded Morston as superior to his other Derby winner Blakeney, and the best horse he had ever trained.[5]

He was rated 125 by Timeform.

Stud career[edit]

Morston had modest success as a stallion. His best runners were probably Whitstead (Great Voltigeur Stakes), Morcon (Prince of Wales's Stakes) and More Light (Jockey Club Stakes).

Pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Morston (FRA), chestnut stallion, 1970[6]
Sire
Ragusa (IRE)
1960
Ribot
1952
Tenerani Bellini
Tofanella
Romanella El Greco
Barbara Burrini
Fantan
1952
Ambiorix Tourbillon
Lavendula
Red Eye Petee-Wrack
Charred Keg
Dam
Windmill Girl (GB)
1961
Hornbeam
1953 
Hyperion Gainsborough
Selene
Thicket Nasrullah
Thorn Wood
Chorus Beauty
1952 
Chanteur Chateau Bouscaut
La Diva
Neberna Nearco
Springtime(Family: 20-c)[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Morston Horse Pedigree". Pedigreequery.com. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  2. ^ a b c "Unbeaten Morston tops six worst Derby winners". Thefreelibrary.com. 2004-06-02. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  3. ^ Horse Racing (2009-05-31). "Arthur Budgett: A rare breed indeed". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  4. ^ "Persian Punch". Famousracehorses.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  5. ^ Jon Lees (2011-06-23). "Derby legend Arthur Budgett dies aged 95". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  6. ^ "English Derby Winner: Morston". Chef-de-race.com. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
  7. ^ "Palmflower - Family 20-c". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2012-08-24.