Poseidon (horse)

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Poseidon 1906 VRC Melbourne Cup Owner Sir Hugh Denison Randwick Trainer Isaac Earnshaw.jpg
Poseidon, 1906 Melbourne Cup winner
SirePositano (GB)
DamsireMartini-Henry (NZ)
Foaled(1903-08-19)19 August 1903
Died3 February 1930(1930-02-03) (aged 26)
BreederRichard Halifax Dangar
(Neotsfield Stud)
OwnerSir Hugh Denison
TrainerIsaac Earnshaw
Record33: 19-4-3
Major wins
Melbourne Cup (1906)
Caulfield Cup (1906, 1907)
AJC Derby (1906)
Victoria Derby (1906)
VRC St Leger Stakes (1907)
AJC St Leger (1907)
AJC Spring Stakes (1907)
Melbourne Stakes (1907)
AJC Plate (1908)
Rawson Stakes (1908)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame
(2004 inductee)
VRC Poseidon Stakes
Last updated on 12 March 2010

Poseidon (19 August 1903 - 3 February 1930) was an Australian Thoroughbred Hall of Fame racehorse. He won 19 races over distances ranging from five furlongs to three miles. Sixteen of these wins were "Principal Races" (equivalent to today's "Black Type" races), eight of them now of Group 1 (G1) status.

As a three-year-old in 1906/07, Poseidon had 14 starts for 11 wins, including the Caulfield Cup (in race record time), Melbourne Cup, Victoria Derby and AJC Derby. In achieving this, Poseidon became the first horse to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double. In winning the Caulfield Cup again the following year, he also became the first horse to win consecutive Caulfield Cups.

Early history[edit]

Poseidon was foaled on 19 August 1903 at R H Dangar's Neotsfield Stud in NSW. He was from the fifth crop of his sire Positano (GB) and was the fifth foal of his dam Jacinth, a daughter of Martini-Henry (NZ), winner of 1883 VRC Melbourne Cup. Positano, a son of the great St. Simon, was unplaced in his seven starts in England, although he was placed second in the Ascot Derby. After he was imported into Australia he won three races from 12 starts. Jacinth won five races and was the dam of 11 foals, seven of whom raced for five moderate winners, aside from Poseidon.[2]

At the dispersal of the Neotsfield Stud, Poseidon was sold to the Moses brothers as a foal at foot with his dam for 400 guineas. The Moses brothers went on to establish the Arrowfield Stud near Singleton, NSW. Interested only in the dam and not the foal at foot, Poseidon was later sold to owner, Sir Hugh Denison for 500 guineas at the April 1905 Chisholm and Co Yearling Sales in Sydney.[3]

Racing career[edit]

Poseidon was trained by Isaac Earnshaw, and ridden throughout his career by Tom Clayton,

Season 1905/06 - two-year-old[edit]

Six starts: 1-0-1

Unplaced in his racing debut, Poseidon won at his second start as favourite by 4 lengths. Then sent to Melbourne, he had two starts but did not figure in the placings. Sent back to Sydney, Poseidon was off the board in the AJC Champagne Stakes. In his last two-year-old start he finished in a dead heat for third in the AJC Nursery Handicap, and was then sent out for a spell.

Season 1906/07 - three-year-old[edit]

14 starts: 11-3-0

Poseidon had an exemplary career as a three-year-old.

He began his three-year-old season with wins in two minor races, before winning the AJC Derby by three lengths, ahead of the two favourites. Just two days later, he raced against older competition for the first time in the AJC Metropolitan Handicap, finishing in second place to Solution (NZ).

Poseidon chalked up a string of wins in Melbourne. First came the VATC Eclipse Stakes in record time, then just two days later the Caulfield Cup in race record time, the VRC Victoria Derby, and finally the VRC Melbourne Cup.

After a spell over Christmas, Poseidon returned in the autumn and continued on his winning ways with wins in the VATC St Helier Stakes, VRC St Leger Stakes, and the VRC Loch Plate. He then finished second to Dividend in the three mile VRC Champion Stakes, before heading back to Sydney for the Autumn Racing Carnival.

In his two starts in the autumn, Poseidon won the AJC St Leger, but in his last start as a three-year-old, he finished second again to Dividend in the AJC Cumberland Stakes.

During his three-year-old season, Poseidon won approximately £12,000 in prize money.

Tom Clayton - Poseidon's regular jockey

Season 1907/08 - four-year-old[edit]

Twelve starts: 7-1-2

Poseidon continued on his winning way as a four-year-old.

At his first start back in the Rawson Stakes he finished third, but won at his next start, in the WFA AJC Spring Stakes (12-fur) at Randwick ahead of stable mate Apologue. At his second start Poseidon disappointed his backers with a poor third in the AJC Craven Plate, after Antonius had cannoned into him mid-race and knocked the wind out of him.

Moving back down to Melbourne for the Spring Carnival, Poseidon returned to form, winning the WFA VATC Eclipse Stakes at Caulfield on 16 October 1907, the Wednesday before the Caulfield Cup.

There were 16 starters in the Caulfield Cup in 1907, and after the start he was dropped towards the rear of the field. Jockey Tom Clayton waited to the half mile then set off on Poseidon. Poseidon raced around the field and dashed clear with a winning break, the Cup in his keeping. He had become the first horse to win consecutive Caulfield Cups.

On Derby Day, as 1-3 favourite, Poseidon won again beating Apologue in the VRC Melbourne Stakes.

Next was the Melbourne Cup, but as a result of his Caulfield Cup win, Poseidon was given a 10 lb penalty, and had to carry 10 stone 3 pounds (65 kg). The weight told, and Poseidon finished in eighth place with the win going to Apologue who carried only 7 st 9 lb (49 kg).

Poseidon's return to the track in 1908 was delayed by a minor leg problem. He bypassed the Melbourne Autumn Carnival but in a shortened Sydney program, won three of his four starts. His only failure was a fourth place to Tartan in the AJC Autumn Stakes.

Season 1908/09 - five-year-old[edit]

One unplaced start.

Poseidon returned as a five-year-old for one last campaign. After finishing fifth in the RRC Rawson Stakes, he pulled up sore. As he would require a long spell away from the track to recover, the decision was made to retire Poseidon to stud duties.

Race record[edit]

Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (st) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
1905-06 season as a two-year-old
Unpl 01/01/1906 Tatts Club (NSW) Handicap - 5½f 7.9 1:9 Tom Clayton Barrenjoey 1st
Won 26/01/1906 AJC First Nursery Handicap Randwick 5f 7.10 1:1.75 Tom Clayton Roosevelt 2nd
Unpl 24/02/1906 VATC Alma Stakes Caulfield 6f 8.5 1:15.5 Tom Clayton Galeria 1st
Unpl 06/03/1906 VRC Junior Handicap Flemington 6f 8.3 1:16.6 Tom Clayton Melodrama 1st
Unpl 16/04/1906 AJC Champagne Stakes Randwick 6f 8.10 1:16.25 Tom Clayton Collarit 1st
3rd (DH) 21/04/1906 AJC Second Nursery Handicap Randwick 6f 7.8 1:16.5 Tom Clayton Melodrama 1st
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (st) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
1906-07 season as a three-year-old
Won 08/09/1906 Tatts Club (NSW) Welter Handicap - 8f 8.2 1:41.25 Tom Clayton Melodrama 2nd
Won 22/09/1906 Hawkesbury RC Spring Handicap - 10f 100yds 7.10 2:15.25 Tom Clayton Oak Grafton 2nd
Won 29/09/1906 AJC Derby Randwick 12f 8.10 2:38 Tom Clayton Collarit 2nd
2nd 01/10/1906 AJC Metropolitan Handicap Randwick 12f 7.9 2:33.5 Tom Clayton Solution 1st
Won 17/10/1906 VATC Eclipse Stakes (WFA) Caulfield 11f 8.2 2:21.75 *R Tom Clayton Iolaire 2nd
Won 20/10/1906 VATC Caulfield Cup Caulfield 12f 7.7 2:34.25 *RR Tom Clayton Simoda 2nd
Won 03/11/1906 VRC Derby Flemington 12f 8.10 2:40.5 Tom Clayton Antonious 2nd
Won 06/11/1906 VRC Melbourne Cup Flemington 2m 7.6 3:31.5 Tom Clayton Antonious 2nd
Won 23/02/1907 VATC St Helier Stakes Caulfield 12f 8.8 2:39 Tom Clayton Realm 2nd
Won 02/03/1907 VRC St Leger Stakes Flemington 14f 8.10 3:11 Tom Clayton Booran 2nd
Won 07/03/1907 VRC Loch Plate (WFA) Flemington 2m 8.0 3:34.5 Tom Clayton Dividend 2nd
2nd 09/03/1907 VRC Champion Stakes Flemington 3m 7.12 5:29.5 Tom Clayton Dividend 1st
Won 30/03/1907 AJC St Leger Randwick 14f 8.10 3:22.25 Tom Clayton Oakton 2nd
2nd 03/04/1907 AJC Cumberland Stakes (WFA) Randwick 2m 8.2 3:31.5 Tom Clayton Dividend 1st
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (st) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
1907-08 season as a four-year-old
3rd 14/09/1907 RRC Rawson Stakes Rosehill abt 9f 9.7 1:52.25 Tom Clayton Mountain King 1st
Won 05/10/1907 AJC Spring Stakes (WFA) Randwick 12f 9.0 2:34.25 Tom Clayton Apologue 2nd
3rd 09/10/1907 AJC Craven Plate (WFA) Randwick 10f 9.0 2:7.25 Tom Clayton Mountain King 1st
Won 16/10/1907 VATC Eclipse Stakes (WFA) Caulfield 11f 9.0 2:23.75 Tom Clayton May King 2nd
Won 19/10/1907 VATC Caulfield Cup Caulfield 12f 9.3 2:35.5 Tom Clayton Apologue 2nd
Won 02/11/1907 VRC Melbourne Stakes (WFA) Flemington 10f 9.0 2:12.25 Tom Clayton Apologue 2nd
Unpl 05/11/1907 VRC Melbourne Cup Flemington 2m 10.3 3:27.5 Tom Clayton Apologue 1st
2nd 09/11/1907 VRC C B Fisher Plate (WFA) Flemington 12f 9.0 2:40 Tom Clayton Mountain King 1st
Won 04/04/1908 RRC Rawson Stakes Rosehill 9f 9.7 1:55.5 Tom Clayton Decollette 2nd
Unpl 18/04/1908 AJC Autumn Stakes (WFA) Randwick 12f 9.0 2:39.5 Tom Clayton Tartan 1st
Won 22/04/1908 AJC Cumberland Stakes (WFA) Randwick 2m 9.0 3:34.5 Tom Clayton Tartan 2nd
Won 25/04/1908 AJC Plate (WFA) Randwick 3m 9.0 6:49.25 Tom Clayton Tartan 2nd
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (st) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
1908-09 season as a five-year-old
Unpl 12/09/1908 RRC Rawson Stakes Rosehill 9f 9.11 1:52.25 Tom Clayton Perkeo 1st

Stud record[edit]

Poseidon's owner had established the 'Eurmeralla Stud' at Gulgong, NSW, with a number of well-bred Australian and British mares to give Poseidon every chance of success as a sire.[4]

His best performers were the "Principal Race" winners:

  • Rascasse
  • 1915 QTC Queensland Derby
  • Telecles
  • 1918 WmtnRC Australia Day Cup
  • 1919 MVRC Moonee Valley Cup

Poseidon died on 3 February 1930 at 26 years of age. Each year the Listed VRC Poseidon Stakes for three-year-old colts and geldings is run in his honour.


Pedigree of Poseidon (10) Br. h. 1903
Positano (GB)
St. Simon (GB)
Galopin (GB) Vedette (GB)
Flying Duchess (GB)
St Angela (GB) King Tom (GB)
Adeline (GB)
Ponza (GB)
Springfield (GB) St Albans (GB)
Viridis (GB)
Napoli (GB) Macaroni (GB)
Sunshine (GB)
Jacinth (Aus)
Martini-Henry (NZ)
Musket (GB) Toxophilite (GB)
West Australian mare (GB)
Sylvia (Aus) Fisherman (GB)
Juliet (GB)
Iantha (Aus)
Chester (Aus) Yattendon (Aus)
Lady Chester (GB)
Iolanthe (Aus) Maribyrnong (Aus)
Rosedale (GB) (Family: 10-d)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pollard, Jack (1981). The Pictorial History of Australian Horse Racing. Lansdowne Press. p. 148. ISBN 0-7018-1468-3.
  2. ^ Pring, Peter; "Analysis of Champion Racehorses", The Thoroughbred Press, Sydney, 1977, ISBN 0-908133-00-6
  3. ^ Barrie, Douglas M., The Australian Bloodhorse, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1956
  4. ^ Warwick Hobson. "Poseidon and 'Louis The Possum'". Retrieved 2007-06-20.


Australia's Champion Racehorses. Federal Publishing Company.