Potoooooooo, or Pot-8-Os
|Breeder||Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon|
|Owner||Richard Grosvenor, 1st Earl Grosvenor|
|Record||40 starts – 34 wins|
Potoooooooo or variations of Pot-8-Os (1773 – November 1800) was an 18th-century thoroughbred racehorse who won over 30 races and defeated some of the greatest racehorses of the time. He went on to be a sire. He is now best known for the unusual spelling of his name, pronounced Potatoes.
Potoooooooo (also spelled Pot-8-Os, Pot8Os, Pot8O's or Pot 8 Os from various sources) was a chestnut colt bred by Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon, in 1773. He was sired by the undefeated Eclipse. He was the first foal out of Sportsmistress, who was sired by Warren's Sportsman and traced to Thwaites' Dun Mare from family number 38 on her dam's side.
The origin of his name has several different versions. According to the most common, Abingdon intended to call the young colt "Potato" and instructed the stable boy to write the name on a feed bin. The stable boy spelled the name as "Potoooooooo" (Pot followed by 8 "o"s; that is, a failed attempt at spelling phonetically), which so amused Abingdon that he adopted the spelling. Subsequent writers have used a variety of spellings that reflect the intended revised pronunciation, "Potatoes". In The Jockey Club's online database equineline.com, the name is spelled as Pot8O's. The General Stud Book uses Potoooooooo.
Potoooooooo raced from 1776 to 1783, accumulating from 28 to 34 wins from an estimated 40 starts, mostly in 4 mile races on Newmarket's Beacon course. In 1776, he won a 100 guinea sweepstakes at Newmarket's first spring meeting. In 1777 at age four, he finished second in two Newmarket races for 4 year old colts, third at Nottingham, and fifth in the Great Subscription Purse at York.
In 1778 at age five, Potoooooooo was entered in the 1200 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket's first spring meeting. During the race, Abingdon sold the horse to Richard Grosvenor, 1st Earl Grosvenor for 1,500 guineas. Potoooooooo won the race and subsequently raced under Grosvenor's yellow and black silks. His subsequent wins that year included the 140 guineas subscription purse at the second spring meeting, a subscription at Ipswich, a £50 purse at Swaffham and another subscription race at Newmarket's second October meeting.
In 1779 at age six, he won a number of races at Newmarket, including the Gold Cup, a walkover for the Clermont Cup and the October Cup. In 1780, he again won several races at Newmarket, including the 140 guineas subscription purse where he beat King Fergus, the Jockey Club Plate and another walkover in the Clermont Cup. He also raced twice against Sir Charles Davers' Woodpecker, Herod's best son from these years, winning once.
In 1781, he won the Jockey Club Plate and the Whip, both by walkover, plus a 400 guineas sweep. In October, he received 85 guineas "by common consent" as a reward for not starting in the 140 guineas subscription purse. In 1782, he had a third walkover in the Clermont, won the Jockey Club Plate for a third time, and was victorious in the Craven Stakes, beating thirteen mostly younger horses. In 1783 at age ten, he won the Whip at Newmarket, but lost a 300 guineas match race to Assassin, who had won the previous year's Derby, and a 200 guineas sweepstakes.
In 1784, Potoooooooo was retired to stud at Oxcroft Farm near Balsham, Cambridgeshire, where he mostly covered mares owned by Grosvenor. For other mares, his stud fee was initially 5 guineas, gradually increasing to 21 guineas. In 1796, he was relocated to Upper Hare Park near Newmarket. During his career, Potoooooooo sired 172 winners of £61,971. His leading offspring include:
- Nightshade (foaled 1785), winner of the Oaks in 1788
- Asparagus (1787), a good runner and sire of Rhoda (winner of the 1000 Guineas in 1816)
- Waxy (1790), who won the Derby Stakes in 1793 and ten other races. Waxy was the leading sire in 1810 and is responsible for the continuation of the Eclipse sire line to the present day.
- Sister to Edwin (1794), taproot mare of Family 3-i and the susbsequent branch Family 3-l
- Champion (1797), the first horse to win both the Derby and the St. Leger Stakes (in 1800)
- Tyrant (1799), Derby winner in 1802
- Parasol (1800), who won many races and was a dam of Classic winners Pindarrie (2000 Guineas) and Pastille (Oaks and 2000 Guineas)
- Mandane (1800), taproot mare of Family 11-g. Dam of Manuella (1812 Oaks Stakes), Altisidora (St Leger), Lottery (Doncaster Cup) and Brutandorf (Chester Cup)
Potoooooooo died in November 1800 at the age of 27 and was buried at Hare Park. Some 200 years later, his skeleton was uncovered when a tree blew over. The skeleton is on display at the Kings Yard Galleries of the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket.
Potoooooooo was sired by the undefeated Eclipse, who was also a very successful stallion even though he never led the sire list. His dam was Sportsmistress, whose dam Golden Locks was inbred 2 × 2 to Crab – he was both her maternal and paternal grandsire. Sportsmistress would produce a total of 11 foals including Sir Thomas, winner of the 1788 Derby.
|Sister to Old Country Wench|
|The Ruby Mare||Hutton's Blacklegs|
|Bay Bolton Mare|
|Mother Western||Easby Snake|
|Old Montagu Mare|
|Partner Mare (family: 38)|
Pot-8-Os is inbred 4 × 4 to the Godolphin Arabian, meaning the latter appears twice in the fourth generation of Pot-8-Os pedigree.
- Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), Thoroughbred Breeding of the World, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970
- "Pot8os". www.bloodlines.net. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- Byles, Tony (14 January 2015). 101 Interesting Facts on the History of Horse Racing (Kindle ed.). Apex Publishing. ISBN 9781910295328.
- "Pot8O's Pedigree". www.equineline.com. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- The General stud book (First American from the Second London ed.). Weatherbys. 1834. p. 267. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Erigero, Patricia. "Pot-8-Os". www.tbheritage.com. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- Whyte, James Christie (1840). History of the British turf, from the earliest period to the present day, Volume I. London: H. Colburn. pp. 567–569. OL 6544990M.
- "Pot8os Sire Line". www.bloodlines.net. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Thoroughbred Bloodlines – Sister To Edwin – Family 3-i". www.bloodlines.net. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Thoroughbred Bloodlines – Mandane – Family 11-g". www.bloodlines.net. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Stakes and Spuds". www.palacehousenewmarket.co.uk. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- "Potos Horse Pedigree". www.pedigreequery.com. Retrieved 23 August 2016.