Straight Deal

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Straight Deal
Sire Solario
Grandsire Gainsborough
Dam Good Deal
Damsire Appelle
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1940
Country United Kingdom
Colour Bay
Breeder Dorothy Paget
Owner Dorothy Paget
Trainer Walter Nightingall
Record 10: 5-2-1
Earnings £
Major wins
New Derby (1943)

Straight Deal (1940–1968) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from 1942 to 1943 he ran ten times and won five races. His most important success came in June 1943 when he won the “New Derby”, a substitute race for the Epsom Derby run on the July Course at Newmarket. During the Second World War many racecourses were closed either for safety reasons or for military use, with Epsom Downs Racecourse being used as the location for an anti-aircraft battery. Straight Deal was retired after finishing third in the “New St Leger” later that year and went on to become a successful stallion.


Straight Deal was bred at the Elsenham Stud in Hertfordshire by his owner, Dorothy Paget,[1] Straight Deal’s sire, Solario was an outstanding racehorse who won the Coronation Cup and the Ascot Gold Cup in 1926, before going on to be Champion sire three times. Miss Paget's colt was one of only three known foals produced by Good Deal a successful racehorse who won seven times.

Straight Deal, a “headstrong and sulky” bay horse, was trained by Walter Nightingall at his South Hatch Stables near Epsom.[2]

Racing career[edit]

1942: two-year-old season[edit]

Straight Deal was a very useful two-year-old who competed at the highest level in 1942. He won a race at Salisbury and the Runnymede Plate at Windsor,[3] both over six furlongs. At Newmarket he ran in the Coventry Stakes (transferred from Ascot) in which he finished second, beaten one and a half lengths by Nasrullah.[4]

In September he was sent to Newmarket and finished second to Umiddad in the Dewhurst Stakes. On his final start of the season Straight Deal returned to Newmarket for the Middle Park Stakes in which he faced Nasrullah again. On this occasion however, his temperament came to the fore as he charged the starting tape, unseated his rider and ran loose for several minutes. When the race eventually started he was quickly beaten and finished unplaced behind the filly Ribbon, with Nasrullah second.[2]

In the Free Handicap, a ranking of the year’s best two-year-olds, Straight Deal was given a weight of 125 pounds, five pounds below Nasrullah and six behind the champion Lady Sybil.[2]

1943: three-year-old season[edit]

By the time that Straight Deal reappeared in 1943 he had made excellent physical progress, with the Sporting Life's correspondent commenting that the colt had "strength written everywhere on his frame."[5] Straight Deal began his three-year-old season on 26 April when he was one of five winners ridden by Tommy Carey at Windsor.[6] In the 2000 Guineas on 25 May he was well fancied and started at odds of 17/2 in a field of nineteen but ran disappointingly to finish sixth behind Kingsway. It was felt that he had raced too prominently and would be better if held up for a late run.[2]

In the New Derby on 19 June Straight Deal started at odds of 100/7 in a field of twenty-three and was ridden again by Carey. The population of Newmarket reportedly doubled by the 15,000 spectators for the race,[7] with many spending the night of the race in the open as all the hotels and boarding houses were full.[8] Straight Deal was held up in the early stages as Persian Gulf made the running before he moved up to fifth place half a mile from the finish.[9] Carey produced the colt with a strong run in the final furlong to catch Umiddad in the last strides[10] and win by a head, with Nasrullah half a length away in third.

On his next start, Straight Deal was sent to Ascot where he won a race over one and a half miles. In September he returned to Newmarket for the “New St Leger”, a substitute for the Classic usually run at Doncaster. He started 3/1 favourite[11] and proved to be the best colt in the race, but finished third behind the fillies Herringbone and Ribbon.[12]


In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris classified Straight Deal as an “average” Derby winner, and the one hundred and forty-eighth best British horse of the 20th Century, with a rating of 132.[13]

Stud career[edit]

Straight Deal was never a popular sire, possibly because of “unfashionable” elements on the female side of his pedigree.[2] He nevertheless proved a reasonably good stallion, being especially successful with his fillies including Ark Royal, Kerkeb and Above Board, all of whom won the Yorkshire Oaks. The best of his colts were the stayers Aldborough (Doncaster Cup) and Royal Highway (Irish St Leger).

Straight Deal died in 1968 at the advanced age (for a thoroughbred) of twenty-eight.


Pedigree of Straight Deal (GB), bay stallion, 1940[14]
Solario (GB)
Bayardo Bay Ronald
Rosedrop St. Frusquin
Sun Worship
Sundridge Amphion
Doctrine Ayrshire
Good Deal (GB)
Sardanapale Prestige
Angelina St. Frusquin
Arion Valens
Post Horn
Dandelion Rochester
Security (Family: 1-t)


  1. ^ "Dorothy Paget". Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mortimer, Roger; Onslow, Richard; Willett, Peter (1978). Biographical Encyclopedia of British Flat Racing. Macdonald and Jane’s. ISBN 0-354-08536-0. 
  3. ^ "ENGLISH DERBY". Evening Post. 1943-06-21. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  4. ^ "Samovar scores upset". Calgary Herald. 1943-07-02. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  5. ^ "SPORTING NEWS. THE TURF". The West Australian. 1943-06-23. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  6. ^ "Jockey Richards sets turf record". Edmonton Journal. 1943-05-12. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  7. ^ "Straight Deal wins Derby at Newmarket". Milwaukee Journal. 1943-06-19. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  8. ^ "ENGLISH DERBY". 1943-06-21. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  9. ^ "Derby is captured by Straight Deal". Montreal Gazette. 1943-06-19. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  10. ^ "STRAIGHT DEAL'S DERBY". Courier-Mail (Brisbane). 1943-06-21. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  11. ^ "LORD DERBY'S St LEGER". The Argus. 1943-09-20. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  12. ^ "ENGLISH ST. LEGER". Evening Post. 1943-09-20. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  13. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1999). A Century of Champions. Portway Press,. ISBN 1-901570-15-0. 
  14. ^ "English Derby Winner: Straight Deal". Retrieved 2011-11-15. 

External links[edit]