Oil on board, 11 1⁄2” x 19” (each)
Signed, inscribed verso
The Eclipse Stakes, Sandown 1892 by Alfred Wheeler depicts The Duke of Westminster’s Orme battling J.W. Houldsworth’s Orvieto. Orme, ridden by jockey George Barrett and trained by John Porter, won the race.
Orme won the Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes as a 2-year- old but was held out of the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby during his 3-year-old season due to a mysterious illness — an illness some suspected was due to poison. After overcoming his illness and returning to form, Orme won the Eclipse Stakes in 1892, a victory that he would repeat in 1893 with the famous jockey Morny Cannon up. With the pair of victories in the Eclipse Stakes, Orme became the first horse to win the race twice, a feat that has only been repeated four times since. Orme was the champion sire of Great Britain in 1899, and among his greatest progeny were Flying Fox, winner of the British Triple Crown and Eclipse Stakes; Orby, winner of the Epsom Derby; and Witch Elm, winner of the 1000 Guineas.
The Eclipse Stakes takes place over a mile and a quarter and commemorates the much-celebrated racehorse Eclipse, who was foaled during the solar eclipse of 1764. Eclipse won all 18 of his races before embarking on a remarkable stud career. In 1970 the Royal Veterinary College determined that 80 percent of all Thoroughbreds’ pedigrees trace their ancestry to Eclipse.