The best of European imports, including such greats as Ribot, Blenheim II, Nasrullah, Mahmoud, Princequillo, Ambiorix, Alibhai, and Sir Gallahad III, were used to refresh American lines.
Not a racer until the age of five, Eclipse retired from the track undefeated in 18 contests.
The Godolphin (Barb) Arabian
What Eclipse contributed to the Sport of Kings in the breeding shed is his most important legacy. Foaled in 1764, he was also an unbeatable competitor on the track.
All the above were champions; all were Eclipse tail male products.
Oriental Stallions Contribute to English
Imported stallions produced the lineage of today’s Thoroughbreds. Simon
Unscientific and mysterious, thoroughbred breeding does produce surprises along the way. Kelso, the five-time American Horse of the Year, for example, traces to Eclipse in tail male descendents, but a Man o’ War mare, Maidoduntreath, by Matchem, was Kelso’s maternal grand-dam.
First foaled in Syria, the Arabian breed that came to England was revered as a top specimen. The Darley Arabian gave the world Eclipse. It was originated in America by the champion Domino. He is believed to be a mixture of Persian and Arab bloodlines.
The Byerley Turk’s Influence
When intermingled British stock reached its limits, oriental stallions infused new and fresh bloodlines into English mares, who returned the favor by birthing brighter, faster foals.
The Thoroughbred line got a lasting start with Eclipse. A great-great-grandson of the Darley Abrabian (owned by Thomas Darley, of Yorkshire), one of three breeds that combined to establish racing’s best, Eclipse is tail male to many champions.
Most notably, all four of the American Triple Crown winners in the 1940s trace to Eclipse’s lot: Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), and Citation (1948).. His introduction to American breeding stock secured the blossoming of most of the potent lines currently in existence. American Thoroughbreds today still trace back to the grand English stallion, Eclipse. Their stock withstood the mystery of cross breeding and continues to be coveted today.
Eclipse In the Breeding Shed
First Fiddle, Porter’s Cap, Royal Minstrel, Whiskery, Epinard, and The Tetrarch trace to Herod. Still, breeders, owners, and trainers rely heavily on the evidence of past performance.
Although the Goldolphin (Barb) Arabian (owned by the Earl of Godolphin when he came into prominence) accounts for less American champions than the Darley Arabian, his line did bring about such superstars as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Discovery, War Admiral, and the champion filly, Busher.
Herod, foaled in 1758, a great-great-grandson of the Byerley Turk (owned by Captain Robert Byerley), is the third link in American Thoroughbred beginnings. While other Darley Arabian lines have disappeared, Eclipse’s tail male lineage accounts for 90 percent of American Thoroughbred winners.
St. Just three percent of American stakes winning lineage traces to the Byerly Turk, but his cross bred lines produced other champions. Today’s American Eclipse Awards honor his contribution to Thoroughbred breeding. Even though horse breeding will always remain an unscientific undertaking, horsemen will continue to search for the best bred horse of speed and stamina.
The Barb’s grandson, Matchem, born in 1748, begat this line.
Darley Arabian Sires Eclipse
Certain ancestry and lineage have stood the test of time