King Edward VII with his 1909 Classic Winning Horse 'Minoru'
30 cm high x 39 cm wide (image)
34 cm high x 44 cm wide (sheet)
King Edward VII standing wearing a top hat, binoculars over his shoulder and umbrella in hand, holding the reins of his winning racehorse, Minoru, with the jockey Herbert Jones in saddle and trainer Richard Marsh standing behind. Photogravure after an embellished and manipulated photograph. Inscribed beneath "His Majesty King Edward VII's Minoru. / Winner of The 2000 Guineas and Derby 1909. / Trained by R. Marsh. Ridden by H. Jones."
Minoru was bred in Ireland and foaled in 1906. Named after the Japanese word meaning "bountiful abundance", he was leased by his breader to King Edward VII, who had twice won the Derby whilst Prince of Wales (with 'Persimmon' in 1896 and 'Diamond Jubilee' in 1900 (a horse which, actually, won him the coveted 'Triple Crown')).
The horse went on to win the 1909 '2000 Guineas' at Newmarket and started the Derby at Epsom on 26 May 1909 as second favourite at odds of 7-2 (just longer that the 3-1 favourite the American bred horse 'Sir Martin'). Minoru won the race by a short head and his victory made King Edward VII the first reigning British monarch to win a Derby. The triumph was greeted with unprecedented celebrations including a vast chorus of the entire Derby Day crowd singing the National Anthem as the King led the horse into the winner's enclosure. He failed to win the monarch a 'Triple Crown' when finishing a disappointing fourth place in that year's St. Leger. The horse was sold to a breeding operation in Russia in 1913 and disappeared during the turmoil that followed the Russian Revolution.
The trainer Richard Marsh was three times British flat racing Champion Trainer (1897, 1898 & 1900). He won the Derby four times (with Persimmon, Diamond Jubilee, Jeddah (the Derby's first 100/1 winner) & Minoru). Despite an enormously successful career, including winning the 'Triple Crown' with 'Diamond Jubilee', the jockey Herbert Jones is possibly now most widely known for having been on board King George V's horse 'Anmer' when it was involved in the fatal collision with suffragette Emily Davison at the 1913 Derby.
Extremely scarce but see Royal Collection Trust [RCIN 606265] for an identical image.
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