Copyright: Australian Racing Museum Collection

“She goes down in history as one of the greatest mares ever produced in Australia” (Maurice Cavanough)


TRAINER: James Wilson

OWNERS: James Wilson

RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 18:6-2-2/£5,000 (Estimate)


Bred at the famous St Albans Stud near Geelong, and trained and raced by its owner, James Wilson, Briseis created a record in 1876 which is unlikely ever to be equalled.

In 1876 Wilson took the two-year-old Briseis to Sydney to contest open class events. At that time two-year-olds could run in open events in Sydney but not in Melbourne. Carrying 5st 7lbs (35 kg), and ridden by Peter St Albans, she started equal favourite in the Doncaster Handicap, and beat the other equal favourite, Wrangler, by “a short length”. Three days later, with Tom Hales in the saddle. Briseis won the Flying Stakes, and the following day the All-Aged Stakes.

In Melbourne in the spring of 1876, and having her first start for six months, Briseis ran away with the Victoria Derby, defeating Queen’s Head by three lengths in Australian record time. In the Melbourne Cup, 11-year-old Peter St Albans replaced Tom Hales who could not make the weight of 6st 4lb (40 kg). Again Briseis made light of the opposition, winning the Cup comfortably from Sibyl and Timothy. Two days later she made it a unique treble by her victory in the Victoria Racing Club Oaks.

Having been sent to stud in 1877, Briseis died as a result of a paddock accident in 1879 without having produced a foal.

Image Source: State Library of Victoria