The 61st winner of the St Leger, held on Tuesday 20th September 1836 over the St Leger course on Town Moor, was Elis, a chestnut colt by Langar out of Olympia, owned officially by Thomas Anson 1st Earl of Lichfield, but in reality he was owned by Lord George Bentinck (see picture below). A field of 14 runners contested the race, although there were 75 subscriptions of 50 sovereigns each, which was worth 3750 sovereigns. (Equivalent to £438,800 in 2017). From as early as the autumn of 1835, Elis had been regarded as a leading contender for the 1836 St Leger, but when the horse was still in Goodwood a week before the race his chances appeared remote. In the 1830s, the established way for a horse to travel to a racecourse was to walk there, usually at a very gentle pace to minimise the risk of injury, and the 250-mile journey from Goodwood to Doncaster could take up to three weeks. Despite the fact that it appeared impossible for Elis to run in the St Leger he continued to be supported in the betting, which led to considerable confusion until Bentinck's plans were revealed. A specially designed carriage or 'caravan' had been constructed which could be drawn at high speed by a team of horses whose members could be replaced at regular intervals. Elis and a travelling companion named The Drummer were loaded into the padded interior of the caravan and were transported to Doncaster in less than three days. The project had been kept secret to allow Bentinck and his confederates to back the horse at longer odds than would otherwise been available. Elis started at odds of 7/2 for the St Leger, was ridden as usual by John Day, took the lead at half way and was never seriously challenged, winning easily from Scroggins. The connections of the winner were reported to have taken approximately £24,000 (equivalent to £2.8 million in 2020) in winning bets.
ELIS SR 1985

Horse Jockey Trainer Owner/Betting
ELIS John Day John Doe Thomas Anson 1st Earl of Lichfield 7/2
SCROGGINS William Scott Mr William Scott 6/4
BEE'S WING R Johnson Mr Orde 10/1
TRAPBALL Jem Robinson Mr Mostyn 7/1
EBBERSTON S Rogers Mr George Osbaldeston 100/1
VULTURE Sam Darling Mr Allanson 12/1
BLACK DIAMOND G Nelson Lord Eglinton 20/1
SNYDERS Chapple Lord Westminster 30/1
CAREW F Edwards Lord Chesterfield 40/1
LOCOMOTIVE J Holmes Mr T Dawson 100/1
REDSHANK Nat Flatman Mr Bird 9/1
WEDGE P Connolly Colonel Westenra 10/1
THE CARPENTER Sim Templeman Mr S L Fox 100/1
THE BARD R Hesseltine Mr Skipsey 100/1
The winner won with the greatest of ease by 2 lengths in 3 minutes 20 seconds. In a career consisting of 15 races he won 11 and came second in his other 4 races, twice being second to Bay Middleton. Over Round 124%

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

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352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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