Derby 1884-02-20_3 RAPPAHANNOCK

The last Derby organized by the Race Committee before the formation of HKJC





Annual Race Meeting, 1st Day

It was some years since the sporting community had been so unfortunate with regard to the weather as they were for the first day of their Annual Racing meeting.

As might be supposed, the heavy nature of the course quite upset calculations for winner.

Anyway, this was the last Derby organized by the Racing Committee before the officially formation of HKJC.





Race 3 The 12th running of Hong Kong Derby

Sweepstakes of $20 each, half forfeit of declared on or before day of closing Entries, with $100 added for 1st Pony, and $50 for 2nd.

For all China Ponies bona fide Griffins at the date of Entry (Saturday, 19th January, 1884)

First Pony, 70 per cent; Second, 20 per cent; Third, 10 per cent.

Weight 10st. 10lbs.



Mr Paul declared to win with FAREWELL, and Mr St Vincent’s GENERAL declared best to win.

Ten ponies came forward to contest for the ‘Blue Riband’ of the meeting.

Though it was a larger one than any of its predecessors, it gave less trouble than either of them.

This was a magnificent race, the result of which was somewhat doubtful.

Many placed great reliance on ODAWARA, and it looked for the most part as if that confidence was not misplaced.





A fairly good start was effected, the ponies went off on their journey at the first try.

With the exception that ODAWARA got off over a length in front of the rest.

ODAWARA was surely having a decided advantage.

RAPPAHANNOCK was the first to head the ruck behind, and IMPETUOSO came out at his heels.

RAPPAHANNOCK soon left the ruck and drew alongside the leader.

He closed with the favorite and came down the straight at his quarters.

These two ponies led about a couple of lengths ahead of the rest.

For the greater part of the race, they were a long way in front of the others.


IMPETUOSO was still third, and FAREWELL fourth passing the stand the first time.

Going round the lower end of the course, the two leaders were locked together all the way.

They went still further away from the rest, but the field began to close up on the eastern side of the course.

Going up the slope to the rock, the two leaders were not more than a length ahead of FAREWELL.


When passing the Village the second time, FAREWELL for a time hold second place.

It looked as if this pony would come out the victor.

Then he got in front and led at the commencement of the straight.

Brandt called on ‘the good thing’ and pulled him into the first place again.

But Mr Nickels shock up FAREWELL also and the pony sported gamely.

ODAWARA, however shut it out, by bearing across it from the rails to the center of the track.

Just at this time RAPPAHANNOCK recovered its former position.

The little fancied pony suddenly came out with a wet sail and passed both the leading rivals in fine style.





RAPPAHANNOCK, finally beat the leader, winning a great race by half a length in 3 mins. 35 secs.

Mr Paul’s other string and selected pony FAREWELL came in third, about half a length behind ODAWARA.

RAPPAHANNOCK won the race amid a perfect uproar of applause.

Three cheers were enthusiastically given for the winner after the weight had been verified.

Nevertheless, Governor Sir Henry May‘s famous and valuable 《Notes on Pony and Horse Racing in Hong Kong 1845-1887》did not provide any racing details any more.





RAPPAHANNOCK, in eastern Virginia, USA, is the name of the river comes from an Algonquian word, lappihanne (also recorded as toppehannock).

The meaning is “river of quick, rising water” or “where the tide ebbs and flows,” the name used by the local native population, the Rappahannock tribe.


EWO owned by Mr Morgan and raced with 10st.19lbs. Mr Reynell up, placed last.





Race Committee – 《RacingMemories.HK》



Acknowledgment to HKJC Racing Registry for offering relevant records.





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