OUR MEMORIES
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Sir Hormusjee Naorojee Mody (1838-10-12 — 1911-06-16) was a successful Parsi businessman in Hong Kong.

He was one of the Founding Members,of The 1884 HKJC.

He also was the Winning Owner Of 11 HK Derby.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1838-10-12 Hormusjee Naorojee Mody was born in Bombay, India.

After completing his secondary education, he founded a printing press and began publishing a newspaper in India.

1858, Mody arrived in Hong Kong at the invitation of his maternal uncle, Jehangirjee Buxey.

1860, Mody worked for an Indian Bank (presumably the Bank of Hindustan, China, and Japan) before starting his own auction house.

1868, Mody formed Chater & Mody with Catchick Paul Chater which enjoyed great success in the real estate/land business.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Chater, an incredibly keen race-goer, introduced Mody to horseracing.

Mody took up racing with tremendous success.

Mody never attended meetings unless it was absolutely unavoidable.

1872, Mody (using the name “Mr. Buxey”) and Chater (using the name “Mr. Paul”) set up a successful stable together.

1884-11-04 Formation of a Jockey Club for Hong Kong Minutes showing:

“A meeting of the subscribers to the races of 1884 was held at the City Hall on 4th inst. (month not given, but presumably October or November)

1884-11-05, 《Hong Kong Daily Press》reported that 34 subscribers, all gentlemen, attended the meeting of HKJC Formation.

Chater persuaded Mody to be present, presumably because automatic membership of the Jockey Club would save him the trouble of applying later on.

Sir Hormusjee Mody, member of the Club from its birth, very quickly became a formidable contender for premier racing honours.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

As “Mr Buxey,” his colours were “Blue and white stripes”.

His ponies trained with Sir Paul’s, and their stables at times seemed to overlap.

He won the very first race he entered, the Valley Stakes, with GOLDFINCH.

Thereafter his tempo of success was rapid.

“In addition, two ponies trained in his stable — one for Mr H. N. Mody and the other for Mr T. Chater (a brother of Sir Paul) — won a race each.

Making 17 wins for the stable out of a total of 26 races run during the three days of the Meeting.

Of these winners, Mr Nickells rode ten and Mr J. A. Pond seven.”

 

1885-02-25 Mody won the Derby with a pony named FUN, repeating by another of his pony in the following year.

 

1886-02-24 Mody won the Derby again in a roll, with MARAUDER ridden by Pond.

It was a modest year for the stable when it did not enter ten or more.

Later all his ponies were “ROSES”.

 

Mody expanded his stable to Shanghai and soon became a viable rival to David Sassoon, who had dominated Shanghai racing.

 

1887 Shanghai St. Leger, TYCOON placed second, owned by Hormusjee Mody.

 

1889-02-20 PAO SHING ridden by Pond won the 17rd Derby.

1889, John Peel had no fewer than four ponies out in the Champions to beat the winner of the Derby — Mr Mody’s PAO SHING.

 

1890, Hormusjee Mody was taking increased interest in the Shanghai races.

Mody’s best pony, PAO HSING, was a grey, contributing to the colour myth.

 

1892, Mody’s ‘ROYALIST’ won the Shanghai Derby and other Mody horses won six more races at the meetings.

Later both Sassoon and Mody brought their best horses from Shanghai to Hong Kong and renewed their rivalry.

Mody won the Shanghai Derby with ROYALIST, an exceptionally fine animal, a dun who for many years held the all-China record for the 1-1/2 miles.

Of the 28 races run at that meeting, Sassoon won 9, Hormusjee Mody 7.

 

1895-02-20, BLACK VELVET ridden by Burkill won the 23rd Derby.

Two famous Shanghai riders of that decade were Mr A. W. Burkill and, later, his brother “Chuck”.

 

1899-02-21 WILD ROSE ridden by Wuillenmuir won,the 27th Derby.

 

Mody continued to run one of the top stables in Hong Kong throughout the first decade of the twentieth century.

 

1903 “Mr Buxey’s” string won nine races. At this time, Buxey ponies held seven of the eleven distance records.

 

1904 with nine assorted ROSEs his was the biggest stable.

They won ten races. CORONET ROSE took the Derby, the Garrison Cup, the Flyaway Stakes and the Champions Stakes.

1904-02-23, CORONET ROSE,ridden by W Cox won the 32nd Derby.

 

1906, he took twelve races, of which ten were on ponies belonging to Mr Mody, including the Maidens, the Derby and the Champions.

He had a great year in 1906, when ten of his ponies won eleven races.

1906-02-13, TRIUMPH ROSE,ridden by Hayes won the 34th Derby,

 

1907-02-20, SPRING ROSE,ridden by Master won the 35th Derby.

 

1909-02-17, LITTLE GEM ROSE,ridden by Burkill won the 37th Derby.

 

1910, he was knighted after sponsoring the establishment and the laying of the Hong Kong University’s foundation stone.

1910-02-16, ROYAL ROSE,ridden by Burkill won the 38th Derby.

 

1911-02-15, CORONATION ROSE,ridden by Burkill won the 39th Derby.

1911-06-16 7.40 a.m. Sir Hormusjee Naorojee Mody, aged 73, passed away at his residence, Buxey Lodge, Conduit Road.

He was survived by wife Manekbai Mody and son Naoroj Mody (one of four sons).

He was buried in Parsee Cemetery behind the Happy Valley Racecourse grandstand, the same day.

His death was a heavy loss to China racing.

He was additionally commemorated in his residence “Buxey Lodge”, on Conduit Road, which was demolished to make way for a large block of Government quarters.

His son, Mr J. H. N. Mody, was present at the general meeting of members whereat HKJC’s sincere regret and appreciation were expressed.

 

When Sir Hormusjee Mody died, Mr Ellis Kadoorie (later Sir Ellis) seemed about to make a bid for premier position;

but the best of the Buxey runners were acquired by Sir Paul Chater and others.

 

In the golden years of the Buxey stable, Sir Hormusjee Mody’s ponies held the records for seven distances.

1921, three of the seven still stood.

1922, only one was left — Once Round, in 1.52. by GLORIOUS ROSE.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Mody was one of those people who leave before anyone else, and though capable of taking hair-raising risks on the Hongkong stock exchange.

His nickname was Napoleon of the Rialto.

He was very much a man of hearth and home, which was Buxey Lodge in Conduit Road, Hongkong.

The life of Mody is best summed up by the plaque under his bronze bust at the University of Hong Kong:

“A distinguished Parsi businessman, renowned philanthropist, and benefactor of Hong Kong for over fifty years.”

 

 

REFERENCE

 

 

There is still a handicapping race in the HKJC racing schedule named after him.

Mody Road and Mody Square in Tsim Sha Tsui, were named after him as well.

Parsi, also spelled Parsee, member of a group of followers in India of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster. The Parsis, whose name means “Persians”, are descended from Persian Zoroastrians who emigrated to India to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims during the 8th or 10th century. They live chiefly in Bombay.

 

 

EXTERNAL LINK

 

Hormusjee Naorojee Mody – Wikipedia

 

 

 


 

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