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1861-05-29 Ralph Bullock KETTLEDRUM Colonel Charles Towneley Epsom Derby paddock

There was much criticism of the state of the Epsom course, which had been badly neglected and was strewn with rubbish. This Epsom Derby was run on Wednesday 29th May 1861 and the winner was bred by Mr James Cookson and trained by Mr Oates at Lambourn. There were 18 runners from an initial entry of 236. The winner won by a length in 2 mins 45 secs, with a head between second and third. The winner won a first prize of £6,350, the equivalent of £3,790,000 today. 1861, The inaugural HKJC Chairman, the Hon. P. Ryrie, had come to Hong Kong in 1851, to join the merchant house of Turner & Co. as their book-keeper at Canton; in 1861 he became a partner.
Mr Muirhouse’s pony AFGHAN of a winning sequence. He won the Ladies’ Purse in 1859, was second in 1860, then won it again in 1861 and 1862.
1861 Meeting, Mr Ramsay rode his own pony SAUCEBOX to double victory. Mr Ramsay was very small for a gentleman jockey; for the Valley Stakes he weighed only 7 st. 7 lbs. (105 lbs.)!
A curiosity among the owners of 1861 was “Mr Ho Nam”, who was not a Chinese.
When the foreign residents of Peking held their first race Meeting in 1861, the China Mail’s racing correspondent deplored the “profanity” of some of the younger members of the community —apparently the student-interpreters at the Legation.
Race days became holidays. As early as 1861 the Spring and Autumn Meetings were described as ,the grand festival of Shanghai. They built their third racecourse.

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