WOMBILL, After Sidney R. (fl. 1885-1890)
Melton. Winner of the Derby Stakes at Epsom 1885... As a two year old he won the New Stakes at Ascot, The Middle Park Plate and the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket. As a three year old he won the Payne Stakes at Newmarket, also the St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster 1885. The Property of Lord Hastings. Got by Master Kildare out of Violet Melrose. Trained by M. Dawson. Ridden by Fred Archer.
London: George Rees, 7 August 1885. Aquatint engraving, printed in colours and finished by hand, by E.H. Hunt (corners rounded). Image:18 7/8 x 25 inches ; sheet size:24 1/8 x 30 1/4 inches.
A portrait of the most famous British jockey of the 19th century, Fred Archer, up on Melton, winner of the 1885 St Leger and the Epsom Derby.
Frederick Archer (1857-1886), " born at St. George's Cottage, Cheltenham, on 11 Jan. 1857, was the second son of William Archer, a jockey of the old school, who took over a stud of English horses to Russia in 1842, who won the Grand National at Liverpool on Little Charlie in 1858, and who eventually became landlord of the King's Arms at Prestbury, near Cheltenham. His mother was Emma, daughter of William Hayward, a former proprietor of the King's Arms. On 10 Jan. 1867 Billy Archer apprenticed his son Fred, a quick, retentive, and exceedingly secretive boy, for five years to Matthew Dawson, the trainer at Newmarket. As Billy Archer's son he was soon given an opportunity of showing his mettle, and on 28 Sept. 1870 at Chesterfield, upon Atholl Daisy, he won his first victory on the turf. Two years later, scaling at that time 5st 7lb, he won the Cesarewitch on Salvanoe, and in 1874, in which year the death of Tom French made a clear vacancy for a jockey of the first order, he won a success upon Lord Falmouth's Atlantic in the Two Thousand Guineas which proved of the greatest value to his career. Thenceforth he became a veritable mascotte of the racing stable with which he was connected. In 1874, with 530 mounts, he scored 147 wins. In 1877 he won his first Derby, and also the St. Leger, upon Lord Falmouth's Silvio. In 1884, with 377 mounts, he secured no less than 241 wins. His most successful year was probably 1885, when he won the Two Thousand Guineas on Paradox, the Oaks on Lonely, the Derby and St. Leger on Melton, and the Grand Prix on Paradox. In his last season he won the Derby and St. Leger on Ormonde. In all he is said to have worn silk 8,084 times, and to have ridden 2,748 winners. His most exciting victory was perhaps the Derby of 1880, when he came up from the rear upon Bend Or with an extraordinary rush, beating Robert the Devil by a head. His nerve was of iron, and he never hesitated to take the inside of the turn and hug the rails at Tattenham Corner. The success which enabled him to remain premier jockey for the unprecedented period of ten years is attributed primarily to his coolness and to his judgment of pace." (DNB).
Lane British Racing Prints p.184.