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Alec Taylor, Jr.

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Title: Alec Taylor, Jr.  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Falmouth Stakes, Cheveley Park Stakes, Champion Stakes, Jockey Club Stakes, Bayardo (horse), Chester Vase, Gay Crusader, British flat racing Champion Trainer, Alec Taylor, Sr., Washington Singer
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Alec Taylor, Jr.

Alec Taylor, Jr.
Occupation Trainer
Born 1862
United Kingdom
Died 1943
Major racing wins, honours and awards
Major racing wins
British Classic Race wins as trainer:
2000 Guineas (4)
1000 Guineas (1)
Epsom Derby (3)
Epsom Oaks (8)
St Leger (5)
Racing awards
British flat racing Champion Trainer (1907, 1909, 1910, 1914, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925)
Significant horses
Bayardo, Lemberg, Gainsborough, Gay Crusader, Saucy Sue

Alec Taylor, Jr. (1862–1943), known as the Wizard of Manton, was a British Thoroughbred racehorse trainer who followed in the footsteps of his highly successful father, Alec Taylor, Sr..[1][2]


His father Alec Taylor, Sr. was a successful horse trainer,[2] running Manton stables, "one of the finest training centres".[3] He began winning in 1851 with the Aphrodite in the One Thousand Guineas and Teddington in the Derby. He won a total of 12 classics, which ended in 1887 with Reve d'Or at Oaks and One Thousand Guineas. Alec Taylor, Sr. died in 1894. Thomas Taylor, his grandfather, had also been a trainer to Lord Chesterfield.[2]

Taylor remained a bachelor his entire life.[2]


When Taylor's father died he shared responsibility for running Manton stables with Tom, his half-brother, from 1895.[2][4][nb 1] Tom managed the business and Alex was a horse trainer. During their shared management of Manton stables, a 15 year old boy who worked at the stables was hospitalised and died of tubercular meningitis. Severe bruises found on his legs led to an investigation, supported by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which resulted in the discovery of more individuals who were reportedly beaten by two foremen and Tom Taylor. The foremen was found guilty of assault and Tom Taylor was acquitted due to the Master and Servant Act that allowed for corporal discipline and insufficient evidence. The judge admonished the men for unreasonable excuses for punishment and treatment of the boys as if they were slaves. Tom's reputation was ruined; Alec was "not implicated in the beatings".[4]

In 1902, Alec took full control of the stables, which were located in Wiltshire near Marlborough.[2][3] Under Alec, Jr.'s control, there were no reportings of inappropriate punishment. The stables reputation began to improve when Taylor trained Sceptre, "one of the greatest fillies in the history of racing." Sceptre's performance had faltered under poor management by the previous owner, and bounced back under Taylor's leadership.[4] Manton Stables were considered one of Britain's "most famous and prestigious training facilities" and were described as:

The buildings possess a singularly attractive and quiet beauty. [There are] spacious paddocks, splendid stables, and boxes [stalls] unsurpassed for size and abundance of light and air.[4]

From his Manton Stud at Manton, Wiltshire, Alec Taylor trained a large number of very successful horses.[1][2] In 1902, the horses that he trained won 12 races, there were 31 wins in 1907, and 47 inf 1910. Over that period his winnings increased from ₤2,305 to ₤52,364. Bayardo, a horse he trained, won 22 of 25 races and Taylor earned the reputation of "developing stayers".[2]

He claimed victory in twenty-one of the Classic Races, and he won two British Triple Crown titles, doing it back-to-back in 1917 and 1918.[1][3]

His training approach was described as follows:

He was renowned for his patience with his charges, at least the equine ones. Few juvenile victories figure in the stable's roll of honour as Taylor treated his two-year olds as little more than infants and generally preferred them to mature before being raced or even trained hard.[2]

In 1918 Taylor sold Manton to Joseph Watson, later made Baron Manton, who expanded the centre to 5,000 acres.[3] In 1921 Taylor won Epsom Oaks for him with Love in Idleness[1] and the came in third with Lemonora at the Grand Prix de Paris.[5]

Twelve times Taylor earned British flat racing Champion Trainer honors as the year's leader in earnings including seven in a row between 1917 and 1923.[2]

Beyond his Classic winners, Taylor also trained Buchan and Picaroon, amongst others.[1]

Taylor worked as trainer until his retirement in 1927, Joseph Lawson, who had been Taylor's assistant, took became Manton's stable's trainer.[2][3] The stables were sold to the Tattersalls that year.[3]

Classic Race wins

2,000 Guineas

1,000 Guineas

  • Saucy Sue (1925)[1]

Epsom Derby

Epsom Oaks

  • Rosedrop (1910), Sunny Jane (1917), My Dear (1918), Bayuda (1919), Love in Idleness (1921), Pogrom (1922), Saucy Sue (1925), Short Story (1926)[1]

St. Leger Stakes



Further reading

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