Race of the Week 2017

Who Was Kincsem?

Kincsem FOTO

Secretariat! I'll Have Another! Phar Lap! Those are the horses that probably come to mind when you ask any outsider to racing about the best horse in history. Perhaps they're forgetting a few, like Man O' War or even Barbaro. Those horses were all good, but they were also all males. Even if you ask people inside of racing, some of those names might come up. Why does nobody mention Kincsem? Wait, who is Kincsem?

Reason 1: People are uneducated about her. Yes, that's right. Her. This fabulous filly went a marvelous 54-54 in 4 racing seasons, a feat unheard of in today's racing. Zenyatta came close, with 19-20, and Ruffian with 10-11, but those weren't even a fraction of races that Kincsem ran in.

Reason 2: She raced in the 1800's. Maybe racing was easier back then, maybe horses didn't try as hard. Ha! Who are we kidding: racing was as hard then as it is now, probably even harder. It may take too long to research a horse that wasn't alive in the past century. After being foaled in 1874, Kincsem would die from a colic attack in 1887, at the young age of 13. She foaled only 5 offspring, 3 of which were females.

At the age of 2, Kincsem was entered in 10 races, each at a different track. Of course, she won them all. As a 3-year old, she was entered in 7 races, all of them being stakes. When she was a 4-year old, Kincsem tasted her closest speck of defeat when she was faced in a runoff after a dead heat in the Grosser Preis von Baden. Why the weird names? She was born in Hungary, and then continued to race all over England, beating all of her challengers.

Old racing lore tells the story of gypsies and the spark of brilliance they saw. One day, when Kincsem was just a foal, she would stand with her head low and her eyes half-opened. Out of 50 horses, the gypsies only stole Kincsem. When the rightful owner finally found her, he asked the thieves a question. “Why steal this horse when there are so many better to chose from?” The gypsy replied, “Because, the other horses may be better looking, but she was the best of the lot. She'll be a champion.”

This is only the overview of the life of this magnificent horse, I strongly encourage each and every one of you to further research her.

Major wins:
Hungarian Two Thousand Guineas
Hungarian One Thousand Guineas
Hungarian Oaks
Hungarian Autumn Oaks
Hungarian St. Ledger
Australian Derby
Goodwood Cup
Grand Prix de Deauville

Written by Madison Jackson


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Older Comments about Who Was Kincsem?...

What book, KFree1?
great article! i've been reading a lot about Kincsem lately, & i read yesterday about the gypsies before this was posted. she sounds like she was truly something.
doesn't it mean or was she not referred to as The Treasured One
TBDF. Thank you for reintroducing her and her accomplishments to a new generation of racing fans. I think the old timers deserve more respect than they get.
best in Euro form...May not have handled the front end speed this side of the pond
Thanks to both. I was shocked to hear the story about the gypsies, but I believe its true
First heard about Kincsem many years ago, and have loved her since. However, I never heard the story about the gypsies before. Nice article.
Good show, young lady. Very interesting. Here's a couple of topics you may find interesting: Swale - Did great things with so little time. Gate Dancer - The hooded wonder that wore earmuffs,

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