Jaipur, 1962 (Chicle’s Dark Door)

Charles Hatton on 1962 champion three-year-old Jaipur from the 1963 American Racing Manual.

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Jaipur is a typical Nasrullah, and a strikingly handsome colt of a sprinting mould who nevertheless proved a stayer, not unlike Sweep of old. He scored telling if narrow victories in the Belmont and Travers and was voted the champion of the 1962 three-year-olds. Racing men’s opinions of him ranged from great enthusiasm to a certain ambivalence.

On some afternoons, Jaipur rose to the occasion like a genuine champion, on others turned it up in sheer self-indulgence. His dominion was not unanimous at the polls. However, there was universal agreement that Bert Mulholland, his veteran trainer and developer, did a masterly job of handling him and that Jockey Club Chairman George D. Widener richly deserves to own and breed champions.

Nasrullah Temperament Well Known

The Nasrullah temperament is well known and extensively deplored. In the instance of Jaipur it was accompanied by an ability so exceptional as to plead a tolerance the majority happily granted.

There is no intention here of launching into a character dissection of the House of Phalaris, but Nasrullah’s is not the only branch at once noted for speed and notorious for sulkers. The Phalaris horse Sickle sent up many difficult animals, including a number of fillies the late J. E. Widener had who could never quite be broken to the gate. Sickle’s unfortunate temperament was handed down to his grandson Polynesian, the sire of Native Dancer, a champion who moved when he chose–but moved.

Among other things we would like explained is why Sickle’s full brother Pharamond II had none of his fire and became the ancestor of Menow, Tom Fool and others of the most dutiful and dedicated racehorses. For that matter, there has been no more generous animal than Nasrullah’s son Bold Ruler, while Phalaris’ son Carlaris was among the fastest and most exuberant runners we have seen. It is all very perplexing and there must be a moral somewhere.

Jaipur’s dam is Rare Perfume, a lengthy mare who is an “old blue hen” of contemporary production. She is in turn by Eight Thirty, a truly great racehorse and sire, out of the mare Fragrance, by another stallion of the same order in Sir Gallahad III. Then ensues the mare Rosebloom, by the irascible Chicle, whose misanthropy was such he wore a muzzle and would kick the shortening out of a cake. Shut Out’s dark, homicidal cunning and plots have been laid at Chicle’s door.

Branch of Prolific Woodbine Family

Rare Perfume is as kind as her sire Eight Thirty, a courtly old gentleman who still can “move like a panther,” as A. B. Hancock Sr. would say. Rare Perfume is also the dam of Udaipur and of Rare Treat, one of the stoutest stayers of her sex in late years. This is a branch of the prolific Woodbine family, from which came John P. Grier, Sweep, Pennant, Pot O’Luck, Bewitch and First Flight. Woodbine stems from one of the greatest racemares in English turf history, Bee’swing, the dam of Newminster.

Bee’swing won 51 of 64 races.

Mulholland did not produce Jaipur in racing fettle until April, pointing him for the Belmont, after which the colt became acutely bored and was sent to Erdenheim Farm for a change of scenery. He was absent from competition about two months. The vacation and a stronger exercise boy improved his outlook and manners, temporarily in any case, for the Travers, though in the fall he reverted to whimsicality. Blinkers had been added to his equipment in the spring, after he stopped in the Preakness. It is to Mulholland’s credit the colt won six of 10 starts.

Physically, Jaipur has evoked widespread admiration. He has a seal brown colt which gleams with purple lustre and his head is mantled by a perfect star, which is his only conspicuous marking. He has a large, luminous eye, a delicately turned ear, big jowls and a tapered muzzle. It is a handsome head, set on a muscular neck which extends harmoniously into smooth withers and a short, very broad back.

Perhaps the most conspicuous attribute of the colt’s physique is his overstated middlepiece. His barrel would fit a horse fully 17 hands. He has sloping shoulder with the humerus at the correct angle and strong forearms. The bone about the knees and cannons is flat and the limbs well fluted. The walls of the hoofs are black. His feet are well formed and round, with good coronary bands and sloped pasterns.

Bone Quality of Class Animal

Jaipur has the quality of bone that one expects to find in a high class animal. It is the abrupt slope of his croup, coupled with the breadth and heavy muscular investiture of his hind quarters, that gives him the look of a sprinter. Of course this is deceptive. It is a hallmark of the descendants of unbeaten Nearco, the Tesio champion from Italy who became one of modern racing’s most reliable agents of “classicisme.”

Jaipur’s action is consistent with his conformation. His is the drum roll gait of the speedster. He does not have the long, low sweeping action which identifies most distance runners and which is so well exemplified by Kelso. Nevertheless, he withstood a blistering drive gallantly to win the mile and a half Belmont, last and longest of the American Triple Crown events.

As you might guess from the foregoing he revels in wet footing and is very clever at negotiating turns.

Jaipur is a nimble post horse, as also are such of his rivals as Ridan, Mongo and Admiral’s Voyage. None is of the one-run persuasion and this came to some spirited sport during the season, presaging more to come during the ensuing year.

We are indebted to Dr. Gilman for the following measurements of Jaipur:

Height, 16 hands

Girth, 75 1/2 inches

Elbow to ground, 39 1/2 inches

Point of shoulder to point of hip, 48 inches

Point of hip to point of hip, 28 inches

Point of hip to point of hock, 41 inches

Point of hip to buttock, 27 inches

Poll to withers, 40 1/2 inches

Buttock to ground, 66 inches

Point of shoulder to buttock, 66 inches

Circumference of cannon under knee, 9 1/2 inches.

Contrasted to his 2-year-old measurements, it is found Jaipur grew three-quarters of an inch over the winter, that he thickened a half-inch and thus developed a half-inch more girth. He did not lengthen bodily.

Jaipur races again in ’63, but the descendants of the deceased Nasrullah are in high vogue and eminently successful sires both here and abroad just now, and already a number of Kentucky breeders are looking forward to his future at stud.

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Alas, Jaipur was not a particularly good sire. So why profile him at all??? Two reasons.

Jaipur was slightly before my time. I do not remember seeing him race at all. Once I moved down to Lexington, however, I encountered a certain friend who proclaimed himself a fan of Ridan. So naturally I had to gravitate toward the Jaipur camp. Friends are like brothers you choose . . . along with the rivalries you select.

The second reason is that the brief story about Chicle and Shut Out went off like a lightbulb in my head. It made such an impression on me that I had to scribble some verses of my own, which naturally went off on their own tangent. As Robert Frost observed, “Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.”

“Chicle’s Dark Door”

Shall we lay the blame at Chicle’s dark door?

Shall we agree that Clinton is not MUCH worse than Gore?

“From the rocking of the cradle to the rolling of the hearse”

I think I finally understand why life is such a curse

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MY life, that is, for others I should not speak

Jaystar was right; I should have died in my crib

But having survived, even as a Dylan freak

I should not bemoan the loss of one rib

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I should not dwell with regret or remorse

I should play the ball exactly as it lies

I will not buy a Beemer or even a Porsche

Amount of FIGHT in the dawg, not just its size

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I should be happy to be healthy and alive

Winning or losing, up by four or down by five

I can’t help being shaped by what came before

But I should NOT lay the blame at Chicle’s dark door.           6-1-00

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One Response to Jaipur, 1962 (Chicle’s Dark Door)

  1. Nicholas says:

    Thanks for the post and the poem. It’s a shame no one turf writing today uses words like whimsicality.

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