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Banking aristocrats still a major European force; THE ROTHSCHILD FAMILY The Rothschilds and the Wertheimers are two powerful families represented in Sunday's Arc. John Randall charts the history of the Rothschilds.

Byline: John Randall

THE Rothschilds have been prominent racehorse owners since Victorian times, and this year's Group 1 winners and Arc hopes Nathaniel and Meandre show that they are now as successful as ever.

Members of the English and French branches of the banking dynasty have owned great champions Sardanapale, La Farina, Brantome, Blue Peter and Exbury, and winners of the Derby, King George, Arc and most of the other top races in Europe.

Of the living English family members, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (Notnowcato) and Lord Rothschild (Nathaniel) are second cousins once removed, and have separate financial and racing operations.

Among the current French Rothschilds, Baron Edouard is the co-owner of Meandre, president of France Galop and fourth cousin of Sir Evelyn; both are fifth in descent from Mayer Rothschild of Frankfurt, who was born in 1744.

The family tree could be extended to include many other owners, including the present Earl of Halifax (Shirley Heights), who is a third cousin once removed of Sir Evelyn, and Robert Waley-Cohen (Long Run), who is Sir Evelyn's fourth cousin once removed.

In addition, Alfred de Rothschild, brother of the 1st Baron Rothschild and of Derby-winning owner Leopold, is rumoured to have been the father of Almina Countess of Carnarvon, great-grandmother of Highclere Thoroughbred boss Harry Herbert.

Lady Rothschild (b 1934) Nathaniel, the King George winner, runs in the name of Lady Rothschild, owner of Waddesdon Stud and wife of Jacob, the current Lord Rothschild. She was born Serena Dunn, daughter of Sir Philip Dunn (owner of 1960 Stewards' Cup winner Monet) and granddaughter of Canadian financier Sir James Dunn. The latter's third wife, Marcia, became Lady Beaverbrook, owner of Boldboy, Bustino and other notable horses.

Lord Rothschild, a financier, is not a racing enthusiast like his wife and their son, Nat. Their racing manager is James Wigan, whose wife Anita's first husband, Amschel, was a half-brother to Lord Rothschild.

Nat Rothschild (born 1971) The next Lord Rothschild is joint-owner (with his mother) of Nathaniel, 2009 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Pounced, and Waddesdon Stud. A hedge-fund tycoon, he has built up his own business separate from that of his father, and is now worth more than twice as much - pounds 1 billion compared to his father's pounds 480 million, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

Best known for socialising with Lord Mandelson and George Osborne, he carries the biggest brand name in the financial world and is living proof that the entrepreneurial Rothschild genes are as active as ever.

Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) This merchant banker and popular sportsman was a nephew of Baron Mayer de Rothschild, owner of Derby winner Favonius. He also owned a Derby winner, St Amant, who triumphed in a thunderstorm in 1904, to add to his 2,000 Guineas victory. His best horse was St Amant's sire St Frusquin, who won the 2,000 Guineas and was second in the Derby in 1896. He bred both colts and also his other Classic winner, Doricles, who landed the St Leger in 1901. He founded Southcourt Stud near Leighton Buzzard and developed the family estate at Ascott in Buckinghamshire.

Anthony de Rothschild (1887-1961) Anthony de Rothschild inherited from his father Leopold the yearling Galloper Light, who was destined to win the Grand Prix de Paris in 1919; Palace House stables in Newmarket, which he donated to the Jockey Club in 1946; and Southcourt Stud, which is now owned by his children Renee and Evelyn. His only Classic winner was Pillion in the 1926 l,000 Guineas.

He sold all his horses in 1944 and concentrated on business - he was the senior partner of the family firm of merchant bankers, NM Rothschild & Sons - and on acts of philanthropy.

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (b 1931) Anthony de Rothschild's son Evelyn, knighted in 1989, was the chairman of NM Rothschild & Sons and (from 1977 to 1994) of United Racecourses, and his family's assets are worth pounds 450 million. His biggest winners have been Insatiable (1998 Prix Dollar), Notnowcato (2006 Juddmonte International, 2007 Eclipse Stakes) and Crystal Capella (2011 Princess of Wales's Stakes); the last two were bred at Southcourt Stud, and Notnowcato ran in the names of his sons, Anthony and David.

His sister, Renee, trains jumpers near Newport Pagnell and is married to Peter Robeson, an Olympic showjumping bronze medallist.

Baron Mayer de Rothschild (1818-1874) A son of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, founder of bankers NM Rothschild & Sons, Baron Mayer (the title was Austrian) became a Liberal MP and the first Jewish member of the Jockey Club. He bred and owned the winners of seven Classics, four of them in 1871 - the Derby with Favonius and the fillies' Triple Crown with Hannah, whom he had named after his only child.

She married a gentile politician, the 5th Earl of Rosebery, who owned three Derby winners - Ladas (1894), Sir Visto (1895) and Cicero (1905), the first two of whom triumphed at Epsom while he was Prime Minister.

Harry, 6th Earl of Rosebery (1882-1974) Harry Rosebery was the elder son and heir of Lord Rosebery and his wife, Hannah de Rothschild. A pillar of the sport for more than half a century, the former first-class cricketer, soldier and Liberal MP was champion owner in 1939 thanks to the great Blue Peter, a homebred who won the 2,000 Guineas and Derby.

He won the Derby again with Blue Peter's son Ocean Swell in 1944 and also owned Sandwich (1931 St Leger) and Sleeping Partner (1969 Oaks). A prominent Turf administrator, he was president of the TBA for 23 years. Ruth, Countess of Halifax (1916-1989) Edward, 3rd Earl of Halifax (b 1944) Ruth Halifax was the only child of Neil Primrose (younger son of the PM Lord Rosebery and Hannah de Rothschild) and Lady Victoria Stanley, daughter of Turf grandee the 17th Earl of Derby. She married the 2nd Earl of Halifax, owner-breeder of 1978 Derby winner Shirley Heights, and was herself the breeder of Acropolis. In 1977 she and her half-sister Priscilla Hastings (grandmother of Clare and Andrew Balding) were among the first three women elected to the Jockey Club.

Her son, the present Earl of Halifax, was joint owner-breeder of Shirley Heights and has also owned Mountain Lodge and Bedtime. Baron Edouard (1868-1949) The head of the French branch of the banking dynasty, Baron Edouard de Rothschild owned Brantome, who was the greatest of all the Rothschild champions and the best Flat horse in the world in 1934, winning the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, Prix Royal-Oak and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

He owned a second Arc winner, Eclair Au Chocolat (1938), but at the time the Grand Prix de Paris was France's most important race and he won it with Sans Souci (1907) and Crudite (1935). France's perennial champion breeder and owner also had Alcantara (1911 Prix du Jockey Club) and La Farina.

Baron Guy (1909-2007) Baron Edouard (b 1957) Baron Guy de Rothschild, son of Brantome's owner-breeder, enjoyed his biggest racing success with the great Exbury, who was the world champion of 1963 when romping home in the Coronation Cup, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The banker also owned lesser champions La Bamba, Free Ride, Diatome, Soleil and Mariacci; Grand Prix de Paris winners Vieux Manoir, White Label, Soleil Noir and Le Nain Jaune; and Crystal Palace, the 1977 Prix du Jockey Club victor.

His younger son, Edouard, is the president of France Galop and co-owner of Meandre, the Grand Prix de Paris winner.

Jimmy de Rothschild (1878-1957) This French-born, monocle-wearing first cousin of Brantome's ownerbreeder moved to Britain partly because of the Dreyfus affair, and became a Liberal MP. He gained his biggest Turf victory with Reine Lumiere in the 1925 Grand Prix de Paris, and also owned Gold Cup winners Bomba (1909) and Apothecary (1915), Atmah (1911 1,000 Guineas) and Patriot King (1934 Irish Derby dead-heat). Fred Pratt was his private trainer for many years. His widow Dorothy, owner-breeder of 1976 St Leger third Scallywag, died in 1988 and bequeathed Waddesdon Stud to the present Lord Rothschild.

Baron Maurice (1881-1957) The brother of Jimmy de Rothschild, Baron Maurice won the Grand Prix de Paris with Verdun (1909) and Sardanapale (1914). The latter was France's greatest champion before World War I - he beat another Rothschild ace, La Farina, in the Grand Prix on the day that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated at Sarajevo - and also landed the Prix du Jockey Club.

CAPTION(S):

Lady Rothschild with the King George trophy after Nathaniel's victory
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Sep 28, 2011
Words:1422
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