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Owner-breeder Hollingsworth dies, aged 82.

Byline: George Ennor

DICK HOLLINGSWORTH, one of the last great British owner-breeders and owner of 1980 Oaks winner Bireme, has died peacefully at the age of 82 at home in Ware, Hertfordshire.

A date for the funeral, a private family affair, has yet to be set.

Hollingsworth adhered to the principle of trying to breed a Derby winner who would take the Ascot Gold Cup the next year.

Arches Hall Stud in Hertfordshire, taken over by Hollingsworth on his father's death in 1953, produced a long list of good winners, many descended from foundation mare Felsetta.

But Hollingsworth's only Classic victory in more than 40 years as an owner-breeder came when Bireme won the Oaks. He also won the 1986 Gold Cup with Longboat.

There were, though, a host of good winners and, season after season, he had a colt of whom Classic aspirations were held.

Richard Dunbavin Hollingsworth was educated at Eton and served in the Royal Berkshire regiment before taking up stockbroking, retiring in the late 1980s. Barely had he taken over Arches Hall than he enjoyed one of his best horses.

This was the filly Ark Royal, who won all but one of her seven races in 1955, including the Ribblesdale and Park Hill Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks. The only time she was beaten was by Triple Crown heroine Meld in the Oaks.

Many of Hollingsworth's best early horses were fillies. Kyak won the 1956 Park Hill Stakes and, two years later, Cutter also took the fillies' St Leger before winning the Yorkshire Cup and the John Porter Stakes the following year.

All these winners were trained by George Colling, and the owner's horses remained with that trainer's assistant, John Oxley, when he took over the Newmarket yard on Colling's death in 1959.

Oxley's arrival coincided with the best Hollingsworth colt up to that time. This was Eagle, a son of Ark Royal, who took the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury as well as being placed in the Sussex, St James's Palace, Craven and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

In 1964, Ark Royal's daughter Ocean won the Coronation Stakes on only her second appearance, and the following year Hermes, another of Ark Royal's sons, took the Houghton Stakes.

As a three-year-old, Hermes won the Jockey Club Cup, the Voltigeur and the Dante, and the following season it was the turn of Mariner to do best for Hollingsworth.

His four wins included the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot, while he was second in the Jockey Club Cup and the Voltigeur. In 1968 and 1969, Torpid won the White Rose and Jockey Club Stakes and was placed in the Gold Cup, the Royal-Oak and the St Simon Stakes.

In 1970, the filly Fluke won the Jersey Stakes at Ascot and the Duke of York Stakes. Three years after that Hollingsworth, for the first time, had horses with Dick Hern as well as Oxley.

That first year nearly brought the elusive Classic success, but Buoy had to settle for second in the St Leger and third in the Irish Derby. At four, he won the Coronation Cup, the Yorkshire Cup and the Princess of Wales's Stakes.

The next season, 1975, produced two more Royal Ascot successes when Sea Anchor took the King Edward VII Stakes and Zimbalon won the King George V Handicap.

In 1980 the filly Bireme gave Hollingsworth the Classic victory which had eluded him. Having won York's Musidora Stakes, she beat Vielle and The Dancer at Epsom.

The next Hollingsworth star was Band who, over the 1983 and 1984 seasons, won the Yorkshire Cup, the March Stakes and the Cumberland Lodge, as well as being second in the Royal-Oak and the Irish St Leger. In the second of those seasons, Longboat won the Alycidon Stakes at Goodwood and finished third to stablemate Bedtime in the Cumberland Lodge.

In 1985, Longboat beat Gildoran in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot, but had to settle for second when the pair met at levels in the Gold Cup. But next year, victory in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown was followed by the Cup treble at Ascot, Goodwood and Doncaster.

Longboat won the Doncaster Cup only in the stewards' room after being pipped by Petrizzo, but had pulled a muscle.

In 1987, Dry Dock won the Chester Vase and was placed in the St Leger and the Voltigeur but, in recent years, the Hollingsworth fortunes had been in decline.

In addition to the Hern-trained horses, Hollingsworth had winners with Barry Hills and Neil Graham after 1991 but, by and large, they were undistinguished, apart from Showboat, who captured the 1999 Royal Hunt Cup by six lengths.

Hollingsworth took his later comparative lack of success in the same quiet and undemonstrative way he had received the big-race winners of earlier years. Calm and dignified in defeat, he was reserved and self-contained in victory.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 10, 2001
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