Brown Jack was a Thoroughbred racehorse that raced over hurdles and then on the flat. He won the second Cheltenham Champion Hurdle in 1928, but his main claim to fame was winning the Queen Alexandra Stakes – the longest race in the flat racing calendar – for six years running, from 1929 to 1934. His repeated victories made him one of the most popular racehorses in the history of British racing.
A brown gelding, foaled in Ireland by Jackdaw out of Querquidella. He was bought as a 3 year old by Sir Harold Wernher and trained by Aubrey Hastings to race over hurdles. After Hastings' death in 1929, he was trained by former jockey Ivor Anthony (brother of Jack Anthony and Owen Anthony). In 1928, as a 4-year-old in his first season, he won seven races from ten starts, including the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in 1928 ridden by Bilbie Rees, but then switched to the more lucrative racing on the flat.
It was on the flat, in partnership with his jockey Steve Donoghue, that he made his reputation as the greatest equine character of his time.
His first big win was in the 1928 prestigious Ascot Stakes, which he took with ease. That was the beginning of his long association with Royal Ascot, where he was to win the Queen Alexandra Stakes for six years running, from 1929 to 1934, each time ridden by veteran Champion Jockey Steve Donoghue.
The same combination won the Goodwood Cup and Doncaster Cup in 1930, and the Chester Cup in 1931, the Ebor Handicap in 1931, and the Rosebery Memorial Plate.
After winning 18 races from 55 starts on the flat he retired and lived at Sir Harold Wernher’s home, Thorpe Lubenham Hall, in Leicestershire, where he died in 1948 after contracting a chill.
Brown Jack has a bronze statue at Ascot and the last LNER Class A1/A3 locomotive was named after him, entering into service in December 1935.