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This 3ft 6in x 4ft 2in (1.02 x 1.27m) canvas was fresh to the market from a deceased’s estate, having been bought from Agnew’s in 1957 for £4500.

Studies of single horses without riders are generally deemed among Stubbs’ less desirable works, but the paint surface of this particular example was unusually well preserved, and this, together with the painting’s market freshness, encouraged Waterhouse and underbidder Christopher Foley of Lane Fine Art to lift the bidding far beyond the £400,000-600,000 estimate.