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Gladiateur, one of 18 bronzes of thoroughbred racing horses by major French animalier sculptors is to be offered at Drouot on February 22 by Beaussant-Lefėvre, this one estimated at €2000-3000. (Photo: Studio Sebert - Beaussant Lefevre.)

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While most are unidentified renditions of racing horses and their jockeys, in one case the identity of the horse is known. Gladiateur was a champion on both sides of the channel during his four-year career, with victories including the Derby, the St Leger and the Grand Prix de Paris.

Born at stables in Eure in 1862, he was trained first near Compiègne then at Newmarket under Tom Jennings. The horse’s career took off at three years old when he first won the 2000 guineas and then the Derby – the first foreign horse to do so. On his return to France his success was such that he was nicknamed Le Vengeur de Waterloo.

The bronze offered at Drouot is by Alfred Bayre (1839-82), son of the famous sculptor Antoine-Louis Bayre. It stands 16½in (42cm) high and is signed on the base and dated 1865. An integral cartouche to the base is inscribed Gladiateur and Vainquer du Grand Derby Anglais et de Grand Prix de Paris. The estimate is €2000-3000.

beaussant-lefevre.com