George Robert Leftwich
George Robert Leftwich (British, 1846–1929)
Oil on canvas, 30” x 39 ¾”
Signed, dated 1898, inscribed Newmarket
Property of Mrs. Dorothy Mason
The Epsom Derby of 1898 was thought to be a wide-open contest. Cyllene would have been a heavy favorite, but his owner, Charles Day Rose, had opted not to nominate his colt for the classics. There were 18 entries for the Derby that year, the largest number of starters in nearly two decades. Disraeli, the winner of the 2000 Guineas, became the favorite at 2-1, even amid concerns that he could not make the distance. The general mood was subdued throughout the grandstand, both on account of a heavy fog and the general lack of confidence that Disraeli could go the distance.