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Archer, Frederick James (1857 - 1886)

Frederick Archer
Frederick Archer
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Jockey (J)

Also Known As:  Fred Archer, The Tin Man

Associated Places:  Cheltenham,Newmarket

Description:

Fred Archer was a legend in his lifetime, and has been ever since. Intelligent and ambitious, he was a natural horseman who understood tactics too. He was simply the best all-round jockey that the Turf has ever seen, wnning 2748 races, including 21 Classics. He had been Champion Jockey 13 times when he shockingly took his own life at the age of 29.

Fred Archer was born in Cheltenham, the son of William Archer (winner of the Grand National on Little Charlie in 1858). He was apprenticed to the trainer Mathew Dawson as an 11 year old boy. His first important win was in the 1872 Cesarewitch, and his first Classic in the 1874 2000 Guineas, after which he became Lord Falmouth's retained jockey. Lord Falmouth was Dawson's principle owner and the Archer/Dawson/Falmouth combination became amazingly successful. Over half of Archer's Classic victories were for Falmouth, although it could be said that he might have won even more had he not been restricted to Lord Falmouth's horses.

Archer lived at Mat Dawson's stables, Heath House, until he married Dawson's niece Helen Rose in 1884. He then built Falmouth House (now demolished). The expenses of this, together with unfounded suggestions that he had pulled certain horses, and the pressure of remaining at the top of his profession, may have contributed to his suicide. However, the loss of his first child and then his wife during the birth of their second child must have been a major factor. On top of this Archer had a great deal of trouble maintaining his weight. He was 5ft 10" tall, and had to resort to sweats and a strong daily purgative to ride at around 8st 6lb.

The National Horseracing Museum displays a selection of Archer memorabilia, including the gun with which he shot himself during a fit of delirium.

Important successes:

2000 Guineas
Atlantic   1874   (J)
Charibert   1879   (J)
Galliard   1883   (J)
Paradox   1885   (J)
1000 Guineas
Spinaway   1875   (J)
Wheel of Fortune   1879   (J)
Derby
Silvio   1877   (J)
Bend Or   1880   (J)
Iroquois   1881   (J)
Melton   1885   (J)
Ormonde   1886   (J)
Oaks
Spinaway   1875   (J)
Jannette   1878   (J)
Wheel of Fortune   1879   (J)
Lonely   1885   (J)
St Leger
Silvio   1877   (J)
Jannette   1878   (J)
Iroquois   1881   (J)
Dutch Oven   1882   (J)
Melton   1885   (J)
Ormonde   1886   (J)
Other major race(s)
(featuring horses in this database)
Champion Stakes  Bend Or   1881   (J)
Northumberland Plate  Barcaldine   1883   (J)
Champion Stakes  Ormonde   1886   (J)
 
Frederick Archer commemorative match box
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Frederick Archer memorabilia
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