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Winner of the Derby Stakes at Epsom, 1838.
Engraved by W. B. Scort, from a Painting by A. Cooper, R. A.
AMATO, a three year-old colt, is the property of, and was bred by, Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bart., who has a seat at Durdans, near to Epsom. Amato's colour is a dark bay; he is fifteen hands and a half high; he is a finely shaped animal, with somewhat slender legs, and light neck. He has an excellent constitution, and his pedigree is unexceptionable, both as regards the speed and stoutness of his progenitors he was got by Velocipede, out of Jane Shore, by Woful; her dam Bella Donna, by Seymour, out of Gramarie, by Sorcerer, dam by Sir Peter out of Deceit, by Tandem; her dam Perdita, by Herod, out of Fair Forester, by Sloe; her dam by Forester, grand-dam by Partner— Croft's Bay Barb-Makeless-Brimmer-Son of Dodsworth-Burton Barb Mare.
The Derby was Amato's first public race; and as he was not trained in a 66 fancy" stable, he never rose into public estimation in the betting; in February and March his price was 100 to 1; but some account of his merits having reached the Corner, he rose in April to about 40 to 1, and the average of the odds against him immediately before starting was about 30 to 1. He was not, however, backed by any influential party, and the sum which changed hands in consequence of his winning was comparatively small. Our correspondent, Uncle Toby, writing on the 20th April last, speaks thus of Amato, in comparison with Seth and Grey Momus; and the result has proved that our "Uncle's" view of the subject was correct-so far, at least, as concerns the Derby : "Sir Gilbert Heathcote's Amato, acknowledged to be a stone better than Bay Hampton, figures at abont 40 to 1 in the odds; while Seth, who was run to a head by the said Bay Hampton, stands equal, in the estimamation of the betting gentry, with Amato; and Grey Momus, stated to be two pounds better than Seth, is quoted at one-fourth less than Amato !"
The difficulty which Mr. Cooper, and three other artists as well, experienced in obtaining a drawing of Amato, has led us to notice an attempt which is now generally made by an inferior artist to obtain the exclusive right of painting the Derby and St. Leger winners. Sir Gilbert Heathcote, we are satisfied, was not a party to his trainer giving the first opportunity of painting his horse to Herring, while Cooper and Hancock, incomparably his superiors, were obliged to wait, the second day after the race, for three hours, till the trainer had finished his potations in one of the tents.