Selim was a chestnut colt, bred by General Sparrow, in 1802, at whose decease, in 1805, he was purchased by the Prince of Wales. Selim, own brother to Castrel and Rubens, was got by Buzzard (son of Woodpecker), out of a mare by Alexander, her dam, by Highflyer, out of a dau. of Alfred (son of Match'em), out of a mare by Engineer (son of Sampson), out of Bay Malton's dam, by Old Cade, out of Lass of the Mill, by Old Traveller, out of Miss Makeless, by Young Greyhound, out of a mare (bred by Mr. Crofts in 1731), by Old Partner, her dam, by Woodcock, out of a mare by Mr. Croft's Bay Barb, &c., &c.
“The Druid,” in his work entitled “Silk and Scarlet,” says that “Woodpecker was a large, coarse horse, with wide lop ears, almost like a prize rabbit, which descended in a marked way to his stock; that his greatest hit was with Buzzard, who was out of a mare by Dux, and that the blood of this great unknown was destined to flow in the veins of the most wonderful leash of brothers that ever sought glory in the Stud Book.” He further observes that “their dam (the Alexander Mare) was such a weed to the eye, that the Duke of Queensberry (her then owner), could not get £25 for her, and therefore gave her away to his surgeon at Newmarket. Misfortune was the dam of Buzzard, and her sire, Dux, was a son of Match'em; Mr. Craven's Bronze, winner of the Oaks in 1806, was sister to the leash of brothers. Castrel (the eldest of the three brothers, and also bred by General Sparrow), says the Druid, “was a magnificent chestnut of sixteen hands high, and with great quality; and, but for his roaring, there were few better on the Turf. Selim,” he adds, “was given by the Prince to Col. Leigh, when his horses were sold. He was full of quality, and so majestic altogether that no one would have suspected him to be the workman he was at all distances.”
(Now the Prince of Wales'). At Brighton, 8st 3lbs each, one mile, match for 50 gs., beat Mr. R. Ladbroke's br. c. Wormwood, by Young Woodpecker, both four years old. At Newmarket (Second October), 9st 2lbs, R. M., won the Oatlands of 150 gs., beating Lord Foley's ch. h. Captain Absolute, by John Bull, aged, 8st 8lbs, Sir C. Bunbury's b. f. Lydia, by Whiskey, four years, 9st, and one other.
At Newmarket, March 30th, 8st 9lbs, won the Craven Stakes, beating Sir Hedworth Williamson's b. h. Walton, by Sir Peter, aged, 9st 7lbs, second, Mr. Blackford's b. c. Currycomb, by Buzzard, five years, 8st 9lbs, third, Lord Rous' br. f. Jerboa, by Gohanna, four years, 8st, fourth, and seven others. S. mg., 9st each, T. Y. C., ran second for a purse of £50, won by Lydia, beating seven others. At Newmarket (First October), 8st 3lbs each, Ab. M. match for 200 gs., h. ft., received 100 gs. forfeit from Mr. Fermor's b. h. Hippomenes, by Pegasus, both five years old. At Newmarket (Second October), 10st 3lbs, D. M., won the October Oatlands of 30 gs. each, beating H. R. H. the Duke of York's br. h. Gaiety, by Gouty (son of Sir Peter), five years, 7st 11lbs, second, Captain Absolute, aged, 8st 2lbs, and two others. In the following year, Selim ran in the name of Mr. Arthur Shakespear, but whether as his own property it does not appear.
At Newmarket, Craven, 8st 7lbs, T. Y. C., match for 200 gs., beat b. m. Lydia, by Whiskey, six years, 7st 7lbs. At Newmarket (Second Spring), 11st, Ab. M. match for 200 gs., was beaten by the Duke of York's gr. h. Tim, five years old, and carrying feather weight. At Newmarket (First October), 8st 2lbs, B. C., match for 200 gs., was beaten by Lord Grosvenor's famous b. m. Violante, by John Bull (winner this year of the Oatlands, King's Plate, The Whip, and 480 gs., all at Newmarket), six years, 8st 7lbs. Selim now retired to the Stud, and was the sire of the magnificent Sultan.
[Taunton, Thomas Henry: “Portraits Of Celebrated Racehorses Of The Past And Present Centuries”, 1887]