AN unsigned oil painting of the 1862 Epsom Derby winner, Caractacus, who was bred at Holywell Farm in Watford, will go under the hammer at auction on Saturday.

The image shows the horse with owner, Charles Snewing, trainer, Robert Smith and winning jockey, John Parsons, who was just 16 at the time. The only Derby winner ever to be bred in Watford, Caractacus was born in 1859 and is by Kingston out of Defenceless. When he won the race, his owner reportedly provided a feast for the poor people of the town.

Famed throughout the town, his legacy still exists today immortalised in the roads, Caractacus Cottage View and Caractacus Green. Unlike the subject of the picture, however, the artist's identity remains a mystery, but it is nevertheless hoped that the painting will exceed its estimate of £150 to £200 when it goes under the hammer. The painting came to light at a recent auction day at The Colosseum, Watford, organised by the BBC2 antiques programme Flog it.