Cremorne was sired by the popular racehorse and sire Parmesan. Parmesan won the Gold Vase at Royal Ascot and later became a top sire. Cremorne’s dam was the unraced mare Rigolboche. He was bred and owned by Henry Savile and trained by William Gilbert at the Nunnery stable at Newmarket, Suffolk.
Cremorne was not an easy horse to train. He was very lazy and was known to fall asleep during exercise breaks. Cremorne also had a big appetite and would try and eat anything he could reach. On one occasion, he ate all the straw bedding in his stall and suffered from a near fatal bout of colic. Despite all this Cremorne was a very good looking colt.
As a two year old, Cremorne won nine times, including a walk over at Ascot. By August he was being called "the crack two year old of the season". He was only beaten twice that season and was the early favorite for the Epsom Derby.
Cremorne started off his three year old season with a second place finish in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 1st. His next start was the Newmarket Stakes, which he would win in a walkover. On May 29, Cremorne won the Epsom Derby by a head after battling an unnamed colt known as “the brother of Flury” in the closing stages. Right after the Derby, Cremorne was sent to France to run in the Grand Prix de Paris. He won the race easily but his win provoked a hostile reaction among the spectators and he was hurried out of the country at the earliest available opportunity. On his return to England Cremorne was sent straight to Ascot for the Royal meeting. He was entered in two races on the opening day of the meeting and won both, taking a Biennial Stakes and walking over in the Triennial Stakes. He finished off the season with a win in the Newmarket Derby and a second place finish in the Newmarket St Leger after giving fourteen pounds to the winner to Laburnum.
On his four-year-old debut Cremorne finished second in the City and Suburban Handicap at Epsom in April, when he carried top weight of 128 pounds. In June Cremorne returned to Royal Ascot where he ran in the two and a half mile Ascot Gold Cup. Cremorne took the lead half a mile from the finish and drew away from the field to win easily by eight lengths. Later in the meeting he won the Alexandra Plate over three miles by fifteen lengths.
Soon after his runs at Ascot, Cremorne became lame owing to a swollen hock. He was nevertheless entered in the Goodwood Cup in July, where he cantered round well behind the other two runners and walked over the line to finish tailed off in third place.
Cremorne was retired to his owners stud farm in 1873. His best foals were Grand Prix de Paris winner Thurio and the filly Kermesse, who was the leading British two-year-old of 1880.
Cremorne died in January 1883 from a ruptured heart. During his retirement he became severely overweight due to his appetite and not enough exercise.
He was buried at Rufford Abbey, where his gravestone can still be seen.
"Mark that strong, resolute, and yet oily action! See how he gets his hind legs under him, and note how he is framed for facing the
rise and fall of Epsom. Amongst such a lot of high, leggy animals he is a particularly low, lengthy horse, wiry and muscular, but not over marked, and though he saunters ‘along with all the cool hauteur of the thoroughbred, this is not the languor of Prince Charlie, nor the weariness of Queen’s Messenger. He is the most improved horse of the three in the interim since they last
met; he is the best bred horse in the race; he has quite the ‘cut’ of a Derby nag; and if he will but bear squeezing he must win. Cremorne does not take much after his now twice-famous
sire, that restless Parmesan, who is continually climbing, and fretting, and pacing about his box at Rufford, like a squirrel
in a cage. The Derby winner has a better style about him, either in looks or manners, and although it was ‘a squeak’ after all, the promise of the Paddock was by no mean belied by
the result of the race.”