Curragh preview: The 15 horses who have pulled off English and Irish Classic wins
LUAS Investec Derby hero Camelot goes in search of more Classic glory at the Curragh tomorrow, here we look at the 15 horses have completed the English and Irish Derby double:
Became the first Irish-trained horse to win the Derby at Epsom when defeating the hot favourite Slieve Gallion and Fred McCabe's colt enjoyed another first when obliging at odds of 1-10 at the Curragh. Owned by the American politician Richard 'Boss' Croker, Orby ran only once more, when last in the Atlantic Stakes at Liverpool, before being retired through injury.
SANTA CLAUS 1964
Australian Scobie Breasley gave the Irish-trained Santa Claus a cool ride to land the most valuable race ever held in Britain in the Epsom Derby and went on to bolt up by four lengths on home soil. Later involved in one of the biggest upsets in racing history when turned over at 2-13 by Nasram in the King George at Ascot.
Vincent O'Brien's Canadian import was one of the finest racehorses and stallions in history, showing devastating acceleration under Lester Piggott at Epsom and Liam Ward at the Curragh. Was to win the King George and then become the first for 35 years to complete the British Triple Crown in the St Leger at Doncaster. The feat has not been managed since.
Peter Walwyn's speedy chestnut gave Pat Eddery his first English and Irish Derby, coming clear by a respective two and three lengths, and also took the Irish Guineas in impressive fashion. Grundy is, however, best known for his victory over Bustino in the King George, a race regarded as one of the very best of all time. Ended up as a stallion in Japan.
THE MINSTREL 1977
Became the eighth of Lester Piggott's nine Epsom Derby victories when holding off Hot Grove by a neck and redeeming himself for defeats in the English and Irish Guineas. Vincent O'Brien's flashy, white-faced chestnut was one of the first notable horses for flamboyant owner Robert Sangster and, after doubling up in Ireland, won the King George.
SHIRLEY HEIGHTS 1978
Surely Greville Starkey's greatest ride when coming from an implausible position to sneak up the rail and defeat Hawaiian Sound on the line at Epsom. Helped the late Starkey to achieve a notable 'double-double' at the Curragh as the jockey also won both Oaks in the same year aboard Fair Salinia. Shirley Heights is the last horse to be both son (Mill Reef) and sire (Slip Anchor) of a Derby winner.
A first Epsom Derby winner for Willie Carson, Troy ran away with the race by seven lengths and went on to defeat the same classy runner-up, Dicken's Hill, by a more conservative four lengths in Ireland. Landed the King George and Benson and Hedges Gold Cup (now Juddmonte International) before being beaten in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
The Aga Khan's colt, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, recorded the widest-margin victory in Derby history when coming a barely believable 10 lengths clear at Epsom. Piggott took over at the Curragh, scoring by four lengths in a canter, but sadly Shergar is now best remembered for his infamous abduction from stud. He was never recovered, and the incident remains a mystery.
Starkey received huge criticism for his ride on Dancing Brave in the Epsom Derby, when failing to catch Walter Swinburn and Shahrastani, but the chestnut winner proved himself a fine performer when cruising eight lengths clear at the Curragh. Dancing Brave exacted revenge in the King George and the Arc, while Shahrastani went on to moderate success at stud and died of old age last year.
Carried the Aga Khan's chocolate and brown second colours when powering down the outside of the field under Ray Cochrane at Epsom and then showed tenacity to catch Insan in the final strides at the Curragh, where it subsequently emerged he had been struck into. Kahyasi later met with his only two defeats in the Prix Niel and the Arc.
Injured in the build-up to the Guineas, Paul Cole's chestnut was right on-song at Epsom, streaking five lengths clear of Marju under Alan Munro. He went on to claim the notable scalp of French Derby winner Suave Dancer by three lengths at the Curragh and later took the King George. Suave Dancer turned the tables on Generous' final run in the Arc, when he weakened to eighth.
COMMANDER IN CHIEF 1993
Sir Henry Cecil's colt had only raced three times in the spring when heading to the Epsom Derby against stablemate Tenby, the hot favourite. With Michael Kinane taking a spare ride, he enjoyed an impressive victory and remained unbeaten when ousting French Derby hero Hernando by three-quarters of a length in a duel at the Curragh. Was only beaten once in a brief career, when third in the King George.
Another fine colt from the Aga Khan's dynasty, this time trained by John Oxx, the bay nearly missed Epsom because of quick ground but showed tenacity to hold off Sakhee by a length. Fully expected to be given a serious challenge by runaway French Derby winner Holding Court at the Curragh, but dominated the race to score by nine lengths. Rounded off a stellar career in the Arc.
Aidan O'Brien's colt was unbeaten from three starts when arriving at Epsom and showed why he had gained such a huge reputation when pulling three and a half lengths away in what was rated by Timeform as the best Derby performance in a decade. Odds-on at the Curragh but managed to oblige by a larger four lengths from Morshdi and went on to two epic duels with Fantastic Light at Ascot and Leopardstown.
Representing the same connections as Galileo, High Chaparral took second billing to stablemate Hawk Wing at Epsom but held his rival by two lengths. Had little in the way of opposition at the Curragh, leading home his pacemaker Sholokhov at odds of 1-3, and went on to a fruitful career at four, completing a Breeders' Cup Turf double the following season.