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Investec Derby: Five great horses to have won the famous race

| 02.06.2016

David Metcalf | May 31, 2016

The Investec Derby is the ultimate test for a three-year-old and has been won by some of the greatest names in horse racing history.

Here’s a look at five of Coral’s favourite winning performances ahead of the 237th running of the Classic at Epsom on Saturday, June 4th.

Sea The Stars (2009)

Proved himself as one of the outstanding racehorses of all time when unbeaten in six Group 1 contests in 2009, winning the 2000 Guineas, Derby, Coral-Eclipse Stakes, Juddmonte International Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Despite doubts about his stamina and a strong field, Sea The Stars won the Derby in dazzling fashion. After travelling powerfully throughout he quickened instantly when asked to beat favourite Fame And Glory by an easy 1 3/4 lengths.

Winning jockey Mick Kinane said after the race: “I was going so easy all the way, it was as if we were going in slow motion.”

Shergar (1981)

After winning the Chester Vase by 12 lengths, Shergar started odds-on favourite at Epsom when partnered by 19-year-old jockey Walter Swinburn who was having his first ride in the race.

The Sir Michael Stoute trained colt simply demolished the opposition to cruise home by a record 10 lengths, and it was an awesome display of power and class.

Shergar pulled so far clear that John Matthias on runner-up Glint Of Gold thought he had won: “I told myself I’d achieved my life’s ambition. Only then did I discover there was another horse on the horizon.”

Sea-Bird (1965)

The French trained Sea-Bird is widely regarded as one of the greatest racehorses ever seen. As a three-year-old, he won all five starts including a very strong renewal of the Derby for which 22 went to post.

Sea-Bird raced on the outside behind the leaders until the turn into the straight and then moved up to take the lead with his jockey sitting motionless.

The colt never came off the bridle to score by two lengths from Meadow Court, and the runner-up went on to win the Irish Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Galileo (2001)

Produced a stunning performance when effortlessly beating 2,000 Guineas winner Golan by 3 1/2 lengths to provide Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien with his first winner in the race. Went on to land the Irish equivalent and the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot.

Galileo has since become a legend at stud, siring a prolific number of top class racehorses including Derby winners New Approach, Ruler of the World and Australia – plus the highest rated horse of all time, the mighty Frankel.

Nijinksy (1970)

The last horse to claim the Triple Crown, winning the 2,000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger in 1970.

Lester Piggott formed an outstanding relationship with the Vincent O’Brien trained colt, and produced him to perfection to show a blistering turn of foot and land the Derby in a then record 2m 34.88s.

Nijinksy won going away at the line by 2 1/2 lengths from French trained colt Gyr and went on to land the Irish Derby and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes before capturing the St Leger.


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.