Did you know? Fast facts about the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival
Sovereign and Padraig Beggy win the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh
22 Jun 2022 6:24 PM
2022 will mark the 157th running of the Irish Derby. This is the 15th year of sponsorship of Ireland’s flagship race by Dubai Duty Free.
We recently lost one of the greatest jockeys of all time as Lester Piggott dies last month and he won the Irish Derby 5 times, the last being on the famous Shergar in 1981.
Steve Cauthen who rode Old Vic to win the Irish Derby in 1989 were both inducted into the Kildare Derby Festival Hall of Fame earlier this year.
The first running of the race in 1866 saw the English raider Selim (5/4) beat the even-money favourite Tom King by three lengths with Fire Eater back in third. There were only three runners.
The smallest ever field was in 1868 when Madeira defeated his sole rival, Bee Quick, by six lengths. Madeira only ran twice after his Irish Derby win where he was beaten on successive days at Bellewstown!
The Irish Derby has never been won by a horse representing a female trainer.
The Jessica Harrington trained Gold Maze was the latest one to attempt to break the hoodoo in 2020.
In 2018 Latrobe was the winner and the first time two brothers teamed up to train and ride the winner in Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien
British runners have traditionally enjoyed much success in the race (22 wins in the last 50 years), but have been relegated to a supporting role in recent times.
The victory of Jack Hobbs in the 2015 renewal was the first British-trained success in the race since Balanchine in 1994 but the British bounced back with last year’s running which produced a winner for Charlie Appleby in Hurricane Lane.
French-trained horses have won the Irish Derby eight times in all including four victories in the last 25 years, namely; Hurricane Run in 2005, his sire Montjeu in 1999, Dream Well in 1998 and Winged Love in 1995. Malacate (1976), Irish Ball (1971), Prince Regent (1969) and Tambourine (1962) were the others.
Only twice has the result of the Irish Derby come down to a dead heat and on both occasions the horses involved have been English-trained raiders.
Haine and Zodiac shared the honours in 1924, while 10 years later Patriot King and Primero were inseparable passing the post.
The 2016 victory of Harzand saw the Aga Khan overtake his grandfather His Highness the Aga Khan III as the most successful individual owner in the history of the race with what was his sixth success.
The latter had his colours carried to victory five times between 1925 and 1949, while Shergar gave the present Aga Khan his first success in 1981 and was followed by Shahrastani (1986), Kahyasi (1988), Sinndar (2000), Alamshar (2003) and the aforementioned Harzand (2016).
Mind, that title could well be disputed as various combinations of the Coolmore partners, namely John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, have owned 15 winners of the race in the last 22 years.
The win of Camelot in 2012 was the first time in history that a father/son trainer/jockey combination was successful in the Irish Derby and they repeated the feat with Australia in 2014 in Aidan and Joseph O’Brien. Sindon was the last maiden to win in 1958.
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