Derby Festival Trainers Facts and Figures

1          No horse trained in the United States has won the Epsom Derby and challengers from across the Atlantic are extremely rare. Iroquois, the 1881 winner, was the first US-bred horse to win the Classic and his handler Jacob Pincus was the leading trainer in North America in 1869 before travelling over to Newmarket with Iroquois and other yearlings owned by Pierre Lorillard in 1879. Pincus trained the Fred Archer-ridden Iroquois to capture the Derby by a half-length. The most recent challenger from the United States was the Michael Dickinson-trained Wolf Prince, eighth to Commander In Chief at 40/1 in 1993. Before him, Slewpy, subsequently a Grade One winner back home, finished 18th for trainer Sidney Watters in 1983. In 1909, US-based Sir Martin started 3/1 favourite, but clipped heels and fell on Tattenham Hill.

2          Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien are the most successful current trainers in the Investec Derby, with five wins each. Stoute has been successful with Shergar (1981), Shahrastani (1986), Kris Kin (2003), North Light (2004) and Workforce (2010). O’Brien (pictured) equalled this record with Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013) and Australia (2014).

3           The most successful trainers in the history of the Derby, with seven winners each, have been Robert Robson (1793 Waxy, 1802 Tyrant, 1809 Pope, 1810 Whalebone, 1815 Whisker, 1817 Azor, 1823 Emilius), John Porter (1868 Blue Gown, 1882 Shotover, 1883 St Blaise, 1886 Ormonde, 1890 Sainfoin, 1891 Common, 1899 Flying Fox) and Fred Darling (1922 Captain Cuttle, 1925 Manna, 1926 Coronach, 1931 Cameronian, 1938 Bois Roussel, 1940 Pont L’Eveque, 1941 Owen Tudor).

4          French-trained challengers have been successful 10 times, with Pour Moi (2011) the first French raider to score since Empery in 1976. In the 1977 Derby, won by The Minstrel, six of the first seven home were either trained in Ireland or France. The full list of French victors (with trainers): Durbar (Herman Duryea, 1914), Pearl Diver (Percy Carver, 1947), My Love (Dick Carver, 1948), Galcador (Charles Semblat, 1950), Phil Drake (Francois Mathet, 1955), Lavandin (Alec Head, 1956), Relko (Francois Mathet, 1963), Sea-Bird (Etienne Pollet, 1965), Empery (Maurice Zilber, 1976) and Pour Moi (Andre Fabre, 2011).

5          The Andreas Wohler-trained Chopin, who was supplemented for the 2013 Investec Derby at a cost of £75,000 five days before, became the first German-trained colt to run in the Classic, finishing seventh. He was followed in 2015 by another German participant Rogue Runner (ninth).

6          In the 1977 Derby, won by The Minstrel, six of the first seven home were either trained in Ireland or France. In total there have been 11 Derby winners sent out from the famous Ballydoyle stables in Co Tipperary, Ireland. Australia in 2014, Ruler Of The World in 2013, Camelot in 2012, High Chaparral in 2002 and Galileo in 2001, trained by the present trainer Aidan O’Brien, joined the six winners from the yard by the great Vincent O’Brien (no relation) – Larkspur (1962), Sir Ivor (1968), Nijinsky (1970), Roberto (1972), The Minstrel (1977) and Golden Fleece (1982).

7          Aidan O’Brien has saddled 67 runners in the Investec Derby, with five successes – Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013) and Australia (2014). He had an incredible eight runners in 2007, when doing best with second Eagle Mountain, while five were saddled in 2008 and his six in 2009 resulted in second to fifth inclusive. His three runners in 2010 finished second, fourth and fifth. In 2011, O’Brien was represented by four runners, with the head runner-up Treasure Beach faring best of the quartet, while the 2012 running saw him saddle Camelot and Astrology to finish first and third respectively. In 2013, he was responsible for five of the 12 runners, sending out the winner Ruler Of The World and fourth Battle Of Marengo. In 2014 of his three runners, Australia won the race, while Orchestra (12th) and Geoffrey Chaucer (16th) were unable to come close.

8           The previous trainer to achieve 1–2 in the Derby was Richard Carver, with My Love and Royal Drake in 1948. It was the 64-year-old Carver’s first visit to Epsom. In total, 12 trainers have saddled the first and second in the Derby, most recently John Gosden with Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs in 2015.

9           O’Brien trained the winners of the first four of the five British Classics in 2012 and just failed to become the first trainer to win all five when the Investec Derby victor Camelot came second in the St Leger at Doncaster. The champion Irish trainer did set a new landmark when sending out the winners of all three of the Group One races at the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs in 2012 – the Investec Derby with Camelot, the Investec Oaks with Was and the Investec Coronation Cup with St Nicholas Abbey.

10         Irish handler John Oxx boasts an exceptional strike-rate in the Derby, with three of his four runners (75 per cent) finishing in the first three, including two winners – Sinndar (2000) and Sea The Stars (2009). 1932 The last winner of the Derby staged at Epsom to be trained in the town was April The Fifth, sent out by Tom Walls in 1932.

11          Arthur Budgett saddled four Derby runners, two of whom he owned – Blakeney, successful in 1969, and Morston the winner in 1973. For good measure, Budgett also bred the two half-brothers, making him only the second man to have owned, bred and trained two Derby winners – the first being William I’Anson, who won the Classic with Blink Bonny in 1857 and Blair Athol in 1864.

12          Trainer Geoff Wragg, who retired in 2008, had an excellent strike-rate in the Derby. Four of his six runners finished in the first four and Wragg won the Classic with his first runner, Teenoso, in 1983.

13          Geoff Wragg’s father Harry, nicknamed the ‘Head Waiter’ because of his famed waiting tactics when riding, was the last person to have both trained and ridden a Derby winner. Harry Wragg rode Felstead to victory in 1928, as well as Blenheim (1930) and Watling Street (1942), but waited until 1961 to train Psidium to win at Epsom Downs. Three other men, Matt Stephenson, John Forth and Robert Sherwood, have both ridden and trained a Derby winner.

14          Aidan O’Brien became the 17th trainer to win the Derby in two consecutive years in 2013 with Ruler Of The World, following on from success with Camelot in 2012, but he capped this in 2014 (with Australia) with a record three consecutive winners.

15          No woman has ever trained the winner of the Investec Derby and Libertarian’s handler Elaine Burke became only the seventh woman ever to have a runner in the Classic in 2013. She followed in the footsteps of Marjorie Nightingall (Benroy – 1968), Rosemary Lomax (Milliondollarman – 1977), Nan Birch (Tom Strauss – 1978), Lady Herries (Sherriff’s Star – sixth 1988), Julie Cecil (Ninja Dancer – 1992) and Criquette Head-Maarek (American Post – sixth 2004). Libertarian came closest to winning with his the fast-finishing second.

16          The most recent Yorkshire-trained winner of the Derby was Dante in 1945. The Matt Peacock- trained colt, based in Middleham, won a war-time Derby staged at Newmarket.

17        A select band of five trainers have managed to win Britain’s two most famous races – the Grand National and the Derby. They are George Blackwell (Grand National: 1923 Sergeant Murphy; Derby: 1903 Rock Sand), Richard Dawson (Grand National: 1898 Droghead; Derby: 1916 Fifinella, 1929 Trigo, 1930 Blenheim), James Jewitt (Grand National: 1876 Regal; Derby: 1884 Harvester, 1892 Sir Hugo), Vincent O’Brien (Grand National: 1953 Early Mist, 1954 Royal Tan, 1955 Quare Times; Derby: 1962 Larkspur, 1968 Sir Ivor, 1970 Nijinsky, 1972 Roberto, 1977 The Minstrel, 1982 Golden Fleece) and Willie Stephenson (Grand National: 1959 Oxo; Derby: 1951 Arctic Prince). Among current trainers, David Elsworth has come closest to repeating this feat. The trainer won the 1988 Grand National with Rhyme ‘N’ Reason and saddled Mighty Flutter (third in 1984) and Norse Dancer (fourth in 2003) among 12 Derby runners.

18         William Haggas held a remarkable record for a year. His only Investec Derby runner, Shaamit, won in 1996 and his first Investec Oaks runner, Dancing Rain, succeeded in 2011. Unfortunately, his third Epsom Downs Classic starter, Vow, could only finish fourth in the 2012 Investec Oaks.

19          The 2013 Investec Derby featured runners from four different countries and included three British-trained colts – the smallest number ever after 2009 when four British-trained horses saddled by British handlers lined up.

20          There have been 18 Irish-trained Derby winners, with eight coming since the turn of this century. The first was Orby (Fred MacCabe (trainer), 1907), followed by Hard Ridden (Mick Rogers, 1958), Larkspur (Vincent O’Brien, 1962), Santa Claus (Mick Rogers, 1964), Sir Ivor (Vincent O’Brien, 1968), Nijinsky (Vincent O’Brien, 1970), Roberto (Vincent O’Brien, 1972), The Minstrel (Vincent O’Brien, 1977), Golden Fleece (Vincent O’Brien, 1982), Secreto (David O’Brien, 1984), Sinndar (John Oxx, 2000), Galileo (Aidan O’Brien, 2001), High Chaparral (Aidan O’Brien, 2002), New Approach (Jim Bolger, 2008), Sea The Stars (John Oxx, 2009), Camelot (Aidan O’Brien, 2012), Ruler Of The World (Aidan O’Brien, 2013) and Australia (Aidan O’Brien, 2014).

21          The last winner of the Derby staged at Epsom to be trained in the town was April The Fifth, sent out by Tom Walls in 1932.

Karen can usually be found glued to her computer or at the stables. Having edited several national magazines she co-founded Eclipse Magazine in 2008 after realising that many of her friends were nervous about going racing due to lack of information – what to wear, how to bet etc. She absolutely loves her job (how many people can say that?!) and is truly grateful to all supporters of and contributors to Eclipse Magazine. If you are reading this she would like to say THANK YOU! (And please spread the word about Eclipse...!!)

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