Breeders' Cup

Derby Festival 2014: Trainers Facts and Figures

1 Sir Michael Stoute (pictured) is the most successful current trainer in the Investec Derby, with five wins in the premier Classic – Shergar (1981), Shahrastani (1986), Kris Kin (2003), North Light (2004) and Workforce (2010).

2 The most successful trainers in the history of the Derby, with seven winners each, have been Robert Robson (1793, 1802, 1809, 1810, 1815, 1817 & 1823), John Porter (1868, 1882, 1883, 1886, 1890, 1891 & 1899) and Fred Darling (1922, 1925, 1926, 1931, 1938, 1940 & 1941).

3 There is usually a strong overseas challenge in the Derby, particularly from Ireland and France. The Irish have won the Classic seven times since the turn of the century with Ruler Of The World, Camelot, Sea The Stars, New Approach, High Chaparral, Galileo and Sinndar, following something of a drought as before then the previous Irish winner was the David O’Brien-trained Secreto in 1984. There have been 17 Irish-trained Derby winners in total. There was an even longer period without a French-trained winner, with Pour Moi in 2011 becoming the first French raider to score since Empery in 1976. French-trained challengers have been successful 10 times in all.

4 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 10 Derby winners sent out from the famous Ballydoyle stables in Co Tipperary, Ireland. 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).

5 Aidan O’Brien saddled the first two home in the 2002 Derby – High Chaparral and Hawk Wing. 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. Last year, he was responsible for five of the 12 runners, sending out the winner Ruler Of The World and fourth Battle Of Marengo.

6 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. Nine other handlers have trained both the winner and runner-up the same year.

7 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.

8 Another Irish handler John Oxx enjoyed success with his first Derby runner, Sinndar, in 2000, and has only had three in all. He trained the third horse home in 2003, Alamshar, and saddled Sea The Stars to victory in 2009.

9 Challengers from the United States are extremely rare. The most recent 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. 

10 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. 


11 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.

12 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. 

13 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. 

14 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. 

15 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.

16 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.

17 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. 




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