Shergar, winner of the English
Derby by a record 10-length margin.
While the Dupré and Boussac stock was being
assimilated, the old Aga Khan families showed
that they were still a potent force. In the early summer of
like his predecessor Kalamoun,
a grey son of Zeddaan
from the Mumtaz
Mahal family, defeated Rusticaro by two and a half lengths
in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains. In the autumn of 1979 the
draft of yearlings sent to Sir Michael Stoute included a still
more remarkable member of the family. This was Shergar,
a colt by Great Nephew out of Sharmeen.
After a twelve-length win in the Chester Vase, a race run
on a course that tests ability to handle the Epsom contours,
he had rightly become the Derby favourite winning by an astonishing
By now the Irish Sweeps Derby was not just
a consolation prize for the Derby runner-up but rather an
opportunity for the Epsom winner to prove himself on a very
different circuit. With Lester Piggott standing in for the
suspended Swinburn, it was no contest. Shergar
had the same winning margin of four lengths at the finish
here and in his only encounter with older horses in the King
George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. His jockey Walter Swinburn, now retired,
commented in a recent television interview: "To this day he was the best racehorse
I ever rode."
was retired to stud at Ballymany with a syndicated value of
ten million pounds. Tragically, Shergar
was kidnapped after having completed just one year at stud.
( Continue )
"That was Shergar
more champagne and caviar before we see who's second,