Best Aga Khan horses trained by Dermot Weld

TRAINERS

Dermot Weld

Training licence since 1972

Based at Rosewell House, The Curragh, Ireland

A career as a trainer was always on the cards for Dermot Weld. His father Charlie has established Rosewell House, on the Curragh, as a highly successful yard before handing over the reins to his 24-year-old son, a qualified vet who had gained experience on the back-stretch at Belmont Park. The transition was as seamless as it could have been, and young Dermot had not held a licence for two full seasons when he won his first Gr.1 race, the Middle Park Stakes with a colt named Steel Heart. It may come as a surprise to some, but the man who went on to assemble such an unrivalled collection of big-race wins over extended distances was always equally handy at training juveniles and sprinters. His first Classic titles came in 1981, courtesy of dual Oaks winner Blue Wind, while Prince’s Polly took the Irish 1000 Guineas a year later. Weld quickly showed a taste for international challenges, too. His top-class sprinter Committed took back-to-back renewals of the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp in the early 1980s. Then in 1990, Weld returned to the scene of his foundation years to become the first European trainer – and only to date – to win a leg of the American Triple Crown: the Belmont Stakes with the aptly-named Go And Go. This marked the beginning of a series of ground-breaking overseas raids that saw Weld collect Group1 trophies on four continents. The following year, the master of Rosewell house added the Gr.1 Hong Kong Mile to his roll of honour, and it is probably then that he started masterminding the wildest plan a trainer could have come up with: to send a horse halfway around the globe to compete in the Melbourne Cup. There were countless obstacles, starting with the Australian legislation on quarantine. Some clever, persistent lobbying with the Irish government got it ironed out, and in 1993, Vintage Crop became the first European winner of the “race that stops a nation”. In 1996, Zagreb allowed Weld to finally get his hands on the Irish Derby, the only Classic in his home country that kept eluding him. Dance Design made it a Classic double that year, when taking the Irish Oaks a fortnight later. The pace of success for Rosewell House seemed to step up yet another gear with the turn of the millennium. In August 2000, Dermot Weld saddled a record-breaking 2,578th winner in Ireland – he has now passed the 3,000 marker. After four years without a Group 1 victory, two magnificent stayers emerged in Vinnie Roe, who made history by winning four Irish St Leger in a row, and Media Puzzle, who took home a second Melbourne Cup trophy for Weld. There were also more Classic victories in store. Refuse To Bend landed the 2000 Guineas and three more Gr.1 races, Grey Swallow caused an upset in the 2004 Irish Derby, Nightime won the 2006 Irish 1000 Guineas, a feat repeated four years later by Bethrah. And Weld’s grip over long distance races is still showing no signs of loosening. Casual Conquest brought him a fourth Tattersalls Gold Cup title in 2009. The following year, Rite Of Passage conquered the Ascot showpiece for the first time, while no later than 2013, Voleuse De Cœurs stormed to a six-lengths victory in the Irish St Leger, the seventh for the master of Rosewell House. In September that same year, Dermot Weld received a first batch of horses from His Highness the Aga Khan. His addition to the team was part of a plan to spread the Prince’s charges over three stables, a system that has met with success in France for several seasons and quickly brought rewards in this case too. In 2016, Dermot Weld won his first Gr.1 Epsom Derby with a horse carrying the colours of H.H. the Aga Khan, Harzand. The son of Sea The Stars quickly followed up on this success with a victory in the Gr.1 Irish Derby only three weeks later.


SEE ALSO

    • Michael Halford
      Success hasn’t come the easy way for Michael Halford, but the master of Copper Beach Stables is now firmly established among the top 10 Irish trainers on the flat...
    • Alain de Royer Dupré
      Summing up Alain de Royer Dupré’s career with a handful of landmark victories or horses names is virtually impossible, yet certain figures help grasping just how awesome it has been so far...
    • Mikel Delzangles
      Mikel Delzangles was born in Biarritz, Southwest of France, in 1971. His parents were not involved in the racing industry yet his godmother is the Marquesa Sol de Moratalla, a major owner-breeder in France and Great Britain.
    • Jean-Claude Rouget
      Jean-Claude Rouget was born in 1953 in Normandy, a stone throw from Haras de Saint-Pair du Mont which was managed by his father Claude.
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