Which horse holds the course record for the Derby?

Which horse holds the course record for the Derby?  The record for the widest winning margin is the history of the Derby still belongs to Shergar, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who sauntered to a 10-length victory in 1981. However, the one-sided nature of that renewal, which led commentator Peter Bromley to exclaim, ‘You need a telescope to see the rest!’, resulted in a rather pedestrian winning time of 2:44.21.

To avoid any confusion, the fastest winning time in the history of the Derby was the 2:26.60 clocked by Dante in 1945, but that was in a substitute race, known as the ‘New Derby’, which was run at Newmarket, rather than Epsom, during and immediately after World War II. On the recognised Derby course at Epsom, which features steep undulations, a tricky, left-hand turn at Tattenham Corner and a pronounced camber in the home straight, the faster winning time was the 2:31.33 recorded by Workforce in 2010. Trained, like Shergar, by Sir Michael Stoute, Workforce also won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp later in his three-year-old campaign and

received the Cartier Champion Three-Year-Old Colt Award in 2010.

Who is the leading trainer in the history of the St. Leger?

The Who is the leading trainer in the history of the St. Leger?  St. Leger Stakes, run annually over 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 115 yards at Doncaster in September, is the fifth, and final, English Classic of the season. It is also the oldest English Classic, having been inaugurated on Cantley Common, two miles east of the modern race course, on September 24, 1776. Of the trainers still currently active, Aidan O’Brien has won the St. Leger six times, although he notably failed to do so with Camelot, who, in 2012, was sent off 2/5 favourite to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1970, while Saeed bin Suroor and John Gosden have saddled five winners apiece.

However, the records of contemporary trainers, while impressive enough, pale into insignificance when compared with that of the so-called ‘Wizard of the North’, John Scott. In 1825, Scott bought Whitewall House Stables in Malton, North Yorkshire and, for decades afterwards, handled some of the best horses in the country. All told, Scott sent out 16 winners of the St. Leger, namely Matilda (1827), The Colonel (1828), Rowton (1829), Margrave (1832), Touchstone (1834), Don John (1838), Charles the Twelfth (1839), Launcelot (1840), Satirist (1841), The Baron (1845), Newminster (1851), West Australian (1853), Warlock (1856), Imperieuse (1857), Gamester (1859) and The Marquis (1862). Western Australia, owned by John Bowes, also won the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby, such that his comfortable, three-length win in the St. Leger made him the first horse to win the Triple Crown.

Six of Scott’s St. Leger winners were ridden by his younger brother, Bill, who battled alcoholism for many years but, when sober, was arguably the best jockey of his day. Indeed, ‘Glorious Bill’, as he was known, also won the St. Leger on Jack Spigot (1821), Memnon (1825) and Sir Tatton Sykes (1846) for other trainers and remains the leading jockey in the history of the Doncaster Classic.

Oaks entries

Oaks entries  The Oaks is quickly approaching and with this race being the second-oldest of the five Classic races, you’re sure to see the best horse racing has to offer down at Epsom. The Oaks features the best Three-year-old fillies the sport has to offer and we’ll see what the top bookies for horse racing think about the big race.




Savethelastdance is given the best chance by the bookmakers following her emphatic Cheshire Oaks victory with Ryan Moore aboard. The three-year-old won by an absurdly impressive 22 lengths which makes the 11/8 price on offer for her to win the Epsom Oaks seem like a bit of a steal.


Unlike the Epsom Derby, the Oaks has a pretty solid favourite with Savethelastdance leading the market by quite a reasonable margin. If recent performances are anything to go off, Savethelastdance could make another mockery of her opponents. Ryan Moore won this race last year with Tuesday and could add to his tally with a win on Savethelastdance.


Soul Sister


Soul Sister came into her last race as a huge 18/1 outsider but Frankie Dettori proved once again that he is still more than capable in the saddle and steered her home to glory in the Musidora.


She was previously backable at 50/1 before this huge upset and now comes in as 10/3 second favourite thanks to a mixture of good performances and Frankie Dettori’s recent success. Dettori has won two of the last four Epsom Oaks and this could add to an unforgettable year for him on his farewell tour.


Running Lion


Running Lion made it four in a row recently thanks to Oisin Murphy at Newmarket. Murphy is still a fair bit off reclaiming the Champion Jockey title with William Buick being five wins ahead of him but he is riding as well as ever. Running Lion looked mightily impressive in her last outing and ended up winning convincingly despite some market weakness.


Oisin Murphy has never won an Epsom Oaks but this could be his best chance yet if his mount can match her last performance. Four wins in a row is a frightening bit of form for her opponents and the 7/1 on offer looks pretty generous each-way.


Infinite Cosmos


Unlike most of these horses, Infinite Cosmos is not coming in fresh from a win, instead a rather disappointing 3rd place in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes. Going into the race many thought Infinite Cosmos was open to further improvement and maybe she still is, but it’s hard to back her after that performance at York.


Infinite Cosmos was actually the favourite at one point for the Oaks following her impressive reappearance at Newmarket where she won fairly comfortably. She’s still a major player in the market as we all know how capable the horse is, but it’ll be tough to bounce back from that last performance.


Whatever happens, this is sure to be a historic edition of the Oaks and we could very well see greatness at Epsom.

How many races did Pretty Polly win?

How many races did Pretty Polly win?  Notwithstanding the hosiery brand of the same name, ‘Pretty Polly’ is probably most recognisable to modern British audiences from the Pretty Polly Stakes, a Listed contest for three-year-old fillies, which is run on the undercard of the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The titular Pretty Polly was a prolific racehorse in the early years of the twentieth century, winning 22 of her 24 races between 1903 and 1906, including the so-called Fillies’ Triple Crown – 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St. Leger – in 1904.

Bred and owned by Major Eustace Loder, a.k.a. ‘Lucky Loder’, and trained by Peter Gilpin in Newmarket, Pretty Polly failed to start favourite just once, on her racecourse debut at Sandown Park on June 27, 1903. On that occasion, she won the British Dominion Two-Year-Old Plate by an official margin of 10 lengths – twice that was reportedly more accurate – and did not taste defeat until the final start of her three-year-old campaign.

After winning 15 consecutive races, Pretty Polly was sent to Longchamp in October, 1904, to contest the Prix du Conseil Municipal. However, a rough Channel crossing, a long railway journey, bottomless ground and the absence of her regular jockey, William ‘Billy’ Lane, through injury conspired against her and she was beaten into second place. She would be beaten just once more, in the Gold Cup at Ascot in 1906 on her final start, but in between times, won half a dozen more races, including the Coronation Cup at Epsom in both 1905 and 1906.

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