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Dublin: 2°C Friday 16 April 2021
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10 facts to impress your mates ahead of the 150th Irish Derby

The Irish Derby will take place at the Curragh this afternoon.

Can Aidan O'Brien add to his 11 Irish Derby wins.
Can Aidan O'Brien add to his 11 Irish Derby wins.
Image: PA Wire/PA Archive/Press Association Images

1. The Irish Derby is actually more than 150 years old

An early incarnation of the Irish Derby was known as the O’Darby Stakes which was established in 1817 and it was run at the Curragh. However, it was discontinued after 1824.

2. The first winner of the Irish Derby proper was Selim in 1866

Though there were as many organisers of the race – the 3rd Earl of Howth, the 3rd Marquess of Drogheda and the 3rd Earl of Claremont — as there were runners in it.

3. Over the last 50 years, horses beginning with the letter S have been the most successful, winning nine times

If you think that’s important, then the William Haggas trained Storm The Stars (6/1) is the horse for you today.

4. Aidan O’Brien is bidding for a 9th Derby win in 10 years

And the Ballydoyle man has trained 11 in total. He’ll have no fewer than four runners this year with Highland Reel (11/2), Giovanni Canaletto (8/1), Qualify (12/1) and Kilimanjaro (33/1) all bidding to keep his stranglehold on the race.

5. John Gosden on the other hand has never won the Irish Derby but he does saddle the favourite

Source: PA Wire

Though you won’t be able to quit your job if the odds on (8/11) Jack Hobbs manages to finish one place better than he did in the Epsom Derby.

6. St. Jovitie holds the record for the fastest Irish Derby

The American-bred, Jim Bolger-trained stallion won the one mile, four furlong race in 1992 in a time of 2.25.60. It would take an elite human athlete approximately 5.50 to run the same distance.

7. The race has finished in a dead heat on just two occasions in 150 years

In 1924 it was shared between Haine and Zodiac while nothing could separate Patriot King and Primero ten years later.

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8. Chamier is the only horse to claim the Irish Derby without finishing first

The British-trained Premonition actually won the race by a head but was disqualified after Bill Rickaby (Chamier’s jockey) lodged an objection.

9. Prize money for this year’s race will be €1.25 million with the winner earning €725,000

A lot of money, but when you consider that last year’s winner, Australia, charges €50,000 per stud visit, being first past the post brings even greater rewards than the prize money.

10. And the winner of the race is going to be…

Source: John Walton/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Well, it’s probably going to be Jack Hobbs but, as discussed, unless you’re putting big money up front, you’re unlikely to make much of a profit.

Epsom Oaks winner Qualify (12/1) won’t be anything close to the 50/1 price she was that day — and it has been 21 years since a filly won the race — but she has every chance to be a surprise package against today.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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