Success Breeds Success – The continuing legacy of the Aga Khan in the Sport of Kings.
His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan was on hand to witness his sixth Irish Derby hero and a fifth in his colours to complete the Epsom-Curragh (English-Irish Derby) double.
Harzand, the son of Sea The Stars becomes His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s fifth dual Derby winner and joins an elite band of horses to complete the English-Irish Derby double. He became the 17th foal (in more than two centuries) to achieve the double Epsom-Curragh.
“It’s wonderful to have my 6th Irish Derby winner, I am very deeply attached to Irish racing and it is a wonderful occasion.
I want to thank all the team behind this effort, who produce excellent horses year after year. It’s a confirmation of the continuity of the breeding, training and thinking behind it and my team have been performing for a long time now. … This is a whole team effort and we are immensely grateful for the great work put in particularly by Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.
They have done wonders and the six winners I have had were all homebreds, which shows the strength of activity behind it.
This horse [Harzand] is very good. … Things are shaping up very well.
I’m not sure we really know his limits. Neither at Epsom nor here, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of this horse, he can do more.”
– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, Owner & Breeder
Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland – June 25, 2016: EPSOM hero Harzand produced a tremendously tough performance to add the Irish Derby to his unbeaten seasonal record, with his four victories including two Classics and a Group 3.
Harzand became only the 18th horse to complete an English and Irish derby ‘double’ at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh Racecourse in Ireland’s County Kildare on Saturday.
“It was a much better race than it was at Epsom … He had to improve and he did. He had been on antibiotics last week but I knew he was in good form as his coat had begun to shine …
He’s such a great horse, he’s got such courage and determination.
He ran a magnificent race. He showed the speed that he has today. He’ll have a good break now and we’ll train him for the Arc.
… Smullen is an outstanding rider, at the peak of his career and has won great races all over the world.”
– Dermot Weld, Trainer
“He’s a dual Derby winner now. He’s so courageous. You can give horses good rides, bad rides – but when they’re as good as this lad and they’re as determined as this horse it just makes it easy. There’s no knowing where this horse will end up.
He’s so tough and he’s not just tough, he’s got pace. He’s a very, very good horse and I’d love to think he’d be an Arc horse.”
– Pat Smullen, Jockey
Aga Khan & the English and Irish Derbies
Harzand is the fifth Epsom (English) Derby winner for His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, joining Shergar (1981), Shahrastani (1987), Kahyasi (1988), and Sinndar (2000). Shergar still holds the record of the widest winning margin of 10 lengths. All four winners went on to win the Irish (Curragh) Derby, the same was expected of Harzand, and he delivered.
Harzand remains unbeaten this year and becomes the fifth colt bred and owned by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan to win both the Epsom and the Irish Derbies. He follows in the footsteps of the mighty Shergar (1981), Shahrastani (1986), Kahyasi (1988), and Sinndar (2000), who subsequently won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the same is now expected of Harzand. Alamshar (2003) was the fifth Irish Derby winner.
The result pays homage to the world class breeding operation the Aga Khan has established. He buys the best, breeds only from the best, uses the best trainers and the best jockeys, enabling him to compete with the very best in the world successfully and consistently.
For the Aga Khan it extended a tradition started by his grandfather in 1930. Blenhem was the first of five English Derby winners for the current Aga’s predecessor and was followed by Bahram (1935), Mahmoud (1936), My Love (1948) and Tulyar in 1952.
The genesis starts much earlier as the family has been associated with horses since 6th century Arabia. Aga Khan I, permanently migrating from Persia, established a stud and stable in India in the 19th century, more than a century before Aga Khan III established the European operations in Ireland and France at the turn of the 20th century.
Discover, Explore and Learn more via:
- Aga Khan Studs | Harzand wins the Gr.1 Irish Derby
- Belfast Telegraph | Harzand set for Arc tilt after Stellar performance
- Bloodstock | More Group 1 glory for Harzand in Irish Derby
- Equidia Live > Galop > Irish Derby Harzand, the 17th double of English / Irish Derby
- France Sire | The Irish Derby Harzand: When the past meets the present
- Sporting Life | Epsom winner Harzand had to dig deep to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh
- Thoroughbred Daily News | Harzand Completes Derby Double
- Yorkshire Post | Sports | Horse Racing
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Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali