Harzand wins 6th Irish Derby for His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, scoring the 5th English-Irish dual Derby triumph

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.

Kildare , Ireland - 25 June 2016; Pat Smullen celebrates on Harzand alongside trainer Dermot Weld, second from right, in the winner's enclosure after the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse in the Curragh, Co. Kildare. (Photo By Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Kildare , Ireland – 25 June 2016; Pat Smullen celebrates on Harzand alongside trainer Dermot Weld, second from right, in the winner’s enclosure after the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse in the Curragh, Co. Kildare. (Photo By Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

“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

Harzand connections receives the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby from Colm McLoughlin during the presentation ceremony.
Harzand connections receives the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby from Colm McLoughlin during the presentation ceremony.

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

Kildare , Ireland - 25 June 2016; Jockey Pat Smullen with, from left, trainer Dermot Weld and owner H H Aga Khan after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Harzand at the Curragh Racecourse in the Curragh, Co. Kildare. (Photo By Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Kildare , Ireland – 25 June 2016; Jockey Pat Smullen with, from left, trainer Dermot Weld and owner H H Aga Khan after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Harzand at the Curragh Racecourse in the Curragh, Co. Kildare. (Photo By Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

“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

KILDARE, IRELAND - JUNE 25: Pat Smullen riding Harzand (L, green) win The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby from Idaho and Ryan Mmore (R) at Curragh racecourse on June 25, 2016 in Kildare, Ireland. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
KILDARE, IRELAND – JUNE 25: Pat Smullen riding Harzand (L, green) win The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby from Idaho and Ryan Mmore (R) at Curragh racecourse on June 25, 2016 in Kildare, Ireland. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

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.

"Saddling Mamoud for the Derby 1936" single mint stamp issued to commemorate Aga Khan III's record breaking Derby wins and his contribution to British equestrian sport. (Image Credit: ASJM Collection)
“Saddling Mamoud for the Derby 1936” single mint stamp issued to commemorate Aga Khan III’s record breaking Derby wins and his contribution to British equestrian sport. (Image Credit: ASJM Collection)

 

Discover, Explore and Learn more via:

Earlier & Related

Harzand English Derby win

Princess Zahra Aga Khan’s Keynote Address at the 36th Asian Racing Conference India

 

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Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali

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