Bred and owned by John Hislop, Brigadier Gerard was beaten only once during his dazzling 18-race career and is remembered as one of the greats of the turf.
Trained by Dick Hern and ridden throughout his career by Joe Mercer, Brigadier Gerard excelled in races ranging between six furlongs and a mile and a half during his three-season career.
He won each of his five races at Ascot, including twice at Royal Ascot. In 1971, he went off at 4/11 for the St James’s Palace Stakes and got the better of Sparkler, who had been narrowly beaten in the Irish 2000 Guineas. Twelve months later, he won the Prince of Wales’s by five lengths in a new course record time. It was his thirteenth successive win. He’s sure to be in the Hall Of Fame conversation.
There have been few faster horses than Dayjur, who carried all before him in the sprinting division in 1990. At the start of the year, trainer Dick Hern had designs on the 2000 Guineas with him but quickly dropped him back in trip after he had failed to figure over 7f at Newmarket on his return.
By the time Dayjur lined up under Willie Carson in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, he had already re-established himself as a sprinter but connections were concerned by the prevailing soft ground. They need not have worried as the three-year-old made all and beat French challenger Ron’s Colt by two and a half lengths.
Glorious wins in the Nunthorpe, Sprint Cup and Prix de l’Abbaye followed and he had the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in his grasp on his final start, only to jump a shadow in the final strides and lose by a neck.
So You Think
So You Think conquered two continents. He was a magnificent performer in Australia before being switched to Europe, as a five-year-old, and winning five more Group 1 races in Britain and Ireland. He was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame in 2019, seven years after his retirement, and so it will be a notable double if he one day makes it into the QIPCO British Champions Series equivalent.
Bred in New Zealand, he won two renewals of the Cox Plate, Australia’s premier weight-for-age race, before changing hands and being moved to Aidan O’Brien’s yard at Ballydoyle. He wasted little time making an impact in top races, prompting O’Brien to observe: “He’s incredible – a different creature to what we’ve ever seen before.”
So You Think suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Rewilding in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on his first visit to Royal Ascot but 12 months later put the record straight with a commanding success under the trainer’s son, Joseph.
A statue of Yeats was unveiled in the parade ring at Royal Ascot in 2011 and serves as a permanent reminder of his incredible exploits at the meeting.
He made history by becoming the first horse to win four successive renewals of the Gold Cup (2006-2009). In addition, his other victories included won two runnings of the Goodwood Cup, an Irish St Leger and a Prix Royal Oak, not to mention a Coronation Cup before being unleashed over longer distances.
Yeats belied odds of 7/1 when easily winning his first Gold Cup by four lengths in 2006 and was not extended to retain his crown the following year. Twelve months later he waltzed home by five lengths and then, in 2009, aged 8, he became only the second horse in Royal Ascot history to win the same race more than three times (Brown Jack won the Queen Alexandra Stakes six times (1929-1934).
The remarkable Stradivarius will emulate Yeats if he wins a fourth Gold Cup this week. He made history by becoming the first horse to win four successive renewals of the Gold Cup (2006-2009). In addition, his other victories included won two runnings of the Goodwood Cup, an Irish St Leger and a Prix Royal Oak, not to mention a Coronation Cup before being unleashed over longer distances.
The remarkable Stradivarius will emulate Yeats if he wins a fourth Gold Cup this week.