|Owner||Sir Jules Thorn|
|Trainer||Bernard Van Cutsem|
| Observer Gold Cup (1971)|
Thirsk Classic Trial (1972)
2000 Guineas (1972)
|Timeform rating 131|
|Leading broodmare sire in Great Britain and Ireland|
High Top (1969–1988) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1972. High Top was one of the leading British two-year-olds of 1971 when his successes included a defeat of a strong field tin the Observer Gold Cup. After winning a trial race on his first appearance of 1972 he led from the start to beat the future Epsom Derby winner Roberto in the 2000 Guineas. His classic win was the first of seventeen British classic winners ridden by Willie Carson. High Top never won again but finished a close second in both the Sussex Stakes and the Prix Jacques Le Marois. At the end of the year he was retired to stud and became an extremely successful breeding stallion.
High Top, described as "a most commanding individual",was a brown horse with a white star four white socks bred by Bob McCreery at the Moreton Paddox Stud in Warwickshire, England. He was from the third crop of foals sired by Derring-Do, a horse whose wins included the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 1965 and whose other offspring included the St Leger winner Peleid and the 2000 Guineas winner Roland Gardens. High Top's dam Camenae, won one minor race, but was a successful broodmare, producing several other winners including the Jersey Stakes winner Camden Town. As a descendant of the broodmare Gentlemen's Relish, Camenae came from the same branch of Thoroughbred family 11-a which also produced the German champion Acatenango and the Prix du Jockey Club and Irish Derby winner Old Vic.
As a yearling, High Top was sent to the sales but failed to reach his reserve price. Shortly afterwards he was bought for 9,000 guineas by the Vienna-born industrialist Sir Jules Thorn. The colt was sent into training with Bernard Van Cutsem at his Stanley House stable at Newmarket, Suffolk. At the time, Van Cutsem was one of the most successful trainers in Britain, handling major winners including Park Top (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes) and Karabas (Washington, D.C. International Stakes).
Racing as a two-year-old in 1972, High Top won three times from four races. After winning his debut, High Top ran in the Washington Singer Stakes at Newbury, where finished second to Yarsolav, a colt to whom he was conceding three pounds. On his final appearance of the season, the colt was sent to Doncaster Racecourse for the Group One Observer Gold Cup and started at odds of 11/2. Ridden by the Scottish jockey Willie Carson he won by three quarters of a length from Steel Pulse, a colt which went on to win the following year's Irish Derby. The unplaced horses included Boucher and Rheingold.
High Top's win at Doncaster was the culmination of an outstanding season for Van Cutsem's two-year-old colts: he had won the Dewhurst Stakes with Crowned Prince and the Middle Park Stakes with Sharpen Up. In the Free Handicap, a rating of the year's best British two-year-olds, Crowned Prince was given top weight of 133 pounds, with High Top level with Yaroslav in second place with 131.
On his three-year-old debut, High Top was sent to Yorkshire to contest the Classic Trial at Thirsk Racecourse. he led from the start and won by five lengths from My Brief, with the leading filly Waterloo two lengths further back in third. With both Crowned Prince and Sharpen Up failing in their respective trials, High Top was Van Cutsem's sole representative in the 2000 Guineas over the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket on 29 April.With Carson again in the saddle, he started the 85/40 favourite against eleven opponents, his form having been boosted by the success of Waterloo in the 1000 Guineas two days earlier. High Top led from the start and went well clear approaching the final furlong. In the closing stages the Irish-trained colt Roberto emerged as a challenger, but the favourite was driven out by Carson to win by half a length, with a gap of six lengths back to Sun Prince in third. The colt's success was a first classic win for both Carson and Van Cutsem. High Top was strongly fancied to follow up in the Irish 2,000 Guineas but finished unplaced behind Ballymore and returned to Newmarket a sick horse. It was more than two months before he ran again.
When High Top returned in the summer he showed good form without winning. At Goodwood in July he was beaten a head by Sallust, who set a new course record, in the Sussex Stakes.He was then sent to France for the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August. He led in the closing stages but was caught on the line by the French colt Lyphard. On his final appearance he finished fourth behind Sallust, Lyphard and Daring Display in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.
The independent Timeform awarded High Top a peak rating of 131 in 1971. In their book A Century of Champions, based on a modified version of the Timeform system, John Randall and Tony Morris rated High Top an "average" winner of the 2000 Guineas.
High Top was retired to stud where he proved to be a highly successful sire of winners. Despite the fact that High Top never raced beyond a mile, many of his best offspring excelled over long distances: they included the British Classic winners Cut Above and Circus Plume as well as the Irish Oaks winner Colorspin, the Derby Italiano winner My Top and the Prix du Jockey Club winner Top Ville. He was also the damsire of Opera House, Kayf Tara, Roseate Tern, In the Groove and Classic Cliche.In 1993, largely thanks to the successes of Opera House, High Top was the Leading broodmare sire in Great Britain and Ireland.
In early 1988 High Top was standing at the Woodland Stud at Newmarket when he began to suffer from thrombosis in his hind legs. After showing signs of recovery he had a relapse and was euthanised on veterinary advice on 9 March.
| Darius (GB)|
|Sipsey Bridge (GB)|
| Vimy (FR)|
|Court Martial||Fair Trial|
|Gentlemen's Relish (Family 11-a)|
Nearco was an Italian-bred Thoroughbred racehorse described by Thoroughbred Heritage as "one of the greatest racehorses of the Twentieth Century" and "one of the most important sires of the century." He was unbeaten, winning 14 races at distances from 1000m to 3000m, including the Derby Italiano and Grand Prix de Paris. He was then sold for a record amount to Martin H. Benson and stood stud in England, where he became the patriarch of several of the most dominant sire lines in Thoroughbred history.
St. Simon was an undefeated British Thoroughbred racehorse and one of the most successful sires in the history of the Thoroughbred. In May 1886 The Sporting Times' carried out a poll of one hundred experts to create a ranking of the best British racehorses of the 19th century. St. Simon was ranked fourth, having been placed in the top ten by 53 of the contributors.
Nasrullah was a Thoroughbred racehorse that was bred in Ireland and trained in the United Kingdom before becoming a champion sire in both Europe and North America. As a two-year-old, he won the Coventry Stakes and finished second in the Middle Park Stakes, ending the year as the top-rated colt of his generation. In the following season, he became increasingly difficult to manage, and his temperament compromised his racing career. He was the beaten favourite in the 2,000 Guineas and finished a close third in the Derby Stakes before winning the Champion Stakes. As a breeding stallion he stood in England, Ireland, and the United States and had great success in each location.
Bay Middleton was an undefeated Thoroughbred racehorse whose victories included two British Classic Races. He was twice the Leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland.
Hurry On was an undefeated British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire that revived the Matchem sire line. English trainer Fred Darling called Hurry On the best horse he ever trained.
Swynford was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. Bred at the 16th Lord Derby's stud in Lincolnshire, England he was sired by John O'Gaunt, a son of Isinglass, winner of the British Triple Crown in 1893. His dam was Lord Derby's foundation mare and 1896 Epsom Oaks winner Canterbury Pilgrim who also produced Chaucer, the 1927 and 1933 Leading broodmare sire in Great Britain & Ireland.
Dubawi is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire.
Salsabil was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a racing career which lasted from September 1989 to October 1990 she ran nine times and won seven races. Salsabil was one of the leading two-year-old fillies in Europe in 1989, winning two races including the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at the Longchamp. After winning the Fred Darling Stakes on her three-year-old debut, Salsabil won both of Britain's Classic races for fillies: the 1000 Guineas over one mile at Newmarket and the Oaks over one and a half miles at Epsom. She was then raced against colts and became the first filly for ninety years to win the Irish Derby at the Curragh. In autumn, Salsabil added a victory in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp but finished unplaced when favourite for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October. Salsabil was then retired to stud where she had success as a broodmare before dying of cancer in 1996.
Cobweb (1821–1848) was an undefeated British Thoroughbred racehorse and who won two British Classic Races as a three-year-old and went on to become a highly successful broodmare. Cobweb's racing career consisted of three competitive races in the early part of 1824. After winning on her debut she claimed a second prize when her opponents were withdrawn by their owners. She then won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse and the Oaks Stakes at Epsom Downs Racecourse before being retired to stud.
Bolkonski was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Originally trained in Italy, the colt moved to England for the 1975 season where he recorded an upset victory over Grundy in the classic 2000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse. He went on to win two other major British races over one mile, the St James's Palace Stakes at Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. At the end of the season he was retired to stud where he had limited success as a sire of winners.
William the Third (1898–1917) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After finishing unplaced on his only race as a two-year-old in 1900, he won five times in 1901 as well as finishing second in The Derby. He reached his peak as a four-year-old, winning five consecutive races including the Ascot Gold Cup, Queen Alexandra Stakes and Doncaster Cup. His career was ended by injury in early 1903 and he was retired to stud, where he had considerable success as a sire of winners.
Petingo (1965–1976) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from June 1967 until August 1968 he ran nine times and won six races. In 1967 he was unbeaten in three starts including the Gimcrack Stakes and the Middle Park Stakes and was officially rated the best two-year-old in Britain. In the following year he was defeated by Sir Ivor in the 2000 Guineas but won the St. James's Palace Stakes and the Sussex Stakes. He was then retired to stud where he proved to be a very successful stallion before his death at the age of eleven.
Pall Mall (1955–1978) was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1958. Owned and bred by Queen Elizabeth II, Pall Mall was one of the leading British two-year-olds of 1957, when he won the New Stakes at Royal Ascot and was placed in three other important races. In the following spring, he performed moderately in two trial races before creating a 20/1 upset by winning the 2000 Guineas. He later won the first two runnings of the Lockinge Stakes before being retired to stud, where he had some success as a sire of winners.
Mon Fils was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1973. As a two-year-old, Mon Fils won two of his seven races including the Mill Reef Stakes. In 1973 he won the 2000 Guineas on soft ground, but ran poorly when strongly fancied for The Derby. His racing career was ended by injury in the autumn of 1973 and he was retired to stud, where he made no impact as a sire of winners. He was the first classic winner to be trained by Richard Hannon Sr..
Bireme was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for winning the classic Epsom Oaks in 1980. After winning one of her two starts in 1979, she won the Musidora Stakes on her three-year-old debut before winning the Oaks in record time. Later that summer she broke loose during a training session and sustained career-ending injuries. She was retired to stud with a record of three wins in four races and has had some influence as a broodmare.
Sharpen Up was British racehorse and sire. He was one of the leading European two-year-olds of his generation, winning all five of his races including the Seaton Delaval Stakes and the Middle Park Stakes. He failed to win in three starts in 1972 and was retired to stud. He became a highly successful breeding stallion in both Europe and North America. Sharpen Up died in 1992.
Don't Forget Me was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1987. He showed promising form as a two-year-old in 1986, winning three of his four races including the Lanson Champagne Stakes and the Champagne Stakes. In the early part of 1987 he survived an injury scare to win the 2000 Guineas and completed a rare double by winning the Irish 2000 Guineas two weeks later. He was beaten in his remaining three races and was retired to stud, where he had some success as a sire of winners.
Sallust (1969–1987) was an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He showed good form as a two-year-old in 1971, winning two of his five races including the Richmond Stakes, but appeared to be just below the highest class. He ran poorly on his three-year-old debut but then won the Diomed Stakes, Prix de la Porte Maillot, Sussex Stakes, Goodwood Mile and Prix du Moulin. By decisively defeating opponents such as High Top and Lyphard he established himself as the best specialist miler in Europe and was rated the best three-year-old of 1972 by Timeform. He returned to Ireland for his stud career and had some success as a sire of winners.
Tap On Wood was an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1979. As a two-year-old in 1978 he won seven of his thirteen races including the National Stakes. In the following spring he defeated the outstanding miler Kris to record an upset victory in the Guineas. His later career was disrupted by illness and he appeared in only two more races, finishing unplaced in the Derby and winning the Kiveton Park Stakes. He subsequently had some success as a breeding stallion in Europe and Japan.
Noble Decree was an American-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a two-year-old colt he won two of his first five races before ending his season with a win in the Observer Gold Cup. He was rated the best colt of his generation in the 1972 Free Handicap. In the following year he was narrowly beaten by Mon Fils in the 2000 Guineas before suffering a career-ending injury in The Derby. He had no success as a breeding stallion.