Sir Ivor at Claiborne Farm in 1981
|Breeder||Mill Ridge Farm|
|Owner||Raymond R. Guest|
| Grand Criterium (1967)|
National Stakes (1967)
2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes (1968)
2,000 Guineas (1968)
Epsom Derby (1968)
Champion Stakes (1968)
Washington, D.C. International (1968)
|United Kingdom Horse of the Year (1968)|
Leading broodmare sire in Britain & Ireland (1983)
Timeform rating: 135
|Last updated on October 4, 2006|
Sir Ivor (May 5, 1965 – November 10, 1995) was an American-bred Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, who competed from a base in Ireland. In a career which lasted from July 1967 to October 1968 he ran thirteen times and won eight races. He won major races in four countries: the National Stakes in Ireland, the Grand Criterium in France, the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and Champion Stakes in England and the Washington, D.C. International in the United States.
Sir Ivor was bred by Alice Headley Bell at the Mill Ridge Farm in Kentucky. He was from the second crop of foals sired by Secretariat's half-brother Sir Gaylord, out of the mare Attica, who produced several other winners. As a yearling the colt was sent to the sales and was bought for $42,000 (equivalent to $330,000in 2019) by American businessman and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Raymond R. Guest, who named the horse after his British grandfather, Sir Ivor Guest, 1st Baron Wimborne. Sir Ivor was sent to Ireland to be trained by Vincent O'Brien at Ballydoyle.
Sir Ivor's first three races were at Curragh. In July, he finished sixth in the Tyros Stakes and then won the Probationers' Stakes. He was then stepped up in class and won the National Stakes. On his final start of the year, he was sent to Paris to contest the Grand Criterium at Longchamp Racecourse. He established himself as one of the best European colts of his generation with a three-length win. Lester Piggott described him as having almost “quickened out from beneath him” his turn of foot was so electric.
On his three-year-old debut, Sir Ivor traveled to England for the first time and won the 2000 Guineas Trial Stakes at Ascot. He then started 11/8 favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in which his main rival was expected to be the English colt Petingo. Ridden by Lester Piggott, Sir Ivor accelerated past Petingo in the closing stages to win by one and a half lengths.
At Epsom Sir Ivor was made 4/5 favourite for the Derby. Held up in the early stages by Piggott, he turned into the straight in seventh place. In the final furlong, he produced what the Glasgow Herald described as an "electrifying surge"of speed on the outside to catch the leader Connaught well inside the final furlong and win by one and a half lengths. After the race, Piggott described Sir Ivor as "the best I have ridden." Sir Ivor had now won six races in succession, but his run of success ended in his next race, as he was beaten two lengths by Ribero in the Irish Derby. He was then matched against 1967 Derby winner Royal Palace in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. In a closely contested race, Sir Ivor finished third, beaten a short head and three quarters of a length by Royal Palace and Taj Dewan. Both Piggott and O'Brien blamed the firm ground for Sir Ivor's defeat. He was then rested for an autumn campaign.
Sir Ivor returned in late September when he ran in the Prix Henry Delamarre at Longchamp in which he finished half a length second to Prince Sao, to whom he was conceding nine pounds. One week later, he returned to Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Sir Ivor, whose best distance was probably 10 furlongs was outstayed by the favourite, Vaguely Noble, who won by three lengths. Sir Ivor finished four lengths ahead of the remainder of the field to take second.Two weeks after his run in Paris, Sir Ivor appeared at Newmarket, where he won the Champion Stakes easily by two and a half lengths from a field which included Taj Dewan. On his final start, Sir Ivor was sent to the United States for the Washington, D.C. International at Laurel Park, Maryland. Piggott held the colt up before producing a "furious stretch drive" to lead in the last twenty yards and beat Czar Alexander, with the American Champion Male Turf Horse Fort Marcy in third.
Retired after his three-year-old racing season, Sir Ivor was sold to a syndicate to stand at stud at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. He sired 94 stakes winners and was the broodmare sire of more than 145 stakes winners before his death at age 30 in 1995. His best winners included:
|1971||Sir Tristram||Stallion||Leading sire in Australia; 17 times champion Australasian sire|
|1972||Ivanjica||Mare||Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe|
|1974||Cloonlara||Mare||European Champion Two-Year-Old Filly|
|1974||Lady Capulet||Mare||Irish 1,000 Guineas, dam of El Prado|
|1976||Godetia||Mare||Irish 1,000 Guineas, Irish Oaks|
|1979||Bates Motel||Stallion||American Champion Older Male Horse|
|Optimistic Gal||Mare||Spinster Stakes, Frizette Stakes, Kentucky Oaks|
|Sweet Alliance||Mare||Kentucky Oaks|
Sir Ivor was named British Horse of the Year by the Racecourse Association, gaining twenty-six of the forty votes to defeat Royal Palace. He was awarded a rating of 135 by Timeform.In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Sir Ivor as a "superior" Derby winner and the seventh best Irish racehorse of the 20th century. Vincent O'Brien rated Nijinsky and Sir Ivor as the two best horses he had trained, placing Nijinsky first for brilliance and Sir Ivor first for toughness.
Sir Ivor was the subject of the 1969 documentary film The Year of Sir Ivor .
A street in the town of Newmarket, Ontario Canada, was named after Sir Ivor. The street is called Sir Ivor Court and is located in the upper-class neighbourhood of Stonehaven in the southeast corner of the town.
|Source Sucree||Admiral Drake|
|Salamina||Man o' War|
Nijinsky, usually known in the United States as Nijinsky II, was a Canadian-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was the outstanding two-year-old in Europe in 1969 when he was unbeaten in five races. In the following season, he became the first horse for thirty-five years to win the English Triple Crown, a feat that had not been repeated as of 2020. He is regarded by many experts to have been the greatest flat racehorse in Europe during the 20th century.
The Minstrel was a Canadian-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Bred in Ontario, he was sold as a yearling and exported to Europe, where he was campaigned in Ireland and the United Kingdom. As a two-year-old The Minstrel was unbeaten in three races including the Dewhurst Stakes, but lost two of his first three starts in 1977. He was then moved up in distance and won his remaining three races: the Epsom Derby, the Irish Derby, and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Vincent O'Brien was an Irish race horse trainer from Churchtown, County Cork, Ireland. In 2003 he was voted the greatest influence in horse racing history in a worldwide poll hosted by the Racing Post. In earlier Racing Post polls he was voted the best ever trainer of national hunt and of flat racehorses. He trained six horses to win the Epsom Derby, won three Grand Nationals in succession and trained the only British Triple Crown winner, Nijinsky, since the Second World War. He was twice British champion trainer in flat racing and also twice in national hunt racing; the only trainer in history to have been champion under both rules. Aidan O'Brien took over the Ballydoyle stables after his retirement.
Alleged was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1977 and 1978. One of the outstanding racehorses of the 20th Century, he was only beaten once in his career, when he was 2nd in the 1977 St Leger after starting the 4/7 favourite.
Storm Bird was a Canadian-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was the outstanding European two-year-old of 1980, when he was unbeaten in five races, including the Anglesey Stakes, National Stakes, and Dewhurst Stakes. His subsequent career was disrupted by injury and illness, and he was well beaten in his only race of 1981. He was then retired to stud, where he became a successful breeding stallion.
Roberto was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred Champion racehorse. In a career that lasted from 1971 until July 1973 he ran fourteen times and won seven races. He was the best Irish two-year-old of 1971, when his victories included the National Stakes. As a three-year-old, he won the Derby before recording his most famous victory when beating Brigadier Gerard in the inaugural running of the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup. This is regarded by many experts to have been one of the greatest ever performances on a European racecourse. He won the Coronation Cup as a four-year-old before being retired to stud. Roberto required a left-handed track to perform to his best; he never won going right-handed. He was described by Lester Piggott as " a champion when things were in his favour". Roberto also proved to be a highly successful and influential stallion.
Royal Palace (1964–1991) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from June 1966 until July 1968 he ran eleven times and won nine races. After being rated the best English-trained two-year-old of 1966, he won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the 2000 Guineas and the Derby in 1967. He returned for an unbeaten four-year-old season in 1968 when he won four races which are now Group One events.
Right Tack (1966–1985) was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from June 1968 to October 1969 he ran twelve times, winning eight races and finishing second three times. As a two-year-old he won his last five races included the Middle Park Stakes and was rated the second-best British colt of his generation. In the following year he became the first horse to win both the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh. After being retired from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in Ireland and Australia.
Boucher, was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In Ireland he won the Beresford Stakes as a two-year-old in 1971 and went on to win the Nijinsky Stakes and the Desmond Stakes in 1972. In September 1972 he was sent to England where he won the St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster. At the end of the season he was retired to stand as a stallion in Australia, where he had some success as a sire of winners.
Ribero was an American-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from September 1967 until May 1969 he ran twelve times and won three races. He is best known for his performances in 1968 when he won two of the most important European races for three-year-olds; the Irish Derby, and the St Leger.
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.
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.
Apalachee (1971–1996) was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from August 1973 until May 1974 he ran five times and won four races. In 1973 he was unbeaten in three starts including the Racing Post Trophy and was officially rated the best two-year-old in Britain and Ireland. In the following year he won on his debut but finished third to Nonoalco in the 2000 Guineas and never raced again. He was then retired to stud where he had some success as a sire of winners before his death at the age of twenty-five.
Thatch (1970–1983) was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from spring 1972 until July 1973 he ran nine times and won seven races. As a two-year-old he won three of his four races and was rated one of the best Irish juveniles of the season. In the following year he finished fourth on soft ground in the 2000 Guineas but in the summer he showed the form which led to him being rated the best European horse of his generation, winning the St. James's Palace Stakes, the July Cup and the Sussex Stakes. He was then retired to stud where he had some success as a sire of winners.
Lorenzaccio was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a racehorse he was best known for his upset victory over the Triple Crown winner Nijinsky in the 1970 running of the Champion Stakes. In four years of racing he also won the July Stakes, Prix Jean Prat, Prix Quincey and Prix Foy as well as being placed in several other important races. At stud, he was best known as the sire of the outstanding breeding stallion Ahonoora.
My Swallow was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He won eight of his eleven races in a racing career which lasted from May 1970 until July 1971. In 1970 he was undefeated in seven races including the Woodcote Stakes, Prix du Bois, Prix Robert Papin, Prix Morny, Prix de la Salamandre and Grand Critérium. My Swallow set a record for prize money won by a two-year-old in Europe and was rated the best of an exceptional crop of European juveniles. He won on his three-year-old debut, but then finished third to Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard in the 2000 Guineas. My Swallow finished second in his two remaining races before being retired to stud. He had moderate success as a sire of winners in the United Kingdom and Japan.
Monteverdi was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was the leading European two-year-old of 1979, when he was unbeaten in four races including the National Stakes, Ashford Castle Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes. His three-year-old season was a disappointment as he failed to win in four races, finishing second in his first two races and then running unplaced in the Irish 2000 Guineas and Derby. He was then retired to stud where he had little success as a sire of winners.
Thatching was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. The horse's early career was delayed and disrupted by injury and he did not show his best form until switched to sprinting distances in the spring of 1979 when he won the Duke of York Stakes. He improved further when equipped with blinkers that summer, recording impressive victories in both the Cork and Orrery Stakes and the July Cup. He had a marked tendency to veer ("hang") to the left when in front, which led to his disqualification in the William Hill Sprint Championship. He was retired to stud after winning four of his eleven races and became a successful breeding stallion.
Cloonlara was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. Although she never contested a Group One race as a two-year-old, Cloonlara was regarded as the best juvenile filly to race in Europe in 1976. She won all three of her races that year by wide margins, culminating in a six length win over colts in the Phoenix Stakes. She missed the rest of the season through injury and failed to reproduce her best form in 1977, when she became increasingly temperamental. Cloonlara made a highly-promising start to her breeding career before dying at the age of seven in 1981.
Valoris was a French-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. After showing promising form without winning a race as a juvenile in 1965 she developed into a top-class performer the following spring when she recorded emphatic victories in the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Epsom Oaks. She was well beaten in two subsequent starts and was retired from racing at the end of the year. She later had considerable success as a broodmare.