|Dam||Sarah Van Fleet|
|Foaled||22 April 1978|
|Trainer|| Guy Harwood |
John W. Russell
| Solario Stakes (1980)|
2000 Guineas (1981)
St. James's Palace Stakes (1981)
Waterford Crystal Mile (1981)
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1981)
|Timeform rating: 133 (1980, 1981)|
Top-rated British two-year-old (1980)
To-Agori-Mou (22 April 1978 – 1990) was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire who won the classic 2000 Guineas in 1981. He was the best British-trained two-year-old of 1980 when he won the Solario Stakes and was narrowly beaten by the Irish-trained Storm Bird in the Dewhurst Stakes. As a three-year-old he was beaten on his debut but justified his position as betting favourite in the 2000 Guineas. The rest of his season was dominated by a controversial four-race series in which he was matched against the Irish colt Kings Lake. His other major wins in 1981 came in the St. James's Palace Stakes, Waterford Crystal Mile and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. In 1982 he was campaigned in the United States without success and was retired to stud where he had little success as a sire of winners.
To-Agori-Mou was a "big, rangy, attractive"dark brown horse with no white markings bred by the Rathduff Stud in County Tipperary, Ireland. His sire, Tudor Music, was a top-class sprinter whose wins included the July Cup: as a breeding stallion his record was not impressive, with his only previous Group Race winner being Orchestra, whose wins included the John Porter Stakes. To-Agori-Mou was by far the best horse produced by Sarah Van Fleet, a mare who won five races over hurdles. Sarah Van Fleet was a great granddaughter of the influential broodmare Sister Sarah, whose other descendants include St. Paddy, Flying Water, Russian Rhythm, Workforce, Nearctic, Shadayid, Swain, Love Divine, Brian Boru and Sixties Icon.
As a yearling, the colt was sent to the sales and was bought for 20,000 guineas by the trainer Guy Harwood,making him by far the most expensive of his sire's offspring sold in 1979. The colt entered the ownership of the Greek restaurateur Andry Muinos, who had just sold her three-year-old Ela-Mana-Mou to the Ballymacoll Stud for £500,000. She named the horse To-Agori-Mou (το αγόρι μου), the Greek for "My Boy". The colt was trained at Pulborough, West Sussex by Harwood who, at the time, was noted for his modern approach to training, introducing Britain to features such as artificial gallops and barn-style stabling. To-Agori-Mou was ridden in most of his major races by the British jockey Greville Starkey.
To-Agori-Mou made his racecourse debut in a maiden race over six furlongs at Newmarket Racecourse in July. He was given a gentle ride from Starkey and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length by the Queen's colt Church Parade. He recorded his first win in the Foxhall Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs at Goodwood Racecourse, taking the lead after a furlong and winning easily by two lengths from Clear Verdict. In August he won the Crawley Stakes at Lingfield Park Racecourse from six moderate opponents who, according to Timeform, "were barely able to get him out of a canter". To-Agori-Mou was then moved up in class to contest the Listed Solario Stakes at Sandown Park Racecourse on 29 August.Starting the 8/11 favourite he accelerated clear of the field in the final quarter mile and won by two lengths from Bold Raider, despite being eased down by Starkey in the closing stages.
In October, To-Agori-Mou contested Britain's most important races for two-year-olds, the Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket. He was opposed by the Irish-trained Storm Bird, winner of the National Stakes, the French-trained Miswaki, winner of the Prix de la Salamandre and Kirtling, winner of the Chesham Stakes. To-Agori-Mou was always in the first two and was the only horse able to respond when Storm Bird accelerated with two furlong left to run. The two colts quickly drew away from the field and after a protracted struggle, To-Agori-Mou finished second, beaten half a length.
When Storm Bird was ruled out of the classics by a series of problems, To-Agori-Mou became a strong favourite for the 2000 Guineas. He began his three-year-old season in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April. He started odds-on favourite, but appeared short of peak fitness and was beaten three quarters of a length by the 28/1 outsider Kind of Hush. Despite his defeat, To-Agori-Mou started the 5/2 favourite for the 173rd running of the 2000 Guineas over the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket on 2 May, with his main opponents appearing to be the Free Handicap winner Motavato (5/1), Kind of Hush (9/1) and the William Hill Futurity winner Beldale Flutter (10/1). Starkey restrained the colt at the rear of the nineteen runner field before moving forward with three furlongs left to run. He looked likely to win easily, but had to be driven out by Starkey to win by a neck from the 50/1 outsider Mattaboy, with Bel Bolide in third.
On 16 May, To-Agori-Mou was sent to Ireland and started 9/10 favourite for the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh. The race was the most controversial of the year and saw the beginning of a four-race rivalry between To-Agori-Mou and the Vincent O'Brien-trained colt Kings Lake. Starkey held up To-Agori-Mou for a late run as usual and moved up to challenge Kings Lake, ridden by Pat Eddery in the last quarter mile. The Irish colt edged to the left in the closing stages and appeared to bump the favourite several times before winning by a neck. Starkey ended the race standing up in his stirrups and clearly indicated that he felt that his mount had been unfairly prevented from winning. The racecourse stewards concurred, and amended the result, awarding the victory to To-Agori-Mou. Kings Lake's connections refused to accept the verdict and took their appeal to the stewards of the Turf Club (the regulatory body for horseracing in Ireland), who, after a six-hour hearing, reinstated the original result. The decision created uproarand was widely condemned in both the British and Irish press.
The rematch between To-Agori-Mou and Kings Lake came in the St James's Palace Stakes over one mile at Royal Ascot. Starkey changed tactics and rode the 2/1second favourite much closer to the pace than in previous races. Early in the straight he sent the colt through a gap on the inside and went into the lead by a length. Kings Lake emerged as the challenger, but To-Agori-Mou prevailed in a "thrilling battle" to win by a neck, with the first two pulling six lengths clear of the other runners. The race was not without controversy as Starkey turned in his saddle and appeared to make a two-fingered gesture to Eddery just after the finishing line. To-Agori-Mou and Kings Lake met for the third time in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse on 29 July in which they were opposed by older horses. Starkey reverted to hold-up tactics, restraining the 11/8 favourite before making his run in the straight. He made rapid progress and took the lead a furlong from the finish, but was caught in the final strides by King Lake and beaten by a head.
The fourth and final match between To-Agori-Mou and Kings Lake came in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville Racecourse on 16 August. To-Agori-Mou evened the score, beating his rival by a nose, but neither colt was any match for the French-trained four-year-old Northjet, who won easily by five lengths. Later that month, To-Agori-Mou was matched against Moorestyle, the top-rated European racehorse of 1980, at two pounds worse than weight-for-age in the Waterford Crystal Mile at Goodwood. Starkey tracked Lester Piggott on Moorestyle before moving past the older horse in the straight and opening up a three-length advantage. To-Agori-Mou veered to the right in the closing stages but held off the renewed challenge of Moorestyle to win by half a length.To-Agori-Mou was one of fourteen horses selected to contest the inaugural running of the Arlington Million in Chicago, but the invitation was not taken up, leaving the filly Madam Gay to represent Britain.
In late September, To-Agori-Mou ran in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. The race was then a Group Two event, and weight penalties meant that he had to race at level weights against older horses, but he nevertheless started the 5/4favourite. Ridden by Lester Piggott (Starkey was serving a suspension for careless riding), he was held up at the back of the field before moving up to take the lead inside the final furlong. He won by a length from the four-year-old Cracaval, who was subsequently disqualified for causing interference in the closing stages. In October, To-Agori-Mou was moved up in distance to contest the Champion Stakes over ten furlongs at Newmarket. He started 5/1 favourite, but after travelling well for most of the race he was unable to make any progress in the closing stages and finished fifth of the sixteen runners behind the French-trained colt Vayrann.
In 1982, To-Agori-Mou was sent to race in the United States where he was trained by John W. Russell. He failed to win in four attempts, with his best placing being third in the Laurance Armour Handicap at Arlington Park in May. He was retired after finishing fifth in the American Handicap at Hollywood Park Racetrack in July.
To-Agori-Mou was rated 133 by the independent Timeform organisation in 1980, making him the second best two-year-old of the season, one pound behind Storm Bird. He was also rated second to Storm Bird in the official International Classification.In the following season he was again rated 133 by Timeform, while in the International Classification he was rated the equal-fourth-best three-year-old colt in Europe behind Shergar, Bikala and Cut Above. In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris rated To-Agori-Mou an "average" 2000 Guineas winner and the forty-first best two-year-old trained in Britain or Ireland in the 20th century.
To-Agori-Mou was retired to become a breeding stallion in the United States, but appears to have attracted little interest. The most successful of his offspring was the sprinter Answer Do, who won fifteen races including the Grade II San Carlos Handicap and two runnings of the Grade III Phoenix Gold Cup.To-Agori-Mou was sold for $2,000 in 1989 and for $300 a year later. To-Agori-Mou died in 1990.
Tudor Music (GB)
| Tudor Melody (GB)|
|Tudor Minstrel||Owen Tudor|
Sarah Van Fleet (GB)
|La Rage (GB)|
|Sister Sarah (Family:14-c)|
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.
Kris (1976–2004) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. As a two-year-old in 1978 he was unbeaten in four races including the Horris Hill Stakes, but was rated some way below the best of his generation. In the following year he won the Greenham Stakes on his debut before being defeated by Tap On Wood when favourite for the classic 2000 Guineas. He went on to dominate British racing over one mile for the rest of 1979, winning the Heron Stakes, St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Waterford Crystal Mile, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Challenge Stakes, earning comparisons with Brigadier Gerard. As a four-year-old he won the Lockinge Stakes but was off the course with injury problems for much of the season and was narrowly beaten by Known Fact when attempting to repeat his previous win in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. He retired from racing with a record of fourteen wins and two second places from sixteen starts. Kris went on to become a very successful breeding stallion, siring the classic winning fillies Oh So Sharp and Unite and being Leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland in 1985. He died in 2004.
Ela-Mana-Mou (1976–2008) was a British Thoroughbred race horse and sire. In a career which lasted from 1978 until October 1980, he ran sixteen times and won ten races. He was one of the best British two-year-olds of 1978, when he defeated Troy in the Royal Lodge Stakes. At three, he won the King Edward VII Stakes and was the beaten favourite for The Derby. Ela-Mana-Mou had his most successful season as a four-year-old in 1980 when he won his first four races including the Eclipse Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He later became a highly successful sire of winners before his death in 2008.
Moorestyle (1977–1984) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was unfashionably bred, sold cheaply as a yearling and began his career in minor handicap races. As a three-year-old however, he improved to become the one of the outstanding British sprinters of the post-war era and was named the best horse of the year in Europe by all the major rating organisations. His wins that year included the July Cup at Newmarket, the Haydock Sprint Cup, the Prix de l'Abbaye and the Prix de la Forêt. He had further successes as a four-year-old and was retired to stud at the end of 1981. He had little opportunity to prove himself as a stallion, dying of grass sickness in 1984.
Marwell was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. A specialist sprinter, she won ten of her thirteen races, including several against colts and older horses, and was the highest-rated filly of her generation in Europe at both two and three years of age. She won all five of her races as a two-year-old in 1980, including the Molecomb Stakes, Flying Childers Stakes, and Cheveley Park Stakes. In the following year, she was beaten over a mile in the classic 1000 Guineas but returned to sprinting to win the King's Stand Stakes July Cup and Prix de l'Abbaye. She was retired from racing at the end of 1981 and became a successful broodmare. Marwell died in 2003.
Bakharoff was an American-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was the highest-rated European two-year-old of 1985 when he won the William Hill Futurity and the Chesham Stakes as well as finishing second in the Dewhurst Stakes. As a three-year-old he was overshadowed by his stable companion Dancing Brave, but he showed good form to win the Geoffrey Freer Stakes and finish third in both the Prix du Jockey Club and the Irish Derby. In all, he achieved four wins and seven places in a twelve race career which lasted from April 1985 until September 1986. He later stood as a breeding stallion in New Zealand with modest results.
Beldale Flutter was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a two-year-old in 1980 he was rated one of the best horses of his generation after winning three of his five races, most notably a decisive victory over Shergar in the William Hill Futurity. As a three-year-old he won the Dante Stakes and was second favourite for The Derby before sustaining a serious injury in training which kept him off the racecourse for three months. He returned in August to win the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup against older horses. He ran poorly in his two remaining races and was retired to stud, where he had limited success as a sire of winners.
Northjet was an Irish-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He showed useful form in his early career, winning five races in Italy including the Group Two Premio Melton before being transferred to race in France in 1980. In early 1981 he won the Prix du Muguet but was beaten in several races and appeared to be just below the highest class. Northjet established his reputation in the late summer of 1981 when he recorded a five length victory over a very strong field in the Prix Jacques Le Marois and then won the Prix du Moulin in course record time. He was generally recognised as the best older horse and the best miler to race in Europe that season. He was then retired to stud where he was a complete failure as a breeding stallion.
Kings Lake was an American bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Despite not contesting any major races, he was rated one of the best two-year-old colts in Ireland in 1980 when he won two of his three races. His three-year-old season was dominated by a controversial rivalry with the British-trained colt To-Agori-Mou: Kings Lake won two of their four meetings including the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Sussex Stakes. Later that season he moved up to middle distances to win the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes. He was retired to stud at the end of the season and had moderate success as a sire of winners.
Light Cavalry was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic St Leger Stakes in 1980. After winning his only race as a two-year-old, Light Cavalry was one of the best three-year-olds in Britain in 1980, winning the King Edward VII Stakes and being placed in the Chester Vase, Gordon Stakes and Great Voltigeur Stakes before winning the St Leger by four lengths. He remained in training in 1981 and won the Princess of Wales's Stakes, but his season was restricted by injury problems. After his retirement from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in the United States and Argentina with limited success.
Recitation was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was one of the best European two-year-olds of 1980, when he won the Coventry Stakes by five lengths and the Grand Critérium in France. In the following year he won the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, but was beaten in his last three starts. In all, he recorded five wins and five placings in a career of thirteen races. He was retired to become a breeding stallion in Kentucky, but had little success as a sire of winners.
Cairn Rouge was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. After showing promise as a two-year-old in 1979, Cairn Rouge improved to become one of the best three-year-old fillies in Europe in the following year. She won the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes against horses of her own age and sex, before defeating strong weight-for-age competition in the Champion Stakes. She failed to win in five starts as a four-year-old, but showed good form when finishing second in a controversial race for the Champion Stakes. After a brief, unsuccessful period racing in North America she was retired to stud, where she had some success as a broodmare.
Posse was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He ran only six times, winning twice, in a racing career which lasted from October 1979 until July 1980. As a three-year-old he was promoted to second after a controversial race for the 2000 Guineas but showed his best form in summer when he established himself as one of the leading milers in Europe with wins in the St James's Palace Stakes and Sussex Stakes. He was retired to stud at the end of the year and had some success as a sire of winners.
Tyrnavos was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for his win in the 1980 Irish Derby. As a two-year-old he showed promise by winning one of his three races and finishing second in the Dewhurst Stakes. In the following year he won the Craven Stakes, but was well-beaten in the 2000 Guineas, Dante Stakes and Epsom Derby, before recording a 25/1 upset victory the Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse. He was retired to stud at the end of the year and had limited success as a sire of winners.
Oats (1973–1990) was an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He showed promise as a two-year-old before establishing himself as one of the best British colts of his generation in the following year when he won the Blue Riband Trial Stakes and finished third in The Derby. As a four-year-old he won the Jockey Club Stakes and the Ormonde Stakes before his career was ended by injury. After his retirement he became a very successful sire of National Hunt horses.
Hello Gorgeous was an American-bred, British-trained thoroughbred racehorse and sire. From the second crop of foals sired by Mr. Prospector, he was exported to Europe where he was one of the leading colts of his generation in 1979 and 1980. As a two-year-old he won three of his four races including the Royal Lodge Stakes and the William Hill Futurity. In the following year he defeated a strong field to win the Dante Stakes, failed to stay in The Derby and finished second in the Eclipse Stakes. He was retired with a record of four wins and three second places from nine starts. He stood as a breeding stallion in Europe and South America but had very little success as a sire of winners.
Tachypous was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a two-year-old in 1976 he showed early promise and recovered from illness to defeat a strong field in the Middle Park Stakes. In the following year he failed to win but produced his best performance when finishing second in the 2000 Guineas. Apart from his two wins he was placed in the Richmond Stakes, Greenham Stakes and St James's Palace Stakes. He made no impact as a breeding stallion.
Mattaboy was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a two-year-old in 1980 he won on his debut and went on to finish second in the Mill Reef Stakes before recording his most important victory in the Middle Park Stakes. He failed to win in 1981 but produced a career-best performance when narrowly beaten by To-Agori-Mou in the 2000 Guineas. A brief sojourn in the United States was unsuccessful and he was well beaten in two starts as a four-year-old. After his retirement from racing Mattaboy stood as a breeding stallion in Japan, where he had limited success as a sire of winners.
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.
Lunchtime was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was undefeated in three races as a two-year-old in 1972, including the Dewhurst Stakes and was regarded as a major contender for the British Classic Races. He failed to win in three starts in the following year and was retired to become a breeding stallion in Australia. He had some success as a sire of winners.