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Epsom Derby: Ten greatest winning performances of the last 50 years - Shergar wins 1981 202nd Epsom Derby

Wednesday, 1981, June 3

Shergar began his first season of racing in September 1980 and ran two races that year, where he won one and came second in the other. In 1981 he ran in six races, winning five of them. In June that year he won the 202nd Epsom Derby by ten lengths—the longest winning margin in the race's history

Shergar is remembered as much nowadays for the mystery surrounding his kidnapping as he is for his brilliance on the racecourse, and that’s a shame, because his performance on Derby Day has not been bettered since. As he had already won Sandown’s Classic Trial and the Chester Vase by an aggregate 22 lengths we were entitled to expect for something special, but Shergar made Classic performers look like handicappers as he cantered to the front and strolled home a record ten lengths clear of Glint Of Gold, a top-class colt in his own right.

Heritage Society Collection

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