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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 May, 2003, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Ten Flat legends

A rundown of some great horses from Flat racing's glittering history.


Sea Bird II
Trainer: Etienne Pollet

Trained in France, Sea Bird II ran only eight times (and just once in England) but won seven of his races.

He claimed the 1965 Derby with devastating ease and then destroyed a top-class field in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe later that year.

He was retired after that race and stood at stud in the US before returning to France where he died in 1973.


Nijinsky
Trainer: Vincent O'Brien

NIJINSKY'S DERBY-WINNING PROGENY
Sons
Golden Fleece (1982)
Sharahstani (1986)
Lammtara (1995)
Grandsons
Kahyasi (1988)
Generous (1991)

Nijinsky won all of his five races as a two-year-old and also secured the traditional Triple Crown (2,000 Guineas, Derby, St Leger) in 1970 - the last horse to do so.

That season he also took the Irish Derby and the King George & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes before being beaten a head in the Arc.

He was sent to stud in Kentucky and went on to become a leading sire. Nijinsky died in 1992, aged 25.


Brigadier Gerard
Trainer: Major Dick Hern

He was one of the greatest milers ever seen on a racecourse, winning all four of his races as a two-year-old and went on to beat arch-rival Mill Reef in the 2,000 Guineas in 1971.

That season he also won the St James' Palace Stakes, the Sussex Stakes, QEII Stakes and the Champion Stakes.

He also took the latter two the following year, in addition to the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. In all, he won 17 of his 18 races, ridden every time by Joe Mercer.

He was then retired to stud and died in 1989, aged 21.


Mill Reef
Trainer: Ian Balding

Mill Reef is widely regarded as one of the best middle-distance horses the racing world has ever seen.

A phenomenal two-year-old season saw him win five races from six starts.

Runner-up in the 2,000 Guineas in 1971, Mill Reef then reeled off the Derby, the Eclipse, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

He set a record of six consecutive Group One wins, which remained unsurpassed for 30 years before Rock of Gibraltar's triumphs.

Mill Reef followed up the next season with the Coronation Cup before fracturing a foreleg and being retired to stud.

His offspring included Derby winner and top sire, Shirley Heights.

Mill Reef was put down at the age of 18 in 1986 on account of a deteriorating heart condition.


Shergar
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute

Walter Swinburn and Shergar
Shergar: A legend both on and off the track

The infamous Shergar won six of his eight races, including the 1981 Derby, which he landed by the largest ever margin.

He also enjoyed easy victories in the Irish Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

Despite his impressive racing record, he will best remembered for the fate that befell him after retirement.

Shergar had spent just one season at stud when he was kidnapped.

Ransom demands were issued but it is thought he was killed shortly afterwards when the kidnappers panicked.

The IRA was blamed for the snatch but there remains no conclusive proof of what happened to him.


Oh So Sharp
Trainer: Henry Cecil

This filly was winner of seven of her nine races, including three Classics in 1985.

She was the last horse - and the first since 1955 to win the fillies' Triple Crown - the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger.

After the latter race, she was retired to stud.


Nashwan
Trainer: Major Dick Hern

Nashwan and Willie Carson
Nashwan and Carson were a great team

Ridden in all his races by Willie Carson, Nashwan claimed both his races as a two-year-old and then landed a massive gamble to win the 2,000 Guineas in 1989.

He also won the Derby, the Eclipse and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, the only horse to secure all four races in the same season.

Nashwan was retired to stud with his syndication value of 18m making him the most valuable stallion at the time.


Cigar
Trainer: Bill Mott

Cigar won 19 of his 33 races, 12 of them at Grade One level and equalled the US record of 16 consecutive wins.

His victories included the Breeders' Cup Classic and the first ever Dubai World Cup in 1996 (his only race outside the US) and he amassed almost $10m in prize money.

He was retired to stud but proved infertile.


Dubai Millennium
Trainer: David Loder/Saeed Bin Suroor

Dubai Millennium wins the St James' Palace Stakes at Ascot
Dubai Millennium was the jewel in Godolphin's crown

He won nine of his 10 races and is rated by Frankie Dettori as the best horse he has ever ridden.

Bred by his owner Sheikh Mohammed and originally named Yaazer, he was a beaten favourite in the 1999 Derby but went on to win the QEII Stakes.

He was renamed for the 2000 Dubai World Cup and won the race with ease, also winning the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

A broken hind leg ended his racing career and he was sent to stud but tragically died of grass sickness in 2001.


Rock of Gibraltar
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Jointly owned by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, 'The Rock' won 10 of his 13 starts and a record seven consecutive Group One races, including the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas.

His run only came to an end when he was an unlucky runner-up in the Breeder's Cup Mile.

It was his last race before retirement to stud at the end of 2002.




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