King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes
Saturday 26 July, 1975
Grundy v Bustino
Few races stick in the mind for as long or as clearly as the 1975 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.
Billed in the run-up to the race as a battle between Allez France and Dahlia, winner the previous two years, it turned into a epic battle between two British rides.
Grundy, ridden by Pat Eddery, and at three a year younger than Bustino, arrived as the winner of both the Epsom Derby and Irish Derby.
Many pundits thought Bustino to be one-paced - and had they been forced to make a prediction, Lady Beaverbrook's horse might never have featured.
Both tore the script and the course record to shreds in a race that will never be forgotten by anyone who watched it.
The field started at a blistering pace, but just when the spectators thought they might slow down Grundy and Bustino drew away from the pack, head-to-head down the final straight.
Joe Mercer made his move half a mile from home, cajoling Bustino into a burst of pace and sprinting a full three lengths away from Grundy.
Never one to be outsmarted on the track, Grundy's jockey Pat Eddery responded, keeping his ride in the hunt as they thundered into the straight.
With a quarter of a mile to go, Grundy looked spent, and all those punters with bets on the 4-5 favourite were cursing their luck - but all was not lost.
1. Grundy - Pet Eddery (4-5f)
2. Bustino - Joe Mercer (4-1)
3. Dahlia - Bill Pyers (6-1)
With Eddery's entreaties reaching a crescendo, the big three-year-old put his head down and drew level with Bustino.
For a few seconds both horses were head to head in a battle of their own, and then, with the noise of the crowd drowning out Eddery's cries, Grundy took half a length.
He crossed the line as the winner, having made up a full three lengths on his rival, and smashed the course record with a time of 2min 26.98 seconds.
As for the French pair - they finished five lengths behind - having run a race that any other year would have guaranteed a win.
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