English Triple Crown

Many believe that The English Triple Crown Series was the event that sparked the international Triple Crown phenomenon.

The term "Triple Crown" was coined within the British horse racing scene in 1853, when thoroughbred "West Australian" won three of the most coveted races on UK's horse racing calendar - the 2000 Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Derby and the St. Leger Stakes.

The British horse racing community was so impressed by "West Australian's" unprecedented feat that they awarded the first ever Triple Crown Trophy.

The British Triple Crown Series won't be a success if not for the quality of the three individual races which it represents:

  • 2,000 Guineas Stakes - run over 1 mile (1,609 meters) at Newmarket Racecourse in Newmarket, Suffolk. Since 1809, it is held from late April to early May.

  • Epsom Derby - run over 1 mile 4 furlongs and 10 yards (2,423 meters) at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Epsom, Surrey. Since 1780, the Derby has been run in June.

  • St. Leger Stakes - run over 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards (2,937 meters) at Town Moor in Doncaster, Yorkshire. Since 1776, the Stakes have been run every September.

Throughout the more than 150 years that these races have been run, only fifteen horses have ever won the English Triple Crown, including the great "Nijinsky II" in 1970. "Nijinsky II" was only the second winner of the English Triple Crown since the end of World War I.

For many years, racing fans believed that no other horse would ever win the English Triple Crown again. However, in the winter of 2006, trainer Jim Bolger was grooming his unbeaten colt "Teofilo" for the Triple Crown while bookmaker William Hill Plc. was offering odds of only 12/1 against "Teofilo" winning the 2007 Triple Crown. "Teofilo" was withdrawn from the 2,000 Guineas two days before the race after suffering a setback.

Since "Nijinsky II", only "Nashwan" in 1989 and "Sea the Stars" in 2009 have won both the Guineas and the Derby, and in addition, no Derby winner (including both "Nashwan" and "Sea the Stars") has even entered the St. Leger since "Reference Point" in 1987.

English Triple Crown Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner
1970 Nijinsky II Lester Piggott Vincent O'Brien Charles W. Engelhard, Jr.
1935 Bahram Freddie Fox Frank Butters HH Aga Khan III
1918 Gainsborough Joseph Childs Alec Taylor, Jr. Lady James Douglas
1917 Gay Crusader Steve Donoghue Alec Taylor, Jr. Alfred W. Cox
1915 Pommern Steve Donoghue Charles Peck Solly Joel
1903 Rock Sand Danny Maher George Blackwell Sir James Miller
1900 Diamond Jubilee Herbert Jones Richard Marsh Edward, Prince of Wales
1899 Flying Fox Morny Cannon John Porter Duke of Westminster
1897 Galtee More Charlie Wood Sam Darling John Gubbins
1893 Isinglass Tommy Loates James Jewitt Harry McCalmont
1891 Common George Barrett John Porter Sir Frederick Johnstone
1886 Ormonde Fred Archer John Porter Duke of Westminster
1866 Lord Lyon Harry Custance James Dover Richard Sutton
1865 Gladiateur Harry Grimshaw Tom Jennings, Sr. Frederic de Lagrange
1853 West Australian Frank Butler John Scott John Bowes

There is also a Triple Crown for a filly winning the 1,000 Guineas Stakes, Epsom Oaks and St. Leger Stakes.

In the past, Fillies' Triple Crown was not considered a true Triple Crown as the best fillies would run in the Derby and 2,000 Guineas.

Today, many consider the Fillies' Triple Crown to be as good as the English Triple Crown. Winners of the Fillies' Triple Crown include:

  • 1985 - Oh So Sharp
  • 1955 - Meld
  • 1942 - Sun Chariot
  • 1904 - Pretty Polly
  • 1902 - Sceptre, also won the 2,000 Guineas
  • 1892 - La Fleche, also won the Ascot Gold Cup
  • 1874 - Apology, also won the Ascot Gold Cup
  • 1871 - Hannah
  • 1868 - Formosa, also dead heated in the 2,000 Guineas

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