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Ribot - very best of an elite; A CENTURY OF RACING.

THE King George King George has referred to many kings throughout history. When used, by Americans, without further reference it most often means George III of the United Kingdom, against whom the Whigs of the American Revolution rebelled.  VI and Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth, or Elizabeth, may refer to: Living people
  • Elizabeth II, Queen regnant of the Commonwealth Realms
Deceased people
 Stakes has produced many magical moments in its 49-year history-so many that it seems invidious in·vid·i·ous  
1. Tending to rouse ill will, animosity, or resentment: invidious accusations.

 to feature the few and deny space to a host of other worthy celebrities. Its winners comprise an /lite group, the most select to adorn the roll of honour roll of honour

a list of those who have died in war for their country
 of any race in the British calendar-in no other company would we feel compelled to rank as below average some of the obviously top-class performers listed here.

The best contest in the series must surely have been the magnificent duel between Grundy and Bustino in 1975, which was widely acclaimed at the time as the race of the century and remains a legitimate candidate for that distinction.

For a display of overwhelming superiority, there was probably nothing to beat the spectacle of Nijinsky toying with Blakeney, the previous year's Derby winner, in 1970.

But neither Grundy nor Nijinsky could be ranked as the best of King George winners. And, ironically, the two who dispute that honour were not at their brilliant best in their Ascot triumphs.

Brigadier Gerard
For the horse of the same name see Brigadier Gerard (horse).

Brigadier Gerard is the hero of a series of comic short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The hero, Etienne Gerard, is a Hussar in the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars.
 was out of his distance in 1972, relying on bravery to overcome a horse-Parnell-who was a more natural stayer stayer

a horse that can gallop at racing speed for at least 1.5 miles (2.4 km).
 but, in terms of sheer class, patently his inferior by the best part of a stone.

Ribot's jockey, Enrico Camici, felt obliged to apologise for his mount's supposedly sluggish effort over the muddy Ascot terrain in 1956. All the Tenerani colt had managed to do was pound out a comprehensive victory by five lengths over High Veldt-a below-par performance that nevertheless registered the widest winning margin until Mill Reef Mill Reef (1968-1986) was a Champion thoroughbred racehorse in the United Kingdom.

Mill Reef was owned and bred in America at the Rokeby Stables in Virginia of his owner/breeder, the philanthropist Paul Mellon. He was a son of Never Bend, out of the mare Milan Mill.
 surpassed it 15 years later.

Ribot did not have to face, on a regular basis, the calibre of competition that Brigadier Gerard was wont to brush aside to remove from one's way, as with a brush.

See also: Brush
, and in Italy, where he had 13 of his 16 races, his opposition was sometimes negligible.

But Brigadier Gerard never ventured abroad and Ribot's record uniquely included a King George and two renewals of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is a Group 1 flat race for three-year-old and above thoroughbred horses (excluding geldings). It is run over a distance of 2,400 metres (approximately 1 mile 4 furlongs) raced on turf at Longchamp Racecourse, Paris, France on the first Sunday in .

IF champion of Italy at two was no big deal, champion of Europe at three and four certainly was. He started at 9-1 for his first Arc, as the Longchamp crowd apparently was unimpressed by his string of victories on his home soil.

A resounding re·sound  
v. re·sound·ed, re·sound·ing, re·sounds

1. To be filled with sound; reverberate: The schoolyard resounded with the laughter of children.

 three-length win over Beau Prince altered perceptions and his supremacy was confirmed two weeks later when he slammed Norman by 15 lengths in the Premio del Jockey Club at San Siro
For the town in the province of Como, see San Siro (Como). For the saint after which these places are named, see Syrus of Pavia or Syrus of Genoa.

Seven wide-margin scores over a variety of distances saw Ribot's stock rise ever higher as a four-year-old.

Remarkably, he tuned up for Ascot with an outing in the 15-furlong Gran Premio di Milano The Gran Premio di Milano is a Group 1 flat horse race in Italy for three-year-old and above thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run over a distance of 2,400 metres (approximately 1 mile 4 furlongs) at the San Siro Racecourse, Milan in June.  and won that by eight lengths from the top-class Tissot.

The prep race chosen for his second Arc was over nine furlongs and he won that by eight lengths over Magabit, victor in Italy's 2,000 Guineas.

The field for the 1956 Arc was supposedly the strongest on record up to that time, as Ribot's 19 challengers included representatives of the best form in England, France, Ireland and America.

But for all that array of talent ranged against him, it proved to be no contest. Ribot pulverised Adj. 1. pulverised - consisting of fine particles; "powdered cellulose"; "powdery snow"; "pulverized sugar is prepared from granulated sugar by grinding"
fine-grained, powdered, powdery, pulverized, small-grained
 his rivals in the straight, leaving them like a bullet from a rifle, and stormed home six lengths clear of Britain's top three-year-old, Talgo, who had won the Irish Derby by the same margin.

Many present that day felt that they had seen the Horse of the Century. Ribot had certainly set the standard that other aspirants would need to match.

No other King George winner has done so.

TANTIEME was a bad traveller and never showed in England the form which made him a great champion in France; his third place in the 1951 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes qualifies him as the best horse ever to be beaten in the race, writes John Randall People with the name John Randall
  • John Randall (Annapolis mayor) (1750–1826), mayor of Annapolis, Maryland and colonel in the American Revolution
  • Sir John Randall (physicist) (1905–1984), British physicist, developer of the cavity magnetron

That inaugural King George attracted a field which, for strength in depth, has seldom been matched in any race in Britain.

Nevertheless, only the runaway Derby winner Arctic Prince was preferred in the betting to Tantieme, a four-year-old who had already notched the first of his two victories in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and won the Coronation Cup
This article is about the horse race at Epsom - for details on the football competition played in 1953, see Coronation Cup (football)

The Coronation Cup

Held up in a strongly-run race, the French star made late progress to take third place but was half a dozen lengths behind the two principals, Supreme Court and Zucchero.

That was Tantieme's sole defeat that season. On his only subsequent start he scored another decisive victory Meaning
A Decisive victory is an indisputable military victory of a battle that determines or significantly influences the ultimate result of a conflict. It does not always coincide with the end of combat.
 in the Arc to prove himself, despite the Ascot result, the champion of Europe.

Racehorses of 1951 said: "We agree with the French critics who assert that in both his races in England he ran some pounds below his best form."

The next-best King George losers have been Rheingold, who ran below par when second to Dahlia dahlia (däl`yə, dăl`–) [for Anders Dahl, 1751–89, Swedish botanist and pupil of Linnaeus], any plant of the genus Dahlia  in 1973, and Bustino, just beaten by Grundy in their epic duel in 1975.

NASRAM caused the biggest upset in King George history when his fluke victory over Santa Claus Santa Claus: see Nicholas, Saint.

Santa Claus

jolly, gift-giving figure who visits children on Christmas Eve. [Christian Tradition: NCE, 1937]

See : Christmas

Santa Claus
 in 1964 made him the worst horse ever to win the race, writes John Randall.

Santa Claus, impressive winner of the Derby and Irish Derby, was a champion and scared away all but three rivals, which made it (jointly) the smallest King George field ever. At 2-13, he was the hottest favourite in the race's history.

There is no doubt that Santa Claus should have won, but he was beaten by a combination of hard ground and bad jockeyship.

The ground suited Nasram, but not Santa Claus; and the latter was ridden by the inexperienced Willie Burke, who gave him too much to do in the short Ascot straight. Nasram led all the way and had two lengths to spare at the line.

The King George was the only race the faint-hearted Nasram won in eight starts that season and he finished well behind in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Santa Claus was second to Prince Royal).

The four-year-old, trained in France by Ernie Fellows, was a front-runner who capitulated when challenged, and at Ascot he was never challenged.

However, Nasram did have one positive distinction-he had the best pedigree of any King George winner, being by Nasrullah out of Arc runner-up La Mirambule. He was also more successful at stud than many Ascot heroes, as he sired Naskra and German champion Athenagoras.


Ribot (1956)


Pinza (1953)

Nijinsky (1970)

Mill Reef (1971)

Brigadier Gerard (1972)

Shergar (1981)

Dancing Brave Dancing Brave (1983-1999) was a thoroughbred racehorse, foaled in 1983, a bay colt sired by Lyphard out of Navajo Princess. He was purchased as a yearling by Khalid Abdullah for US$200,000 in Kentucky.  (1986)


Ballymoss (1958)

Alcide (1959)

Ragusa (1963)

Busted (1967)

Grundy (1975)

Troy (1979)

Reference Point (1987)

Nashwan (1989)

Generous (1991)


Supreme Court (1951)

Tulyar (1952)

Right Royal (1961)

Match (1962)

Dahlia (1973, 74)

The Minstrel (1977)

Ile de Bourbon (1978)

Teenoso (1984)

Petoski (1985)

Mtoto (1988)

St Jovite (1992)

Lammtarra (1995)

Swain (1997, 98)

Daylami (1999)


Aureole aureole, in physics
aureole (ôr`ēōl'), in physics, luminous circle seen when the sun or other bright light is observed through a diffuse medium, i.e., smoke, thin cloud, fog, haze, or mist.

Vimy (1955)

Royal Palace (1968)

Park Top (1969)

Pawneese (1976)

Ela-Mana-Mou (1980)

Kalaglow (1982)

Belmez (1990)

Opera House (1993)

Pentire (1996)


Aureole (1954)

Vimy (1955)

Royal Palace (1968)

Park Top (1969)

Pawneese (1976)

Ela-Mana-Mou (1980)

Kalaglow (1982)

Belmez (1990)

Opera House (1993)

Pentire (1996)


Montaval (1957)

Aggressor AGGRESSOR, crim. law. He who begins, a quarrel or dispute, either by threatening or striking another. No man may strike another because he has threatened, or in consequence of the use of any words.  (1960)

Meadow Court Meadow Court (1962-c.1982) was an British Thoroughbred racehorse. He was bred by the American heiress Elisabeth Ireland Poe who owned Shawnee Farm in Harrodsburg, Kentucky as well as a racing and breeding operation in Ireland.  (1965)

Aunt Edith (1966)

Time Charter (1983)

King's Theatre (1994)


Nasram (1964)

Dual winners

Dahlia (1973, 74), Swain (1997, 98)

Greatest margin of victory

7 lengths: Generous (1991)

Smallest margin of victory

Short head: Montaval (1957),

The Minstrel (1977)

Winning females

Aunt Edith (1966), Park Top (1969), Dahlia (1973, 74), Pawneese (1976), Time Charter (1983)

Winning greys

Kalaglow (1982), Daylami (1999)

Longest winning odds

20-1: Montaval (1957)

Shortest winning odds

2-9: Nashwan (1989)

Largest field

19 in 1951

Smallest field

4 in 1961 and 1964

Fastest time

2:26.98: Grundy (1975)

Trained in Ireland

Ballymoss (1958), Ragusa (1963), Meadow Court (1965), Nijinsky (1970), The Minstrel (1977), St Jovite (1992)

Trained in France

Vimy (1955), Montaval (1957), Right Royal (1961), Match (1962), Nasram (1964), Dahlia (1973, 74), Pawneese (1976)

Trained in Italy

Ribot (1956)

Unbeaten winners

Ribot (16 races), Lammtarra (4 races)


3 wins: Sheikh sheikh
 or shaykh

Among Arabic-speaking tribes, especially Bedouin, the male head of the family, as well as of each successively larger social unit making up the tribal structure. The sheikh is generally assisted by an informal tribal council of male elders.
 Mohammed (1990, 93, 94),

Godolphin (1997, 98, 99)


4 wins: Dick Hern (1972, 79, 80, 85),

Saeed bin Suroor Saeed bin Suroor (born October 10, 1967, Dubai), is a horse racing trainer. Formerly a policeman, he took out his training license in 1994 and the following year was appointed as the trainer for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation.  (1995, 97, 98, 99)


7 wins: Lester Piggott (1965, 66, 69, 70,

74, 77, 84)


2 wins: Vaguely Noble (1973, 74),

Northern Dancer (1970, 77),

Great Nephew (1975, 81),

Sadler's Wells (1993, 94), Nijinsky

(1978, 95), Nashwan (1997, 98)

Winner carrying overweight

Tulyar (1952) carried 2lb overweight at

8st 6lb

Oldest winners

6years: Swain (1998)

Aggressor (1960), Park Top (1969),

Mtoto (1988), Opera House (1993),

Swain (1997) and Daylami (1999)

were 5-year-olds
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:MORRIS, King George: TONY
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 26, 1999
Previous Article:Death of owner-breeder Austen Richardson, 78.
Next Article:Great innovation that changed shape of racing; A CENTURY OF RACING.

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