Which was the last horse to win the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby?
Historically, the three English Classic races open to three-year-old colts – namely the 2,000 Guineas, Derby and St. Leger – constituted the so-called ‘English Triple Crown’. However, the last horse to win all three races was Nijinsky in 1970 and, in the intervening five decades, breeding for speed and the obvious attraction of more glamorous races, such as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, has meant that Triple Crown contenders have been few and far between.
That said, since Nijinsky, such luminaries as Nashwan in 1989, Sea The Stars in 2009 and, most recently, Camelot in 2012 have all completed the 2,000 Guineas – Derby double. Nashwan and Sea The Stars both bypassed the St. Leger in favour of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and, although Nashwan ultimately missed the Longchamp showpiece after a ‘lifeless’ defeat, at long odds-on, in his preparatory race, Sea The Stars confirmed his status as one of the greatest racehorses of all time by becoming the first horse in history to complete the 2,000 Guineas – Derby – Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe treble in the same year.
By contrast, the last horse to win the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby, Camelot, did attempt the Triple Crown. Nevertheless, despite starting long odds-on for the fifth and final Classic, Camelot went down by three-quarters of a length to 25/1 outsider Encke.