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Australia claims a rare crown

Steven LynchJune 18, 2014
Australia gave Aidan O'Brien a record third successive Derby winner as a trainer © PA Photos
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Australia won the Derby in 2014. Has a horse with the name of a country ever won it before? asked Mark Crowley

The highly fancied Australia - which gave Aidan O'Brien a record third successive Epsom Derby winner as a trainer - is the only "country" to win the Derby. Indeed the only other British Classic-winning horse bearing the name of a modern-day country seems to be Singapore, which won the St Leger in 1930. Oddly, though, there was a near-miss earlier this year, when the 1000 Guineas was won by Miss France!

There is a notable footnote, however. A horse called Formosa - the former name of Chinese Taipei - won three Classics in 1868, and dead-heated in a fourth (the 2000 Guineas; she missed out only on the Derby).

A couple of disputed territories have won the 2000 Guineas: Palestine in 1950, and Kashmir in 1956. Other notable place-names to have triumphed in the Derby include Paris (1806), Doncaster (1873), Ayrshire (1888) and Jeddah (1898).

Colorado won the 2000 Guineas in 1926, and Colombo in 1934 (Kandy, another Sri Lankan city, won the 1000 Guineas in 1932). Miami won the Oaks in 1847, while the St Leger in recent years has proved good for place-names: Milan won it in 2001, Toulon in 1991, and the Queen's horse Dunfermline in 1977.

A horse called West Australian won the Triple Crown - Derby, 2000 Guineas and St Leger - in 1853.

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