Racing silks of Hamdan Al Maktoum
|Dam||Height of Fashion|
|Breeder||Hamdan Al Maktoum|
|Owner||Hamdan Al Maktoum|
|Autumn Stakes (1988)
2,000 Guineas (1989)
Epsom Derby (1989)
Eclipse Stakes (1989)
K. George VI & Q. Elizabeth Stakes (1989)
|Timeform rating: 135|
|Last updated on November 14, 2006|
Nashwan (1986–2002) was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After winning both his starts as a two-year-old he developed into an outstanding performer in the spring and summer of 1989, completing a unique four-timer when winning the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, Eclipse Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. After sustaining his only defeat in the Prix Niel in September he was retired to stud where he was a successful sire of winners.
Nashwan was a large, powerfully-built chestnut horse with a white star and a white sock on his right foreleg bred by his owner Hamdan Al Maktoum at his Shadwell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He was sired by the 1977 Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Blushing Groom. Blushing Groom became an exceptionally successful breeding stallion, siring Rainbow Quest, Blushing John, Arazi and many other leading horses. Nashwan's successes enabled him to claim the title of Leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland in 1989. Nashwan's dam was Height of Fashion, a daughter of Bustino previously owned by Queen Elizabeth II. He was a thus half-brother to the Group Race winners Alwasmi, Unfuwain and Nayef, and a close relative of the Japanese champion Deep Impact and the 1000 Guineas winner Ghanaati.
Nashwan was trained throughout his racing career by Major Dick Hern at West Ilsley in Berkshire, England, and was ridden in all of his races by the jockey Willie Carson. His name was reported to be an Arabic word meaning "joy".
1988: two-year-old season
Nashwan made his debut in the Yattendon Maiden Stakes at Newbury in August 1988. He started 6/4 favourite in a field of 27 runners and won by three quarters of a length from Young Turpin, with the unplaced runners including the subsequent Derby Italiano winner Prorutori. On 8 October, Nashwan was moved up in class to contest the Listed Autumn Stakes over one mile at Ascot. Starting the odds-on favourite he took the lead inside the final quarter mile and drew away to win by four lengths from Optimist, with Cacoethes in third.
1989: three-year-old season
In the spring of 1989, reports of impressive work at home saw Nashwan's odds for Classic Races continually shorten, and when he began his three-year-old campaign in the General Accident 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on 6 May, he started the race as 3/1 favourite. He took the lead approaching the final quarter mile and won by a length, with Exbourne in second and Danehill a further half length behind in third.
A month later, Nashwan was moved up in distance for the Ever Ready Derby over one and a half miles at Epsom Downs Racecourse. Despite the unseasonably cold, damp weather, the race attracted an estimated 500,000 spectators including Queen Elizabeth II. Nashwan started 5/4 favourite against eleven opponents, with the biggest danger expected to come from Cacoethes, an impressive winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial. Carson positioned the favourite just behind the leaders, before moving up to take the lead from Cacoethes in the straight. He pulled "effortlessly" clear in the closing stages to win by five lengths from the 500/1 outsider Terimon who finished well to deprive Cacoethes of second. He was the first horse to complete the Guineas-Derby double since Nijinsky II in 1970, though he was emulated by Sea the Stars in 2009 and Camelot in 2012.
Having conquered his own generation, Nashwan's next task was to prove himself against older opposition, starting with the Eclipse Stakes over one and a quarter miles at Sandown Park on 8 July. Despite having recently recovered from a foot infection and facing both the outstanding racemare Indian Skimmer and the champion miler Warning he was sent off the 2/5 favourite. Nashwan took the lead approaching the final furlong and won easily by five lengths from the unconsidered outsider Opening Verse, later to win the Breeders' Cup Mile. Two weeks later, Nashwan contested Britain's most prestigious all-aged race, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes over one and a half miles at Ascot. With the late withdrawal of Prix du Jockey Club winner Old Vic, Nashwan was expected to win the race easily, and started as 2/9 favourite. This time he had to fight for his victory, with old rival Cacoethes challenging him throughout the final two furlongs. Nashwan was driven out by Carson to win by a neck, with the subsequent Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Carroll House a further eleven lengths back in fifth. His narrow margin of victory lead some critics to question his status as a "super-horse".
Nashwan's owner decided not to attempt the Triple Crown in the St Leger Stakes and the colt was instead aimed at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October. To prepare for this race, he was sent to the Prix Niel over the Arc course and distance on 17 September. Racing on soft ground, Nashwan appeared to have every chance when moving up to challenge in the straight, but made no further progress and finished third, beaten one and a half lengths and half a length by the French-trained colts Golden Pheasant and French Glory. Neither Hern nor Carson could offer any explanation for the "lifeless" performance with the jockey commenting that the 1/5 favourite "didn't have any energy". Nashwan missed the Arc, and, as had been announced in summer, he was retired from racing at the end of the year.
Despite his achievements, Nashwan was rated only the third best British-trained three-year-old of 1989. The independent Timeform organisation gace him a rating of 135, behind Zilzal (137) and Old Vic (136). The official International Classification also placed him third behind the same two colts.
Dick Hern called Nashwan "the best horse I've ever trained".
Nashwan was retired from racing to become a breeding stallion at his owner's Shadwell Stud. His most successful racehorses were Swain (foaled 1992), dual winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and Bago (2001), winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The best of his fillies was the International Stakes winner One So Wonderful.
British computer game developer Bitmap Brothers included references to Nashwan in many of their games. For example, Super Nashwan Power in Xenon 2 Megablast, Super Nashwan in Speedball 2, and "Nashwan" is used as a password in Gods.
Blushing Groom (USA)
|Red God (USA)
|Runaway Bride (GB)
Height of Fashion (GB)
|Sans le Sou|
|Queen's Hussar||March Past|
|Hypericum (Family 2-f)|
- "Leading Sires of Great Britain and Ireland". Tbheritage.com. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Thoroughbred Bloodlines - Hyacinthus Mare - Family 2-f". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Nashwan Caps Rare Sweep In English Derby". Chicago Tribune. 8 June 1989. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- "Yattendon Maiden Stakes". Racing Post. 13 August 1988. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Red Oaks Autumn Stakes". Racing Post. 8 October 1988. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "General Accident 2000 Guineas result". Racing Post. 6 May 1989. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- Associated Press (7 June 1989). "U.S.-Bred Nashwan Easily Triumphs at English Derby". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- "Nashwan by five lengths". New Straits Times. 8 June 1989. p. 17. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Ever Ready Derby result". Racing Post. 7 June 1989. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Nashwan powers to Eclipse win". New Straits Times. 10 July 1989. p. 21. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- "Eclipse Stakes;". Racing Post. 8 July 1989. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes result". Racing Post. 22 July 1989. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- Martin Gale (26 July 1989). "Nashwan still has to earn the "super" tag". Glasgow Herald. p. 23. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Prix Niel result". Racing Post. 17 September 1989. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Derby hero is beaten in France". Glasgow Herald. 18 September 1989. p. 22. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- "Dosage". Chef-de-race.com. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "Ratings: Top Rated Horses". Britishhorseracing.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Nashwan Stud Record". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Nashwan dies at stud". BBC News. 2002-07-20. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Nashwan". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-14.