Snow Knight

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Snow Knight
Sire Firestreak
Grandsire Pardal
Dam Snow Blossom
Damsire Flush Royal
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1971
Country Great Britain
Colour Chestnut
Breeder J. A. Claude Lilley
Owner Sharon Phillips
Windfields Farm (1975)
Trainer 1) Peter Nelson (England)
2) James C. Bentley (Canada)
3) MacKenzie Miller (USA)
Record 22: 9-5-2[1]
Earnings US$532,427 (equivalent)
Major wins

Brighton Beach Handicap (1975)
Man o' War Stakes (1975)
Manhattan Handicap (1975)
Canadian International Championship (1975)
Seneca Handicap (1975)

British Classic Race wins:
Epsom Derby (1974)
Awards
American Champion Male Turf Horse (1975)
Honours
Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame (1977)

Snow Knight (foaled 28 February 1971 in England) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who won Britain's most prestigious race in 1974, the Epsom Derby, then the following year earned an Eclipse Award as the American Champion Male Turf Horse.

Background[edit]

Snow Knight was bred by J. A. Claude Lilley, a textile manufacturer and the proprietor of Quarry Stud on Duffield Bank in Makeney, Derbyshire. Lilley had owned and raced Pretendre, sire of the 1971 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, Canonero II. Snow Knight's dam was Snow Blossom, a daughter of Flush Royal, winner of England's Great Yorkshire Stakes and the Prix Noailles in France. His sire was the speedy runner Firestreak who had been owned by Canadian lawyer Neil F. Phillips, whose wife Sharon purchased Snow Knight at auction as a yearling for £5,200.

Racing career[edit]

Europe[edit]

Trained by Peter Nelson, at age two Snow Knight made five starts, winning two and finishing second twice. At age three, in the trial races for the Epsom Derby, he finished second in the Betfred Classic Trial Stakes at Sandown Park and third in the Lingfield Derby Trial.

Always a fractious colt, in the paddock at Epsom Downs, Snow Knight threw jockey Brian Taylor and at the starting gate was still fighting his handlers. Sent off at odds of 50:1, he ran in the middle of the pack until the field made the turn at Tattenham Corner, when he sped to the lead and won by two lengths.[2]

North America[edit]

In the fall of 1974, Snow Knight was sold for a reported C$1 million to Canada's leading horseman, E. P. Taylor, and sent to Taylor's Windfields Farm in Ontario. For new trainer Jim Bentley, Snow Knight made three starts at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack but performed poorly. For the 1975 racing season, Snow Knight was sent to race in the United States, where MacKenzie Miller was entrusted with his race conditioning. Miller, known for his patience, spent months working with the high-strung colt.[3] His diligence paid off when Snow Knight won the important Manhattan Handicap and Man o' War Handicap. Sent back to Woodbine Racetrack for the prestigious Canadian International Championship, he defeated an international field on the turf.

Honours and awards[edit]

On 23 January 1977, Snow Knight was elected to the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. He was voted American Champion Male Turf Horse in the Eclipse Awards for 1975.

Stud career[edit]

Retired to stud duty at Windfields Farm, in 1986 Snow Knight was sent to stand in Australia. Although he met with limited success as a sire, Snow Knight sired Awaasif, the dam of Snow Bride. The filly won the 1989 Epsom Oaks and was the dam of Lammtarra, the 1995 European Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt and winner of the 1995 Epsom Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

References[edit]