Attraction (horse)

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1000 Guineas Winner Attractionc.jpg
Attraction, showing her distinctive gait
DamsirePursuit of Love
Foaled19 February 2001
BreederFloors Farming
OwnerDuke of Roxburghe
TrainerMark Johnston
Major wins
Queen Mary Stakes (2003)
Cherry Hinton Stakes (2003)
1000 Guineas (2004)
Irish 1000 Guineas (2004)
Coronation Stakes (2004)
Sun Chariot Stakes (2004)
Matron Stakes (2005)
European Champion Two-Year-Old Filly (2003)
British Champion Two-Year-Old Filly (2003)
Last updated on March 12, 2007

Attraction (foaled 19 February 2001) is a retired British Thoroughbred racehorse who was bred in Scotland and trained in England. She won several important races and was the first horse to win both the 1000 Guineas and the Irish 1000 Guineas. In a career which lasted from 2003 to 2005, she ran fifteen times and won ten races. She was also well known for her unusual and distinctive action.[1]


Attraction was bred by her owner, the Duke of Roxburghe, at his stud at Floors Castle near Kelso, Scotland. She is one of many good horses sired by Efisio and is a half-sister to several minor winners.[2]

Unlike the overwhelming majority of racehorses, Attraction's female family cannot be traced back to one of the originally accepted Thoroughbred foundation mares.[3] The family was therefore considered "half-bred" until it was admitted to the General Stud Book in 1969.

Attraction was born with crooked forelegs, a flaw that became even more apparent when she galloped. Because of this, her breeder believed that it would be impossible to sell her, and decided to race her under his own colours. Her action was variously described as resembling "a helicopter" and "a demented haymaker wielding a scythe,"[1] while one of her prospective trainers said that "it looked as though God had taken a day off when he created her."[4] She was eventually sent into training with Mark Johnston at Middleham, North Yorkshire.

Racing career[edit]

2003: two-year-old season[edit]

Attraction made her debut in April 2003 with a five-length win in a minor stakes race at Nottingham. She followed up with wins in a small event at Thirsk and the Listed Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley,[5] before being sent south for the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. Attraction was sent off the 13/8 favourite. She led from the start and won by three lengths from Catstar, with the third-place finisher Majestic Desert a further five lengths back.[6]

Three weeks later she was hampered at the start on the Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket, but the interference made no difference to the result as she took the lead a furlong out and pulled away to win by five lengths.[1] She was to have been aimed at the Cheveley Park Stakes, but leg problems and a broken pedal bone put her out for the rest of the season.

2004: three-year-old season[edit]

Attraction began her three-year-old career by going straight for the Classic 1,000 Guineas, for which she was made 11/2 second favourite. She took the lead early and after being seriously pressured for the first time in her career, stayed on to beat Sundrop by half a length.[7] After the race Johnston said: "She doesn't have the most perfect physical confirmation in the world, but believe me, there are a lot worse horses than her. She is a champion two-year-old, the best in Europe, and now she is a Classic winner. She didn't just win that, she galloped and stayed all the way to the line. I am thrilled to see it happen. Everybody put doubts in my mind about her stamina, but really I never doubted her".[8] Three weeks later she became the first winner of the 1,000 Guineas to win the Irish equivalent, leading from the start as usual and keeping on strongly to beat Alexander Goldrun by a length, leading J A McGrath to describe her as "a truly great filly".[9] Attraction then returned to Royal Ascot and extended her unbeaten run to eight with a win in the Coronation Stakes. Mick Channon, trainer of the runner-up Majestic Desert, said of Attraction "You probably won't see another horse like her in your lifetime."[10]

Her unbeaten run, however, came to an end in her next race, and there were no excuses as she was beaten by the European Champion Older Horse Soviet Song in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket. She then ran the first bad race of her career, failing to cope with the soft ground and being virtually pulled up in the Prix Jacques le Marois. The Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, saw a rematch with Soviet Song, and Attraction once again had to give best to the older filly, although the margin was significantly closer than it had been at Newmarket. Attraction was to have ended her season with a run in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes but was withdrawn by Mark Johnston, who was unhappy with the state of the ground.[11] Instead, Attraction was re-routed to the Sun Chariot Stakes, and was able to end her year with a win,[12] scoring by a neck from the Celebration Mile winner Chic.[13]

Floors Castle: Attraction was foaled at the Castle's stud and retired there at the end of her racing career

2005: four-year-old season[edit]

Attraction was kept in training at four, but injury restricted her to just three starts. She made no show behind Bullish Luck in the Champions Mile at Sha Tin in May, and could finish only fourth in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury three months later. On her final start, however, she came back to her best to beat Chic in the Matron Stakes with the 2005 1,000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters back in third. Johnston was delighted: "It is great to silence the critics, she was so gutsy and she really deserved it."[14]


At two Attraction was the highest ranked filly in Europe with an official rating of 119, two pounds below the champion colt Bago[15] and was awarded the Cartier Racing Award for European Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.

She was also named British Champion Two-Year-Old Filly by the British Horseracing Board.[16]

At three she was given a rating of 118 by the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings, making her the third best filly in the world, and the best three-year-old filly in the world over one mile. She was beaten to the title of European Champion Three-Year-Old Filly by Ouija Board.

Breeding record[edit]

Attraction was retired to her owner's stud at Floors Castle.[17] Her progeny to date include:

2007 Elation (IRE): Bay filly, foaled 1 March, by Cape Cross (IRE), minor winner in England 2009. Died in 2011.[18]

2008 Devastation (GB): Bay filly, foaled 26 March, by Montjeu (IRE), minor winner in England 2010. Died in 2011.

2009 Subtraction (IRE): Bay colt, by Pivotal (GB) – unraced.[19]

2010 Cushion (GB): Bay filly, foaled 12 April, by Galileo (IRE), minor winner and Listed Race placed in England 2013.

2011 Fountain of Youth (IRE): Bay colt, foaled 10 April, by Oasis Dream (GB) – won G3 Sapphire S in Ireland and 4th LR Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in England 2013.

2013 Huntlaw (GB): Bay gelding, foaled 6 May, by Oasis Dream (GB) – won 4 races from 9 starts to date (2016-09-27) in Britain 2015–16.

2015 Elarqam (GB): Bay colt by Frankel, sold to Shadwell for 1.6m guineas at Tattersalls October Book 1 as a yearling – won 2 races from 2 starts to date (2017-10-01), including G3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket.

2016 Due to Dubawi (IRE).

2017 To be covered by Invincible Spirit (IRE).


Pedigree of Attraction (GB), bay mare, 2001[20]
Efisio (GB)
Forli Aristophanes
Native Partner Raise A Native
Dinner Partner
High Top Derring-Do
Bamburi Ragusa
Flirtation (GB)
Pursuit of Love
Groom Dancer Blushing Groom
Dance Quest Green Dancer
Eastern Shore
Sun Prince Princely Gift
Costa Sola
Land Ho Primera
Lucasland (Family: B3[21])


  1. ^ a b c Armytage, Marcus (2003-07-09). "Attraction Cherry-ripe". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  2. ^ "Attraction pedigree". Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  3. ^ "Half-Bred Mares". Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  4. ^ "Main Attraction Lost". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  5. ^ "Hilary Needler Trophy". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  6. ^ "Full Result 3.05 Ascot | 18 June 2003 | Racing Post". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  7. ^ Armytage, Marcus (2004-05-03). "Duke's Filly Walks a Crooked Mile". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  8. ^ "Attraction wins fillies' Classic". BBC News. 2 May 2004. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  9. ^ "Attraction makes history with Guineas double". London: The Telegraph. 2004-05-24. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  10. ^ Evans, Richard (2004-06-19). "Attraction's Crowning Moment". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  11. ^ J A McGrath (2004-09-25). "Rakti to stamp his class". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  12. ^ "Sun Chariot Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  13. ^ Eddie Fremantle at Newmarket (2004-10-03). "It's a stroll for Johnston's favourite filly". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  14. ^ "Attraction takes Matron prize". Sportinglife. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2011-08-28.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Hawk Wing Tops International Classifications". Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  16. ^ Evans, Richard (2004-01-13). "BHB spark controversy with award for Falbrav". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  17. ^ "Attraction Stud record". Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  18. ^ Staff. "YEARLING, consigned by Floors Stud" (PDF). Tattersalls. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  19. ^ Staff. "Will Stand at Park Paddocks, Somerville Paddock R, Box 370" (PDF). Tattersalls. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Attraction pedigree". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  21. ^ "Perion Mare - Half-Bred Family 3". Retrieved 2012-06-30.