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SireShirley Heights
GrandsireMill Reef
CountryGreat Britain
BreederAga Khan IV
OwnerAga Khan IV
TrainerAlain de Royer-Dupré
Record8: 5-0-1
Major wins
Critérium de Saint-Cloud (1983)
Prix Hocquart (1984)
Prix Greffulhe (1984)
Prix du Jockey Club (1984)
Top-rated French-trained three-year-old (1984)
Leading broodmare sire in Britain & Ireland (2002, 2013)
Leading sire in France (2003)
Prix Darshaan

Darshaan (18 April 1981 – 21 May 2001) was a British-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and a Champion sire and broodmare sire.


Darshaan was a brown horse bred by his owner Aga Khan IV. He was sired by the British stallion Shirley Heights, winner of the 1978 Epsom Derby and the last Epsom Derby winner to be both the son of a previous winner, Mill Reef (1971), and the sire of a subsequent winner, Slip Anchor (1985). Darshaan's dam Delsy, was a daughter of the 1961 Grand Critérium winner, Abdos. She also produced Darara who won the Prix Vermeille and became a very successful broodmare.

Racing career[edit]

Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupré, Darshaan was ridden by Yves Saint-Martin in all his races. As a two-year-old in 1983, he won the Group 1 Critérium de Saint-Cloud, setting a race record time of 2:07.40 for 2,000 metres that still stood going into 2010. At age three, Darshaan won the Prix Hocquart, Prix Greffulhe, and the French Classic, the Prix du Jockey Club. In the International Classification for 1984, he was the highest rated French-trained three-year-old, and the third highest-rated three-year-old in Europe behind El Gran Senor and Chief Singer.[1]

Champion sire[edit]

Darshaan was an outstanding sire who stood at stud at the Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud farm, in County Kildare, Ireland.[2] In 1999, he was described as the foremost active broodmare sire in Europe.[2] His 2000 fee was Irpounds 50,000.[3] The leading sire in France in 2003, among his progeny were:

Champion broodmare sire[edit]

Darshaan daughters made him the leading broodmare sire in Great Britain & Ireland in 2002. He was the damsire of Group 1 winners:

In 2000, Darshaan underwent an emergency operation for colic.[3] At age twenty, he died at Gilltown Stud on 21 May 2001.[4]


Pedigree of Darshaan
Shirley Heights
Mill Reef Never Bend Nasrullah
Milan Mill Princequillo
Virginia Water
Hardiemma Hardicanute Hard Ridden
Harvest Maid
Grand Cross Grandmaster
Blue Cross
Abdos Arbar Djebel
Pretty Lady Umidwar
La Moqueuse
Kelty Venture Relic
Rose O'Lynn
Marilla Marsyas
Albanilla (Family 13-c)[6]


  1. ^ Timeform (1985). Racehorses of 1984. Timeform. ISBN 0-900599-40-5.
  2. ^ a b Morris, Tony (22 June 1999). "Group 1 treble for Enzeli's dam". The Racing Post. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Clower, Michael (13 March 2000). "Darshaan undergoes colic operation". The Racing Post. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Burnet, Rob (29 May 2001). "Darshaan Dies Suddenly after Surgery". Thoroughbred News. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  5. ^ "World of Breeding: Jean Prat boost for Darshaan's record with Ajdal mares". The Racing Post. 5 June 2001. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Stray Shot - Family 13-c". Thoroughbred Bloodlines. Retrieved 19 June 2015.