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Racing silks of Hamdan Al Maktoum.svg
Racing colours of Hamdan Al Maktoum
Sire Chief's Crown
Grandsire Danzig
Dam Histoire
Damsire Riverman
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1991
Country United States
Colour Brown
Breeder Shadwell Farm Inc & Shadwell Estates Co Ltd
Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum
Trainer John Dunlop
Record 11: 4-3-2
Earnings ₤596,662
Major wins
Dante Stakes (1994)
Epsom Derby (1994)
Last updated on August 25, 2007

Erhaab (foaled 24 May 1991) is a retired Thoroughbred race horse and active sire, bred in the United States but trained in the United Kingdom. He is best known as the winner of the 1994 Epsom Derby. In 2011 he was moved from the Wood Farm Stud in Shropshire, to the Batsford Stud in Gloucestershire.[1][2]


Erhaab is a smaller than average[3] Thoroughbred horse, standing 15.2 hands high[4] with a dark brown coat which has sometimes, incorrectly, been described as black.[5] He was bred in the United States by his owner Hamdan Al Maktoum's, Shadwell Stud breeding organisation.

He was sired by Chief's Crown out of the Riverman mare Histoire. Chief's Crown won the 1984 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and was voted the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Two-Year-Old Male Horse. He sired several other important horses including Chief Bearheart and Grand Lodge.[6] Apart from Erhaab, Histoire's best runner was the filly Oumaldaaya, winner of the Premio Lydia Tesio.[7]

He was trained throughout his career by John Dunlop at Arundel, West Sussex, and was ridden in all but one of his races by Willie Carson.

"Erhaab" (إرهاب) is an Arabic word which can be translated as "terrifying" or "intimidating" and was reportedly given to the colt because of his unusually dark colour.[8]

Racing career[edit]

1993: two-year-old season[edit]

Erhaab had an active season as a juvenile, running six times and winning twice. He made his first appearance in a maiden race at Newmarket in July, finishing seventh of the seventeen runners. The race would prove to have been a highly competitive one: apart from Erhaab, the field included the future Group One winners King's Theatre, Overbury (Queen Elizabeth II Cup) and Nicolotte (Premio Vittorio di Capua).[9] Two weeks later, Erhaab ran disappointingly, finishing twelfth in a similar race at Newbury. Again, the race produced some very good horses, this time including Piccolo (Nunthorpe Stakes), Hawajiss (Nassau Stakes) and Make A Stand (Champion Hurdle).[10]

In August, at Newcastle Erhaab won his first race, quickening well to take the lead inside the final furlong and running on strongly to win by two and a half lengths.[11] At Leicester he showed further improvement, taking the lead two furlongs out and pulling away to win a minor stakes race by seven lengths.[12]

Erhaab started odds-on favourite for his next start, a three-runner race at Salisbury. He took the lead, but was soon challenged and headed by Tatami. The two colts ran together through the final furlong, and although he "rallied" well, Erhaab was beaten by a short head.[13] On his final start of the year, Erhaab was stepped up to Group Three class for the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. He took the lead in the straight but was headed by Tatami again, and finished third, beaten two and a half lengths.[14]

1994: three-year-old season[edit]


As a two-year-old, Erhaab had been raced exclusively over seven furlongs, and had shown ability, but appeared to be below top class. At three, he was sent over middle distances and showed immediate improvement. On his debut he ran in the Listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket, in which he was matched against Weigh Anchor, a colt who was regarded as a serious Derby prospect.[15] Erhaab raced prominently, but Carson was unable to find space for a run on the rails and had to pull the colt to the outside in the closing stages. Erhaab quickened well, proving too good for Weigh Anchor, but failed by a neck to catch the leader Cicerao.[16]

Erhaab then produced his best performance in his most important race to date. He was sent to York for the Dante Stakes an important Derby trial,[17] where he was faced by a field that included the 2,000 Guineas winner, Mister Baileys as well as King's Theatre and Weigh Anchor. Carson made his challenge on Erhaab two furlongs out, and the colt quickened well to take the lead and then pulled clear to win in "impressive" style by three and a half lengths.[18] After the race Carson was full of confidence, praising the colts stamina and speed, and saying that he had "all the credentials to be a Derby winner."[19]

Erhaab was now considered a leading contender for the Derby and was offered at odds as short as 9/4 by the bookmakers. The colt was believed to be particularly suited by fast ground, and a period of wet weather in late May saw his odds lengthen. Dry conditions in the week before the race however, led to his odds shortening again and he regained his position as favourite.[20]


At Epsom, Erhaab was made favourite at 7/2 in a field of twenty-five. Jason Weaver sent Mister Baileys to the lead and opened up a gap of several lengths as Erhaab was held up towards the rear. The number of runners led to considerable congestion and bumping, with Willie Ryan being unseated from Foyer in the worst of many incidents- Carson described it as "carnage..there were murders going on".[5] Mister Baileys maintained a six-length lead into the straight but began to struggle two furlongs out, as Carson negotiated his way through a series of gaps on the inside to move into contention with Erhaab. A furlong out King's Theatre moved past Mister Baileys and into the lead. Erhaab was switched to the outside by Carson and produced a strong, sustained run, ("like a dart from a blowpipe")[5] catching King's Theatre inside the last furlong and moving ahead to win by one and a quarter lengths.[21] At 51 years old, Willie Carson was the third oldest jockey to win the Derby.

Erhaab's next race was the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in which he faced older horses for the first time. His Derby win was sufficiently impressive for him to be sent off the odds on favourite, but after having every chance in the straight, he failed to quicken and finished third behind the five-year-old Ezzoud and the four-year-old Bob's Return.[22] Although Dunlop described the result as merely "disappointing" and pointed out that Erhaab, as a very late foal, was still relatively immature, some commentators[23] saw the result as proof that the standard of the three-year-old colts was unusually poor.

On his final start, Erhaab was moved back up to a mile and a half for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot for which he was again made favourite. Erhaab was held up and appeared to be moving into contention in the straight when he has badly hampered by the riderless Ezzoud, who had unseated his jockey at the start. He was unable to recover, and faded in the closing stages to finish seventh of the eleven surviving runners behind King's Theatre.[24]

After two disappointing runs (Dunlop had said that the colt was "very sore"[25] after the Eclipse) Erhaab was given a thorough veterinary examination. Initial x-rays revealed no problems[26] but ultrasound scans revealed that he had sustained serious damage to his suspensory ligaments. The prognosis was that he was unlikely to make a full recovery, even with long rest. The decision to retire Erhaab from racing was announced on 11 August. Carson expressed both his disappointment and his belief that Erhaab would have been a strong contender for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.[27]

In October it was announced that Erhaab had been sold for $5,500,000 to stand at stud in Japan.[28]

Race record[edit]

Date Race Dist (f) Course Class Prize (£K) Odds Runners Placing Margin Time Jockey Trainer
30 July 1993 EBF Dexa'tex Maiden Stakes 7 Newmarket July M 5 14/1 17 7 9 1:26.44 Willie Carson John Dunlop
14 August 1993 Yattendon Maiden Stakes 7 Newbury M 5 12/1 23 12 12 1:25.80 Willie Carson John Dunlop
30 August 1993 EBF Hedgehope Maiden Stakes 7 Newcastle M 4 11/2 7 1 2 1:25.29 Billy Newnes John Dunlop
13 September 1993 Kegworth Conditions Stakes 7 Leicester 3 6/5 5 1 7 1:29.50 Willie Carson John Dunlop
29 September 1993 Westbury Motor Auctions Sia Trophy Stakes 7 Salisbury 5 8/13 3 2 Short head 1:28.64 Willie Carson John Dunlop
21 October 1993 Horris Hill Stakes 7 Newbury 3 25 4/1 8 3 2.5 1:35.63 Willie Carson John Dunlop
14 April 1994 Feilden Stakes 9 Newmarket Rowley L 10 4/1 8 2 Neck 1:59.83 Willie Carson John Dunlop
11 May 1994 Dante Stakes 10.5 York 2 73 11/2 9 1 3.5 2.06.18 Willie Carson John Dunlop
1 June 1994 Derby 12 Epsom 1 473 7/2 25 1 1.25 2:34.16 Willie Carson John Dunlop
2 July 1994 Eclipse Stakes 10 Sandown 1 177 4/6 8 3 2.25 2.04.70 Willie Carson John Dunlop
23 July 1994 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes 12 Ascot 1 265 7/2 12 7 11 2.28.92 Willie Carson John Dunlop



In the International Classification, released in January 1995, Erhaab was assigned a figure of 126. This placed him equal fourth amongst the European three-year-olds, behind the filly Balanchine, the miler Distant View and the Breeders' Cup Turf winner Tikkanen.[29]

Erhaab was given a Timeform rating of 127 for his Derby win, making him an average winner of the race.[30] In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Erhaab as an “inferior” Derby winner.[31]

Stud career[edit]

Erhaab began his stud career in Japan where he stood from 1995 until 1999.

In 1999 Hamdan Al Maktoum bought Erhaab back from the Japanese syndicate to be a part of his Shadwell Stud group.[32] Erhaab spent the 2000 season at Shadwell's American base at Lexington, Kentucky, before being returned to England to stand at the Beech House Stud at Newmarket, Suffolk.[33] In 2005, Erhaab was moved from Newmarket to the Wood Farm Stud near Wellington, Shropshire, where his stud fee was announced as £2,000.[34] In October 2011 it was announced thet Erhaab would move to the Batsford Stud in Gloucestershire for the 2012 season.[2]

Erhaab has not been a success at stud, siring no Group race winners from fourteen crops of foals. His best product has probably been Sohraab, a successful sprint handicapper.[35]


Pedigree of Erhaab (USA), brown stallion, 1991[36]
Chief's Crown (USA)
Danzig (USA)
Northern Dancer Nearctic
Pas De Nom Admiral's Voyage
Six Crowns (USA)
Secretariat Bold Ruler
Chris Evert Swoon's Son
Miss Carmie
Histoire (FRA)
Riverman (USA)
Never Bend Nasrullah
River Lady Prince John
Nile Lily
Helvetie (GB)
Klairon Clarion
Heiress Rockefella
Martial Air (family 1-w)


  1. ^ "Associated Studs". Shadwell Stud. Archived from the original on 2011-08-18. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "Thoroughbred Breed Description". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  4. ^ "Thoroughbred Stallion Guide". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  5. ^ a b c Edmondson, Richard (1994-06-02). "Patient Carson rides a Classic storm:". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  6. ^ "Chief's Crown stud record". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  7. ^ "Oumaldaaya race record". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  9. ^ "Dexa'tex Maiden Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  10. ^ "Yattendon maiden Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  11. ^ "Hedgehope Maiden Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  12. ^ "Kegworth Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  13. ^ "Westbury Trophy result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  14. ^ "Horris Hill Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
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  16. ^ "Feilden Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  17. ^ "Espom Derby Trial Races". Archived from the original on 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  18. ^ "Dante Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  19. ^ Edmondson, Richard (1994-05-12). "Racing: Carson in control for Derby". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  20. ^ Cobb, John (1994-05-28). "Erhaab hardens along with the Epsom going". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  21. ^ "Derby result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  22. ^ "Eclipse Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  23. ^ Edmondson, Richard (1994-07-04). "Derby form suffers a total Eclipse". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  24. ^ "King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  25. ^ "Erhaab's enthusiasm restored". The Independent. 1994-07-07. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  26. ^ Edmondson, Richard (1994-08-03). "No solution to the Erhaab enigma". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  27. ^ Wood, Greg (1994-08-12). "Derby winner quits the track:". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  28. ^ Edmondson, Richard (1994-10-10). "Japan has purchase to prise away the Derby". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  29. ^ Wood, Greg (1995-01-19). "Celtic Swing's official rating sets juvenile turf record - Sport". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  30. ^ Chris Cook (2005-06-07). "Derby winner is 'best since 1991' | Sport". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  31. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1999). A Century of Champions. Portway Press. p. 205. ISBN 1-901570-15-0. 
  32. ^ "Erhaab to return to England. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  33. ^ "Erhaab To Stand At Nunnery Stud". 2000-08-10. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  34. ^ "Epsom Derby Winner Erhaab to Wood Farm in England". 2005-10-26. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  35. ^ "Erhaab stud record". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  36. ^ "[Pedigree] ERHAAB (1991 Dark Bay/Brown Colt FNO: 1-w)". Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2011-09-16.