|Epsom Derby (1961)|
Psidium (foaled 1958) was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career that lasted from 1960 to 1961 Psidium ran eleven times and won twice. He is best known for his win, as a 66/1 outsider in the 1961 Epsom Derby. He later became a successful stallion.
Psidium, a chestnut horse with a narrow white blaze, standing 16.1 hands high, was bred in Ireland by his owner Etti Plesch. His sire Pardal was a high class racehorse who won the Jockey Club Stakes and the Princess of Wales's Stakes. Psidium’s dam, the Italian mare Dinarella finished fourth in the Oaks d'Italia and also produced the Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Thymus. Mme Plesch named all her horses after flowers with Psidium being named after the Guava Flower
1960: two-year-old season
Psidium ran seven times as a two-year-old in 1960. He won the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Kempton and finished third in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. In the Free Handicap, an assessment of the year’s best two-year-olds, Psidium was given a rating of 116lbs, seventeen pounds below the top weight Opaline.
1961: three-year-old season
On his three-year-old debut, Psidium finished third in the 2000 Guineas Trial at Kempton. He then ran finished eighteenth of the twenty-two runners behind Rockavon in the 2000 Guineas. On his next start he was sent to France for the Prix Daru over 2100m in which he finished fourth behind Moutiers. He was ridden in the race by Lester Piggott who expressed his view that Psidium did not stay the distance.
At Epsom, Psidium was ridden by the French jockey Roger Poincelet. He was not considered a serious contender, starting at odds of 66/1 in a field of twenty-eight. The race was run on rock-hard ground in front of a crowd estimated at 250,000 which included the Queen and the Queen Mother. Psidium was held up towards the back of the field, and was not in contention when the leaders turned into the straight. In the final quarter of a mile, Poincelet moved Psidium to the wide outside and the colt produced a sudden burst of acceleration to move past the field. He overtook Dicta Drake inside the final furlong and won going away by two lengths, with Poincelet easing down. Mme Plesch was reportedly astonished by her colt's performance saying that she "never expected he would finish in the first ten."
Shortly after his victory, Psidium was injured in training and never ran again.
In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Psidium a “poor” Derby winner.
Psidium stood as a stallion at the Cheveley Park Stud at Newmarket. He was the leading British sire (in winning prize money) in 1966, thanks to the achievements of his son Sodium who won the Irish Derby and the St Leger. Psidium was exported to Argentina in 1970.
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- "Psidium wins Epsom Derby". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
- "Horseracing History Online - Person Profile : Harry Wragg". Horseracinghistory.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
- Mortimer, Roger; Onslow, Richard; Willett, Peter (1978). Biographical Encyclopedia of British Flat Racing. Macdonald and Jane’s. ISBN 0-354-08536-0.
- "Psidium scores Derby upset". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
- "Psidium scores upset". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
- Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1999). A Century of Champions. Portway Press,. ISBN 1-901570-15-0.
- Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1990). Horse Racing: Records, Facts, Champions(Third Edition). Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-902-1.
- "English Derby Winner: Psidium". Chef-de-race.com. Retrieved 2011-11-07.