Workforce at 2010 Epsom Derby.
|Colour||Bay with white blaze|
|Breeder||Juddmonte Farms Ltd|
|Trainer||Sir Michael Stoute|
Epsom Derby (2010) |
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2010)
Brigadier Gerard Stakes (2011)
|European Champion Three-year-old Colt (2010)|
|Last updated on 24 July 2010|
Workforce (foaled 2007) is a British Thoroughbred racehorse. In a career that lasted from September 2009 until October 2011, he ran nine times and won four races. In 2010 he won the 2010 Epsom Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, ridden by Ryan Moore. He won once from four races in 2011 before being retired to stand as a breeding stallion in Japan.
A white-blazed bay colt, Workforce was owned by Khalid Abdullah, having been bred by the Prince's farm Juddmonte Farms Ltd. He was trained for the Prince by the Newmarket-based Sir Michael Stoute. Workforce was foaled on 14 March 2007 to the dam Soviet Moon (IRE) by the stallion King's Best (USA), with the dam's sire being Sadler's Wells (USA). Soviet Moon was a sister of the St. Leger Stakes winner Brian Boru and the Hardwicke Stakes winner Sea Moon.
Workforce won his first race as a juvenile at Goodwood. As the 3–1 favourite in the seven-furlong race, he beat the second-placed finisher Oasis Dancer by six lengths. He finished the race going away, reportedly showing a "remarkable turn of foot" according to Will Hayler of The Guardian. Further race preparation was then hampered by an infection picked up early in 2010, although the trainer was always confident the horse was a potential Derby winner following his first "eye-opening" outing, describing him as "brimful of promise".
On 13 May 2010, again ridden by Ryan Moore, Workforce finished second in the Derby warm-up race the Dante Stakes at York. Losing by more than three lengths to Cape Blanco, the performance was said to have been affected by his metal bit becoming displaced. Trainer Stoute also suggested Workforce would have preferred slightly softer ground in the race, pointing out he was still "a once-raced baby".
After the York race, Workforce was practised at Lingfield Park in preparation for the Epsom race, and the trainer's confidence in the colt remained high, describing him as "very straightforward mentally". Having only raced twice, Workforce was duly entered into the 2010 Derby as one of the least experienced horses in the field.
On 5 June 2010, being ridden for the third time by Ryan Moore, Workforce won The Derby by seven lengths, breaking the Epsom Downs track record in the process. With a finishing time of 2m 31.33s, he beat the previous track record of 2m 32.31s set by Lammtarra in the 1995 Derby. Only two horses had ever won the Derby by a larger distance, Shergar by ten lengths in 1981, and Manna by eight in 1925. In addition to setting a new course record, the win was also the first time a horse that had been beaten in the Dante Stakes had gone on to win the Derby. Workforce carried his owner's second colours, with a distinguishing green cap, the first colours being carried by Bullet Train, a horse who later became best known as the pacemaker for his younger brother Frankel.
Workforce won the race having caught the pacemaker and early leader, the 100–1 long shot At First Sight, inside the two-furlong mark. At First Sight had looked to be going for a surprise win heading into the final straight ahead of the other 11 horses, before the 6–1 Workforce produced a powerful surge to win the race by seven lengths, with the 9–4 priced favourite, Jan Vermeer, finishing in fourth. Workforce ran the race with a cross noseband, as a precaution against the earlier misplaced metal bit.
Moore said of the race, "I may have sent him past the leader sooner than I needed to and I didn't let up on him much after that. But the way he quickened to get there was remarkable and he just didn't stop quickening".
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Workforce's next outing was on 24 July 2010 at Ascot. Still being ridden by Ryan Moore, the horse came fifth in the mile-and-a-half long King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, having entered the race as the 8–11 favourite and as the experts pick due to the earlier Derby win. The eventual winner was, in fact, Workforce's stablemate, Harbinger, also trained by Michael Stoute, who set a new course record time and winning distance in the process.
With two furlongs to go in the race, Workforce and Cape Blanco were leading the six-horse field, when they were said to have been passed with ease by the 4–1 entry Harbinger who "coasted home" after running the last quarter mile alone. Moore was said to have eased Workforce off toward the line, and the horse eventually finished fifth, only ahead of the pacemaker.
Moore put the loss down to the horse not settling as he had done in the Derby, and due to the fast ground. Moore said of the performance that Workforce had "run badly before and come back from it and will again", while Stoute said it was disappointing. The Ascot run was described as "nothing like his Derby performance" by Marcus Armytage in The Daily Telegraph.
After much discussion about whether Workforce would run in the Arc, the decision was made on the Thursday prior to the race to run. In the race itself, he settled back in the field before running through the middle of the field to take the lead halfway up the straight, and held on to win by a head from Japanese runner Nakayama Festa.
Unlike most recent Derby and Arc winners, Workforce remained in training for the 2011 season. He won the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on 26 May. In his next start he was beaten by half a length in the Coral Eclipse Stakes by ex-Australian champion So You Think.  This was followed by another attempt at the King George at Ascot, where he ran second behind Nathaniel, after hanging badly left across the width of the Ascot straight. On his final racecourse appearance, Workforce attempted to become the first horse since Alleged in 1978 to win consecutive runnings of the Arc de Triomphe. He started fourth choice in the betting at odds of 10/1 but was never in contention and finished twelfth behind Danedream.
- Montgomery, Sue (6 June 2010). "Workforce strikes for Derby delight". The Independent. London. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "Workforce". www.racingpost.com/horses ID 742579. Racing Post. n.d. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "Workforce storms to victory in the Derby at Epsom". BBC Sport. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "European champion Workforce to stand in Japan at Shadai". Thoroughbred Times. 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Hayler, Will (12 May 2010). "Epsom Derby hope Workforce the one to be on in York's Dante Stakes". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- Lee, Alan (14 May 2010). "Victory of Cape Blanco gives Murtagh a Derby dilemma". The Times. London. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- Armytage, Marcus (24 July 2010). "Harbinger reigns supreme to land King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
- "Derby winner Workforce wins Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe". BBC Sport. 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- "Sandown Result: 26 May 2011".
- "Results from the 3.15 race at LONGCHAMP (FR) - 2 October 2011". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Career 1-2-3 Colour Chart – Workforce