Sunday, January 07, 2018

Dayjur: The World's Fastest Horse

John Galsworthy said: 'I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse.' 

I wonder what this esteemed novelist would have said about one of the most astounding racehorses to ever set hoof on track. 

Name the fastest horse in the world? Fair enough, it's an open-ended question which covers hundreds of years. However, there are plenty of racing fans who only need one attempt. 

Simply: Dayjur

There was no mistake when the Racing Post called him 'the world's fastest horse'.  If you are looking at the latest racing odds then Sun Bet puts the sparkle in any wager.

This son of Danzig out of a mare called Gold Beauty was foaled on the 6th February 1987. An American-bred colt, trained in Britain and raced across the world. 

Major Dick Hern trained this star sprinter, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al-Maktoum. Ridden by Willie Carson on every start.

For such an outstanding talent, he raced just 11 times in his career. But those races made memories few will ever forget. 

Two-year-old record:

Made his debut on 15th June 1989 over 6f at Newbury. Held up, quickened to lead over 1f out, easily. 1st 8/15f

Beaten on his second start when runner-up to Clive Brittain's Rushmore. 

Three-year-old record: 

1990: A year to remember for this exceptional horse. He raced nine times. Defeated on his return to Newmarket when failing to stay 7f,  the first and the last attempt over this distance. A disappointing 7th.

1st May 1990:

Even money favourite and back to winning ways at Nottingham over 6f.  

18th May 1990:

Defeated by a head to Tod, trained by Jack Berry, at Newbury over 6f.

28th May 1990:

Dropping back to 5f for the first time saw this speed machine take on older opponents winning the Temple Stakes (Group 2) at Sandown. 

22nd June 1990: 

Exceptional. Dayjur Makes virtually all to win the King's Stand Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot. 

23rd August 1990:

The first attempt at Group 1 Class. York. The Keeneland Nunthorpe Stakes 5f. The 8/11f wowed a jubilant crowd. Quote: 'Made all, stayed on strongly final 2f, ''VERY IMPRESSIVE'' (a tag rarely if ever used).

Winning time: 56.16s (fast by 1.34s)

8th September 1990:

Stepping back up in distance to 6f at Haydock. The Ladbroke Sprint Cup (Group 1). The 1/2f made all, to go clear over 1f out, ran on well.

7th October 1990: 

His first race across the channel. The Prix de L'abbey, Longchamp, France. A 5f dash. Dayjur crushed his rivals with a two-length victory. Made all, went clear over 2f out, eased close home.

27 October 1990:

The Fastest Horse in the World...

Few races have lived so long in the minds of those who watched Dayjur when contesting the greatest race in America: The Breeders' Cup Sprint (Grade 1) Dirt. 

Dayjur's final race.

Win prize money of £279,503

A wide draw made this a challenge. Contested the lead with 14 rivals, but mainly Safely Kept, a brute of a mare. Dayjur looked to be the better horse when he jumped a shadow not once but twice near the finishing line. Dayjur lost by a neck. He was the better horse!

Dayjur went to stud after this race - a top-class sire


British Horse of the Year 1990
European Champion Sprinter 

Total earnings: £327,280 

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