1979 Derby

Billyboy1988
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1979 Derby

Postby Billyboy1988 » Sat May 12, 2018 9:45 am

Hi. I do not claim to know everything or be an expert about horse racing and nor am I a professional gambler. My father used to take me to the derby when I was a kid and the first I remember was the 1979 Derby won by Troy. Now I know there have been some great winners of the Derby over the years and are quite often mentioned, but I never here Troy mentioned yet he came from nearly last at tattenham to win by at least 6 lengths, but he ever seems to get a mention. Can any of you give any light on why this might be. Cheers.

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Re: 1979 Derby

Postby PompeyJim » Sat May 12, 2018 10:46 am

Hi Billyboy1988,

Good question, I also have fond memories of Troy that year as it was the first Derby I attended. Can remember being on Epsom downs as a kid (far too young to bet!) and seeing Willie Carson in those pale colours (view restricted due to the open top buses lined up!) going clear of the field.

Was a good Derby period for Willie Carson, winning on Henbit the following year too, perhaps with Shergar emerging in 1981 and his brilliant victory overshadowing anything that happened a year or two earlier ?
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Re: 1979 Derby

Postby Billyboy1988 » Sat May 12, 2018 12:39 pm

Was on my dads shoulders and cheering as Troy went past at about 2f out and my dad said shut up he’s at the back. Great win and always puts a smile on my face.

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Re: 1979 Derby

Postby Shrews » Sat May 12, 2018 1:50 pm

I've had a few 'era's' in horse racing and one of them was my childhood era, until I found beer, girls and music in my early/mid teens. From that childhood era I was heavily influenced by my grandad and mother who would do a weekly bet, yankees, ITV7, patents, that kind of thing and that timespan went from about 1972 (aged 6) to 1980'ish from which Troy and Willie Carson was a great memory.

I have a vague memory of Mill Reef winning in 71, but nothing about Nijinsky in 70. However, Grundy (75), Empery (76), The Minstrel (77), Shirley Heights (78), Troy (79) and Henbit (80) are all names fixed in my memory. When Shergar won in 81 in perhaps the greatest Derby win ever, I wasn't that interested, although I probably was for a short time.

I suppose The Minstrel is the one I have most memories of. He was quite distinct with those white socks and of course Piggott riding. My mum would've been 6 months pregnant with my brother at the time, so it was a happy time for the family too.

The one I have least memories of in that era was Morston (73). In fact, I have no memories of him(!) and would guess that he's the least publicised horse by the media from that period.

Shirley Heights was arguably the best sire from this era (his own sire was Mill Reef) siring the likes of Derby winner Slip Anchor, prolific stallion Darshaan and Breeders Cup turf winner In The Wings.

Great memories! I love the old horses and following the successful stud careers :)

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Re: 1979 Derby

Postby Billyboy1988 » Sat May 12, 2018 1:57 pm

You have mentioned some great horses in your post which nearly are always mentioned and I just wonder why Troy who won by 7lengths is never mentioned.Was it as us standard Derby? That was the query I was really raising although to look back at the memories is great. Good luck.

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Re: 1979 Derby

Postby Shrews » Sat May 12, 2018 5:53 pm

You have mentioned some great horses in your post which nearly are always mentioned and I just wonder why Troy who won by 7lengths is never mentioned.Was it as us standard Derby? That was the query I was really raising although to look back at the memories is great. Good luck.
Weighing things up I think Troy is remembered quite fondly and reasonably publicised, I wouldn't be surprised if we hear his name on Derby Day. However, maybe it's because Willie Carson doesn't ride anymore and isn't commentating on TV. Trainer Dick Hern has sadly passed too.

Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Roberto and The Minstrel are probably the ones we hear of most, plus Shirley Heights for his breeding exploits, plus Shergar for obvious reasons. But the rest are sadly consigned to the history books, as all these horses will eventually be (Shergar aside).

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Re: 1979 Derby

Postby davidg3907 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:38 am

All of you 'youngsters' seeing Troy and the like doesn't make me jealous - but does remind me of the halcyon days when Terry and I ran a book on Sea Bird's Derby in 1965.

Did we have a bookmaker's permit? No, 16yo schoolboys for some reason couldn't apply for one. We did get the teachers to join in the fun but most wanted to back Meadow Court from England rather than the beast from across the channel.

Sea Bird died as an 11yo but his Timeform figure of 145 (when winning the Derby on the bridle) was not bettered until something called Frankel appeared on the scene a few decades later. That is some achievement - but sadly, another great horse that seldom gets the plaudits he deserved.

Other notable achievements included winning the Arc effortlessly by the record distance of 6 lengths as a 3yo.

Meadow Court, the runner-up at Epsom duly won the Irish Derby and King George.
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Re: 1979 Derby

Postby meoldmate » Sun May 13, 2018 1:47 pm

Troy won the Derby trial at Goodwood and I was there to see this and I new I saw the Derby winner. I mentioned this horse to everyone who wanted to listen and Troy won with authority and became my all time favourite horse.
Troy should be highlighted with his even length win as this was a record I believe at the time, plus he was trained by Dick Hern and ridden by Willie Carson.
Willie did think he was in trouble but once the gap appeared and gave Troy a kick in the belly, he awoke and showed his talent.

I was twenty three then, I had my mother with me that day and this was her first and only time she cam racing with me and thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.
This race fitted nicely in between RFA service, working in Portsmouth dockyard at the time.
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Re: 1979 Derby

Postby The Executioner » Sun May 13, 2018 6:51 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gpc-JhIrrA


Troy was the best of his generation over middles distances, but I don't think it was the strongest of Derby's that year - but you can only beat what you face and he did it well. Looking back at the recording he was one of the first to be niggled at with Carson pumping along from some way out, despite his comfortable win at Epsom I don't think the track played to his strengths. At the end of his 3yo career he was rated 137 by Timeform which was a couple of pounds ahead of The Minstrel and the same as Grundy in 1975. It's a shame that he died in 1984 only four years in to a stud career. Fond memories of the horse myself.

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