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George Washington (horse)

George Washington
Sire Danehill
Dam Bordighera
Grandsire Danzig
Damsire Alysheba
Gender Stallion
Foaled 2003
Country Ireland
Color Bay
Breeder Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables
Owner Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith
Trainer Aidan O'Brien
Record 14: 6-1-4
Earnings $1,475,816
George Washington is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Bordighera by Danehill. He was born around 2003 in Ireland, and was bred by Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables.
Major wins
Railway Stakes (2005)
Phoenix Stakes (2005)
National Stakes (2005)
2,000 Guineas (2006)
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2006)
European Champion Two-Year-Old Colt (2005)
European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt (2006)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on August 5, 2007

George Washington (January 3, 2003 – October 27, 2007) was a thoroughbred racehorse foaled in Ireland by champion sire Danehill out of Bordighera, also the dam of the high class colt Grandera. Bred by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, he was trained at Ballydoyle by Aidan O'Brien and owned by Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith. George Washington suffered a dislocated ankle fracture [1] during the Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on October 27, 2007 and was euthanized. The horse was affectionately nicknamed 'Gorgeous George' by his followers, due to his startling beauty.


Two-year-old career

George Washington's debut was in a maiden race during the 2,000 Guineas meeting at Newmarket on May 1, 2005. This ended in defeat, finishing third behind League Champion over 5 furlongs (1,006 m).

Victory followed in his second race at the Curragh three weeks later, this time over 6 furlongs (1207 m). Another win came in the Group II Railway Stakes, again over 6 furlongs (1207 m) at the Curragh.

The Group I Phoenix Stakes was next on the agenda, and George Washington won by 8 lengths from his stablemate Amadeus Mozart, despite having been slightly hampered at the start.

His final race as a two-year-old was in the National Stakes in September, another Group 1, and although victorious he failed to impress many, winning by just 2 lengths as a long odds-on favourite. Although he was declared to run in the Dewhurst Stakes the following month, he was withdrawn just minutes before the race after the ground was deemed unsuitable.

For his performances, George Washington was voted the 2005 Cartier Award for Two-Year-Old European Champion Colt.

Three-year-old career

The 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket was his first outing of the season. Aidan O'Brien was attempting to win the race for a fourth time, having previously won with King of Kings in 1998, Rock of Gibraltar in 2002, and Footstepsinthesand in 2005. "George" started as 6/4 favourite and won the race impressively, beating subsequent Epsom Derby winner Sir Percy by 2½ lengths.

Breakdown of 2000 Guineas Stakes Race performances since the race



Subsequent race(s) and placing



2nd Sir Percy 1st in the Epsom Derby, 4th in Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic. Various 1 mile 4 furlongs (2414 m)
4th Araafa 1st in St. James's Palace Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas, and 2nd in QE2 Various 1 mile (1609 m)
6th Final Verse 1st in Listed race and injured since Goodwood 1 mile (1609 m)
7th Amadeus Wolf Won Group 2 Duke of York Stakes ,6 furlongs, 5 High placings in 5 Group 1 sprints Various 5/6 furlongs (1006/1207 m)
9th Asset 2nd in Jersey Stakes Ascot 7 furlongs (1408 m)
11th Killybegs 2nd in Celebration Mile, 4th in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Goodwood, Ascot 1 mile (1609 m)
12th Red Clubs 1st in Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup (Haydock Pk) 6 furlongs, 1st in Group 2 Diadem Stakes (Ascot) 6 furlongs. 2nd in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes 6 furlongs, 3rd in the Group 1 July Cup 6 furlongs, 4th in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes 5 furlongs and the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes 6 furlongs. 5/6 furlongs (1006/1207 m)
13th Frost Giant 1st in Group 3 Leopardstown 1 mile 2 furlongs (2012 m)

Disappointment followed in his next race, the Irish 2,000 Guineas, where he finished second, beaten 2 lengths by subsequent dual-Group 1 winner Araafa, who had been fourth at Newmarket. George's trademark finishing acceleration was blunted by the heavy ground conditions, and following the race it emerged that he had torn his foreleg muscles, accounting for his loss.

Due to the 2,000 Guineas form holding up, "George's" rating has been lifted, and his performance in the 2,000 Guineas officially remained the 2nd best performance by a 3-year-old in the 2006 season, beaten only by his own win in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

'George's' comeback in the Celebration Mile was a somewhat disappointing one, finishing 3rd behind Caradak and Killybegs, but he missed the break badly under new jockey Michael Kinane, starting some 8 lengths behind the eventual winner Caradak, and finishing only 1 length behind him at the finish.

The day before his main seasonal target, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, heavy rain arrived and 14 mm of rain fell on Ascot racecourse. He was very easy to back (or saddle), and his place as favourite seemed somewhat uneasy. However, half an hour before the race, lots of money came in for him to cement his place as favourite, and was sent off at odds of 13/8. Two pacemakers were deployed by Ballydoyle, and an incident occurred during the race between one of them the Seamus Heffernen ridden colt Ivan Denisovich and Frankie Dettori's mount Librettist. "George" was travelling very easily throughout the race, and jockey Michael Kinane didn't even have to ask him a question, scoring easily by a length and a quarter.

Breeders' Cup Classic

A tilt at the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs had been decided upon about 2 weeks before the world famous event. A dominant miler, a victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile would do very little for his stud fee. Despite being by a predominantly-turf sire Danehill, his dam is Bordighera, who also foaled Grandera, a victor of three G1. Kinane was declared to ride, provoking memories of the infamous dropping of the reins on Giant's Causeway at Churchill Downs in the millennium year.

'George' travelled brilliantly throughout the race, cruising up just behind the leaders before the final turn. He came wide to make his challenge, but was bumped by the eventual winner Invasor and lost momentum. Kinane reported that his stamina simply ran out, but the fact that he travelled so well on dirt was thought to boost his stud fee and also attract support from American breeders.

Despite calls from jockey Mick Kinane and various members of the press for 'George' to stay in training, he was officially retired and was due to stand at Coolmore's Ireland base for a fee of €60,000.

Fertility problems

On March 10, 2007 it was reported that Coolmore had suspended George Washington's stud career due to fertility problems. The decision was taken to replace him at stud with Holy Roman Emperor, a three-year-old colt who was being prepared to run in the 2,000 Guineas. Like George Washington, Holy Roman Emperor was sired by Danehill, and was also trained by Aidan O'Brien. He had been a leading two-year-old in 2006 and was second favourite for the Guineas before the surprise announcement of his retirement.

Return to training

On March 25, 2007 it was announced that George Washington had returned to training at Aidan O'Brien's stable. He was initially entered for the Tattersalls Gold Cup in May but his return to the racecourse eventually came in the Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting at Ascot Racecourse on June 19. He pulled hard going to the start in the early part of the race but eventually settled to finish in a close and fast-finishing fourth place behind Ramonti.

His second race of 2007 came in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on July 7. He finished third, one and a half lengths and a head behind Notnowcato and the Epsom Derby winner Authorized. Authorized and George Washington raced with the majority of the field up the far rail and Authorized won that race by a head; Notnowcato raced alone up the stands rail in search of better ground and beat them both.

Kieran Fallon was then reunited with George in the Group 1 Prix Du Moulin in September. The partnership proceeded to finish a fast finishing third to the high class filly Darjina and top class Godolphin horse Ramonti. Many observers felt that George had been left with too much to do flashing home off a slow pace having been up to eight lengths off the enterprisingly ridden winner at the two furlong (400m) pole.

George Washington was euthanized on the track following an open fracture to the cannon bone and both sesamoid bones in the right front fetlock while running in the Breeders Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on October 27, 2007, over a very muddy or "sloppy" track. According to Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, the on-call veterinarian, George Washington had cut off all blood supply to his ankle but was quoted that no studies had been performed regarding a relationship between injuries and sloppy tracks. All other races that day were incident free.

Having been pulled up when well held at the sixteenth pole, George Washington was then euthanized on the track at the request of trainer Aidan O'Brien. It was only his second start on dirt and his only start on a sloppy track.

Racing career









May 1, 2005 Maiden Newmarket (Rowley Mile) Suffolk 5 furlongs (1006 m) Turf Good-Firm 3rd
May 22, 2005 Maiden Curragh Ireland 6 furlongs (1207 m) Turf Yielding 1st
June 26, 2005 Group 2 Railway Stakes Curragh Ireland 6 furlongs (1207 m) Turf Good-Firm 1st
August 7, 2005 Group 1 Phoenix Stakes Curragh Ireland 6 furlongs (1207 m) Turf Good 1st
September 18, 2005 Group 1 National Stakes Curragh Ireland 7 furlongs (1408 m) Turf Good 1st
May 6, 2006 Group 1 2,000 Guineas Newmarket (Rowley Mile) Suffolk 1 mile (1609 m) Turf Good-Firm 1st
May 27, 2006 Group 1 Irish 2,000 Guineas Curragh Ireland 1 mile (1609 m) Turf Heavy 2nd
August 27, 2006 Group 2 Celebration Mile Goodwood West Sussex 1 mile (1609 m) Turf Good 3rd
September 23, 2006 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Ascot Berkshire 1 mile (1609 m) Turf Good-Soft 1st
November 4, 2006 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic Churchill Downs Louisville, Kentucky 1 1/4 miles (2012 m) Dirt Fast 6th
June 19, 2007 Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes Ascot Berkshire 1 mile (1609 m) Turf Good 4th
July 7, 2007 Group 1 Eclipse Stakes Sandown Park Surrey 1 1/4 mile (2012 m) Turf Good-Soft 3rd
September 9, 2007 Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp Longchamp Racecourse France 1 mile (1609 m) Turf Good 3rd
October 27, 2007 Group 1 Breeders' Cup Classic Monmouth Park Oceanport, New Jersey 1 1/4 mile (2012 m) Dirt Sloppy DNF - Fractured and Dislocated Right Front Ankle - Euthanized on track

Only foal sired by George Washington

A George Washington filly was born at the Irish National Stud on Feb. 4 2008. This foal, out of the mare Flawlessly (FR), sold for 280,000 Euros to Gildawn Stud at Goffs November Foal Sale on 21 November 2008[2]. This filly was offered for sale again during Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale at Tattersalls, Newmarket, October 6–8, 2009[3]. She was bought by Ross Doyle for 320,000gns on behalf of Julie Wood, and went into training to Richard Hannon.[4] The filly has been named 'Date with Destiny'.[5]


Pedigree of George Washington
Northern Dancer
Pas De Nom
Admiral's Voyage
Petitioner (USA)
His Majesty
Flower Bowl
Spring Adieu
Raise a Native
Sweet Tooth
Bel Sheba
Lt. Stevens
Blue Tip
Tip Moss
Top Twig
As Blue
Blue Tom
As Well


External links


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