1981 Walter Swinburn (Shergar)

1981’s Derby was won by probably the most famous racehorse in the history of the sport.

And what a victory it was.  Albeit in a relatively slow time, 2 minutes 44 seconds, Swinburn and Shergar won the race by a massive ten length margin.  In fact it stands to this day as the greatest winning margin in a Derby.

Of course the demise of the bay stallion with the distinctive white blaze on his nose is shrouded in mystery.  All sorts of conspiracy theories abound – including of course the one that says that the IRA took him.  The only thing that is known for certain is that he was kidnapped from the Ballymany Stud in Co. Kildare on 8 February 1983 and never seen again.

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