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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Two quickfire Triple Crown triumphs – but the long wait in Britain goes on

Camelot (left): second in the St Leger when going for Triple Crown glory in 2012
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A 37-year wait for US Triple Crown glory has been followed by two winners in the past four years. It’s a rather different story in Britain.

Justify on Saturday became the 13th US Triple Crown winner, while the British version – spread, unlike the quickfire trio of US races, across the season with the 2,000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger – has been achieved twice more, but not since 1970 when Nijinsky managed the feat.

It was 28 years then, it's 48 years now – and we're still counting! The stature of Nijinsky at the Curragh, with his trainer Vincent O'Brien and jockey Lester Piggott in 1998

Camelot is the only subsequent 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner in the intervening 48 years to contested the final leg at Doncaster, in which he was narrowly denied by Encke in 2012.

Nashwan, successful in the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 1989, bypassed the St Leger, much to the dismay of the racing public, and his career ended on a flat note when finishing third in the Prix Niel at Longchamp at the end of his three-year-old campaign.

2,000 Guineas and Derby winners since 1971

1989 Nashwan (bypassed St Leger)
2009 Sea The Stars (bypassed St Leger)
2012 Camelot (second in St Leger)

More recently, Sea The Stars had the opportunity to make history on Town Moor in 2009 but connections decided to miss the end-of-season Classic, a move that was justified when the imperious son of Cape Cross landed the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on his final start.

Saxon Warrior was the big hope this year, and his Coolmore connections did not hide their interest in having a crack at the St Leger in the wake of his 2,000 Guineas success. However, he was to finish only fourth in the Derby.

The Fillies’ Triple Crown, consisting of victory in the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger, has been landed nine times, and not since 1985, when Oh So Sharp completed the treble.

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Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot is the only subsequent 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner in the intervening 48 years to have gone for glory in the St Leger
E.W. Terms
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