Motivator, if not exactly a Highclere horse, was a colt bought by John Warren and managed, in this case on behalf of The Royal Ascot Racing Club, by Harry Herbert. And he won the Derby.

Bred at the Deerfield Stud in Newmarket, Motivator was knocked down to John Warren for 75,000gns at the Tattersalls Sales in October 2003 and sent to be trained in the town with Michael Bell. He even stayed local for his racecourse debut – a scintillating six lengths success on the July Course.

But there was nothing “home town” about his subsequent career. In October his victory in the Group One Racing Post Trophy made him favourite for the next year’s Derby. That position was confirmed when he won York’s Dante Stakes on his reappearance and gloriously fulfilled when he rocketed home in quite unforgettable fashion at Epsom that June.

Motivator continued on at the top level. He ran second in both the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown before running a close fifth when favourite for the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. But Herbert and Warren had already put their judgement on the line. They had agreed a £6 million sale to a breeding syndicate for him to stand at the Royal Studs at Sandringham. Critics said this was greedy and premature but Motivator injured himself in training prior to the Breeders Cup and never raced again. Judgement justified.



Monjeu (IRE)

Sadlers Wells (USA)

Floripedes (FR)

Out West (USA)

Gone West (USA)

Chellinghoua (USA)

Race record

Date Racecourse Race name
  Distance Jockey Position Racing Post race result
(opens in a new window)
02/10/2005 Longchamp (FR) The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1)
1m4f Johnny Murtagh Unplaced Link to race result
10/09/2005 Leopardstown (IRE) The Irish Champion Stakes (Gr 1)
1m2f Kevin Darley 2nd Link to race result
02/07/2005 Sandown Park The Coral Eclipse Stakes (Gr 1)
1m2f Johnny Murtagh 2nd Link to race result
04/06/2005 Epsom Downs The Derby (Gr 1)
1m4f Johnny Murtagh 1st Link to race result
12/05/2005 York The Dante Stakes (Gr 2)
1m2.5f Johnny Murtagh 1st Link to race result
23/10/2004 Doncaster The Racing Post Trophy (Gr 1)
1m Kieren Fallon 1st Link to race result
13/08/2004 Newmarket July Course The Learndirect Maiden Stakes
1m Kieren Fallon 1st Link to race result

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