In the year 2000, Petrushka won the Irish Oaks, the Yorkshire Oaks and one of France’s top fillies’ event the Prix de L’Opera. At the time Sir Michael Stoute called her “the best middle distance filly I have ever trained.” Her victory in the Irish Oaks was not just the first classic success for Highclere, it was the first triumph in this most envied of all categories for a syndicate of owners. It was a hugely significant day in the history of the game.

Bred at the Airlie Stud in Ireland and bought at the Goffs Yearling sales for IR£110,000, Petrushka was class from the very beginning. Having been a good winner of her only race as a two year old she became favourite for the 1,000 Guineas and The Oaks on the strength of her impressive reappearance in the Nell Gwyn Stakes. A bit outpaced in the 1,000 Guineas and unbalanced at Epsom, she then more than justified her billing by leaving her rivals five long lengths adrift in Ireland.

The golden trail continued at York and at Longchamp to see Petrushka established as the top filly in Europe. A rather unhappy American run in the Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs concluded her three year old campaign. Her four year old career promised even greater things when she worked superbly in training for the $5 million Dubai World Cup, the richest race in the world. But a chipped fetlock stopped her progress and a final unsuccessful run in the Coronation Cup at Epsom only added a touch of shade to the dazzling light of that millennium summer.

What had been a IR£110,000 yearling was then sold to Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud for the then world record price of $5.25 million dollars. In every way, to own Petrushka was to journey with a star.



Unfuwain (USA)

Northern Dancer

Height of Fashion

Ballet Shoes (IRE)

Ela – Mana – Mou

River Dancer

Race record

Date Racecourse Race name
  Distance Jockey Position Racing Post race result
(opens in a new window)
08/06/2001 Epsom Downs The Coronation Cup (Gr 1)
1m4f Kieren Fallon Unplaced Link to race result
04/11/2000 Churchill Downs (USA) The Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Gr 1)
1m3f Johnny Murtagh Unplaced Link to race result
01/10/2000 Longchamp (FR) The Prix de l'Opera (Gr 1)
1m2f Johnny Murtagh 1st Link to race result
23/08/2000 York The Yorkshire Oaks (Gr 1)
1m4f Johnny Murtagh 1st Link to race result
16/07/2000 Curragh (IRE) The Irish Oaks (Gr 1)
1m4f Johnny Murtagh 1st Link to race result
09/06/2000 Epsom Downs The Oaks (Gr 1)
1m4f Kieren Fallon 4th Link to race result
07/05/2000 Newmarket Rowley Mile The 1000 Guineas (Gr 1)
1m Kieren Fallon 3rd Link to race result
18/04/2000 Newmarket Rowley Mile The Nell Gwyn Stakes (Gr 3)
7f Kieren Fallon 1st Link to race result
11/10/1999 Leicester The European Breeders Fund Hare Maiden Fillies' Stakes
7f Kieren Fallon 1st Link to race result

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