Two decades of greatness

20 of the best Darley-sired runners this century
Golden Horn coming home clear in the Derby

From Champion sprinters, milers and middle-distance performers, to record-breaking juveniles, the Darley stallions have produced two decades of breathtaking performers across Europe.

Leading the way are two sons of the great Cape Cross, the outstanding Sea The Stars, winner of six G1s in 2009, and Golden Horn, whose victories in 2015 included the Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. With a Timeform rating of 140, Sea The Stars has only been bettered by Frankel in the last two decades, while Golden Horn is the second-best Derby winner after his paternal half-brother.

When the 2020 season hopefully gets underway in earnest, Shamardal’s son Pinatubo will be looking to improve on his rating of 134, the highest a juvenile has achieved in Europe for 25 years. The Charlie Appleby-trained colt had an impeccable 2019, winning all six starts including a nine-length triumph in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and a two-length win in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes.

He sits ahead of another brilliant two-year-old in Dream Ahead, who gained a juvenile rating of 128 when winning the Middle Park Stakes by nine lengths. The son of Diktat trained on to win three further G1s at three including the Darley July Cup at Newmarket, earning him a rating of 133.

Joining him on 133 is another Derby winner in Workforce, a son of King’s Best, who also doubled up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and Champion miler Excelebration, who hails from Exceed And Excel’s third European crop.


Five further current European Darley stallions join Golden Horn on the list, including Champion juvenile and Classic winner Dawn Approach, who with a rating of 132 is the leading son of Derby hero New Approach.

The magnificent Dubawi, who earned a rating of 129 for his victories that included the Irish 2,000 Guineas, is bettered by two of his sons in 2,000 Guineas winners Makfi, and four-time G1 hero Postponed, whose eldest crop are yearlings of 2020.

The second son of Shamardal to make the top ten was stellar sprinter Blue Point, who achieved a 131 from his four G1 triumphs that included a thrilling G1 double at Royal Ascot in the King’s Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes last season.

Blue Point is joined on the Kildangan roster by dual Champion miler Ribchester. The son of Iffraaj carried all before him in 2016 and 2017, with his six victories including the Queen Anne Stakes and Prix Jacques Le Marois.