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Golan (horse)


Golan (horse)

The Weinstock colours
Sire Spectrum
Grandsire Rainbow Quest
Dam Highland Gift
Damsire Generous
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1998
Country Ireland
Colour Bay
Breeder Ballymacoll Stud
Owner Exors Of The Late Lord Weinstock
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute
Record 11: 4-2-1
Earnings £1,212,002
Major wins
2,000 Guineas Stakes (2001)
Prix Niel (2001)
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2002)

Golan (foaled 24 February 1998) is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in Ireland, but trained in the United Kingdom throughout his racing career, which lasted from 2000 to 2002. He won the 2,000 Guineas in 2001 and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes in 2002. He won the latter race after an eight-month absence from the racecourse.


Golan was bred in Ireland by Lord Weinstock's Ballymacoll Stud in County Meath. On Lord Weinstock's death in 2002, his Thoroughbreds, including Golan, passed to the executors of his estate. Both his sire, Spectrum, and his dam, Highland Gift, had been bred at the Ballymacoll Stud and raced in the Weinstock colours. In fact, the families of both Golan's parents had been based at the stud for more than 60 years.[1]

Spectrum won the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Champion Stakes as a three-year-old colt in 1995, in which he was rated the second-best British colt, behind Lammtarra. At stud, he produced the winners of more than 400 races before being exported first to South Africa and then to New Zealand. Apart from Golan, his best offspring were Gamut (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud), Racinger (Prix du Muguet), Just James (Challenge Stakes), and Tartan Bearer.[2]

Highland Gift won one minor race, and came from a good family, being the half-sister of the Great Voltigeur Stakes winner Bonny Scot. She has also produced Golan's full brother, the Derby runner-up Tartan Bearer.[3]

Golan was trained throughout his career by Michael Stoute at Newmarket, Suffolk and was ridden in eight of his 11 races by Kieren Fallon.

Racing career

2000: two-year-old career

Golan began his career in September 2000, when he contested a maiden race at Chepstow. He started 5/4 favourite and won "readily" by one and a quarter lengths, having been sent into the lead by Fergal Lynch a furlong from the finish.[4] Although Golan did not race again that year, the form of the race was boosted when the runner-up, Clearing, was an impressive three-and-a-half-length winner of the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes in October.[5]

2001: three-year-old season


Golan was sent straight to the highest level as a three-year old, making his first appearance of the season in the 2000 Guineas. Despite his lack of experience, Golan had been supported in the betting for the race on the strength of impressive work in training,[6] with his price falling from 25/1 to 9/1 before steadying at 11/1 on the day. The colt did show signs of inexperience, breaking slowly and tracking sharply left to be last of the 18 runners after a furlong. Fallon settled Golan at the back of the field then took him to the outside where he produced a sustained run. Golan moved up from last to take the lead a furlong from the finish, and was driven out by Fallon to win by one and a quarter lengths from Tamburlaine[7] Fallon described Golan's acceleration as "incredible, the best I've ever known from a horse", while Stoute called him "a very exciting prospect". More neutral observers were also impressed, noting that the colt's pedigree contained stamina influences, suggesting that he could be a Triple Crown contender.[6]


Golan was made favourite for the Derby, but his position was challenged by the form of the Aidan O'Brien-trained Galileo[8] and at Epsom the two colts started joint favourites at 11/4. Golan was ridden by the veteran Pat Eddery, as Fallon was serving a ban for irresponsible riding.[9] Golan settled well and turned into the straight in sixth place. He made steady progress in the last quarter of a mile, moving into second a furlong out. Galileo, however, had already gone clear and ran on well to beat Golan by three and a half lengths.[10] After the race, Stoute offered no real excuses, except to say that Golan may have been unsuited by the firm ground.[11]

Three weeks later, Golan again challenged Galileo in the Irish Derby at the Curragh. He started 4/1 second favourite, but was never a threat to the favourite, and although he made some progress in the straight, he was beaten eight lengths, finishing third behind Galileo and the Derby Italiano winner Morshdi.


Golan was then prepared for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and appeared next in the Prix Niel, a recognised trial race. Although the Niel is a Group Two race, it typically attracts a field of Group One strength, having been won in the previous five years by horses such as Sinndar, Montjeu, and Helissio. In the 2001 running, Golan was opposed by the two leading French colts, Anabaa Blue (Prix du Jockey Club) and Chichicastenango (Prix Lupin, Grand Prix de Paris). Fallon tracked the leaders on Golan before sending the colt past Anabaa Blue a furlong and a half out. Golan was driven out to win by three quarters of a length in a race rcord time of 2:27.00.[12] Fallon said that Golan was "definitely an Arc horse", while the bookmakers were undecided, offering odds ranging from 3/1 to 10/1.[13]

In the Arc, run on soft (officially "holding") ground, Golan was made 7.6/1 fourth choice behind the Godolphin favourite Sakhee. Golan was ridden positively, and attempted to challenge Sakhee when the favourite was sent into the lead in the straight. He was unable to make any headway against the leader, however, and tired in the closing stages, losing second and third places close to the finish.[14]

On his final start of the year, Golan, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, finished sixth of 15 behind Jungle Pocket in the Japan Cup.[15]

Before his run in the Derby, Weinstock had sold a half-share in Golan to Coolmore, with a view to eventually standing the horse at one of the Irish organisation's studs at the end of the season. After the Japan Cup, however, it was announced that Golan would stay in training, with Stoute reported to be confident of gaining further success.[16]

2002: four-year-old season


Golan's seasonal reappearance was delayed when a training setback prevented him from running in the Eclipse Stakes.[17]

In July, less than a week after the death of his owner, Arnold Weinstock, Golan made his first start of the year in Britain's most prestigious[18] weight-for-age race, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Despite his lack of a prep, Golan looked fit and relaxed before the race[19] and was made joint second favourite at 11/2, behind the favourite Grandera. Fallon held Golan up in last place in the early stages, as the race was led by two pacemakers. In the straight, Golan moved through the field on the inside, and when Nayef took the lead just over a furlong from the finish, Fallon pushed Golan up to challenge. The two colts raced alongside each other throughout the final furlong, with Golan reaching the front 50 yards from the finish and winning by a head.[20] After the race, Stoute praised his horse's performance while emphasising the "bittersweet" nature of the success, saying "Lord Weinstock would have simply loved this...he was so looking forward to seeing this horse race this year"[19]

Golan and Nayef met again over a shorter distance in the International Stakes at York a month later. The two colts dominated the both betting and the race. Nayef took the lead two furlongs out and Fallon brought Golan to make a sustained challenge. Both horses ran on well under pressure, with Nayef reversing the Ascot form and recording a half-length victory.[21]


As in 2001, Golan was sent on an international campaign in autumn. In October, he was sent to Chicago for the Breeders' Cup Turf at Arlington Park. He was made 3.7/1 second favourite, but broke slowly and was never a threat, finishing sixth of the eight starters behind High Chaparral.[22]

His career ended with a second unsuccessful attempt to win the Japan Cup. He made a strong challenge, reaching second place in the straight, but could make no further progress and finished seventh, beaten less than three lengths, behind Falbrav.[23]

Race record

Date Race Dist (f) Course Class Prize (£K) Odds Runners Placing Margin Time Jockey Trainer
7 September 2000 Newlands, Tippins & Wilkins Maiden Stakes 7 Chepstow M 3 5/4 13 1 1.25 1:23.60 Fergal Lynch Michael Stoute
5 May 2001 2000 Guineas 8 Newmarket Rowley 1 174 11/1 18 1 1.25 1:37.48 Kieren Fallon Michael Stoute
9 June 2001 Derby 12 Epsom 1 580 11/4 12 2 3.5 2:33.27 Pat Eddery Michael Stoute
1 July 2001 Irish Derby 12 The Curragh 1 411 4/1 12 3 8 2:27.10 Kieren Fallon Michael Stoute
16 September 2001 Prix Niel 12 Longchamp 2 38 13/10 7 1 0.75 2:27.00 Kieren Fallon Michael Stoute
7 October 2001 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 12 Longchamp 1 581 76/10 17 4 7 2:36.10 Kieren Fallon Michael Stoute
25 November 2001 Japan Cup 12 Tokyo 1 1457 23/1 15 6 5 2:23.80 Johnny Murtagh Michael Stoute
27 July 2002 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes 12 Ascot 1 435 11/2 9 1 Head 2.29.70 Kieren Fallon Michael Stoute
20 August 2002 International Stakes 10.5 York 1 261 9/4 7 2 0.5 2:08.74 Kieren Fallon Michael Stoute
26 October 2002 Breeders' Cup Turf 12 Arlington Park 1 861 37/10 8 6 5.75 2:30.00 Kieren Fallon Michael Stoute
24 November 2002 Japan Cup 11 Nakayama 1 1328 186/10 16 7 2.75 2:12.20 Kieren Fallon Michael Stoute


In the 2001 International Classification (the forerunner of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings) Golan was assigned a rating of 121 making him the sixth best three-year-old colt in Europe.[24]

In the 2001 International Classification he was rated the third best horse with a rating of 126.[25]

Timeform gave Golan a rating of 102p as a two-year-old, 125 as a three-year-old and a peak annual rating of 129 as a four-year-old.[26]

Stud career

Golan began his career as a stallion at the Coolmore stud at a fee of €20,000.

He has also been "shuttled" to stand at the Windsor Park Stud at Cambridge, New Zealand, for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.[26]

In 2007, he was moved to the Grange Stud, Fermoy, County Cork where he was standing in 2011 at a fee of €2,000.[27] Golan's notable progeny include Beauty Flash (Hong Kong Mile), Regime (Sandown Classic Trial, Mooresbridge Stakes) and Kibbutz (Victoria Derby)

The fact that Golan is now being marketed as a "dual-purpose" or National Hunt stallion has been seen by some observers as an example of poor breeding policy and an "obsession" with the Northern Dancer bloodline.[28]


Pedigree of Golan (IRE), bay stallion, 1998[29]
Spectrum (IRE)
Rainbow Quest
Blushing Groom Red God
Runaway Bride
I Will Follow Herbager
Where You Lead
River Dancer
Irish River Riverman
Irish Star
Dancing Shadow Dancer's Image
Sunny Valley
Highland Gift (IRE)
Caerleon Nijinsky
Doff The Derby Master Derby
Scots Lass
Shirley Heights Mill Reef
Edinburgh Charlottown
Queen's Castle (Family: 5-h)


  1. ^ "Golan by Nigel Pullen". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  2. ^ "Spectrum Stud Record". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  3. ^ "Golan". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  4. ^ "Newlands, Tippins And Wilkins Maiden Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  5. ^ "Horris Hill Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  6. ^ a b "Golan soars right to Classic summit". The Independent. 2001-05-06. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  7. ^ "2000 Guineas result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  8. ^ "Golan clings on to Triple Crown dream". The Independent. 2001-06-03. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  9. ^ "Banned Fallon to miss Derby". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  10. ^ "Derby result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  11. ^ J.A.McGrath (2001-06-10). "Epsom Derby: O'Brien hails great Galileo". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  12. ^ "Prix Niel result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  13. ^ "Golan proves credentials for Arc". The Independent. 2001-09-17. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  14. ^ "Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  15. ^ "Japan Cup 2001 result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  16. ^ "Golan to continue racing". BBC News. 2001-12-05. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  17. ^ "Tragic shadow on Golan's great win". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  18. ^ "QIPCO British Champions Series". Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  19. ^ a b "Battling Golan gains bittersweet glory". The Independent. 2002-07-28. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  20. ^ "King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  21. ^ "International Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  22. ^ "BC Turf result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  23. ^ "Japan Cup 2002". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  24. ^ "2001 International Classification" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  25. ^ "2002 International Classifications". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  26. ^ a b "Golan. Stallions. Windsor Park Stud. New Zealand". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  27. ^ "Golan Sales Record". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  28. ^ Fionnuala Timoney (2010-12-22). "Flat breeders should reclaim Golan from the NH ranks". Calvados Bloodstock. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  29. ^ "TesioPower 2000 Pedigree for Golan 1998". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
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