For certain racing fans, the name of Shergar is one of the most recognizable of the 1970s and 1980s. although it won just five trophies, it only ran in 8 races in the end up. A stunning broad white blaze, bred by Aga Khan, it was sent to train with Michael Stoute and fulfil its destiny – to become one of the most well-remembered horses of its, or any, generation.
With its first run being a victory, Shergar set the tone for the career to come. Losing its second race, Shergar set itself for the three-year-old season in some style, debuting at the Guardian Classic Trial. This was to be its first major win, beginning to take some of the most impressive honours of the era in a clean sweep.
Becoming a national icon back in Ireland as it was unable to find any real competitive challenge, the owner, Aga Khan, sold off shares in the horse, creating a valuation of a whopping £10m. the likes of John Magnier invested into the horse at this point.
With its racing career coming to an abrupt end at the Irish Derby, Shergar moved into the world of stud and was the creator of more than 35 foals in his single and only stud season. The best was Authaal, who went on to win the 1986 Irish St. Ledger.
Terrifyingly, Shergar was stolen on 8th February, 1983. Forced to load his prized possession into a horse box by a team of six, Fitzgerald watched his beloved horse be taken away. To this day, the perpetrators have never been caught. It’s remains have never been found, either, nor identified.
Achievements & Highlights
Wins – Guardian Classic Trial (1981), Chester Vase (1981), Epsom Derby (1981), Irish Derby (1981), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1981)
Associations – HH Agha Khan IV, Michael Stoute.
Earnings – ?