American Post

American Post (foaled 3 February 2001) is a British-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was one of the best two-year-olds of his generation in Europe in 2003, recovering from a narrow defeat on his debut to win his three remaining races and becoming the first horse to win both the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere in France and the Racing Post Trophy in England. In the following spring he extended his winning run to six with victories in the Prix Omnium II, Prix de Fontainebleau and the Poule d'Essai des Poulains before finishing sixth when third favourite for the Epsom Derby. After a disappointing run in his only subsequent start he was retired from racing with a record of six wins from nine starts. According to his trainer he was exceptionally fond of carrots. He became a breeding stallion in France and has had some success as a sire of winners.

American Post
GrandsireArctic Tern
DamWells Fargo
DamsireSadler's Wells
Foaled3 February 2001[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
BreederJuddmonte Farms
OwnerKhalid Abdullah
TrainerCriquette Head-Maarek
Record9: 6-1-0
Major wins
Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (2003)
Racing Post Trophy (2003)
Prix Omnium II (2004)
Prix de Fontainebleau (2004)
Poule d'Essai des Poulains (2004)


American Post is a brown horse with a white star bred in the United Kingdom by his owner Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farm. He was sired by Bering, who won the Prix du Jockey Club and finished second to Dancing Brave in the 1986 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. As a breeding stallion, his other offspring included Pennekamp, Glorosia, Peter Davies (Racing Post Trophy) and Matiara (Poule d'Essai des Pouliches).[2] His dam Wells Fargo was an unraced daughter of Sadler's Wells :died at the age of five[3] soon after producing American Post, who was her only foal. Wells Fargo's dam Cruising Height was a successful racehorse and broodmare, finishing second in the Lancashire Oaks and producing several other winners including High and Low who won the Cheshire Oaks and finished second in the St Leger. She was descended from the broodmare Madrilene, the ancestor of several other good winners including High Top and Old Vic.[4]

The colt was sent into training with Criquette Head-Maarek at Chantilly.

Racing careerEdit

2003: two-year-old seasonEdit

On his racecourse debut, American Post was beaten a short head by Ximb in a contest for previously unraced colts and geldings over 1200 metres at Deauville Racecourse on 31 July. After a six-week break he returned at Longchamp Racecourse in September and started 1.8/1 favourite for a minor event over 1400 metres. Ridden as on his debut by Olivier Peslier he turned into the straight in fourth place, took the lead 200 metres from the finish and won by two lengths from Dealer Choice.[5] Richard Hughes took over the ride when the colt was stepped up to Group One level for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere over the same course and distance on 5 October. Despite its status, the race attrated only six runners, none of whom had won at Group race level. Ximb was made favourite ahead of the Listed race winner Charming Prince and the Aidan O'Brien-trained maiden race winner Tycoon, with American Post fourth in the betting on 4/1. The other two runners, Newton and Acropolis were also trained by O'Brien. After behaving poorly before the start, American Post was settled in third behind Charming Prince before making a forward move in the straight. He went to the front 300 metres out and drew clear of his opponents to win "easily" by four lengths.[6]

Doncaster Racecourse, where American Post won the Racing Post Trophy

No winner of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere had ever won the Group One Racing Post Trophy in England, but American Post attempted to break the trend when he started 5/6 favourite for the British race over one mile at Doncaster Racecourse on 25 October. His owner had to pay a supplementary entry fee of £17,500 as the colt had not been among the original entries for the race.[7] His three opponents were the O'Brien-trained Magritte, the Autumn Stakes winner Fantastic View and the 16/1 outsider Tahreeb. Ridden by Christophe Soumillon he raced in second behind Magritte before taking the lead approaching the final furlong and won by one and three quarter lengths. Fantastic View took second ahead of Magritte and Tahreeb.[8] Apart from completing the unique Longchamp- Doncaster double, American Post became the first French-trained winner of the race since the Alec Head-trained Green Dancer in 1974. After the race Criquette Head said He's a very talented colt. He didn't have to race today, he's done nothing, really. He did everything so easily" whilst Soumillon commented "He travelled easily following the leader and showed a good turn of foot when I asked him. He went a little bit to his right inside the final furlong, but I would put that down to being a bit babyish. He is very good".[9]

Criquette Head-Maarek later explained the improvement in the colt's behaviour at the start compared to his unruly attitude at Longchamp: "I gave a carrot to a handler at the stalls and American Post followed it into his berth".[10]

2004: three-year-old seasonEdit

American Post began his second season in the Listed Prix Omnium II over 1600 metres at Saint-Cloud Racecourse on 31 March and started odds-on favourite against four opponents. After disputing the lead from the start, he broke away from his rivals in the last 150 metres to win by four lengths from the Alain de Royer-Dupre trained Joursanvault.[11] After the race Head-Maarek described American Post as the "perfect type" for The Derby and bookmakers made him second favourite for the race behind Yeats.[12] In April the colt again started odds-on favourite when he contested the Group Three Prix de Fontainebleau over the same distance at Longchamp. His three opponents on this occasion were Diamond Green (the undefeated winner of the Prix La Rochette), Antonius Pius (Railway Stakes and Blackdoun. Ridden by Soumillon he led from the start before accelerating in the last 200m to win by a length from Antonius Pius who was subsequently disqualified for hampering Diamond Green.[13] Head-Maarek commented "American Post was given a lovely ride and did not have a hard race. That is exactly what I wanted".[14]

Longchamp Racecourse, where American Post won two Group One races

After five consecutive victories, American Post, with Hughes in the saddle, started odds-on favourite for the Group One Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp on 16 May. Diamond Green, Antonius Pius and Newton were again in opposition whilst the other three runners were Byron (Mill Reef Stakes), Ershaad and Sunday Doubt. American Post rced in third place as Newton set the pace before moving up to challenge in the straight. The closing stages were closely contested and extremely rough, with Bryon taking the lead before Antonius Pius took over and looked certain to win before veering right into the rails, hampering Diamond Green in the process. In a blanket finish, American Post took the lead 50 metres out and prevailed by half a length from Diamond Green with Byron, Ershaad and Antonius Pius just behind.[15] Criquette Head-Maarek admitted that her colt had been a lucky winner saying "I was disappointed because he would have been second and he was beat" and expressing the view that American Post had been unsuited by the firm ground.[16]

For his next race, American Post was stepped up in distance for the 225th running of the Epsom Derby over one and a half miles at Epsom Downs Racecourse on 5 June. Ridden by Hughes was made the 13/2 third choice in a fourteen-runner field behind the Dante Stakes winner North Light and the 2000 Guineas runner-up Snow Ridge. After turning into the straight in fourth he moved up to second place approaching the last quarter mile but weakened in the closing stages and finished sixth behind North Light.[17] American Post made his final racecourse in the Prix du Moulin over 1600 metres at Longchamp in September. He disputed second place early in the straight but dropped away quickly and finished tenth of the eleven runners behind the filly Grey Lilas.

His retirement was announced in November. Head-Maarek commented "We've retired him as he's had a problem with a hind hock. He was a very good horse and had rather a special but appealing personality. He had his own ideas and we had to tempt him into the stalls with a carrot".[18]

Stud recordEdit

American Post was retired from racing to become a breeding stallion at the Haras d'Etreham[19] before moving to Haras National Treban in 2015. The best of his offspring have included Robin of Navan (Criterium de Saint-Cloud), Liliside (disqualified after winning the Poule d'Essai des Poulains), American Devil (Prix du Palais-Royal).[20]


Pedigree of American Post (GB), brown stallion, 2001[1]
Bering (GB)
Arctic Tern (USA)
Sea-Bird Dan Cupid
Bubbling Beauty Hasty Road
Beaune (FR)
Lyphard Northern Dancer
Barbra Le Fabuleux
Wells Fargo (GB)
Sadler's Wells (USA)
Northern Dancer Nearctic
Fairy Bridge Bold Reason
Cruising Height (GB)
Shirley Heights Mill Reef
Nomadic Pleasure Habitat
Petite Marmite (Family:11-a)[4]
  • American Post was inbred 3 × 4 to Northern Dancer, meaning that this stallion appears in both the third and fourth generations of his pedigree.


  1. ^ a b "American Post pedigree".
  2. ^ "Bering Stud Record". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  3. ^ "Wells Fargo unraced". Racing Post.
  4. ^ a b "Scratch - Family 11-a". Thoroughbred Bloodlines. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Prix du Casino Barriere de Royal result". Racing Post. 14 September 2003.
  6. ^ "Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere result". Racing Post. 5 October 2003.
  7. ^ The Blood-Horse (25 October 2003). "American Post Delivers in Racing Post Trophy".
  8. ^ "Racing Post Trophy result". Racing Post. 25 October 2003.
  9. ^ Tom O'Ryan (26 October 2003). "American Post blazes to head of the Derby market". Racing Post.
  10. ^ Desmond Stoneham (31 March 2004). "American Post sets out on Classic trail - with his carrot!". Racing Post.
  11. ^ "Prix Omnium II result". Racing Post. 31 March 2004.
  12. ^ Desmond Stoneham (1 April 2004). "American Post on course for Derby after victory stroll". Racing Post.
  13. ^ "Prix de Fontainebleau result". Racing Post. 25 April 2004.
  14. ^ Desmond Stoneham (26 April 2004). "American Post poised for the Poulains after easy trial win". Racing Post.
  15. ^ "Poule d'Essai des Poulains result". Racing Post. 16 May 2004.
  16. ^ Blood-Horse Staff (17 May 2004). "American Post Lucky Winner of French 2,000 Guineas". The Blood-Horse.
  17. ^ "Epsom Derby result". Racing Post. 5 June 2004.
  18. ^ Seb Vance & Desmond Stoneham (2 November 2004). "Poulains hero American Post is retired to stud". Racing Post.
  19. ^ "Classic Winner American Post to Haras d'Etreham". The Blood-Horse. 17 November 2004.
  20. ^ "American Post - Stud Record". Racing Post.