Dayjur (6 February 1987 - 25 September 2013) was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. A specialist sprinter he ran eleven times between June 1989 and October 1990 and won seven races. In 1990 he dominated European sprinting, winning the King's Stand Stakes' the Nunthorpe Stakes, the Ladbroke Sprint Cup and the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp. On his final racecourse appearance he finished second to Safely Kept in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. The Racing Post called him "the world's fastest horse".[1]

GrandsireNorthern Dancer
DamGold Beauty
DamsireMr. Prospector
CountryUnited States
BreederGeorgia E. Hofmann
OwnerSheikh Hamdam Al-Maktoum
TrainerDick Hern
Major wins
Temple Stakes (1990)
King's Stand Stakes (1990)
Nunthorpe Stakes (1990)
Ladbroke Sprint Cup (1990)
Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp (1990)
British Horse of the Year (1990)
European Champion Sprinter (1990)[1]
Last updated on January 19, 2010


Dayjur is a dark brown horse standing 15.3 hands[2] bred in Kentucky by Georgia E. Hofmann.[3] He was sired by Danzig out of the American Champion Sprinter Gold Beauty. As a yearling he was bought for $1.65m[4] by Hamdan Al-Maktoum and sent to be trained in England. Dayjur was trained by Dick Hern at West Ilsley in Berkshire. He was ridden in all his races by the veteran Scottish jockey Willie Carson.

Racing careerEdit

1989: two-year-old seasonEdit

Dayjur made his first racecourse appearance in the six furlong Kennett Maiden Stakes at Newbury on 15 June. He started the 8/15 favourite against thirteen opponents and won "easily" by a length.[5] A month later he was moved up in class for the Listed Manton Rose Bowl Stakes over the same course and distance. He started 8/13 favourite but was beaten half a length by the Clive Brittain-trained Rushmore. At the end of the year he was given a "Hobday" operation to improve his breathing.[4]

1990: three-year-old seasonEdit


In the spring of 1990, Dayjur was aimed at the 2000 Guineas, but ran disappointing in his trial race, finishing seventh of the ten runners in the European Free Handicap over seven furlongs at Newmarket. He was moved back down to six furlongs and won a minor race at Nottingham[6] before being beaten a head by Tod in a similar event at Newbury. Ten days after his disappointing run at Newbury, Dayjur contested his first Group Race when he was pitted against more experienced sprinters in the five furlong Temple Stakes at Sandown Park Racecourse. On this occasion, Carson allowed the colt to lead from the start and he won by two lengths without being seriously challenged.[7]


In June, Dayjur was sent to Royal Ascot for the five furlong King's Stand Stakes, which was then a Group Two race. Hern was concerned about the soft ground, but Hamdan Al Maktoum insisted on running him.[citation needed] Dayjur led almost from the start and drew clear in the final two furlongs to beat the French colt Ron's Victory by two and a half lengths, with a gap of six lengths to the rest of the field.[8] In September, Ron's Victory won the Diadem Stakes by ten lengths. In August, Dayjur was made 8/11 favourite for the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York, with the King George Stakes winner Argentum the only horse seriously supported against him. Once again, Carson allowed him to lead from the start and Dayjur pulled away in the closing stages to win by four lengths in a course record time of 56.16. The Racing Post described the performance as "very impressive".[9]


In September, Dayjur was moved back up to six furlongs for the Ladbroke Sprint Cup at Haydock Park. He started the 1/2 favourite against a field which included the July Cup winner Royal Academy and the Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Dead Certain. Dayjur led from the start, went clear inside the final quarter mile and held the late challenge of Royal Academy to win by one and a half lengths.[10] In October, Royal Academy won the Breeders' Cup Mile. On his final European start, Dayjur contested the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris. Only five horses appeared to oppose him and he led from the start before winning by two lengths. He was eased down in the closing stages[11] and lost some ground when appearing to jump a shadow cast across the course.

During his final race, the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont Park, Dayjur overcame a difficult wide draw and after bitterly contesting the lead with Safely Kept, had got on top and looked set for a famous victory. However, in the closing seconds of the race, Dayjur jumped a dark shadow cast over the track - and another at the line - allowing the filly to claim victory by a neck.[4]


In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Dayjur the best racehorse foaled in 1987 and the fifth best British sprinter of the twentieth century behind Abernant, Irish Elegance, Pappa Fourway and Tetratema.[12]

Stud careerEdit

He retired to the Shadwell Racing farm in Kentucky of his owner Sheikh Hamdan Al-Maktoum, from where he has sired several good winners like Tipsy Creek (Temple Stakes), Hayil and Millstream (Cornwallis Stakes).[13] On January 18, 2010 it was announced that Dayjur had been retired from stud duty.[1] On 25 September 2013 Dayjur was euthanized Shadwell "due to the infirmities of old age".[14]


Pedigree of Dayjur (USA), brown stallion, 1987[2]
Danzig (USA)
Northern Dancer (CAN)
Nearctic Nearco
Lady Angela
Natalma (USA) Native Dancer
Pas de Nom (USA)
Admiral's Voyage Crafty Admiral
Olympia Lou
Petitioner (GB) Petition
Steady Aim
Gold Beauty (USA)
Mr. Prospector (USA)
Raise a Native Native Dancer
Raise You
Gold Digger Nashua
Stick To Beauty (USA)
Illustrious Round Table
Poster Girl
Hail To Beauty Hail to Reason
Lipstick (Family: 1-g)


  1. ^ a b c "Star sprinter, sire Dayjur pensioned at age 23". Thoroughbred Times. 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Hugh McMahon. "Dayjur pedigree and pictures". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Georgia E. Hofmann". Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c "DAYJUR - FASTEST THING ON FOUR LEGS". Sporting Life. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Results from the 2.30 race at NEWBURY - 15 June 1989". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-05-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Results from the 4.45 race at NOTTINGHAM - 1 May 1990". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-05-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Temple Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-05-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Kings Stand Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Nunthorpe Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Sprint Cup". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Prix de l'Abbaye". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1999). A Century of Champions. Portway Press. ISBN 1-901570-15-0.
  13. ^ "Dayjur Stud Record". Racing Post. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-05-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Dayjur, English champion and sire, dies at 26". Daily Racing Form. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)