George Washington (horse)

George Washington (3 January 2003 – 27 October 2007) was a thoroughbred racehorse foaled in Ireland by champion sire Danehill out of Bordighera, also the dam of the high-class colt Grandera. Bred by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, he was trained at Ballydoyle by Aidan O'Brien and owned by Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith. George Washington suffered a dislocated ankle fracture [2] during the Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on 27 October 2007, and was euthanized. The horse was nicknamed 'Gorgeous George' by his followers.

George Washington
Racing silks of Susan Magnier.svg
Racing silks of Susan Magnier
BreederRoy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables
OwnerSusan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith
TrainerAidan O'Brien
Record14: 6-1-4
Major wins
Railway Stakes (2005)
Phoenix Stakes (2005)
National Stakes (2005)
2,000 Guineas (2006)
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2006)
European Champion Two-Year-Old Colt (2005)
European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt (2006)

Two-year-old careerEdit

George Washington's debut was in a maiden race during the 2,000 Guineas meeting at Newmarket on 1 May 2005. He finished third behind League Champion over 5 furlongs (1,006 m).

Victory followed in his second race at the Curragh three weeks later, this time over 6 furlongs (1207 m). Another win came in the Group II Railway Stakes, again over 6 furlongs (1207 m) at the Curragh.

The Group I Phoenix Stakes was next on the agenda, and George Washington won by 8 lengths from his stablemate Amadeus Mozart, despite having been slightly hampered at the start.

His final race as a two-year-old was in the National Stakes in September, another Group 1, which he won by 2 lengths as a long odds-on favourite. Although he was declared to run in the Dewhurst Stakes the following month, he was withdrawn just minutes before the race after the ground was deemed unsuitable.

For his performances, George Washington was voted the 2005 Cartier Award for Two-Year-Old European Champion Colt.

Three-year-old careerEdit

The 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket was his first outing of the season. Aidan O'Brien was attempting to win the race for a fourth time, having previously won with King of Kings in 1998, Rock of Gibraltar in 2002, and Footstepsinthesand in 2005. "George" started as 6/4 favourite and won, beating subsequent Epsom Derby winner Sir Percy by 2½ lengths.

Breakdown of 2000 Guineas Stakes Race performances since the race

Placing Name Subsequent race(s) and placing Location Distance
2nd Sir Percy 1st in The Derby, 4th in Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic. Various 1 mile 4 furlongs (2414 m)
4th Araafa 1st in St. James's Palace Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas, and 2nd in QE2 Various 1 mile (1,600 m)
6th Final Verse 1st in Listed race and injured since Goodwood 1 mile (1,600 m)
7th Amadeus Wolf Won Group 2 Duke of York Stakes, 6 furlongs, 5 High placings in 5 Group 1 sprints Various 5/6 furlongs (1006/1207 m)
9th Asset 2nd in Jersey Stakes Ascot 7 furlongs (1408 m)
11th Killybegs 2nd in Celebration Mile, 4th in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Goodwood, Ascot 1 mile (1,600 m)
12th Red Clubs 1st in Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup (Haydock Pk) 6 furlongs, 1st in Group 2 Diadem Stakes (Ascot) 6 furlongs. 2nd in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes 6 furlongs, 3rd in the Group 1 July Cup 6 furlongs, 4th in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes 5 furlongs and the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes 6 furlongs. 5/6 furlongs (1006/1207 m)
13th Frost Giant 1st in Group 3 Leopardstown 1 mile 2 furlongs (2012 m)

In the Irish 2,000 Guineas, George Washington finished second, beaten two lengths by subsequent dual-Group 1 winner Araafa, who had been fourth at Newmarket. George's trademark finishing acceleration was blunted by the heavy ground conditions, and following the race it emerged that he had torn his foreleg muscles, accounting for his loss.

Due to the 2,000 Guineas form holding up, "George's" rating has been lifted, and his performance in the 2,000 Guineas officially remained the 2nd best performance by a three-year-old in the 2006 season, beaten only by his win in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

In the Celebration Mile, George Washington finished 3rd behind Caradak and Killybegs. He missed the break badly under new jockey Michael Kinane, starting 8 lengths behind Caradak and finishing one length behind him.

The day before his main seasonal target, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, heavy rain arrived and 14 mm of rain fell on Ascot racecourse. Half an hour before the race, much money came in to cement his place as favourite, and he was sent off at odds of 13/8. Two pacemakers were deployed by Ballydoyle, and an incident occurred during the race between the Seamus Heffernen-ridden colt Ivan Denisovich and Frankie Dettori's mount, Librettist. Under jockey Michael Kinane, George Washington scored by a length and a quarter.

Breeders' Cup ClassicEdit

A tilt at the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs had been decided upon about two weeks before the event. Because George Washington was already a dominant miler, it was believed that a victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile would do very little for his stud fee. Despite being by a predominantly turf sire in Danehill, his dam is Bordighera, who also foaled Grandera, a victor of three G1. Kinane was declared to ride.

Before the final turn, George Washington approached the leaders. He came wide to make his challenge but was bumped by the eventual winner, Invasor, and lost momentum. Kinane reported that his stamina simply ran out.

Despite calls from Kinane and various members of the press for 'George' to stay in training, he was officially retired and was due to stand at Coolmore's Ireland base for a fee of €60,000.

Fertility problemsEdit

On 10 March 2007, it was reported that Coolmore had suspended George Washington's stud career due to fertility problems. The decision was taken to replace him at stud with Holy Roman Emperor, a three-year-old colt who was being prepared to run in the 2,000 Guineas. Like George Washington, Holy Roman Emperor was sired by Danehill and was also trained by Aidan O'Brien. He had been a leading two-year-old in 2006 and was second favourite for the Guineas before the surprise announcement of his retirement.

Return to trainingEdit

On 25 March 2007, it was announced that George Washington had returned to training at Aidan O'Brien's stable. He was initially entered for the Tattersalls Gold Cup in May, but his return to the racecourse eventually came in the Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting at Ascot Racecourse on 19 June. He pulled hard going to the start in the early part of the race but eventually settled to finish fourth behind Ramonti.

His second race of 2007 came in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on 7 July. He finished third, one and a half lengths and a head behind Notnowcato and The Derby winner Authorized. Authorized and George Washington raced with the majority of the field up the far rail and Authorized won that race by a head; Notnowcato raced alone up the stands rail in search of better ground and beat them both.

Kieren Fallon then reunited with George Washington in the Group 1 Prix Du Moulin in September. The partnership finished third to the high-class filly Darjina and top-class Godolphin horse Ramonti.

George Washington was euthanized on the track following an open fracture to the cannon bone and both sesamoid bones in the right front fetlock while running in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on 27 October 2007, over a very muddy or "sloppy" track. According to Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, the on-call veterinarian, George Washington had cut off all blood supply to his ankle. All other races that day were incident free.

Having been pulled up when well held at the sixteenth pole, George Washington was then euthanized on the track at the request of trainer Aidan O'Brien. It was his second start on dirt and his only start on a sloppy track.

Racing careerEdit

Date Race Track Location Distance Surface Condition Finish
1 May 2005 Maiden Newmarket (Rowley Mile) Suffolk 5 furlongs (1006 m) Turf Good-Firm 3rd
22 May 2005 Maiden Curragh Ireland 6 furlongs (1207 m) Turf Yielding 1st
26 June 2005 Group 2 Railway Stakes Curragh Ireland 6 furlongs (1207 m) Turf Good-Firm 1st
7 August 2005 Group 1 Phoenix Stakes Curragh Ireland 6 furlongs (1207 m) Turf Good 1st
18 September 2005 Group 1 National Stakes Curragh Ireland 7 furlongs (1408 m) Turf Good 1st
6 May 2006 Group 1 2,000 Guineas Newmarket (Rowley Mile) Suffolk 1 mile (1,600 m) Turf Good-Firm 1st
27 May 2006 Group 1 Irish 2,000 Guineas Curragh Ireland 1 mile (1,600 m) Turf Heavy 2nd
27 August 2006 Group 2 Celebration Mile Goodwood West Sussex 1 mile (1,600 m) Turf Good 3rd
23 September 2006 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Ascot Berkshire 1 mile (1,600 m) Turf Good-Soft 1st
4 November 2006 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic Churchill Downs Louisville, Kentucky 1 14 miles (2,000 m) Dirt Fast 6th
19 June 2007 Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes Ascot Berkshire 1 mile (1,600 m) Turf Good 4th
7 July 2007 Group 1 Eclipse Stakes Sandown Park Surrey 1 14 miles (2,000 m) Turf Good-Soft 3rd
9 September 2007 Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp Longchamp Racecourse France 1 mile (1,600 m) Turf Good 3rd
27 October 2007 Group 1 Breeders' Cup Classic Monmouth Park Oceanport, New Jersey 1 14 miles (2,000 m) Dirt Sloppy DNF – Fractured and Dislocated Right Front Ankle – Euthanized on track

Only foal sired by George WashingtonEdit

A George Washington filly was born at the Irish National Stud on 4 February 2008. This foal, out of the mare Flawlessly (FR), sold for 280,000 Euros to Gildawn Stud at Goffs November Foal Sale on 21 November 2008.[3] This filly was offered for sale again during Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale at Tattersalls, Newmarket, 6–8 October 2009.[4] She was bought by Ross Doyle for 320,000gns on behalf of Julie Wood, and went into training to Richard Hannon.[5] The filly, named 'Date with Destiny'[6] won on her debut at Newbury in July 2010 and in 2011 finished third in the Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial. Date With Destiny's daughter, Beautiful Morning, won the John Musker Fillies' Stakes in 2017 and the Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes in 2018.[7]


Pedigree of George Washington
Northern Dancer
Pas De Nom
Admiral's Voyage
His Majesty
Flower Bowl
Spring Adieu
Raise a Native
Sweet Tooth
Bel Sheba
Lt. Stevens
Blue Tip
Tip Moss
Top Twig
As Blue
Blue Tom
As Well


  1. ^ "George Washington – Progeny". Racing Post.
  2. ^ Michelson, Miles. "George Washington Horse Pedigree". Pedigree Query.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Racing Post
  5. ^ "Bloodstock – Thoroughbred Horse Sales". Racing Post.
  6. ^ Michelson, Miles. "Date With Destiny Horse Pedigree". Pedigree Query.
  7. ^ "Beautiful Morning". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 December 2019.

External linksEdit