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Masar (foaled 16 April 2015) is an Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse, best known for winning the 2018 Epsom Derby. He was highly-tried as a two-year-old, finishing third in the Chesham Stakes and winning the Solario Stakes before contesting major races in France and the United States. After racing unsuccessfully in Dubai he returned to Europe in the spring of 2018 to win the Craven Stakes and then ran third when favourite for the 2000 Guineas. After winning the Derby in June he had injury problems and was off the course for over a year before returning as four-year-old in 2019.

Owner Godolphin.svg
Racing silks of Godolphin
SireNew Approach
DamsireCape Cross
Foaled16 April 2015[1]
TrainerCharlie Appleby
Record10: 4-0-3
Major wins
Solario Stakes (2017)
Craven Stakes (2018)
Epsom Derby (2018)


Masar is a chestnut colt with a white blaze bred in Ireland by Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin organisation. He was sent into training with Charlie Appleby at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket, Suffolk.

He was from the fifth crop of foals sired by New Approach, who won the Epsom Derby and Champion Stakes in 2008. His other foals have included Dawn Approach and Talent.[2] Masar's dam Khawlah was a top-class racemare who won the UAE Oaks and UAE Derby in 2012.[3] She was a great-granddaughter of Urban Sea, making her a close relative of Galileo, Sea The Stars, King's Best and Anabaa Blue.[4]

Racing careerEdit

2017: two-year-old seasonEdit

Masar made his racecourse debut in a minor event over six furlongs at Goodwood Racecourse on 25 May. Ridden by William Buick he was made the 5/2 favourite and won by a short head from Invincible Army.[5] At Royal Ascot in June Masar ran third behind the Irish filly September in the Chesham Stakes. Following a two month break, Masar returned to action in the Solario Stakes over seven furlongs at Sandown Park Racecourse and started the 11/8 favourite. Ridden by James Doyle he took the lead a furlong out and won "readily" by two lengths from Romanised (later to win the Irish 2000 Guineas).[6] The colt was then sent to France for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere over 1600 metres at Chantilly Racecourse on 3 October. He took the lead in the straight but was overtaken in the final strides and finished third behind Happily and Olmedo. On his final appearance of the year, Masar was sent to California and started the 4/1 favourite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar on 3 November. He was repeatedly blocked when attempting to obtain a clear run and finished sixth of the fourteen runners behind Mendelssohn.[7]

2018: three-year-old seasonEdit

Masar's owner Sheikh Mohammed

In the winter of 2017/2018, Masar was sent to Godolphin's training base in the United Arab Emirates. On 10 March he started odds-on favourite for the Listed Al Bastakiya over 1900 metres at Meydan Racecourse but finished unplaced behind Yulong Warrior. On his first appearance in Europe in 2018, Masar started at odds of 7/2 for the Craven Stakes (a trial race for the 2000 Guineas) over the Rowley Mile at Newmarket Racecourse on 19 April. Ridden by William Buick, he led from the start and came home nine lengths clear of White Mocha, with Roaring Lion a head away in third place.[8] After the race Appleby commented "He's a horse we held in high regard. He's growing up all the time and has done a professional job." While Buick said "He felt great, and he relaxed beautifully in front. He handled the dip and undulations really well. It was a really good performance and an exciting one. He feels like the finished article now."[9] In the 2000 Guineas on 5 May, Masar, ridden by Buick, was made the 5/2 favourite in a fourteen-runner field but was beaten into third place behind Saxon Warrior and the 20/1 outsider Tip Two Win.

On 3 June 2018 Masar was one of twelve colts to contest the 239th running of the Derby Stakes over one and a half miles at Epsom Racecourse and started a 16/1 outsider. Saxon Warrior went off the 4/5 favourite while the other runners included Roaring Lion (Royal Lodge Stakes, Dante Stakes), Young Rascal (Chester Vase), Hazapour (Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial), Knight to Behold, (Lingfield Derby Trial) and Sevenna Star (Sandown Classic Trial). William Buick settled Masar in mid division as Knight to Behold set the pace before moving to the outside to make his challenge in the straight. Masar took the lead approaching the final furlong and won by one and a half lengths from Dee Ex Bee.[10] His victory in the race was a first for his owner, trainer and rider although members of Sheikh Mohammed's family had owned Lammtarra, New Approach, Nashwan, Erhaab and High-Rise. After the race Sheikh Mohammed said "It’s amazing to win the Derby. We have tried to win it so many times. To finally win the race is very special. Horses are my blood so it is a special moment".[11] William Buick commented "I'm not going to explain myself very well now, but this is huge—massive. He stayed the trip, traveled beautifully today, and the Guineas didn't happen for him. The team believed, and I'm very pleased. This is everything."[12] Charlie Appleby said "All I could think of in the last furlongs was that I wanted to be the first trainer to win the Derby in the Godolphin blue. We just wanted to get him to switch off, and we thought he’d stay. William’s given him a brilliant ride but the last 100 yards seemed a long time."[13]

Masar was being prepared for a run in the Eclipse Stakes in July when he sustained a leg injury in training, forcing him to miss the race. A week later, Appleby explained that the colt would miss the rest of the season, but was expected to return as a four-year-old.[14]

2019: four-year-old seasonEdit

After an absence of over a year he returned in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in which he was ridden by James Doyle. He lost any chance at the start when he stumbled badly, almost unseating Doyle, and eventually came home fifth of the eight runners behind Defoe.

Assessment and honoursEdit

In the official European Classification for 2017, Masar was rated the fifteenth-best two-year-old colt of the season, ten pounds behind the top-ranked U S Navy Flag.[15]

In the 2018 World's Best Racehorse Rankings Masar was rated the fifth best three-year-old colt and the thirty-first best horse of any age or sex.[16]


Pedigree of Masar (IRE), chestnut colt, 2015[1]
New Approach (IRE)
Galileo (IRE)
Sadler's Wells Northern Dancer
Fairy Bridge
Urban Sea Miswaki
Park Express (IRE)
Ahonoora Lorenzaccio
Helen Nichols
Matcher Match
Khawlah (GB)
Cape Cross (IRE)
Green Desert Danzig
Foreign Courier
Park Appeal Ahonoora
Villarrica (USA)
Selkirk Sharpen Up
Annie Edge
Melikah Lammtarra
Urban Sea (Family: 9-h)[4]
  • Masar is inbred 3 × 4 to Urban Sea and Ahonoora, meaning that both horses appears in the third and fourth generations of the sire and dam side of his pedigree, respectively.


  1. ^ a b "Masar pedigree". Equineline. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  2. ^ "New Approach - Stud Record". Racing Post.
  3. ^ "Khawlah - Race Record & Form - Racing Post".
  4. ^ a b "Adelaide - Family 9-h". Retrieved 2012-04-01.
  5. ^ "Matchbook Betting Exchange EBF Novice Stakes result". Racing Post. 25 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Solario Stakes result". Racing Post. 2 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf result". Racing Post. 3 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Craven Stakes result". Racing Post. 19 April 2018.
  9. ^ Tom Haywood (19 April 2018). "Masar Draws Off Late in Impressive Craven Stakes Score". The Blood-Horse.
  10. ^ "Derby result". Racing Post. 2 June 2018.
  11. ^ Armytage, Marcus (2 June 2018). "Bookmakers join Sheikh Mohammed in toasting Masar Epsom Derby shot". Daily Telegraph.
  12. ^ Tom Haywood (2 June 2018). "Masar Gives Godolphin First Epsom Derby Victory". The Blood-Horse.
  13. ^ Wood, Greg (2 June 2018). "Masar wins first Derby for Sheikh Mohammed as Warrior only fourth". The Guardian.
  14. ^ Dench, Graham (15 July 2018). "Appleby looks to the future as injury rules Derby hero Masar out for the season". Racing Post.
  15. ^ "European-2yo-Classification" (PDF).
  16. ^ "The 2018 World Thoroughbred Rankings". Retrieved 2019-01-23.

External linksEdit