|Breeder||HH Aga Khan IV|
|Owner||HH Aga Khan IV|
|National Stakes (1999)|
Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (2000)
Epsom Derby (2000)
Irish Derby Stakes (2000)
Prix Niel (2000)
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2000)
|European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt (2000)|
|Timeform rating: 135|
|Last updated on 28 March 2022|
Sinndar (27 February 1997 – 26 November 2018) was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career that lasted from September 1999 until October 2000, he ran eight times and won seven races. He was notable for his unique achievement in winning The Derby, Irish Derby Stakes and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in the same year.
He was sired by Grand Lodge out of the mare Sinntara. Apart from Sinndar, Grand Lodge (winner of the Dewhurst Stakes and the St James's Palace Stakes) sired the winners of over six hundred races including Grandera, Indian Lodge (Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, Prix de la Forêt) and Queens Logic (undefeated two-year-old champion). Sinntara was a staying Listed race winner, descended from a highly successful family which had been established by Marcel Boussac. As a descendant of the broodmare Tourzima, Sinntara was from the same branch of Thoroughbred Family 13-c which produced Darshaan, Acamas (Prix du Jockey Club), Akarad (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud) and Akiyda (Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe). His pedigree was seen as combining speed on his sire's side with stamina from his dam.
1999: two-year-old season
Sinndar did not appear on the racecourse until the September of his two-year-old season when he ran in a maiden race at his local course, the Curragh. Starting the Evens favourite, he took the lead in the final furlong and won "comfortably" by one and a half lengths from Rainbow And Gold, with the future Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle a neck away in third place.
Only two weeks after his debut, having never previously run in a Conditions race, Sinndar was sent to contest Ireland's most important two-year-old race, the National Stakes over the same course and distance. He was regarded as a serious candidate, starting at odds of 7/1, but the overwhelming favourite was the Aidan O'Brien-trained Bernstein, who started at 4/11. Bernstein led from the start, and went clear of his opponents, but suddenly weakened inside the final furlong and was passed by the 50/1 outsider Murawwi. Sinndar, who had been apparently struggling to make an impression, began to stay on strongly, catching first Bernstein and then Murawwi to win the Group One prize by a head. After the race, Oxx characterised the horse as "tough and very honest" whilst the Aga Khan expressed his view that Sinndar had the potential to win more important races over longer distances. 
2000: three-year-old season
In 2000, Sinndar was clearly aimed at a staying campaign, bypassing the usual Guineas trials and opening his season with a run in the Listed Ballysax Stakes. The race is one in which horses carry extra weight according to races they have already won, making it, unofficially, a form of handicap. As a Group One winner, Sinndar carried seven pounds more than his three opponents, and he was only third in the betting. Johnny Murtagh attempted to make all the running on Sinndar, but the colt was caught inside the final furlong and beaten a head by the Dermot Weld-trained Grand Finale, with the pair finishing fifteen lengths clear of the other two runners. It proved to be Sinndar's only defeat.
A month later, in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, Sinndar again gave seven pounds to the other runners, who included his stable companion Shawandi, who was in the race to set the pace, and the unbeaten Bach from Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle stable. Sinndar and Bach were made joint favourites and dominated the finish after Shawandi gave up the lead in the straight. Both colts ran on strongly under pressure, with Sinndar winning by a head.
Sinndar's next race was the Derby, although until just before the race, the possibility of firm ground at Epsom had led Oxx to consider running the colt in the Prix du Jockey Club- the French Derby instead. Despite the late withdrawal of the 2,000 Guineas winner King's Best, the field for the 2000 Derby was a strong one, and Sinndar was fourth in the betting behind Sakhee, Beat Hollow and the Ballydoyle-trained Racing Post Trophy winner Aristotle, with Best of the Bests, representing Godolphin also well supported. Oxx was confident of a prominent showing, saying, "Our fellow will run well and I'll be disappointed if he doesn't run a cracking race and be involved in the finish".
In the race, Sinndar ran close behind the leaders, and as the runners entered the straight he was fourth, behind Best of the Bests, Sakhee and the Henry Cecil-trained Wellbeing. A quarter mile from the finish, Richard Hills sent Sakhee to the front and went into a clear lead, but he was then challenged by Murtagh and Sinndar. The two colts raced together for a few strides, but inside the final furlong Sinndar pulled ahead to win by a length. It was five lengths back to Beat Hollow in third and another four back to Best of the Bests in fourth.
The Irish Derby featured an anticipated meeting between Sinndar and the English-trained Holding Court, who had won the Prix du Jockey Club- the French Derby- by six lengths on soft ground. Timeform rated the colts only one pound apart. The ground at the Curragh was also soft (officially "yielding"), but Sinndar was preferred in the betting at 11/10, with Holding Court 9/4. Sinndar was moved into the lead in the last quarter mile and pulled steadily away from the field to win by nine lengths, despite being eased down by Johnny Murtagh near the finish, in what was described as "one of the great Classic performances". Holding Court finished sixth. The win also earned Sinndar's owners a bonus of $1,000,000 from the race's sponsors for winning both the English and Irish Derbies. Oxx revealed that winning the race fulfilled an ambition that had begun thirty-eight years earlier, when he had watched Arctic Storm, trained by his father, narrowly defeated in the 1962 running of the race.
Sinndar was prepared for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with a run in the Prix Niel over the same course and distance in September. The Niel often attracts the best colts in France (Montjeu and Hurricane Run were among the recent previous winners), but the opposition to Sinndar in the 2000 race was relatively weak. After taking over from his pacemaker Raypour at the start of the straight Sinndar pulled clear and beat Crimson Quest by eight lengths. Oxx was "very happy" with the performance, whilst being realistic about the quality of the opposition.
In October, Sinndar attempted to become the first winner of both The Derby and the Irish Derby to win the Arc. The previous colts to attempt the feat had been Nijinsky (second in 1970), Troy (third in 1979), Shahrastani (fourth in 1986), Kahyasi (sixth in 1988) and Generous (eighth in 1991). By far his most dangerous rival was expected to be the 1999 Arc winner Montjeu, who had won eight of his last nine starts, including six Group Ones, and was described as being "on the verge of immortality". Montjeu was made 4/5 favourite ahead of Sinndar at 6/4, with the unbeaten German colt Samum, and the Prix Vermeille winner Volvoreta the only other runners to start at less than 25/1.
Sinndar led in the very early stages, before settling into second behind his pacemaker Raypour. Murtagh sent Sinndar past Raypour and into the lead at the start of the straight. Several horses attempted to challenge, with the filly Egyptband looking the biggest threat to the leader, but Sinndar stayed on to win by one and a half lengths. It was three lengths back to Volvoreta in third and a further two and a half lengths back to Montjeu in fourth. Murtagh was effusive in his praise of Sinndar's speed and stamina, saying, "No horse can get by him... he's the best horse... unbeatable". However, Montjeu's trainer, John Hammond, observed that "You always think there's going to come a day when they don't quite fire and that happened today".
|Date||Race||Dist (f)||Course||Class||Prize (£K)||Odds||Runners||Placing||Margin||Time||Jockey||Trainer|
|5 September 1999||Dance Design EBF Maiden||8||Curragh||M||4||Evens||13||1||1.5||1:41.80||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx|
|19 September 1999||National Stakes||8||Curragh||1||104||7-1||8||1||Head||1:46.20||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx|
|16 April 2000||Ballysax Stakes||10||Leopardstown||L||13||5-2||4||2||Head||2:19.70||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx|
|14 May 2000||Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial||10||Leopardstown||3||28||7-4||4||1||Head||2:04.90||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx|
|10 June 2000||Epsom Derby||12||Epsom||1||609||7-1||15||1||1||2:36.75||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx|
|2 July 2000||Irish Derby||12||Curragh||1||385||11-10||11||1||9||2:33.90||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx|
|10 September 2000||Prix Niel||12||Longchamp||2||38||3-10||6||1||8||2:26.40||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx|
|1 October 2000||Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe||12||Longchamp||1||576||6-4||10||1||1.5||2:25.80||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx|
For his performances in 2000, Sinndar was voted European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt. Curiously, he was then beaten in a separate poll for the Cartier Horse of the Year title by a rival three-year-old colt, the miler Giant's Causeway.
In the International Classification (the forerunner of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings) Sinndar was named the best three-year-old in the world and the second best racehorse of in 2000 with a rating of 132, two pounds behind Dubai Millennium (134) and five pounds ahead of Giant's Causeway.
After being retired from racing, Sinndar stood at the Aga Khan's two main studs moving between the Haras de Bonneval in Le Mesnil-Mauger in Lower Normandy, and the Gilltown Stud in County Kildare.
He sired the winners of more than 200 races including Shawanda (dam of Encke), Youmzain and Rosanara (Prix Marcel Boussac) and Shareta finished second to Danedream in the 2011 Arc. Sinndar's son, Sinnbad has also been to Royal Windsor Horse Show and Horse of the Year Show for ROR Showing, as well as winning many area dressage finals and the Sunshine Tour championship 2017.
Grand Lodge (USA)
|Chief's Crown (USA) 1982||Danzig||Northern Dancer|
|Pas de Nom|
|La Papagena (GB) 1983||Habitat||Sir Gaylord|
|Magic Flute||Tudor Melody|
|Lashkari (GB) 1981||Mill Reef||Never Bend|
|Sidama (IRE) 1982||Top Ville||High Top|
|Bielka (Family 13-c)|
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- "Frizette-foundation mare". Tbheritage.com. 18 September 1908. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Stray Shot – Family 13-c". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Sinndar boasts rare mixture of speed and stamina". Retrieved 13 September 2011 – via The Free Library.
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- "National Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Sinndar in element as Bernstein capitulates". The Independent. 20 September 1999. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Fame spurs Epsom glory hopes". The Independent. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Ballysax Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Best Of The Bests is talk of the town". The Independent. 31 May 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Sinndar sailing towards Epsom". The Independent. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Epsom Derby". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Sinndar brings Aga to boil". The Independent. 11 June 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Sinndar is Court superior". The Independent. 13 June 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Irish Derby". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Sinndar reigns again while rivals founder". The Independent. 3 July 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Montjeu for Longchamp lesson". The Independent. 9 September 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Prix Niel". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- J A McGrath (12 September 2000). "Layers scared of Montjeu". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Sinndar has the valuable virtues". The Independent. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Brilliant Sinndar joins the Arc angels". The Independent. 2 October 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Aga likely to send Sinndar off to stud". The Independent. 3 October 2000. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- J A McGrath (12 October 2000). "Sinndar retired to stud". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- Armytage, Marcus (17 November 2000). "Season's stars are honoured". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "International Classification 2000" (PDF). Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Millennium is an also-ran in greatest race". The Independent. 18 January 2001. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Sinndar moves to France". Thoroughbredinternet.com. 27 September 2005. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "SINNDAR – Conformation". Aga Khan Studs. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Sinndar Stud Record | Bloodstock Stallion Book | Racing Post". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- 'Dual Derby and Arc hero dies aged 21'. Irish Times, 26 November 2018. Retrieved March 2022
- Thomas, James. "Dual Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hero Sinndar dies aged 21". Racing Post.
- "Sinndar pedigree". Equineline. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- Career 1-2-3 Colour Chart – Sinndar