Each year, to mark QIPCO’s sponsorship of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the winner of a vintage renewal is commemorated. To honour his illustrious achievements and victory in the race 30 years ago Nashwan became the latest recipient of the QIPCO Diamonds & Pearls award, won last year by his most successful progeny, Swain.
Bred and owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, trained by Major W R Hern, and partnered by retained jockey Willie Carson, Nashwan, was the impressive winner of four consecutive Group 1 races in 1989. The unbeaten winner of the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and Coral-Eclipse went off a 2-9 favourite at Ascot to score by a neck in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The imposing colt would race once more, finishing third in the Group 1 Prix Niel at Longchamp, his only career defeat.
After his impressive racing career Nashwan went on to stand at Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud and sired many top-class middle-distance performers, including SWAIN, who was the first, and to date only, colt to win the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes twice, BAGO, winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and Juddmonte International Stakes winner, ONE SO WONDERFUL.
Willie Carson, who rode Nashwan throughout his career, said: “No horse has ever done it – a rushed preparation to begin with and then winning the 2000 Guineas, the Derby, the Coral Eclipse and then the King George.
"That is something isn’t it, that is asking too much, but we did it, he was just a marvellous, marvellous horse. Michael Turner did the timings and said he could have won a Gr1 6f sprint at Royal Ascot with the time he ran the final 6f in the King George. Remarkable.”
The QIPCO Diamonds and Pearls Award was launched in 2015. The the full list of winners are:
2015 – Grundy
2016 – Dancing Brave
2017 – Galileo
2018 – Swain
2019 - Nashwan