Shahrastani, Epsom Derby Winner, Dies

Son of Nijinsky II won the Irish Derby after taking Epsom Derby.

Shahrastani, who beat Dancing Brave in the 1986 Ever Ready Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and then took the Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I), was euthanized Dec. 6 because of complications from old age, according to the Racing Post. The 28-year-old son of Nijinsky II resided at Walton Fields Stud near Leicestershire, England.

Shahrastani, a homebred for the Aga Khan, went into the Epsom Derby following scores in the Mecca-Dante Stakes (Eng-II) and the Guardian Classic Trial Stakes (Eng-III) in the spring. Ridden by Walter Swinburn in the 1 1/2-mile Epsom classic, Shahrastini outlasted the fast-closing favorite Dancing Brave by a half-length.

The victory was the second recent classic triumph for a son of Nijinsky II. Ferdinand, by Nijinsky II, had won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) the first Saturday in May.

Shahrastani next won the Irish Derby to become the seventh runner since Santa Claus in 1964 to complete the Epsom Derby/Irish Derby double. The others were Nijinsky II, Grundy, Shirley Heights, Shergar, The Minstrel, and Troy.

Following the Irish Derby, it was announced that Shahrastani would be syndicated and would stand at Robert N. Clay’s Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., following his retirement. The Aga Khan retained a quarter interest.

Shahrastani raced twice more, finishing fourth to Dancing Brave in both the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I) and the Trusthouse Forte Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I). Trained by Michael Stoute, he was retired with four wins from seven starts and earnings of $629,296.

On the 1986 English Free Handicap for 3-year-olds at 11 furlongs and up, Shahrastani was weighted at 134 pounds, second to Dancing Brave at 141 pounds. Shahrastani also was a second highweight that year in France.

Shahrastani entered stud at Three Chimneys in 1987 for $100,000. His early crops included graded stakes winners Kazabaiyn and Marastani. He later stood in Europe at Ballymany Stud and Clashmore Stud, and in Japan prior to ending up at Walton Fields.

Shahrastani sired 16 stakes winners. As a broodmare sire he is represented by Irish champions Caradak, Tarakala, and Alamshar. A homebred for the Aga Khan, Alamshar was a two-time champion in Ireland and England. He won the 2003 Irish Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Shahrastani also is the maternal grandsire of United States graded winners Crash Course, Memorette, and No Jacket Required.

Out of the winning Thatch mare Shademah, Shahrastani was foaled and raised at the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky.