The 66th running of the Irish Derby was held on Wednesday 24th June 1931 over 1 mile 4 furlongs of The Curragh. Subscriptions were 65 sovereigns with a pot of 5250 sovereigns, 700 sovereigns to the second and 200 sovereigns to the third. The winner was owned and bred by Mr Harold S Gray, trained by Philip Behan and ridden by Joe Canty. The winner won by 2 1/2 lengths in 2 minutes 45.4 seconds, with 2 lengths between second and third.


SEA SERPENT (Chestnut colt by Golden Myth out of Seabloom) SR 1919

The winning owner won 3762.5 sovereigns, (The equivalent of £243,600 in today's terms based on Bank of England inflation calculator).

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Pos. Horse Weight Jockey Owner Trainer
1 SEA SERPENT 8.12 Joe Canty Mr Harold S Gray Philip Behan
2 BEAUDELAIRE 8.12 Thomas Burns Count John McCormack Rod More O'Ferrall
3 SIR WALTER RALEIGH 8.12 Henry Beasley Mr J Holmer Peard J Holmer Peard
4 GALLINI 9.2 Joseph Taylor Sir Edward Hammer M Dobson Peacock
5 DOUBLE ARCH 9.5 Edward Gardner Mr John T Rogers John T Rogers
6 KNIGHT OF THE MIST 8.12 Morny Wing Mr William J Kelly Philip Behan

Philip Behan, better known as Phillie, was one of 7 jockey brothers from County Kildare who was a more successful trainer than jockey. He trained the second (Leading Power) and third (Likely Bird) in the 1900 Irish Derby behind Gallinaria. He also trained the second, Royal Winkfield, in 1901 when beaten by Carrigavalla. However, he had to wait late in his training career to achieve success, being responsible for Sea Serpent (SR 1919) in its 1931 Irish Derby victory. Brother William Behan, although he did not enjoy success as a jockey in the Irish Derby, as a trainer at Jockey Hall, Curragh, he won the Irish Derby with Theologian in 1884. Nicholas Behan, the most successful of the jockey brothers, rode his first winner at the Curragh in 1880 when he was just 10 years old and weighted 5 stone. He won his only Irish Derby on Sortie, winning by 4 lengths from Theorist. The next year he was second on Captain Arthur behind Sylph, and second again in 1885 on Madcap behind St Kevin. He was the only one of the 7 brothers to win the race as a jockey, but his brother Brother John Henry, better known as Jack, trained at Waterford Lodge and won the Irish Derby in 1910 with Aviator (SR 1978). Another brother, Arthur, rode Instability to third place in the 1895 Irish Derby behind Portmarnock.

10/11 fav Gallini
5/2 Sea Serpent
100/16 Sir Walter Raleigh
100/12 Beaudelaire
10/1 Double Arch
50/1 Knight of the Mist
  Over round 119%
FORMLINE:- Gallini was made the odds-on favourite on the strength of his unplaced running at 40/1 in the Epsom Derby behind Cameronian (SR 2032), and had to give 4 lbs to Sea Serpent. Sea Serpent won readily enough by 2 1/2 lengths in the slow time of 2 minutes 45.4 seconds, with a further 2 lengths back to Sir Walter Raleigh.

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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