The 75th running of the Irish Derby was held on Wednesday 26th June 1940 over 1 mile 4 furlongs of The Curragh. Subscriptions were 65 sovereigns with a pot of 3675 sovereigns, 800 sovereigns to the second and 300 sovereigns to the third. The winner was owned and bred by HH Aga Khan III, trained by Frank Butters and ridden by Charlie Smirke. The winner won by 2 lengths in 2 minutes 41.8 seconds, with 2 lengths between second and third.


TURKHAN (Bay colt by Bahram out of Theresina) SR 1968

The winning owner won 2500 sovereigns, (The equivalent of £133,000 in today's terms based on Bank of England inflation calculator).

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Pos. Horse Weight Jockey Owner Trainer
1 TURKHAN 9.5 Charlie Smirke HH Aga Khan III Frank Butters
2 GOLDEN TIGER 8.12 John Moylan Sir Humphrey de Trafford Cecil Boyd-Rochfort
3 CLAUDIUS 8.12 Michael Beary Sir Abe Bailey Joseph Lawson
4 TEASEL 9.5 George Wells Colonel Arthur Blake Colonel Arthur Blake
5 TOLAGO 8.12 Morny Wing Mr Claude Odlum Colonel Arthur Blake
6 ANTRIM 8.12 E Martin Quirke Sir Percy Loraine Rod More O'Ferrall
7 CHICO 8.12 Thomas Burns Mr William Barnett Corporal Darby Rogers

Charlie James William Smirke was born on 23rd September 1906 in the Lambert area of London where his father was a fruit and vegetable market man. Charlie left school aged 13 and immediately became an apprentice, launching a career which won him the Apprentice Championship in consecutive years in 1925 and 1926, and which later produced 11 English Classic victories, including 4 Epsom Derby wins. His first Epsom Derby winner was in 1934 with Windsor Lad (SR 2100), followed two years later by Mahmoud (SR 2020), there was then a gap before he won again in 1952 with Tulyar (SR 2075) and completed his 4 wins in 1958 with Hard Ridden (SR 2028). He was also successful in Ireland, winning the Irish Derby in 1940 with Turkhan (SR 1968) and for a second time in 1951 with Fraise Du Bois (SR 1947). He died at Leatherhead, Surrey on 20th December 1993.

4/11 fav Turkhan
11/2 Tolago
10/1 Claudius
10/1 Chico
100/8 Golden Tiger
20/1 Antrim
33/1 Teasel
  Over round 120%
FORMLINE:- The heavily backed favourite gave 7 lbs to all but the outsider and won by an easy 2 lengths in 2 minutes 41.8 seconds. Turkhan (33/1) was unplaced in the English 2000 Guineas behind Djebel (SR 1936) and was then runner-up at 100/7 3 lengths behind Pont L'Eveque (SR 1974) with Golden Tiger (25/1) unplaced. Turkhan was then rewarded with a second Classic win in the Doncaster St Leger by 3/4 length from Stardust.

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774 former courses

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400 former courses

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180 pages

140 former courses

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264 pages

235 former courses

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