The 83rd running of the Irish Derby was held on Wednesday 23rd June 1948 over 1 mile 4 furlongs of The Curragh. Subscriptions were 60 sovereigns with a pot of 4000 sovereigns added, 750 sovereigns to the second and 250 sovereigns to the third. The winner was owned and bred in Ireland by HH Aga Khan III, trained by Frank Butters and ridden by Rae Johnstone. The winner won by 5 lengths in 2 minutes 37.8 seconds, with a neck between second and third.


NATHOO (Grey colt by Nasrullah out of Taj Shirin) SR 1968

The winning owner won 6882.5 sovereigns, (The equivalent of £237,900 in today's terms based on Bank of England inflation calculator).

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Pos. Horse Weight Jockey Owner Trainer
1 NATHOO 9.0 Rae Johnstone HH Aga Khan III Frank Butters
2 STAR OF GUJRATH 9.0 Charlie Smirke HH Maharajah of Baroda Sam Armstrong
3 SOODANI 9.0 Morny Wing HH Aga Khan III Hubert M Hartigan
4 ALDBOROUGH 9.0 Aubrey Brabazon Miss Dorothy Paget Henri A Jelliss
5 BARFELT 9.0 George Wells Mr J W M Skeffington M Vincent O'Brien
6 RIDING MILL 9.0 Martin Moloney Sir Percy Loraine Harry Wragg
7 WILD JOHNNIE 9.0 Herbert Holmes Mrs Anna Maria King Robert Fetherstonehaugh
8 FAIR ASHTON 9.0 Joe Canty Miss Vera James B Thorpe
9 FAIR RAY 9.0 Michael Beary 1st Baron Portal Cecil Boyd-Rochfort
10 KNIGHT OF THE ROSES 9.0 William Howard Mr L P Freedman Robert Fetherstonehaugh
11 WINDSOR WHISPER 8.10 Maurice Hartnett Lt-Col Evelyn Shirley Michael Collins
12 OPPIDAN 9.0 James Eddery Mr James McVey jnr Kevin Bell

William Raphael Johnstone, universally known as Rae, was born the son of a coalminer on 13th April 1905 in New Lambton in New South Wales. He rode his first winner aged just 15 in 1920 but was seldom out of trouble with racing authorities in his early career. Although he moved to France to ride in 1932 he made frequent forays to England and was successful in 13 English Classics. He won the Epsom Derby on 3 occasions, firstly in 1948 with My Love (SR 2042), then in 1950 with Galcador (SR 2058) and lastly in 1956 with Lavandin (SR 1938). He was also successful 3 times in the fillies equivalent, the Oaks, with wins in 1947 on Imprudence (SR 1904), then in 1950 on Asmena (SR 1903) and finally in 1954 on Sun Cap (SR 1904). He rounded off the 1950 and 1951 seasons with St Leger wins, initially with Scratch (SR 2077) and then with Talma (SR 1999). He did not confine his Classic victories to England, travelling across the Irish Sea to win the Irish Derby in 1948 with Nathoo (SR 1968) and the very next year with Hindostan (SR 1971).He died at Le Tremblay racecourse in Paris of a heart attack on 29th April 1964.

3/1 fav Aldborough
7/2 Nathoo
8/1 Riding Mill
10/1 Fair Ray
100/8 Knight of the Roses
100/8 Wild Johnnie
100/8 Star of Gujrath
100/6 Windsor Whisper
20/1 Barfelt
25/1 Soodani
25/1 Fair Ashton
100/1 Oppidan
  Over round 111%
FORMLINE:- Although none of the runners took part in any of the 5 English Classics, the winner won by a comfotable 5 lengths in an above average time of 2 minutes 37.8 seconds.

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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