The 89th running of the Irish Derby was held on Wednesday 23rd June 1954 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 by Mr Terrence Gray, bred in Ireland by the late Mr Harold S Gray, trained by Michael Hurley and ridden by Patrick Powell jnr. The winner won by 1 1/2 lengths, with half a length between second and third.


ZARATHUSTRA (Black colt by Persian Gulf out of Salvia) SR 1923

The winning owner won 7096.25 sovereigns, (The equivalent of £184,700 in today's terms based on Bank of England inflation calculator).

Whilst colts continued to be allocated 9 stone, fillies were set to carry 8 st 11 lbs rather than 8 st 10 lbs.

GN1907.JPG (8122 bytes)

GN1908.JPG (8001 bytes)

GN1910.JPG (7999 bytes)

Pos. Horse Weight Jockey Owner Trainer
1 ZARATHUSTRA 9.0 Patrick Powell jnr Mr Terrence Gray Michael Hurley
2 HIDALGO 9.0 John Power Mr E V Kelly John Oxx
3 TALE OF TWO CITIES 9.0 Billy Nevett Mr James McLean jnr Hubert M Hartigan
4 TOWN'S WALL 9.0 Herbert Holmes Mr Owen B Walsh P Connolly
5 KINGSLEY 9.0 Philip Canty Corporal Darby Rogers Corporal Darby Rogers
6 IRISH SLIPPER 9.0 Douglas Page Mrs Anna Maria King Sir Hugh Nugent
7 ARCTIC WIND 9.0 James Mullane Mr John H Thursby Michael Rogers
8 COURT SPLENDOUR 9.0 Willie Snaith Mrs Vera Lilley Noel Murless
9 BEAU SEJOUR 9.0 T P Burns Mr N S Macnaughton John Oxx
10 SHARRAGH 9.0 Ken Gethin Mr Joseph McGrath Willie Stephenson
11 CALVERO 9.0 Rae Johnstone Mr Herbert Kerr Kevin R Kerr

The strong fancy for the race was the much heralded Tale of Two Cities who had an unblemished record and was made the odds-on favourite. In the end he was sufficiently close to the outsider Zarathustra were he good enough, but with a furlong to run it was clear that he did not stay the distance and had to give best to Zarathustra, owned by Mr Terrence J Gray and ridden by Michael Hurley at Athboy in County Meath. Zarathustra had previously finished fifth in the Irish 2000 Guineas, but captured the Derby by a length and a half from Hidalgo, with the favourite a further half length back in third.

8/15 fav Tale of Two Cities
6/1 Arctic Wind
8/1 Hidalgo
9/1 Calvero
20/1 Court Splendour
25/1 Sharragh
25/1 Irish Slipper
50/1 Kingsley
50/1 Town's Wall
50/1 Zarathustra
50/1 Beau Sejour
  Over round 121%
FORMLINE:- The winner raced off level weights with the favourite and scrambled home by 1 1/2 lengths. None of the field took part in any of the 5 English Classics, although Zarathustra did finish 5th in the Irish 2000 Guineas following on from a successful 2 year old career in which he ran 4 times, winning 3.

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

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
Download an order form
  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to