Genaro: American Triple Crown vs. British Triple Crown
Teresa Genaro writes at Belmont.com about the difference in importance of the American Triple Crown versus the British Triple Crown. In the United States, if a horse wins the Kentucky Derby, he or she is expected to go on to the Preakness and attempt to become the next Triple Crown winner. If that horse wins the Preakness he or she moves on to the Belmont for an attempt at the final leg. Since 1978, 11 horses have tried and failed to become the next Triple Crown winner. Yet, every year, the excitement for winning the three races begins again.
In Britain, the attitude toward the country’s Triple Crown is very different. The British Triple Crown, comprised of the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby, and the St. Leger, hasn’t been won since 1970 when Nijinsky swept the series. In the years since then, only two horses have won the Guineas and the Derby and neither went on to compete in the St. Leger. Unlike the American Triple Crown which is run in a span of just a few weeks, the British Triple Crown is stretched out over four months and a number of other races like the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe are run near the time of the St. Leger.
British racing broadcaster Nick Luck said: “There are a lot more competing attractions in terms of intrigue and value and international stud value. Winning the St. Leger won’t add anything to a horse’s value.”
Racing Post editor Nick Godfrey said: “If (2,000 Guineas winner) Camelot were to run in the St Leger, everyone would get excited. It would be a massive talking point and would revive the Triple Crown in this country.” Still, he acknowledged, “The Triple Crown is a doff of a hat to tradition. It’s sad-it’s almost a curio here, where in the U.S. it’s the be-all and end-all.”