American-bred Nashwan broke away from the pack in the final two furlongs and easily won the 210th running of the English Derby today to give jockey Willie Carson his third victory in England's most famous thoroughbred race.
Terimon, a 500-1 shot, finished second to become the longest shot ever to place in the 1 1/2-mile race. Cacoethes, a son of Alydar, finished third in the $800,000 event.
Nashwan, the heavy favorite, won $473,600 for owner Sheik Hamdan Maktoum as he became the first horse to win the English thoroughbred double of the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby since Nijinsky in 1970.
The undefeated Nashwan was trained by Dick Hern, who had been threatened earlier this year with being fired as royal trainer but recently had his contract extended a year.
"I couldn't have been more delighted," said the wheelchair-bound Hern, who was crippled in a hunting accident several years ago.
The race was attended by Queen Elizabeth II and several other members of the Royal Family, along with an estimated 500,000 other people who braved cold, damp weather. An estimated $64 million was bet on the race.
Cacoethes, the American-bred offspring of Alydar, who in 1978 finished second to Affirmed in all three legs of the U.S. Triple Crown, led heading into the final straight, but Nashwan pulled away from the pack to win by five lengths.
Carson, 46, said he tried to stay right behind Cacoethes and his jockey, Greville Starkey, until the final two furlongs.
"I wanted to get on the heels of Greville and Cacoethes because they kept telling me what a great horse he was," Carson said. "My heart ruled my head once we hit the front, and I went for home. I didn't plan to go to the front so soon but I did know that he would stay."