The 19th running of the Irish Derby was held on Wednesday 25th June 1884 over 1 mile 4 furlongs of The Curragh. Subscriptions were 15 sovereigns with 550 sovereigns to the winner, 50 sovereigns to the second and 25 sovereigns to the third. The winner was owned, trained and bred by Mr Garrett Moore, although in truth William Behan probably trained the colt which was ridden by John Connolly. The winner won by a length, with a fair third.


THEOLOGIAN (Bay colt by Uncas out of Miss Theo) SR 1920

The winning owner won 463 sovereigns, (The equivalent of £54,300 in today's terms based on Bank of England inflation calculator).

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Pos. Horse Weight Jockey Owner Trainer
1 THEOLOGIAN 8.2 John Connolly Mr Garrett Moore William Behan
2 GRECIAN BEND 9.4 Mr Thomas Beasley Mr John R Gubbins Henry E Linde
3 SIR HUGH 9.5 Thomas Harris Mr Edmund Smithwick James Dunne
4 SLEEPING BEAUTY 8.2 Joseph Doyle Mr Daniel Broderick Daniel Broderick
5 SPAHI 7.13 William Miller Lord Drogheda Michael Moneypenny

William Behan was one of 7 jockey brothers from County Kildare. Although he did not enjoy success as a jockey in the Irish Derby, as a trainer at Jockey Hall, Curragh, he won the Irish Derby with Theologian in 1884. Nicholas Behan, the most successful of the jockey brothers, rode his first winner at the Curragh in 1880 when he was just 10 years old and weighted 5 stone. He won his only Irish Derby on Sortie, winning by 4 lengths from Theorist. The next year he was second on Captain Arthur behind Sylph, and second again in 1885 on Madcap behind St Kevin. He was the only one of the 7 brothers to win the race as a jockey, but his brother Brother John Henry, better known as Jack, trained at Waterford Lodge and won the Irish Derby in 1910 with Aviator (SR 1978). Another brother, Arthur, rode Instability to third place in the 1895 Irish Derby behind Portmarnock. Brother Philip, better known as Phillie, trained the second (Leading Power) and third (Likely Bird) in the 1900 Irish Derby behind Gallinaria. He also trained the second, Royal Winkfield, in 1901 when beaten by Carrigavalla.

4/6 fav Grecian Bend
3/1 Sir Hugh
7/1 Theologian
10/1 Spahi
20/1 Sleeping Beauty
  Over round 111%
The winner received 15 lbs and 16 lbs from the first and second favourites respectively, and won by a length.

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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