Van Gogh Profile

Name Van Gogh
Born Feb 11, 2018
Age 3 years
Breed Thoroughbred, bay colt

Despite an impressive heritage Van Gogh still has a lot to live up to. Perhaps the 2021 Derby at Epsom will be his chance to step into the big-time.

Van Gogh has a history of not living up to expectations - a career in which he has finished second more times than he has won.

Trained by Aidan O'Brien, Van Gogh comes to the Epsom Derby as a 12/1 shot with Paddy Power.

Impressive beginnings

In the first race of his career, Van Gogh finished fourth in the Buy Online At Irish Yearling Sales Irish EBF Maiden at Leopardstown in July, 2020. Priced at 4/1, he led but ultimately couldn't hold on for victory and finished two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner Masen.

Van Gogh was back at Leopardstown in early August competing in the Group Three Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes. He finished second, a neck behind winner Military Style.

On August 22, Van Gogh competed in the Group Two Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh and was well beaten, finishing down in sixth.

In the fourth race of his two-year-old season, Van Gogh competed in the Group Two KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown on September 12. Priced at 7/2, he initially led but didn't have the pace and finished second, three-and-a-half lengths behind winner Cadillac.

Fifteen days later, fifth time was the charm for Van Gogh as he claimed his maiden victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at the Curragh. Priced as the 4/7 favourite, he was dominant throughout and won by half a length.

On October 10, Van Gogh competed in the Group Three Emirates Autumn Stakes at Newmarket, his first race outside of Ireland. He came in second, finishing one-and-three-quarter lengths behind the winner One Ruler.

Two weeks later, in his final race of the year, Van Gogh claimed his second victory in the Group One Criterium International at Saint-Cloud in France. It was a convincing victory as the 18/5 shot won by four lengths.

His three-year-old season has been disappointing thus far, despite staying at the same distance.

In the Group One Qipco 2,000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket, he never really left the rear and came home in eighth place.

In his final race before the Epsom Derby, the 9/2 shot finished in third in the Irish 2000 Guineas behind winner Mac Swiney and runner-up Poetic Flare.


Aidan O'Brien is an Irish trainer who has been the private trainer at Ballydoyle Stakes since 1996.

His first major success came in the same year, when Desert King won the National Stakes. Desert King went on to win the Irish 2000 Guineas the following year. In 2012, O'Brien and his son Joseph became the first father-son/trainer-jockey combination to win The Derby with Camelot.

In 2016, O'Brien's horses won a record seven races at Royal Ascot while in 2017, he trained a world record 28 Group or Grade One winners in the same calendar year, smashing Bobby Frankel's 2003 total of 25.

O'Brien is the most successful trainer in the Epsom Derby, having won the race eight times.


Van Gogh was sired by American Pharoah, with his dam being Imagine.

American Pharoah is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the American Triple Crown in 2015.

He is also the only horse to win the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Racing - the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) plus the Breeders' Cup Classic. He has a remarkable record of nine wins from 11 races.

Imagine is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare who is best known for winning the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Epsom Oaks in 2001. Her record is four wins from 10 races.