Kevin Prendergast

Principal Jockeys: Declan McDonogh, Chris Hayes

KevinPrendergastNotable Wins:

  • Moyglare Stud Stakes (Termagant 2009, Miss Beatrix 2006, Arctique Royale 1980, Milly Whiteway 1973)
  • Goffs Million (Miss Beatrix 2006)
  • Pretty Polly Stakes (Rebelline 2002, Polaire 1999, Lady Singer 1976, Pidget 1972)
  • Irish St Leger (Oscar Schindler 1997 + 1996, Conor Pass 1973, Pidget 1972)
  • Coventry Stakes (Verglas 1996)
  • Irish 1000 Guineas (Arctique Royale  1981, Pidget 1972)
  • English 2000 Guineas (Nebbiolo 1977)
  • Irish 2000 Guineas (Northern Treasure 1976)

Kevin Prendergast has held a licence since the 1960’s and has been one of Ireland’s consistently successful trainers for many years. Son of the legendary ‘Darkie’ Prendergast, he was certainly bred to be a trainer and Kevin also proved himself to be a fine amateur rider for a number of years. Since turning his hand to training, he has proved tremendously successful and his horses are always immaculately turned out at the races. Indeed, his stable wins more ‘best turned out horse’ awards than any other stable in the country with the majority of his charges beautifully plaited and looking the picture of health.

Kevin has saddled many big race winners down through the years with Pidget giving him his initial Classic success in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh in 1972 while later that year, this top-class filly went on to win the Irish St Leger.

In the intervening years, Kevin saddled Arctique Royale to win the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh in 1981, Northern Treasure to win the Irish 2000 Guineas in 1976 and Nebbiolo to win the English 2000 Guineas the following year.

The Irish St Leger has proved to be a lucky race for Kevin, as Conor Pass scored in 1973 and Oscar Schindler was a dual winner in 1996 and 1997 respectively while in 1989, Tyrone Bridge came within a short head of winning the race again but was just thwarted by Petite Ile in a thriller.

Indeed, Oscar Schindler proved to be one of the stable’s best horses of that decade, winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in 1996 and the Ormonde Stakes at Chester the same year. This big, strapping colt finished fourth in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot, while he also finished in the frame in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1996 and 1997 respectively.

Further Royal Ascot success was achieved in 1996 when Verglas ran out a decisive winner of the Coventry Stakes, a race his father had won on six occasions, and twelve months later, the same horse chased home Desert King in the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Kevin has always been known as a shrewd trainer with regard to the placing of his horses and has an excellent record in some of the top handicaps as evidenced by victories in races like the Irish Lincoln (Tony’s Fen 1993), the Scurry Handicap (Cinerama Two 1972, Do The Hustle 1978, Assadaa 1984 and Ulfah 2004), the Rockingham Handicap (Perhaps So 1964, Bradawn Breever 1993), the old McDonogh Handicap at Galway (Ryker 1972, Mudarris 1990, Eklim 2003), the Irish Cambridgeshire (Ryker 1971, Quws 1997, Osprey Ridge 2001, Kestrel Cross 2005), the Irish Cesarewitch (Prominent King 1975) and the Birdcatcher Nursery at Naas (Lordedaw 1976 and Taqseem 2005).

Kevin does not train too many National Hunt horses, but a couple of his more notable triumphs in this sphere were achieved with Prominent King in the 1976 Irish Champion Hurdle and Our Bid in the 1999 Champion Bumper at Punchestown.

Other important victories achieved by the stable over the years in some of the bigger races include four successes in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh with Pidget (1972), Lady Singer (1976), Polaire (1999) and Rebelline (2002), while the last-named mare also took the Mooresbridge Stakes the same year.

Milly Whiteway (1973) and Artique Royale (1980) gave Kevin victory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and he has annexed the Gladness Stakes on five occasions courtesy of Rare Appeal (1977), Lidhame (1986), Secret Of Success (1979), Rebelline (2002) and Mustameet (2005). Tyrone Bridge (1989) landed the Curragh Cup, Wicked Folly (1990) won the Ballyogan Stakes, Quws won both the Gallinule Stakes (1998) and the Blandford Stakes (1997) while Taisho (1999) and Walayef (2003) triumphed in the Athasi Stakes.

Kevin unearthed a top-class juvenile filly in the shape of Miss Beatrix who won two major prizes in 2006 and will be a leading fancy for the English and Irish 1000 Guineas this season. Owned and bred by Bill Durkan, Miss Beatrix ran out the narrow winner of the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in late August before returning three weeks later to win the inaugural running of the Shelbourne Hotel Goffs Million Race, the richest two-year-old race in Europe.

Kevin has been associated with some top jockeys during his training career with the late Gabriel ‘Squibs’ Curran, Australian Wayne Harris and Stephen Craine all riding as first jockey for the stable over the years. His current number one jockey is the very talented Declan McDonogh, son of Des McDonogh who will always be remembered as the man who trained Monksfield to win two English Champion Hurdles in 1978 and 1979. Declan has developed from a promising apprentice into a formidable jockey in recent seasons and it was no surprise to see him crowned Champion Flat Jockey in 2006. Apprentice Chris Hayes made it a notable double for the stable when landing his second consecutive Irish Champion Flat Apprentice Crown after another fine season as he recorded 33 victories. Indeed, the following season, Hayes landed a third consecutive Champion Apprentice title and McDonogh was only bettered by Pat Smullen in his pursuit of a second consecutive Champion Jockey title.

While Prendergast had to be patient in his pursuit for his next Group 1 win after Miss Beatrix’s success in the 2006 Moyglare Stud Stakes, the likes of Mustameet, Almass, Choose Me, Beach Bunny and Mores Wells very much kept him on the big-race radar with multiple wins at pattern level. When that elusive Group 1 win did it arrive, it fittingly came once more in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh with Termagant winning the 2009 renewal in great style to maintain her unbeaten record.

With the aforementioned Termagant and the highly-promising maiden winner Kingsfort amongst others to look forward to in the months ahead, it would be no surprise to see the Friarstown-based handler double his seasonal tally at the highest level in the near future.

Updated September 2009.