Horseracing has its own language, call it slang if you like. The slang term that has been used to describe Mars is ‘Talking Horse’ because is reputation preceded him even before he set foot on a racecourse.
From the family of successful stallions Invincible Spirit and Kodiac and by the supersire, Galileo, Mars showed so much on the Ballydoyle, County Tipperary gallops of his Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien, that he was favourite for the 2013 Investec Epsom Derby as he went in the stalls for his first outing, a maiden race at Dundalk on July 16 2012.
His easy win in that contest did little to dampen the hype but fans had to wait almost ten months before they saw him again. His reputation required that each of his subsequent three starts have been in QIPCO British Champions Series races.
Considering his lack of experience, he did exceptionally well to finish sixth, just under nine lengths behind Dawn Approach, in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. He then stepped up from a mile to a mile and a half before filling the same position, having been involved in a barging match at a crucial late stage, in the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 1.
Just 17 days later and back down at a mile, he again suffered trouble-in-running when third, this time beaten less than three lengths by Dawn Approach, in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Two and a half weeks later he contested the Coral-Eclipse in which he finished an honourable fourth, four lengths behind the winner, Al Kazeem, but followed that with a disappointing run in a Group 3 race over nine furlongs at Leopardstown, finishing a well-beaten second and has now been sold and will be trained by Mike De Kock though he did not run again in 2013.
He started 2014 at Meydan with a disappointing seventh of nine in a Group 3 mile contest and followed that with a tilt at the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic over a mile and a half, but suffered a a fatal heart attack which resulted in him hanging violently on the first bend, sending jockey Richard Hughes crashing through the rail.