Skywalker, Lando and Storm Trooper are three international Group One-winning gallopers with Star Wars-inspired names and Jar Jar Binks won Australia’s 2002 WJ Healy Stakes at Group Three level during Michael Rodd’s apprenticeship.
Skywalker has a claim to being the greatest thoroughbred named in honour of a Star Wars character because the Michael Whittingham-trained horse won not only two Group One events – the 1985 Santa Anita Derby and the 1986 Breeders’ Cup Classic – but also sired a Group One champion, Bertrando.
But the same goes for Lando, which won the 1993 German Derby and the 1995 Japan Cup before siring four stakes winners, one of which was 2004 Singapore Airlines International Cup victor Epalo. Lando the galloper shares his name with Lando Calrissian, the Star Wars character who owned the Millennium Falcon before losing it to Han Solo in a card game. Heinz Jentzsch campaigned Lando in five countries on three continents, the stallion winning 10 of his 23 races.
The Charles Whittingham Stakes was a Group One event known as the Hollywood Turf Handicap when Storm Trooper won its 1998 edition. Storm Trooper contested the 1996 English 2,000 Guineas and the 1996 English Derby while he was with Henry Cecil, from whose stable he joined United Kingdom-born trainer Neil Drysdale’s yard in the United States of America. Storm Trooper stood at a stud in India.
Jar Jar Binks is one of the most hated Star Wars characters, but the connections of his equine namesake loved him. Jar Jar Binks, which spent the bulk of his thoroughbred racing career in the care of Bryan Guy, won nine of his 69 starts, including the 2002 WJ Healy Stakes and more than $300,000.
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