Motivator's best performance as a 2yo came in the 2004 Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster Racecourse. As a 3yo he started the campaign with an impressive victory in the Dante Stakes at York Racecourse and he enjoyed his finest moment when romping home to an easy success in the Derby at Epsom. Motivator subsequently started warm favourite for the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park but fast ground contributed to a surprise defeat at the hands of Oratorio.
Following a break Motivator reappeared in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown Racecourse, but again had to settle for second place behind Oratorio. His final race came at Longchamp in October when he ran a gallant race behind Hurricane Run.