Sunday, May 07, 2006

Revolution at Newmarket

In all the years I've been following horse- racing, I don't think I've ever been so pleased as by the result of this year's 1000 Guineas. It's not just that Speciosa was my nap of the week and I advised readers of the RFO Flat Annual to back her ante-post at 50-1 - but what the result means for racing. Pam Sly, a farmer from the Fens, known mainly for her jumpers, has won an English Classic with a horse which cost just 30,000 guineas- a paltry sum for a top Flat performer. She and her co-owners turned down an offer of $1.1 m for Speciosa last winter, deciding instead to 'live the dream'. It was, as Sly said after the race, a victory for 'the little people' against the big multi-millionaire batallions of Godolphin and Ballydoyle. Sly has shown that smaller owners can not only compete with- but defeat the super-rich. It's a tremendously inspiring tale for an age in which money power far too often gets its way.
p.s. And what a typically sporting reaction from the trainer of the runner-up Sir Mark Prescott, one of my all time sporting heroes and a man who would make a far better Deputy Prime Minister than his political namesake! Here's my Observer article on the great man. (By the way, he's not 'a Tory landowner'- that was a caption put in by the paper!)

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