Pardon me for mentioning it but I backed a 225-1 winner at the weekend when Stewart Cink, bless him and his caddie-son Reagan, romped home by four shots in the Heritage tournament in South Carolina.
It was a little overwhelming the first time I ran a horse at Royal Ascot. That was quite some time ago – 11 years ago! Then to come back and win the Queen Mary the next day… it didn’t really sink in how big a meeting that was until later on. It was a great accomplishment and opened up the doors for a lot of American horsemen, owners and trainers who didn’t think something like that could be done.
For years and years, the Europeans had been coming over and dominating the bigger turf races, like the Arlington Million and the Breeders’ Cup. All the significant turf races in the States. Nobody thought you could go into the lions’ den and actually win. Everybody in my team works so hard, from a low-level claiming race at a small track to Royal Ascot and the Breeders’ Cup. Now plenty more American owners and trainers are striving to come over year after year. It’s on a lot of the owners’ bucket lists.
One man could never have guessed how inspired a decision it would be to join forces with trainer Palm Sly and buy a little-known filly. A year later they were toasting 1,000 Guineas Glory.