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2006, The Year of Humble Origins

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  • #639
    • Total Posts 3088

    <br>Thinking back over the year, many of the best stories have been of horses rising to the top from humble beginnings.

    We’ve all read about Takeover Target, the cheap horse bought by the caravan dwelling taxi driver from down under, another Royal Ascot winner in Young Mick who progressed from a maiden claimer on the AW to a Group win, Sergeant Cecil who was a 60 rated handicapper when he moved to Rod Millman’s yard, and of course the fairy tale win by Speciosa from a stable better known for jumpers.

    But I’ve not seen much written about Fair Along, second in the Triumph and now favourite for the Arkle after three novice chase wins, two in Graded company. How many people are aware that his first NH trainer (J Flint) acquired him for £6,000 in March 2005 after he finished third in a seller at Wolverhampton. And that was the second time he’d changed hands there, having won a seller over the course as a 2-y-old for Willie Jarvis.<br>That time he fetched 8,000gns and moved to Paul Blockley.

    There won’t be many others in the Arkle field that ran eight times as a 2-y-old, changed hands twice for less than ten grand and are on their fourth trainer!

    Any other examples of rags to riches ?


    Gareth Flynn
    • Total Posts 583

    Not sure if he counts because I think he was originally a Maktoum horse, but Les Arcs road from Cartmel to the July Cup was amazing. Collier Hill was picked up pretty cheaply too, wasn’t he? One of the highest earning British horses ever by now, I’d imagine.

    Grey Desire
    • Total Posts 1877

    The transformation of Orpen Wide from sprinter to useful 2m winning hurdler deserves a mention (the opposite of Les Arcs who went from hurdler to sprinter).<br>I wonder if Sir Clement Freud (former owner of Orpen Wide) was at Southwell the other day when his current horse Eau Good was beat on the same card in which Orpen Wide got back to winning ways on the flat. <br>The horse is certainly versatile.<br>

    • Total Posts 4491

    Dutch Art was sold for buttons as a yearling and has been sold twice since then, Matthew Green making a nice profit on him no doubt and the same can surely be said for the Roy’s who have sold him to Chevely Park Stud.

    Lovely Lady
    • Total Posts 160

    I still think the story of Pride‘s rise to fame and fortune  from winning a modest 10f 3yo maiden at Newbury 3 years ago, described in the RP as "a shocking maiden for the course", to what she achieved as a 6yo, takes some beating.<br>

    • Total Posts 6939

    Quote: from Gareth Flynn on 3:50 pm on Dec. 31, 2006[br]Not sure if he counts because I think he was originally a Maktoum horse, but Les Arcs road from Cartmel to the July Cup was amazing.<br>

    <br>The Cartmel hurdle was just a bit of a shot in the dark at the end of a Summer Flat campaign by Les Arc’s then trainer Guesty, following some reasonable but unspectacular winning and placed form on the level at 1m+ for him previously. He laboured home in eighth that day as his wind problem – only finally put right by a second wind operation later on, and how! – kicked in again when the taps are turned.

    Any sort of branding of Les Arcs as a "failed hurdler", as has been done in some quarters is a bit simplistic, to be honest.


    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

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