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Horse Racing

Matt Chapman looks back at a blast from the past as he gives us his five favourite flat horses of all time

LOCKDOWN means time on our hands for thought, and as a racing fan there’s plenty of opportunity to reflect on horses that have moved us along the way.

Jumps horses tend to be the first that come to mind, but the concept Flat horses don’t grab one is lazy. Here are five that have grabbed me by the short and curlies!

BLACK CAVIAR

There is no doubt the success of Black Caviar in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes will go down as one of the most dramatic in Royal Ascot history.

The brilliant mare from Down Under – trained by the full on Peter Moody – was a 1-6 shot for the Group 1. That is something in itself. But then of course jockey Luke Nolen stopped riding before the finish and was nearly caught by strong stayer Moonlight Cloud.

The drama as everyone waited for the photo to be announced was something else. Just a great moment in sport, and one Nolen will never forget.

I have met Luke a few times, incidentally, and he is an absolutely top bloke.

FRANKEL

When it comes to blowing your mind Frankel’s annihilation of the field in the 2000 Guineas in 2011 will always be in most people’s top five Flat performances.

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I remember Sir Henry Cecil’s colt just striding clear of the pack which included his pacemaker Rerouted and thinking Tom Queally might be going a bit fast. But the thing with Frankel was nothing could go fast enough for him.

Ten lengths clear at halfway, Frankel just kept going to stuff Dubawi Gold by six lengths. We will never see a 2000 Guineas won like that again.

OH SO SHARP

Many of you will not remember Oh So Sharp. But she was another Cecil inmate you should know about. She was just fantastic in the mid 1980s when she was campaigned with no rest for the wicked.

The winner of the most exciting 1000 Guineas ever (in my opinion), Oh So Sharp – Sheikh Mohammed’s first British Classic success – went on to take the Oaks, was second in the King George and Benson and Hedges Gold Cup (Juddmonte International) before ending her career by landing the St Leger.

Cecil claimed big ears were part of the key to her success!

TIZNOW
When it comes to racehorses looking like a bull, then none has done so more than Tiznow.
He was just a giant Stateside, trained by Jay Robbins and ridden by Chris McCarron.
In particular, his two Breeders’ Cup Classic victories were something super special, and his defeat of Sakhee in 2001 at Belmont was one of the great performances.
Sakhee had won the Arc by miles and was never given the credit he deserved.
Also in the field was the winner of the Epsom and Irish Derby and subsequent great sire Galileo.
Tiznow was all guts and talent as he pipped Sakhee close home. Track announcer Tom Durkin called, “Tiznow wins it for America!” He did.

VORVADOS

Not many of you will have ever of heard of Vorvados, but I loved him.

He was a little grey sprinter that used to get hopelessly outpaced and then fly home late. His big days came in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster.

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Horses like Vorvados gets fan clubs. I was a fan. You can see him here under Cauthen. Just imagine if you had backed him!

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