The UK’s annual horse racing events wouldn’t be the same without an underdog win! Dream Horse (In UK cinemas Friday 4th June), tells the true story of a Welsh community who came together as a syndicate to breed a racehorse ‘Dream Alliance’, which went on to win the Welsh Grand National. To celebrate its release, here are some of the most surprising and famous wins in racehorse history:
The world’s greatest racehorse, Frankel, arguably one of the best horses of all time, has 14 wins from 14 incredible runs. Frankel captured the hearts of the public, whilst continuing to justify every penny of his £100 million valuation and commands £175,000 as a stud. He stopped racing in 2012.
Defying the odds Mon Mome won the Grand National in 2009. Before the Grand National, Mon Mome had a four-race losing streak and nobody expected him to win. He was overlooked and underestimated and went on to become the first French-bred horse to win Grand National in the last 100 years. On the day of the Grand National at Aintree, Mon Mome shocked everyone when he romped to victory.
Prince of Penzance:
Prince of Penzance was a New Zealand thoroughbred racehorse who made history by winning one of the most prestigious horse races in the world; the Melbourne Cup in 2015. The fan favourites at that time were the Japanese bay horse Fame Game and the Irish runner Max Dynamite. Prince of Penzance made history by defeating such difficult competition and the jockey Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the race in its 155-year history.
Frankie Dettori’s Magnificent 7:
Frankie Dettori achieved a near-impossible feat when winning all seven races on the card at Ascot in September 1996, including winning the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The cumulative odds of these wins was 25,051-1, and earned one lucky punter an incredible £500,000 when Dettori completed his ‘Magnificent Seven’. This was a landmark day for British horseracing, and made a hero of Dettori, whilst stripping stunned bookmakers of millions. He was already a well-known jockey before the Magnificent Seven, but the achievement made him a household name.
The film Dream Horse is based on a true story, and indeed in 2009, Dream Alliance really did win the Welsh Grand National. Dream was no ordinary racehorse; born in 2001 and raised on an allotment in Cefn Fforest, Caerphilly, a village in the Welsh valleys, he was bred by Jan Vokes and her husband Brian, two ordinary folk with a dream of their own. Funded by a local syndicate made up of amateur enthusiasts, the fact that horse began to win races was miraculous enough. But after a terrible fall, where Dream almost severed a tendon and required stem-cell surgery, his recovery to win at the Welsh Grand National was nothing short of a sensation.
Horse Racing Lingo
Know your Broodmare from your Bumper? This handy guide can get you up to speed on even the most bizarre of horse racing terminology. Dream Horse (In UK cinemas Friday 4th June), tells the true story of a Welsh community who came together as a syndicate to breed a racehorse ‘Dream Alliance’, which went on to win the Welsh Grand National.
Ante -post – A bet placed in advance of the final declarations of a race. Bookmakers usually offer better odds, but no refunds are given in the event of a non-runner.
Bit – A bar (usually made of stainless steel) that sits in the horse’s mouth and is attached to the bridle.
Blinkers – A type of headgear fitted to a horse that lmits its field of vision, mainly from each side. Blinkers are designed to help horses concentrate in races.
Boxed in – When a horse cannot obtain a clear run during a race due to other horses being in close proximity
Bridle – A piece of tack that fits over a horse’s head and to which the bit and reins are attached.
Broodmare – A mare (female horse) at stud who is kept with the aim of producing a foal.
Bumper – Also known as a National Hunt Flat race, and usually run over two miles without any obstacles. Commonly used as a way to give horses race experience before tackling hurdles and fences
Dam – Mother of a horse
Filly – A female horse aged four or younger
Foal – A horse aged younger than one
Furlong – An imperial unit of distance measurement in horseracing. A furlong is an eighth of a mile or a little more than 201 metres
Going – The underfoot conditions at the racecourse
Hacked up – A phrase used to describe a horse who has won comfortably
Nursery – A handicap race for two-year-old horses
Silks – An owner’s colours
Sire – Father of a horse
Yearling – A young horse between the age of one and two
Dream Horse will be released in UK and Irish cinemas from Friday 4th June | Read our review