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Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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Greg Wood’s article in The Guardian (or The Grauniad, if you prefer) sums up the whole George Washington/Holy Roman Emperor affair very well indeed:

Whatever gloss they try to put on it – and Coolmore does gloss like no one else – this can be no more than a damage-limitation exercise. And if it makes business sense to retire a fit three-year-old with a good chance in the Guineas on last year’s form, then there must also be a strong suspicion that Magnier and his associates felt that Holy Roman Emperor’s best days might already be behind him.

After all, why race at three? By that logic, Halfbridled is the best filly ever to set foot on a track. Here is another well-considered excerpt:

In the 1980s, the Coolmore mafia was often criticised for retiring a horse as soon as it had won a Classic. Now, it seems even that is an optional extra, and it is not just Holy Roman Emperor’s ante-post backers who are – quite rightly – angry and baffled at the sudden exit of a sound, talented and Classically bred colt just weeks before the Guineas meeting.

Very good points indeed…but I am still left wondering why George Washington’s issues were not discovered before the breeding season got underway.

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