RACING’S GREATEST LOVE STORIES

With Valentine’s Day knocking on the door we thought we would take a look at a few famous cases where cupid’s arrow has struck in the racing world.

In a sport where so much emotion and care is invested there is no wonder it produces such strong love affairs.

CORINE BARANDE BARBE AND CIRRUS DES AIGLES

It is understandable that trainers become attached to their stable stars but the unparalleled love between Corine and Cirrus is a story like no other in the racing world.

Corine has known Cirrus his entire life, she speaks so fondly of him in saying “the bond I have with Cirrus is very special…I have the impression that he trusts me”. Even in retirement you can see the affection Corine still holds for her superstar, sneaking him a sugar lump as a treat at every opportunity.

Corine Barande-Barbe gives Cirrus Des Aigles a kiss (pic: focusonracing.com)

FRANKEL AND SIR HENRY CECIL

The partnership between Sir Henry and Frankel made racing history. Sir Henry championed Frankel as “the best I’ve ever had, the best I’ve ever seen and I would be very surprised if there will be better”. If you ever heard Sir Henry speak of Frankel the respect, admiration and love was evident.

The relationship was mutual, Sir Henry created a Champion of new extremes but Frankel equally was responsible for creating a legendary racing comeback for his trainer. When Sir Henry was originally diagnosed terminal cancer, many said that it was Frankel who kept him going.

Sir Henry Cecil and his beloved Frankel (picture: focusonracing.com)

FURTHER FLIGHT AND THE JOCKEY CLUB CUP

Further Flight won the Jockey Club Cup (now The QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup) for an unprecedented five years in a row from 1991-1995; a record which still stands as the most consecutive wins by any racehorse in the same graded race. To come back and win year after year meant there was clearly something about this race in particular that ignited Further Flight.

Further Flight wins the 1990 Eborby. Pic: Mark Cranham, Racing Post

KAUTO AND DENMAN

Despite their paths crossing on the track on only a handful of occasions the two National Hunt legends were famously the best of friends at home. They say opposites attract; this is clearly the case for these particular stablemates. Denman, being surlier in nature, would often be less friendly to visitors, whereas Kauto Star was described as a poser, taking any opportunity to show off in front of the cameras.

The two could often be seen nodding at each other between their stables – no doubt discussing their number of Grade One wins between them.

Denman (left) and Kauto Star with trainer Paul Nicholls. Picture: racingfotos.com

AP AND JP

The former Champion of the sport Sir AP McCoy was retained jockey for JP McManus from 2004 to 2015. In this time the pair had an untouchable winning ability and McCoy earned half of his Champion Jockey titles in the famous gold and green hoops.  In the paddock, the relationship between jockey and owner was strictly professional. But JP’s awe and respect for AP was evident, the partnership produced legendary performances for the sport, a relationship to go down in history.

JP McManus (left) and Sir AP McCoy have been friends for decades (pic: focusonracing.com)

THE NEW ONE AND HAYDOCK

The New One and Haydock have a particularly strong bond and Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge has a 100% strike rate at the track, winning all four of his races there to date.

The game hurdler seems to relish the long finishing straight and has successfully fought off any challenge thrown at him on the run in over the years.

He is entered in the both the Sun Bet Stayers’ Hurdle and Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham; will he be able to replicate his Haydock winning ways in March?

The New One wins the Champion Hurdle trial at Haydock. Picture: focusonracing.com

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