A two-year-old filly who was unsold at the Ascot sales with a price tag of just £1,000 claimed her fifth consecutive win on Friday (7 October) at Newmarket, taking her total winnings up to £196,000.
The homebred Mrs Danvers made her racecourse debut on the Flat in June and has remained unbeaten for her trainer Jonathan Portman.
However, at one stage it looked unlikely any trainer or owner was going to take on the Hellvelyn-sired filly. That was until Lambourn-based trainer Jonathan responded to an email sent out by Mrs Danvers’ breeder, Connie Hopper, asking for possible leasers for the filly.
“Her breeders didn’t want to sell her so they hoped to lease her. Possibly due to her obscure pedigree, no one was interested,” said Jonathan.
“She’s got an interesting story, her breeder rescued her dam [Rebecca De Winter] from an uncertain future and then they bred her to a relatively unknown stallion.”
“But I went to look at her and liked her so I brought her home.”
Mrs Danvers was then leased to a London-based syndicate called the Turf Club 2014, which is made up of an impressive 92 members.
The trainer aimed the filly at the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury (16 July), a race for horses sold by public auction for less than a specified price.
“For her to run in the race she had to have gone through the sales ring, so we sent her to Ascot sales. Perhaps if she had made a lot of money her breeder would have considered selling but yet again no one took an interest and she returned to my yard,” Jonathan added.
Mrs Danvers won the 23-horse race, under Luke Morris.
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She has continued to run successfully, racking up the prize-money since her debut. She also broke the track record for juveniles at Newmarket in her most recent triumph.
“I always thought there was something about her, she’s always been a smart filly,” Jonathan said. “It was more about having a realistic plan with her and I was more surprised that our derived passage actually went to plan.”