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Legends of the sport: Superstar racehorse Arkle, who was deemed ‘immortal’ *H&H Plus*

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  • The story of this equine gladiator, deemed “immortal” by his supporters, knows no bounds. Julian Muscat investigates Arkle’s supremacy – the likes of which may never be seen again

    Arkle’s origins

    Bay gelding, foaled 19 April 1957
    By Archive out of Bright Cherry, by Knight Of The Garter
    Owner: Anne, Duchess of Westminster
    Trainer: Tom Dreaper
    Breeder: Mary Baker
    Jockey: Pat Taaffe

    Arkle’s sire, Archive, was well bred but next to useless as a racehorse: he never managed to win a race of any description. That meant his stud fee was negligible, which prompted his breeder, Mary Baker, to choose him as a mate for Arkle’s dam, Bright Cherry. Bright Cherry won six times over jumps over two miles for the Tom Dreaper stable. Arkle’s breeder was only too happy to sell him as an unbroken three year-old for 1,150 guineas in 1960. The rest, as they say…

    “Arkle, Ireland.” Two words on the front of an envelope were sufficient for fan mail posted in Britain to find its way to Tom Dreaper’s stables in Co Meath, where Arkle was trained. Arkle’s fame was such that any further details were superfluous.