Horse & Hound at Epsom: racing editor’s blog

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  • There’s just something about a Classic. You can take your Cheltenhams and your Aintrees — in high summer I wouldn’t give you a penny for them.

    The sight of a fleet of beautifully-bred, burnished three-year-olds sailing down Epsom’s hill with reputations, careers and millions of pounds riding on them really is something to take home and dream about.

    A lot of people in the equestrian world dismiss flat racing as boring. Are they mad?

    Let’s not forget that all horse sports hold flat racing at the top of their pedigree tree. If people hadn’t cared whether Thoroughbreds could run faster than one another a couple of hundred years ago, we wouldn’t have Badminton, or the Hickstead Derby, or the Royal International Horse Show.

    These horses really are the best of the best, and they look it. Each detail is finely sculpted for maximum physical ability; these fillies running in today’s Oaks are the supermodels of the horse world. Kate Moss, eat your heart out.

    And it’s not just the racing crowd who agree — it was a surprise to spot the lean, hawk-billed profile and wide shoulders of Mark Todd inspecting them closely in the paddock. Let’s not forget the great man trained an Oaks winner of his own — Bramble Rose won the New Zealand version in 2003. He’s a man who knows a good horse when he sees one.

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