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Antepost: Blood on the Carpet

by Roy Brindley |  Published: Jul 01, 2009


In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed, Nirvana released their Nevermind album, the Americans marched into Kuwait and the Iraqis marched out. Indeed the world would never be the same again. In horseracing too it was a memorable year. Generous was an awesome winner of the Derby, New Zealand-bred Seagram took the Grand National, and Garrison Savannah carried trainer’s son Mark Pitman over the line ahead of the Gold Cup field. But, forgetting rolls of honour, one of the momentous happenings of the turf this particular year, and of the entire decade, was the remarkable gamble landed in the opening race of the Cheltenham Festival, the Supreme Novices Hurdle. The horse was Destriero and the owner a certain J.J. Furlong, better known as Noel — having been born on Christmas Day. Once raced, a double-digit price, and unconsidered right up until the jockeys were given the order to mount, a mountain ...

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