KATIE IN A HURRY ON MAGNOLIA CUP WINNER HARRY
Katie Forrest, who lives in Chiddingfold in Surrey and is the managing director of the Edit Design Agency, won today's Magnolia Cup (presented by Swarovski in supportof Cancer Research UK) at the Qatar Goodwood Festival riding Hurricane Harry.
The winner, who is trained near Chiddingfold by George Baker, tracked Harrodian Knight through the first few furlongs and then eased past before recording a comfortable success. The Ian Williams-trained Harrodian Knight, the mount of Sarah Cook who works on the Daily Mirror's sports desk, took second ahead of the Camilla Swift-ridden Boots And Spurs from Scott Dixon's stable.
Forrest's win in a race which has raised more than £1.2m for charity since its inception eight years ago, was most appropriate, for her father, Tim, has been suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment. Fortunately he and his wife Susie were at Goodwood today to witness their daughter's triumph.
The winning rider exclaimed: "I can't even put my feelings into words. I think it was Mick Fitzgerald who said winning [the Grand National] was better than sex, and it really is - it is the most insane feeling.
"I owe it all to George Baker and his team, who are the most fantastic group of people. I've gained a family in the last six months - oh my God, I'm going to cry! My dad has cancer, but this will be a big boost for him, and I've raised £10,000 to do this, so to win it as well is insane. I've got so many people to be grateful to, and the horse, Harry Hurricane literally carried me home - I didn't have a clue what I was doing half the time.
"I begged to do this race in March, but the riders had already been selected. Then one dropped out in May and I got my chance to take part. Since then it has been a whirlwind to get ready for this, but it's been worth it.
"I got a good start, but the Bakers drilled it into me, 'Nail the start and you will be half way there. I sat behind a grey horse [Harrodian Knight] who pulled me along for two furlongs and apart from that it is a blur. I got to about a furlong out and thought 'I don't know where everyone else is, but I'm going to try and keep going'. By then my legs had gone and I was wobbling, but the horse kept going and is a legend.
"I've never done anything like this - just a bit of showjumping - but everyone at the yard has given me great advice."
Candida Baker, whose husband trained the winner, said: "Katie has been riding out for us for some months, but she only had six weeks preparation for this. We've had this horse for a long time and is part of the family, and Katie proved to us that she was good enough to ride him. He's a strong horse at home and not an easy ride, but towards the end she really got to grips with him. Two weeks ago I said she could ride him here and she burst into tears - so then I burst into tears.
"I'm very proud of her. We said, 'He'll try to turn around at the start. Don't! Keep a short rein and keep him going forward and then let him go. If anyone deserves this win it is Katie, who has worked so hard."
"Sarah Cook, who rode second-placed Harrodian Knight, said: "That's the best thing I've ever done, I loved it. I just couldn't keep up with the winner. I knew he was the one to beat. My horse travelled so well today, I'm so happy."
Camilla Swift, supplements editor of The Spectator and rider of third-placed Boots And Spurs, said: "I'm really pleased, I'd only ridden the horse twice before and done a bit of work with him and he's a nice horse and he won the race last year, so there was a bit of pressure. But I was really pleased with how he went considering he normally runs over a mile so he was really coming on at the end.
"It is all for Cancer Research at the end of the day. It is not about where you come it is about the charity but it was nice to do well!"
Scott Dixon, who had two runners in the race including Boots And Spurs, said: "Boots And Spurs won last year and he's come third this year. He is stronger this year, the winner was rated very high and obviously they carry level weights. The ground was not his optimum but it was safe for him. Camilla came and rode him out at home and he's just a legend of a horse. It is a lovely day for the owners for a great cause yet again and its lovely the riders get to enjoy the Charity Ball tonight."
Lady Alice Manners, unplaced on See Lewis Triumph, said: "I am very happy. I really wanted to come placed but I've had bronchitis for the last week so I could barely breathe as it was but I'm really happy. The horse was amazing and gave me such a good ride. I'm so grateful to Derek Shaw and George Scott for all of their help. I'm over the moon."