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Horse Articles :: Best Mate - Famous Horse
Best Mate - Famous Horse
This article will look at the illustrious yet short career
of Best Mate, thought of by many horse racing experts including
myself, as possibly the best horse to ever jump over fences.
As there is just so much to include in this article, I have
split it into two parts for ease of reading.
Best Mate - A Very Special Horse Indeed
I don't know if you've noticed, but words like 'special',
'great', 'class' and 'legend' tend to be overused in sporting
circles these days.
With Best Mate however, they all apply... in abundance.
Before I talk about his career, his achievements and the factors
that made him great as a racehorse, I'd like to just give
my own personal views first, as this truly was a special horse
Best Mate - 1995 to 2005
And it is with a lump in my throat that I use the word 'was',
because unfortunately for his owners, his trainers and stable
hands, the jockeys that rode him, the racing public and me,
Best Mate is no longer with us.
Best Mate was born on 28 January 1995 to his Sire (father)
- Un Desperado and his Dam (mother) - Katday. This in itself
makes him special to me as he shares his birthday with my
son, who was also born on 28 January.
He was a beautiful, majestic bay gelding who really had a
lot of character about him, and whenever I saw him at the
racecourse he always seemed to be enjoying himself.
He also brought me a lot of luck at the course, winning for
me on more than one occasion. Best Mate seemed to have a certain
style, and certain elegance about how he did things too, and
he stood out amongst his fellow horses.
Best Mate's Career
His record is one to admire and shows just how classy a horse
the Jim Lewis owned gelding was. The first statistic that
stands out is his three consecutive victories in the challenging
and gruelling Cheltenham Gold Cup.
To win this great once is no mean feat, but to win it three
times, and consecutively (2002, 2003 and 2004) is quite remarkable
and has only ever been done once before, by the great horse
In all of his races, Best Mate was never out of the first
two places. This is an amazing statistic and outlines the
standard that the he set. Trainer Henrietta Knight is understandably
very proud of his career and she should be.
In all, he won 14 out of his 22 starts and came second in
seven. His impressive 14 victories are listed below:
• Martell Mersey Novice Hurdle, April 2000
• Independent Novice Chase, November 2000
• Scilly Isles Novice Chase, February 2001
• Peterborough Chase, November 2001
• Cheltenham Gold Cup, March 2002
• Peterborough Chase, November 2002
• King George VI Gold Cup, December 2002
• Cheltenham Gold Cup, March 2003
• Ericsson Chase, December 2003
• Cheltenham Gold Cup, March 2004
• William Hill Chase, November 2004
You will no doubt have noticed, that I mentioned that he'd
never finished outside of the top two in any race, yet 14
victories and seven second place finishes equals 21 and not
Well, the reason for this will be explained in Part Two of
this article as will the remainder of the story about every
horse racing fan's mate, Best Mate.
Cliff Thurston is the owner of Grosvenor Racing Club, which
provides horse racing tips to its members. You can also read
his renowned horse racing blog for up to date views and news.
Cliff has also interviewed several high profile racing experts
and these can be accessed via his sites.Please visit http://www.grosvenor-racing-club.co.uk