Back in 1997 the yard only had three two-year-olds and a string of around fifteen horses but LORD KINTYRE, sired by the unheard of Makbul and bought for £9,200, was a two-year-old that was starting to put our stable on the map. He had won a 24-runner maiden on his second start at Windsor before finishing a very creditable fourth in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot and we headed to Newbury for the Weathebys Super Sprint with high hopes of success. The confidence was not misplaced as under Brett Doyle and sent off at odds of 7/1, Lord Kintyre hit the front approaching the final furlong and powered clear from his twenty-two rivals to win by three quarters of a length. While the near £75,000 in prize money was a welcome boost, the huge publicity from winning a big Saturday race for such a small yard meant plenty of media exposure that certainly helped boost our profile and attracted new owners into the yard.
After his Super Sprint success, Lord Kintyre went on to finish second to Daggers Drawn in the Richmond at Glorious Goodwood, fourth in the Gimcrack at York before again filling the runners-up spot in the Cornwallis. At three, he was third in the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot at 33/1, just behind Bolshoi and Lochangel but sadly burst a blood vessel in the July Cup on his following start and it was a problem that would plague the rest of his career. After failing to find him a home as a sprint stallion, he was gelded and given plenty of time off before returning to his best as a five-year-old. He recorded three consecutive wins that culminated in the Listed Scarborough Stakes at Doncaster and he hit a career high of 112. He continued to perform creditably over the next three seasons, adding a sixth and final victory when landing a Salisbury handicap as an eight-year-old before being retired with earnings of £191,741.
It’s no doubt that without Lord Kintyre, it would be highly unlikely that Rod Millman Racing would still be trading and along with Whitbarrow, he has a home here for life. Even in retirement, he has been a great asset for the yard. Initially a lead horse for the yearlings, he also acted as a school master for our novice riders and certainly kept them on their toes. Although no longer ridden as age is starting to catch up with him, he is a great companion for horses that are having time out in the field and is certainly part of the furniture here at The Paddocks.
Twenty-two years later, we head back to Newbury with two contenders for the Super Sprint with lightly weighted fillies BETTYS HOPE and DADDIES DIVA hoping to take home a bit of the £250,000 available in prize money. Betty has done nothing wrong in her five starts so far, finishing runner-up on her first three outings before landing a Novice at Chepstow and then a £20,000 Nursery at Chelmsford. She may well be better over six furlongs but will be staying on strongly in the closing stages. Diva won on her third start at Nottingham on soft ground and has run well in defeat on her subsequent two starts and carrying just eight stone, she too must be considered. With both fillies combined costing just £5,000, it’s great to even have a chance of landing such a huge prize and it would be brilliant if either could emulate Lord Kintyre’s fairy-tale success.