For the love of horses

Racing aficionado Jim Donaghy is heading to Dubai for the World Cup. He shares his passion for racing

‘I absolutely love horses and always have done. I’ve been to the racing since I was very young, so, for some of the horses in this year’s World Cup, I’ve seen their father horses, their grandfather horses, even their great grandfather horses.

I’ve been to the racing in Dubai, Ireland, America and all over England. It’s very much an international sport -– it’s almost like a village or a community that moves around the world. Last week I went to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which is a steeplechase (a race over fences) and you just get to know the horses. Then you follow them and find your favourites. I never have more than a pound on a race when I bet in the UK. I can go to the races, not have a bet and still get as much, if not more, enjoyment.

‘The best race I’ve ever seen was the King George VI, Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in 1975, between the horses Grunder and Bustino. They were two top horses who just pulled clear of the field and were battling neck and neck up the final strait. It was a phenomenal race, it took my breath away. Afterwards you knew you’d witnessed something special and the crowd just went mad.’

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