Lochsong

Type: Bay filly

Sire/Dam: Song, Peckits Well

Owner J C Smith

Timeform: 129

The story of Lochsong reads more like a fiction novel than fact, such was the metamorphic change from uninspiring youngster, to being crowned “The Queen of Speed”.

Lochsong arrived at Kingsclere at the end of her two year old career which she had spent with Lord John Fitzgerald in Newmarket. She had little to recommend her; she was backward, had horrible ankles and looked to be slow with it. The brief from her owner was to try and win a little race with the filly somehow, so that she could return to his Littleton Stud and join his expanding band of broodmares.

At Redcar in October of 1991 Lochsong won her first race on her second start and although it was only a minor event, she had achieved what had been hoped for. An apprentice race at Newbury over seven furlongs followed as an after thought, but she also won this albeit by the narrowest of margins. Two wins from only three runs, was the statistic that encouraged Jeff Smith to send Lochsong back into training for another season.

1992 saw the filly turn into a mare and the transformation saw her win a unique hat trick of big sprint handicaps; The Stewards Cup, Portland and Ayr Gold Cups are steeped in history and for the first time ever all three were won by the same horse in the same year. She ended the year by finishing second at group level in the Diadem stakes (Gr3) at Ascot and the transformation was complete, from 70 rated mediocrity to a performer at the top level. Lochsong once again raced on the following season and although performing well at group level in her first few starts, it was not until she was partnered for the first time by Frankie Dettori, that she showed the zest that was to become her trademark. A listed race win at Sandown was followed by Group 3 success at Goodwood and then an amazing reversal of the form book saw her run away with the premier 5 furlong sprint in England, the Nunthorpe Stakes (Gr1) at York. The trailblazing style which seemed to suit her so well also meant that it was unlikely that she would be as effective over six furlongs as she was over the minimum distance. This point was somewhat proven in her next start the Vernons Sprint (Gr1) at Haydock and in spite of fading in the last furlong, Lochsong still managed to finish a highly creditable third. The main European sprint event of the autumn is the Prix de L'Abbaye at Longchamp and this provided the flying mare with the perfect opportunity to put her name forward for the title of the champion sprinter of 1992. Lochsong's performance was nothing short of spectacular, leading from start to finish and drawing away to win by a long looking four lengths. Not only was Lochsong awarded with the title of 'Champion Sprinter', but such was the magnitude of her performance in France that she was also crowned 'Cartier Horse of the Year 1992'. Things were slightly different in 1993, Lochsong had become the darling of the racing public and expectations were high. She started the season where she had left off the last one, with a breathtaking win in the Palace House Stakes (Gr3) at Newmarket registering a three length win in a course record time. It was a similar story and a similar manner of victory in the Temple Stakes (Gr2) at Sandown and her prohibitive odds in her third start meant that many of the betting markets for The King's Stand Stakes(Gr2) were concerned not with whether she would win, but the time that Lochsong would record in doing so! The reception she and Frankie received after yet another bloodless victory was one of the highlights of Royal Ascot. Lochsong had become increasingly headstrong during her career and any chance she had of getting the six furlongs in the July Cup (Gr1) was blown away when she all but bolted with Willie Carson on the way to the start. Re united with Frankie for the Nunthorpe Stakes (Gr1) at York, Lochsong was a short priced favourite to repeat her previous year's victory in the race. However, the demons struck again and she covered the first two furlongs of the canter down as quickly as she would in the race itself. Dropping away tamely from halfway, the exertions of her pre race antics had taken their toll and many experts were questioning whether Lochsong's temperament would signal the end of a brilliant racing career. Another stunning victory in the Prix de L'Abbaye (Gr1) at Longchamp put paid to this theory and the mare received a deafening reception on her return to an emotional winner's enclosure. In spite of a lacklustre run in Breeder's Cup Sprint (Gr1) at the end of the year, Lochsong ended her career on a high as she was voted the champion Sprinter for the second season running. She is now a broodmare at her owners stud in Hampshire but will long be remembered by all who saw her race.