I have always loved horses. Majestic, elegant, powerful creatures, full of character and stubborn determination. I have had several “favourites” in my time including Desert Orchid, Sefton, Milton, Master Oats, Tingle Creek and now, Dream Alliance.
The fact that Dream Alliance should be challenging the great Denman in the Hennessy at Newbury tomorrow (currently 66-1), weather permitting, and defending his Welsh National title in December is a miracle in itself and I know that his rags-to-riches story of serious injuries, recoveries and subsequent triumphs has made grown men weep. I know. I’ve seen them. So why is this horse so special?
Dream Alliance was reared on a Welsh allottment above an old slag heap in Cefn Fforest, and is owned by a syndicate of amateurs including an ASDA cleaner, pub landlord, and a tax colleague of mine who heads up the syndicate, Howard Davies. Almost 2 years ago when “The Dream” was developing nicely and showing great promise he struck into his tendon running at Aintree and the vets at Liverpool University gave him no chance of racing again. Slicing through the tendons would normally sound the death knell for a racehorse but this is no ordinary syndicate of owners. They decided that experimental stem-cell treatment was the best option for the horse and the team invested a sizeable chunk of the Dream’s retirement fund into the rescue programme. Their faith was repaid when Dream Alliance won the Welsh National last Christmas at Chepstow and then gave the owners a fabulous experience at Aintree in the Spring when he ran in the Grand National itself. A real fairytale for all concerned and a fantastic example of triumph over adversity. What an inspiration this horse and his owners are and I would love to see the proposed film come to fruition and take the cinemas by storm.
They never gave up hope. They cared for their horse and made sure that he received the best possible care and opportunity to come back and show everyone his true spirit.
I am a huge fan of this horse and win or lose this week or next month I will still send him his favourite treat of Polos or Extra Strong mints via Howard.
He’s a star and he deserves them.
Read more about Dream Alliance;