A winner from his first race to his last . . .

What do you write when a horse retires from racing? What do you write when a good horse retires from racing? What do you write when an exceptional horse retires from racing? Well, let’s start at the very beginning . . . . .

Forafewdollarsmore made his first appearance in a Qualifier at Tregaron during May 2008. As a three year old he made an immediate impression in what was to become a resplendent career – winning a Heat and Final of the York Championship in June (completing both races in under two minutes on successive days), returning to shatter the UK record in the BHRC Derby at the same track in July (the time of 3.03.6 still remains intact) and later in August, just to demonstrate his ability on grass, to convincingly win the Scottish Championship at Musselburgh Racecourse. He was already becoming a significant force to be reckoned with.

Over the years he has been handled by the Meadowbranch and Porterstown stables in Ireland and some of the foremost drivers in the business have occupied the bike – these include John Richardson, Steve Lees, Jonathan Dunne and Walter Stewart. Oh, yes Walter deserves to be included and join in that company . . . . after all it was he who fancied this son of The Panderosa at the Forest City Sales in 2006. On his website (where you can access all of his career history) his breeder Mary Clarke from Inglewood, Ontario posted a comment in September 2013, “Someone approached me the other day and told me that I was the breeder of that famous horse. My response was that I had never had a famous horse. Then I remembered the person was referring to Forafewdollarsmore. Honestly, the horse is a world star”.

In 2009 racing was confined to a solitary appearance at Tir Prince where he clocked an impressive time of 1.57.8 but in the following year he showed his capability and his prominence became really apparent. He won one of the most celebrated races of his career in magnificent style at Musselburgh. Gordon Garnett, the BHRC Chairman, has been quoted as saying “It’s the most important meeting of the year, it’s the oldest dating back to the 1890’s, it’s the most difficult to win and generally the richest and most prestigious to win. The Famous Musselburgh Pace takes precedence over any other race”.

If that wasn’t enough, later that year he completed a noteworthy double by winning S4C’s televised final of their Crock of Gold series. It was an unforgettable night with a mammoth crowd who disregarded the atrocious weather and the track has never in it’s entire history experienced such jubilant post-race celebrations. Previously he had already established a new track record of 1.56.2 in a heat of that particular race. Journalist Eric Haughan from Ireland has remarked in one of his articles that the winner of the Crock is the “Best of the Best”. It is a fact that all the best horses have raced at Tir Prince. As Forafewdollarsmore remains the quickest of them all around that circuit maybe he really is, “the Best of the Best”.

He continued to enjoy further success during 2011, 2012 and 2013 and in that latter year came away with the spoils in a showcase FFA at the renowned venue of Dunstall Park, Wolverhampton. During that meeting the owner’s wife Carmel was presented with the BHRC Overseas Horse of the Year trophy. This was also a great tribute to Walter as he had trained and driven his horse throughout 2012. Forafewdollarsmore was a frequent visitor to race at BHRC fixtures and was voted Overseas Horse of the Year on two other occasions – 2008 and 2013.

During a very distinguished career he has been a very special horse producing remarkable performances in all four home countries but he has also been a very special family horse to Walter, Carmel, Jimmy, Watty and Lawrence. There has been considerable hardwork, passion, self sacrifice and input into this horse to ensure he remained competitive to the very end. They were all well rewarded when he came home in a time of 1.57.8 in his last outing at Portmarnock on the 5th October and it was a very fitting ending to his career that he should lift the James Stewart Memorial Challenge Cup in memory of Walter’s father.

He will be standing at stud with Ayr Standardbreds in Scotland early next year. Besides his character and personality he has shown power, strength and determination wherever he has raced and his progeny will undoubtedly inherit all these fine qualities and just like their sire, be regular visitors to the winners enclosures in the UK and Ireland.

Graham Rees

  • Forafewdollarsmore - Crock of Gold Heat 2012
  • Forafewdollarsmore - Ceredigion 2013
  • Forafewdollarsmore - Musselburgh 2010