It all started in September 2011 a message from Newmarket based trainer Amy Weaver… Anyone interested in a share of Deerslayer…. Amy had just claimed him out of a race at wolves. He had been on my hit list since Dark lane had beat him in a photo finish at Kempton for wildcard Racing. I met up with Amy at Newmarket and a few possible owners and the deal was done…. The mighty Deerslayer had joined WRS.
He ran a few times in Handicaps for us never really getting home on the turf…. So the plan was put together to run him in a claimer at Lingfield. A hot contest featuring a well fancied runner from the Kevin Ryan Yard… Deerslayer bossed the race leading all the way and landing the prize. Was a massive bonus not being claimed and we had a master plan ready to unleash.
Amy had an idea to send him to race in America, he was American bred, loved the all-weather and strong as an ox…. we decided to get the plan rolling and aim for the Gravesend handicap at Aqueduct. I was registered as owner, Deerslayer had his jabs and before we knew it he was on a plan and on his way to NYC…… I could have flown business class for the amount his flight cost but that’s the pampered life of a though bred.
He settled in to his new American life well and was in great form ahead of his stab at the Gravesend handicap… sadly Deerslayer had a different plan…..
5 minutes to post…. everyone watching… expectation high….. then a message flashes up on screen Deerslayer Scratched. He had dumped his jockey going to post, crashed through the rails and into a shed destroying everything in his way….. For a short time it was touch and go if he would survive. He is a tuff cookie, great effort by the medical staff and Amy waver meant that in the morning he was still with us….. a bit battered and bruised but still with us…… Our American dream looked over
Amy stayed with him all Christmas and new year… keeping me up to date all the way. Deerslayer is the type of horse you would love to own and his never say die attitude came to light and he was back working in January. Amy had managed to sell 50% of him and we had covered our costs…. now the plan was to find the right race and sell the rest of him.
Deerslayer was prepped for a run over 7F, to my and Amy’s amazement as never looked like getting home over that distance but the American style suited him and entering the last furlong he was still in front, but the line did not come fast enough and we would have to wait to get a winner….. Deerslayer got done on the line.. so close!!!!!
we knew he could go one better so he was entered on Belmont stakes day… The race after the Belmont stakes… A $32,000 claimer. Was just down to Deerslayer now….
Amy booked her flight and headed off stateside, I had my rebull ready to keep me awake till 1220 am Sunday morning to cheer him home.
Gates opened, a slight stumble meant his usual front running style was put on hold… he sat 3rd round the bend, as they came in to the stretch Deerslayer picked up and in a matter of strides was in front…. hands and heels all the way, one quick flick of the whip and a challenger approached but it was never in danger…. Deerslayer had done it, we had landed the American dream, The thinking outside the box plan had worked… Not only were we a fair few thousand dollars richer but with the help of Amy Weaver WRS were on the world map.
I quick catch up with Amy after race was mission complete, Deerslayer had been claimed for $20,000 and was staying in aqueduct….. Job done….. on to the next one.
Its been the most amazing adventure, just shows what can happen when you put your mind to it, get the right horse, right trainer and a few owners who paid just £200 a month….Now we have a winner in the USA.
I am hungry for more and will be taking miss weaver out for a well-deserved bottle of champagne to discuss our future…. anything is possible at wildcard Racing!!!!!