Borderlescott won the Stewards’ Cup in 2006 and two Nunthorpes
PICTURE: Mark Cranham
By Lee Mottershead 9:27AM 30 JUL 2016
THERE have been few sprinters so popular in recent years, and very few with such an affinity for Goodwood, as Borderlescott, who will today continue to enjoy retirement in West Yorkshire, ten years on from his success in the Stewards’ Cup.
In an 85-race career, in which he was trained throughout by Robin Bastiman, Borderlescott won 14 times, the most important of those victories coming at Group 1 level in the Nunthorpe Stakes, which he captured at Newmarket in 2008 before repeating the triumph back at the race’s usual home, York, 12 months later.
However, Goodwood was also a happy hunting ground for Borderlescott, who took the 2006 Stewards’ Cup before finishing a short-head second in 2007, a close third in 2008, ninth in 2012 and 18th in 2014. On top of that he won the King George Stakes in 2010.
Almost always at his side as an adoring groom was Bastiman’s daughter, Rebecca, but that was not the case when the now trainer was forced to watch from afar as the then four-year-old became a Stewards’ Cup hero under Royston Ffrench.
“To be honest, I was fuming that day,” she recalled. “I normally went everywhere with Scotty, but my brother, Harvey, accompanied him for that Stewards’ Cup because I had to ride at Thirsk.
“I watched the race from the owners’ and trainers’ room and fell to my knees when he won. After that everyone started hugging me.
“I was crying my eyes out all day and was still emotional during the race at Thirsk. In fact, I was so overcome I practically forgot how to ride. My legs had gone to jelly. I completely fluffed up the race.”
Borderlescott and Ffrench stayed on strongly to pip Mutamared by a neck ten years ago in a stirring finish. Favourite Firenze was a neck further back in third, while the margins then went head, short head, short head, short head.
He’s never far from me
Owners James Edgar and William Donaldson kindly kept Borderlescott with the Bastimans, and he will be continuing his normal routine there on Stewards’ Cup day.
“He’s in great order,” continued Bastiman. “He’s still like a bright-eyed young horse. You certainly wouldn’t think he was 14. He lives in the same stable as when he was racing and gets turned out in his paddock every day. He is loving life.
“We’ve had him since he was a baby and he’s still a cheeky monkey. To everyone in the family he is very special, and he’s never far from me.
“I loved him through his racing years. I love him even more now.”