Delight as Annie wins at long last

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HORSE RACING: The odds were against My Faithful Annie seeing 2012 let alone winning her first race at the 21st attempt. She has been with Granborough trainer Tony Middleton for less than a year since arriving from Ireland without ever being placed in a race there.

After arriving at Granborough, she had run six times being placed twice and winning once on Wednesday week at Huntingdon. Even so, it was apparent that a wind operation would help her in her races and this was undertaken last summer. She reacted quite badly to the operation and wouldn’t eat or drink and became badly dehydrated. Her owner, Florence Thomas said: ‘I had never given up hope and always believed in her – there’s a lot of sentimentality involved with her.”

Trainer Tony Middleton said: ‘She was 24 hours from being put down and that was just in August. Horses are amazing with what they can go through.”

My Faithful Annie had initially started her racing over hurdles but changed to chasing after being schooled at home by Welsh Grand National winning jockey Charlie Poste .who considered her a natural at jumping fences.

Although a 10/1 shot in the betting, she was never out of the leading three in the 2 mile 4 furlong handicap chase at Huntingdon and jumped superbly. She showed her fighting spirit by rallying past Kinkeel to win by three lengths.

Middleton added: “She was trying 2 miles 4 furlongs for the first time and had not run well in Ireland in soft ground so we were apprehensive about how she would perform.

“However, she travelled well in the race and ran on at the finish so I’m hoping the wind operation has been successful and we can win some more races for her owner.”