Sad news has broken that Lochsong, the race mare that won the hearts of the racing nation in the mid-Nineties, has died at the age of 26.
The daughter of Song was owned by Jeff Smith and trained at Kingsclere by Ian Balding and began her winning ways in 1991 with a couple of modest handicaps.
The following year with Willie Carson in the saddle, Lochsong began to make giant strides, landing the Stewards’ Cup, Portland Handicap and Ayr Gold Cup, with Frank Arrowsmith riding her on the latter occasion. It was a treble which it is hard to envisage being repeated.
The following year, now aged 5, Lochsong was partnered with Frankie Dettori and stepped out of handicap grade to win the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, before landing the Nunthorpe Stakes with blistering speed. She moved up to 6 furlongs for the Haydock Sprint Cup but always seemed to find the extra furlong just a stretch too far in Group 1 races and finished third to Wolfhound here. However, reverting to five furlongs at Longchamp she brilliantly disposed of her rivals in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp by 6 lengths and by the year’s end had earned the title ‘Queen of Speed’.
In 1994 Lochsong hit top form early winning the Palace House Stakes and Temple Stakes before blitzing her rivals from the front in the King’s Stand Stakes, on the latter occasion leaving Blyton Lad the runner-up some 5 lengths adrift.
Once again the sixth furlong proved too much for her as she tackled the July Cup but she was back to winning ways at her beloved Glorious Goodwood in the King George Stakes.
After disappointing in the Nunthorpe, Lochsong had one last glorious victory in Paris, slamming another top class field by 5 lengths to earn her second Prix de l’Abbaye. There was time for a trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint but Lochsong never really threatened, retiring to the paddocks and Jeff Smith’s Littleton Stud for a long and happy retirement.
Lochsong developed a huge following down the years and will be sadly missed but happily remembered by countless racing fans tonight.
www.sportinglife.com quoted Stud manager David Bowe: “Sadly she got a colic this morning.
“She had been absolutely fine, the same old character. She was great to have about the place and she was a fantastic racemare.
“She was conceived here, foaled here and lived out her life here – she was part of the fabric and when her racing days were over she returned as one of the foundation mares of Littleton Stud.
“She had a great innings, and it’s nice to see them happy and healthy to the end and she had that.
“She was a great personality and leaves a big hole, but hopefully we will have some of her progeny back here.
“Her last foal, Swan Song, is in training with Andrew Balding and we look forward to seeing him here one day.”