Lochsong in retirement
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Few sprinters of the last quarter century have evoked as much public affection as Lochsong.

She seemed to race forever and helped to put Frankie Dettori firmly in the public conscience as she climbed the ranks from handicapper to world class sprinter.

Trained at Kingsclere, by Ian Balding, Lochsong raced in the familiar purple silks of Jeff Smith – who had already won a July Cup with the brilliant Chief Singer.

Lochsong was sired by Song and born in April 1988.

In the summer of 1991, Lochsong made a promising debut when second in a seven furlong maiden at Salisbury. It was a promising start, but nobody could have imagined the mark she would make.

Even so, her first victory came next time out over six furlongs at Redcar – and she added a second victory over seven, on her handicap debut at Newbury, in late October.

1992

By 1992, Lochsong was really filling out and developed into a powerful specimen.

After running third at Pontefract on her return, she landed a valuable York handicap at the Dante meeting, with Willie Carson aboard for the first time and carrying just 7 stone 12 pounds!

Carson kept the ride in the 30-runner Wokingham Handicap, where Lochsong ran well, despite her inexperience, to finish 2 lengths fourth behind Red Rosein.

She never looked back from that point.

At Glorious Goodwood, came her first big victory, as she landed the Stewards’ Cup by half a length from Duplicity. But that didn’t tell the whole story, as Carson cut a lone figure down the stands side, with the majority of the field racing down the centre and far side. Still Lochsong had too many guns and recorded a famous victory.

More was to come and after a break, Lochsong added the Portland Handicap at Doncaster’s St Leger Meeting, defeating Venture Capitalist by a neck.

Lochsong was now ascending the handicap at a rate of knots and in the Ayr Gold Cup, she had to shoulder 9 stone.

Once again, there was a huge field (28 this time) but Lochsong, this time ridden by Frank Arrowsmith, was soon into her stride and led on the stands side.

By the two-furlong pole, the pair had shot clear of the field and held a five length advantage.

The race was over by the furlong pole and whilst Echo-Logical closed late on, the bird had very much flown and Lochsong was two-lengths clear.

Her 1992 treble of big handicap sprints was unique and suggested she was Pattern class.

Her final start of the year saw Balding test those credentials in the Group Three Diadem Stakes at a soggy Festival of British Racing at Ascot, in late September.

With Willie Carson back in the saddle, Lochsong tried to burn off her rivals and had them all in trouble except for Wolfhound, a colt with proven Group One class.

Lochsong had to give second best, finishing 1 ½ lengths second to one of John Gosden’s early stable stars.

But 1992 had proved a tumultuous season for Lochsong.

1993

The following year saw a stronger still Lochsong, at the age of five.

It was Pattern races all the way in 1993, starting with a half a length third to Paris House in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket, on the afternoon that Zafonic won the 2,000 Guineas.

Lochsong was not at her best that spring and ran fourth (under Lester Piggott) in the Duke Of York Stakes and the Temple Stakes, before coming third in a Chantilly Group Two in early June.

But those races were just Lochsong warming to the task and the second half of 1993 proved an extended victory parade.

Frankie Dettori had been aboard Lochsong in her disappointing run at Sandown, in the Temple Stakes, behind old rival Paris House.

The partnership was reunited at the Esher track in a Listed race at the Eclipse Stakes meeting and stormed to a four length victory over Bunty Boo.

If proof was needed of Lochsong’s improvement, it came when she beat Paris House by a head in the Group Three King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, her first Group success.

Perhaps the most memorable aspect was that the race was run amidst a sea fret, with the crowd only seeing the latter stages, as Lochsong’s familiar sheepskin noseband emerged from the murk.

A month later, she was a Group One winner.

Eleven lined-up in the 1993 Nunthorpe Stakes at York’s Ebor Meeting.

Lochsong and Dettori broke well and were soon to the fore, with Paris House hard at work to keep up at halfway, as the mare travelled smoothly at the front.

Lochsong had Paris House under pressure as the pair drew clear of their rivals in the final furlong.

But Lochsong lengthened late on as Paris House came to the end of his resolve, with the mare going on to win by 1 ½ lengths.

By now Lochsong and the youthful Dettori had become public property.

Her next outing came in the Haydock Sprint Cup in September, where once again, Wolfhound would prove her nemesis as she ran third.

But stunning recompense came in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp, on Arc Day.

Lochsong and Dettori set off as if the hounds from hell were on their coattails and quickly built up a commanding lead.

Nothing ever got close to Lochsong on that afternoon and she stormed to an emphatic six length triumph over Stack Rock.

Whilst Lochsong had started out over seven furlongs, she was proving the Queen of the Turf over five now.

1994

There was to be one more glorious summer of Lochsong in 1994.

She got her campaign off to the perfect start on a blisteringly hot Newmarket afternoon, landing the Palace House Stakes by three lengths from Tropical, on the afternoon that Mister Baileys landed the 2,000 Guineas.

Lochsong and Dettori then put the record straight in the Group Two Temple Stakes at Sandown, beating Lavinia Fontana by 1 ¾ lengths.

The hat-trick of victories came with a stunning five length victory over Blyton Lad, in the Group Two King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

However, the run came to an abrupt end in the July Cup at Newmarket.

Dettori, in his new role for Sheikh Mohammed, rode Catrail, so Willie Carson resumed his own partnership with Lochsong.

The mare was not on her best behaviour going to the start and raced freely from the break, soon pulling clear.

But the pace she set was suicidal and she couldn’t keep it up, folding tamely to finish eighth of the nine runners behind Owington.

She was back to her best a couple of weeks later at Goodwood, making it back to back wins in the King George Stakes, beating Mistertopogigo by 1 ¼ lengths.

That set Lochsong up for the defence of her Nunthorpe Stakes title.

However, she lost her race before it began, bolting to the start and burning up valuable fuel in the process.

Lochsong figured prominently early on but was under pressure at halfway and finished last of ten behind Piccolo.

But Lochsong once again redeemed herself and proved the darling of Longchamp in the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye.

Just as she had a year earlier, Lochsong and Dettori blazed a trail from the break.

With two furlongs to race, all of her rivals were in trouble and the six year old mare powered on relentlessly, pulling five lengths clear of Mistertopogigo for another sensational victory.

Lochsong’s racing career finished with a Breeders’ Cup Sprint bid but she missed the break and in America, that is fatal. She made up ground but in the process burned up energy and had nothing left for the finish, trailing home last on the dirt.

Legacy

Lochsong retired to owner Jeff Smith’s Littleton Stud after a career which must have exceeded connections’ wildest dreams.

The memories still burn brightly of her Ayr Gold Cup, that Goodwood win in the fog and those two scintillating performances at Longchamp. She helped raise the profile of the up and coming Frankie Dettori.

She produced five winners at stud, with Lochridge the best of these, winning five times and placing in the Diadem Stakes, as her mother had, as well as contesting the King’s Stand Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye.

Lochsong lived a long and happy life to the age of 26. Her racecourse endeavours are well-remembered by those who witnessed them – and the sheer manner of her victories remain vivid.