Secret War worthy winner at Ngong’

Published on 06/02/2009

By Squirrel

Ian Gibson and Sue Fort’s Secret War (SAF), trained by Gavin Laurence and ridden by Charles Mwangi, was a worthy winner of the Beryl Markham Cup for the second consecutive year.

Their other entry Intwa Dumela (SAF) was third, but was the subject of a Stewards enquiry. The result stood. Mary Binks Executrix, trained by Julie McCann, was second.

Beryl Markham was a remarkable woman. Mervyn Hill, a renowned journalist in his days, said few men have had the natural and acquired qualities to excel in the air and on the turf.

Beryl was one of the pioneer aviators sharing fame with Jim Mollison, Charles Lindberg, Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson and was taught to fly by record breaker Tom Campbell Black, who was an amateur jockey.

Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson mysteriously disappeared while flying never to be found again. A full-length film is going to be made of Amelia Earhart life.

Beryl’s crossing over the Atlantic from East to West in a small single engined aircraft, with neither radar nor radio, made her internationally famous.

After the flight she settled in California and ferried aircraft for US Army Air force.

During this time she wrote West with the Night, which became ultimately one of the longest best sellers worldwide.

The authorship put her in the band of the immortals. Added to her success on the turf.

When asked what she regarded as the greatest gift of her trainer, she said.

“Infinite attention to detail, flair alone will not win races”.

On February 15, we welcome the first of the big sponsors for 2009, thanks to ‘Mars’ and I would venture to say a certain Mim Haynes has a lot to do with it.

Mars are well known worldwide for their excellent range of complete balanced dog food- Pedigree- and cat food- Whiskers.

Equally well known are their superb chocolates Mars bars. Snickers, Twix malteasers and galaxy together with their ever-popular ice creams.

Since last year’s ‘Fillies Guineas’ Mars have brought the Wrigley group of products and I am happy to report that they will be actively involved at Ngong Racecourse for the first time on the 15th.

Apart from the main classic of the day, the Pedigree Kenya Fillies 2009, amateur ladies will be back for the Cat’s Whiskers Handicap plus there will be a new race on the card for four-year-olds and over who will be competing for the Snickers Challenge Trophy.

Lots of activities for all the family so be sure to make a day not to be missed.


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