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  • Ian Ender

LA PANTERA ROSSA.

La Pantera Rosa. 22 May 2003. Tragic Role-Fortune Cookie. Owner-Thomas, Hattie, Gabby, Paul & Vicky Snook.


Without being disrespectful, Fortune Cookie, the dam of La Pantera Rosa, must have been one of the lowest rated horses to have ever graced a racecourse, in seven attempts on the flat, she never finished closer than seventh, recording a best ever rating of just 25. La Pantera Rosa had an amazing strike rate for a horse only rated 109 at his best, he was the winner of seven chases, from just 23 attempts. He acted on any type of surface, was best over longer trips, but he must have also been the bookies friend, as he kept on throwing in an inexplicably bad run, for no reason at all.

He made his debut in a bumper at Musselburgh in November 2007, finishing a very promising second, his only other bumper appearance was back at the same track in January 2008, finishing forth, and not building on his debut.

He made his hurdles debut, once again at Musselburgh in February 2008, finishing in fourth, it was another three runs until he showed better form, with a second at Wetherby, on good to firm ground in May.He was back at Wetherby 16 days later, but with the race probably in safe keeping, he unfortunately fell two out. After his next race at Hexham in June, Graham Lee let the horse come home in his own time, reporting that he had a breathing problem.

La Pantera Rosa was given a break, and returned at Catterick in December to make his chase debut, where he unseated at the 12th, after being hampered.He ran in his first handicap next time, from a mark of 104, at Wetherby, on Boxing Day, but never got involved.After a short break, he returned in March at Carlisle, for a maiden chase, and got off the mark for the first time under Barry Keniry, at 18/1.It had taken 11 races to get that first win, and he would race a further 20 times, with six more wins still to come.His next three runs were all disappointing, he pulled up at Carlisle just 10 days after that win,and then he unseated when well beaten at Kelso in April, followed by a 62 lengths beating at Hexham. He then won his last race of that season, in May, from a much reduced handicap mark of just 89.

He was off the track for the next 18 months, returning at Kelso in October 2010, where he won first time up, showing that he could go well when fresh.He was back at Wetherby four weeks later, and would have finished second if not for unseating at the last. Once again at Wetherby, in November, he ran inexplicably poorly, but was back in the winners enclosure at Doncaster in January.His last run of the 2010-2011 season was a solid second at Wetherby off 106. which was 4lb higher than his Doncaster win.

La Pantera Rosa returned at Carlisle in November 2011, which was the first of four runs where he failed to get competitive, but in March 2012, under 7lb claimer Joe Colliver, he managed a second place at Market Rasen. He pulled up at Hexham 14 days later, but was back in the winners enclosure at Wetheby on the last day of May.In my opinion this was the greatest ride I have ever seen, the horse was ridden by Jason Maguire, and would definitely not have won without his determination, and persistence, on a horse that obviously had no interest in racing, the Racing Post comment read,'Lost place and behind 4th, reminders after next,soon detached, headway 10th, chasing leaders 14th, led approaching next, driven clear between last two.' Some horses can be soured by a ride where they have their minds made up for them, refusing to comply a second time, but not this one, as Jason Maguire, who was back on board again,next time at Market Rasen, had a much easier time, with the horse being a willing partner, and winning again. Maguire completed the hat-trick on him at Sedgefield in August, holding on well to win by a neck.La Pantera Rosa had his final racecourse appearance when pulling up at Cheltenham in October 2012.

He retired to Harrogate, and lives with a lady who has other horses as well to keep him company.

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