Racing: Impossible to reach heights of Beeswing

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The Independent Online
IF DOUBLE Trigger wins the Doncaster Cup today he will become only the second triple winner in the 232-year history of the oldest of the Cup races. It would be a fitting farewell to his fans after a long, honourable career.

Well, all right, give you honourable. But long? Pah! Try telling that to a real racehorse. Double Trigger, who has won 13 of his 28 races, is not even half way to filling the mighty shoes of Beeswing, winner of the Doncaster Cup in 1840, 1841 and 1842.

The pretty little bay mare - trained, like Double Trigger, at Middleham - became the idol of the North during a 64-race career that produced 51 wins and only two unplaced runs in eight seasons. And this in the days before horse transport; she had to footslog from track to track.

At the age of nine, when she had nothing left to prove against the locals, she was sent to test the southerners. Two days after warming up with a third in the Queens' Vase she made almost all in the Ascot Gold Cup to win at a despised 7-1.

She returned home in triumph and finished her career by taking her sixth Gold Cup at Newcastle (where her name lives on in a Group Three race) and, finally, her third Doncaster Cup. She was used as a park hack for a year before retiring to stud, where she produced two Classic winners.

But for this paragon among stayers there was no peaceful end of the sort Double Trigger can expect. At the age of 21, at the Cheshire stud to which she had just walked, two months off foaling, she was beaten to death by an unbalanced groom.