Patricia's Hope

Patricia's Hope

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Over forty years were to elapse before Mick the Miller’s feat of winning two English Derbys was emulated. The dog to do it was the Irish-bred Patricia’s Hope, a white and fawn dog by Silver Hope out of Patsicia, whelped in July 1970. Trained in England by Clapton handler Adam Jackson, he won eight of his first thirteen races and was considered good enough to take his chance in the 1972 Derby.

Patricia’s Hope won his heats and finished third in his semi-final, but was relatively unfancied at 7/1 for the final. Favourite at 9/4 on was Super Rory, a brilliantly fast son of Yellow Printer, who had set a new world record for the distance in his semi-final. Belying his odds, Patricia’s Hope broke in front and was never headed, winning by four lengths from Ballylander, with Mick’s Pride in third.

Patricia’s Hope then contested the Welsh Derby at Cardiff, progressing through the heats, semi-final and final unbeaten. His owners, Basil Marks and Brian Stanley, were keen for Patricia’s Hope to take the Shawfield Scottish Derby too, where he met his old rival, Super Rory. Again Super Rory was made odds-on favourite, and again he was put in his place by the outstanding Patricia’s Hope, who won by three-quarters of a length from Priory Hi.

In November 1972 Patricia’s Hope was retired to stud in Ireland, where he served over 60 bitches. But Irish trainer John O’Connor, who had bought a third share in the dog, felt that Patricia’s Hope had another English Derby in him. Trained by O’Connor and duly entered for the 1973 renewal, he won his first round heat in fast time, but was beaten by the well-fancied Say Little in the second round. After finishing third in his semi-final, Patricia’s Hope was not expected to beat the favourite Say Little, but once more he confounded the experts. Trapping superbly, he led all the way, fending off several challenges before winning by half a length from Softly, with Say Little close behind.

Patricia’s Hope returned to stud but emerged in 1974 for a third crack at the Derby. This time, however, his ageing legs were unable to carry him further than his second round heat.

The source of Patricia’s Hope’s wonderful speed was surely the presence in the dam line of his pedigree of the mighty Pigalle Wonder (q.v.). His dam, Patsicia, was out of Helena’s Gossip, a daughter of Pigalle Wonder.

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