Greatwood students and staff get the VIP treatment at Newmarket
Friday (October 9) was the first day of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket - and it was certainly an occasion to remember for an excited party of students and staff from Greatwood who had been invited to spend the day there.
Greatwood is the charity just south of Marlborough at Clench Common, which looks after retired racehorses and uses them to help disadvantaged young people.
Thanks to the generosity of Al Basti Equiworld (a Greatwood sponsor), Newmarket Racecourse and the National Stud, the students and staff were given a tour of the National Stud, followed by lunch and an afternoon of superb racing.
One of the highlights of the day was a meeting with jockey of the moment Frankie Dettori.
The students were able to tell Frankie how Montendre was doing since he retired to Greatwood in 2000. In 1989 Frankie rode Montendre to victory in the Dewhirst Rockingham Stakes at York.
Yes, that really is 1989 - he came second in his first race, then won at Brighton under Dettori and then, eleven days later, won that prestige, listed race at York winning just over £11,000 - good prize money in those days.
The bay gelding Montendre - known as Monty - is now 28 years-old. During his career he ran 104 races under rules - and Frankie Dettori rode him eight times. Monty notched up 11 wins and 32 places - and he is still being used daily at Greatwood by the young people who take part in Greatwood's educational programmes. And he's a bit of racing history.