Horse in the Spotlight: Fidelity
Fidelity is a five-year-old gelding who last month came second in two handicap hurdle races - and is certainly a jumps horse to watch.
Trained at East Kennett by Jonathan Geake, Fidelity is owned by Marlborough resident Mrs Ann Leftley.
On May 16 at Warwick, ridden by Ian Popham, he came home second of a field of sixteen, three-and-three-quarter lengths behind Paloma's Prince. Two weeks later, again under Ian Popham, he was second by three-quarters of a length in a two mile handicap hurdle at Huntingdon.
Fidelity - looking in grreat condition, very spry and interested when we visited the yard - may race again at Worcester on June 28 and will then be turned out into the fields for a rest.
Right now he is 'the star' of the East Kennett yard - all the more a stand-out horse because he was 'home bred'. Mrs Leftley still owns his dam - Sir Kyffin's Folly - who was also trained by Jonathan Geake.
Bought by Dr Peter and Mrs Leftley, Sir Kyffin's Folly is now 12-years-old. She did not have a successful racing career. She was unplaced in her nine races - recording her best performance in her first race - at Newbury in April 2008 when she came fifth.
Still at Jonathan Geake's yard, Sir Kyffin's Folly has had four foals and is now pregnant again. Fidelity is her second foal - her first did not do well, her third died very young after an accident and the fourth is now a yearling.
Fidelity's sire was Halling - a chestnut best known for completing the double-double of winning both the Eclipse Stakes (Sandown) and the International Stakes (York) in 1995 and 1996.
Bred in the United States and trained in Britain first by John Gosden and later by Saeed bin Suroor for Godolphin Racing, Halling won 12 of the 18 races he ran - earning $1,332.651. He went to stud in 1997 - and died in Dubai in February 2016 'of old age'.
When Mrs Leftley and her late husband, Dr Peter Leftley, started owning horses one of their principles was that none of their racehorses should ever be sold. It is a principle Mrs Leftley still holds to. So after racing they are either kept as brood mares or are loaned on free leases to be team chasers or show horses - like Beware Chalk Pit who has become a prize winning show horse under the auspices of the Retraining of Racehorses organisation.