Thursday, 15 November 2018

Can You Remember Klute? (The World's Fastest Horse)

I know what you are thinking... 

That name sounds familiar. If you love your horse racing - it's there, trust me, dancing about the grey matter. Synaptic nerves firing like an old Ford Escort on a frosty morning. The popping sound of the exhaust: Klute, Klute, Klute...

Yes, I have a vivid imagination. 

However, do you remember? I must admit I had to turn right at the traffic lights of the frontal lobe (images of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest) to recall this story that hit the headlines about a racehorse called Klute. Something to do with him/her (I can't remember the beasts sex at the time) being, wait for it, the fastest horse to ever set foot on God's earth since Adam & Eve. 

We are going back in time to dig up the remnants of this story. It was 1988. The venue Haydock Park. 

The event was billed - 


The World Speed Challenge 


The background to Klute being the ''fastest horse in the world'' had been sneered at by trainers. It was understandable. Why? Because Klute was raised as a pet and never raced officially except for fun on the beach. However, he had seemingly run a remarkably fast half furlong at Haydock Park clocking a world record of 44.91mph. This beat the former record set by a Mexican quarter horse back in 1945. That Speedy Gonzales went 43.26 (miles to the gallon). 

Whether people liked it or not, Klute had his name in the Guineas Book of Records. Official. His proud owner and trainer, Lesley Bruce, was confident Klute could stand his ground against the best racehorses and she wasn't frightened to take them on. 

So the contest was on!

12th August 1988 - 

5:15 Haydock -  Philip Cornes Match (The World Speed Challenge) 

Distance: 5f 

Going: Good

Klute would race against his sole rival So Careful, trained by Jack Berry, famous for wearing his lucky red shirt (pictured). 

Betting: 

So Careful - 1/9f 
Klute - 9/1 

Jockey: John Carroll
Jockey: Lesley Bruce

Race comments: So Careful: ''made all, soon clear, unchallenged. Klute: speed 2f, soon ridden and outpaced.''

Klute was beaten 25-lengths. 

A tearful Miss Lesley Bruce said: 


There was something wrong with him. He's been ill. 

Whether Klute had run a world record pace for the first half furlong (I'm not sure) but he was humiliated by So Careful who had an official rating of just 71. 

So Careful was a hard-as-nails horse who ran 38 times in her in a four-year career which saw her win 6 times. She achieved total earnings of £42,973. An all-time high official rating of 80 detailed a capable horse. 

The story of Klute made the headlines around the world. 


Whether Klute had been ill rumbled on for the next year. Klute and his reputation were left in tatters. But he wasn't done!

''In 1990, Klute would fight to save the day''


2:15 Catterick - Philip Cornes World Speed Challenge Match 

Venue: Catterick Bridge 
Distance: 5f
Going: Good to Firm 

Once again, Jack Berry would prove a worthy challenger in the shape of Valldemosa. The bookies had given up all hope on a Klute victory with Valldemosa 1/33f. Klute showing no support in the betting at 16/1. 

Race comment: Valldemosa ''Made all, ran on final furlong, easily''

Klute's title ''World Fastest Horse'' made a mockery. 
   
What about these two America speedsters: Secretariate (exceptional)


Did you bet on Klute?

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