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Farming fraternity's endeavours reap rich rewards

Given the monopoly of power that a handful of stables and owners possess on the Flat in this country, romantic tales of the David and Goliath variety are rare.

Nonetheless, Vincent Ward, a sheep farmer from Meath, and John Grogan, a dairy farmer from Tipperary, recently did their bit for misty-eyed sentiment.

Ward, whose yard is full with 500 sheep and six horses, had Messrs Hannon, Bin Suroor, Cecil and Hills in arrears when his mare Fictional Account (pictured) sluiced up in an Ascot Listed race last month.

Two weeks later, Grogan's Katla did likewise at York.

The Cashel man had been left with no option but to train the home-bred two-year-old filly himself after she was repeatedly turned away by the sales companies and a couple of full-time trainers. A Cinderella story, by any other name.

Irish Independent