Last updated : 26 January 2004 By Editor
From the ST:

’Not everyone in the racing world was impressed with
Ferguson. In 1999, when one of Magnier’s horses won the
Gimcrack Stakes, a big race at York, the Irishman suggested
that Ferguson should make the traditional acceptance speech.

’Some members of York’s blue-blooded racing fraternity did
not believe that a former Glasgow shop steward was the
person best suited for such an address. Magnier, who does
not like being crossed, was outraged at the snub.

’Two years later when another of Magnier’s horses, Rock of
Gibraltar, looked capable of winning the Gimcrack Stakes, he
allowed Ferguson to have joint ownership of the horse when
it raced. It meant that the York grandees would now be
forced to accept Ferguson because the winning owner has the
right to give the speech.

’The Rock was an exceptional horse and it won. On December
11, 2001, Ferguson finally gave the Gimcrack speech.
“Selfishness, factionalism and cliquishness,” he warned his
audience, could be the “death” of racing.

’Magnier’s victory over what he saw as the snobbish elements
of the York racing fraternity was to him an enjoyable joke.
It was, however, lost on Ferguson, who was convinced that he
owned half of the Rock.

’Even though he had not paid a penny to Magnier for the
horse, Ferguson believed that he was entitled to 50% of its
stud fees. If the horse’s offspring prove equally talented,
total fees could reach £200m over 15 years, although £100m
is probably more realistic.’