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Blessingindisguise Eleven times winning sprinter

Blessingindisguise at York, 6th October 2000

Blessingindisguise at Thirsk 6th May 2000

Blessingindisguise at Beverley, July 2001

At the yard Open Day, September 1999



GENDER: gelding

FOALED: 1993

SIRE: Kala Shikari
DAM: Blowing Bubbles

BREEDER: Mrs A Meller

OWNER: Mr AG Black

RACES: 102 WINS: 11 2nd: 12 3rd: 4

PRIZEMONEY:£ 108,530

91220/ 840400050/ 80022101211133U83/ 6911009/07978400019/ 5028628000/ 080410694405000/ 8021000000/ 203854466822240/ 980/


Blessingindisguise arrived in Sheriff Hutton in 1994 as a yearling from the DBS Sales for 4,000gns. He was owned for his entire 102 race career by York estate agent and chartered surveyor Alan Black.

He was named 'Blessingindisguise' after a phrase used by owner Alan Black's father who, after seeing a fancied horse beaten, often said it may be a 'blessing in disguise' as next time the handicap mark would be lower and the odds probably greater.

Blessingindisguise was looked after for most of his career by Percy Marshall, who travelled many a mile with the popular sprinter and was always there to lead him up.

Blessing showed immense early promise and was a winner as two year old when he won a Newcastle maiden by three lengths. His three year old career was unremarkable, but he was back in the winners enclosure in May 1997 at Redcar where he defeated Moon Strike under Lindsay Charnock. Moon Strike and Blessing were to become rivals over coming seasons. The year 1997 was a good one for Blessingindisguise, winning at Ripon in June and then running off a hat trick at Haydock, Ayr and Ascot. It would have been a five timer were it not for a narrow defeat in the Gosforth Park Cup by a short head to old rival Moon Strike.

In 1998 Blessing won at York and Ascot, earning a career high rating of 100 which was to keep him quiet for a while. His Ascot win, ridden by Mick Kinane, was an exact repeat of the win he had secured the previous year.

By 1999 he was tumbling down the weights, and won at Newcastle at the end of year and then again at the same track in 2001. In 2002 at Catterick Blessingindisguise graced the winner's enclosure for the last time. In his final two seasons he finished runner up four times, but time was called on his career at Haydock in July 2004. He had fallen down the weights to just 43 and at 11 years of age he owed his owner nothing.

His career statistics read 11 wins, and over £108,000 in prizemoney. He was one of the north's favourite sprinters in the late 1990s and his success made his owner's colours well recognised in sprint handicaps. These colours would go on to be carried by another prolific winner, Middlethorpe, in coming seasons.

Blessingindisguise spent a happy retirement and lived into his early twenties, his final years being spent at Mill House Farm, Bulmer, where many of our old favourites have lived out their natural lives.

More about Blessingindisguise

An interview with Alan Black

Blessingindisguise: Three generation pedigree

bay gelding
Kala Shikari Huntercombe Derring-Do
Vigour Lion Cavern
Brave Revival
Blowing Bubbles Native Admiral Buckpasser
Native Street
Out Of Depth Deep River
Breide's Wood

Race wins

Date Race Jockey Racecourse

31/05/02 Lionweld Kennedy Sprint Handicap 5f Sam Hitchcott Catterick

30/06/01 Laurent Perrier Handicap 5f Terry Lucas Newcastle

19/09/99 Easy Favourites Magic Eleven Fifty Two Handicap 5f Gyles Parkin Newcastle

24/07/98 City Index Rated Handicap Showcase Race 5f Mick Kinane Ascot

10/07/98 Mr Kipling Exceedingly Good Stakes 5f Terry Lucas York

25/07/97 Imperial Cancer Research Fund Rated Handicap 5f Mick Kinane Ascot

14/07/97 Western House Handicap 5f Terry Lucas Ayr

04/07/97 Ellesmere Handicap 5f Gyles Parkin Haydock

19/06/97 Racing Channel Handicap 5f Gyles Parkin Ripon

27/05/97 Dormanstown Sprint Handicap 5f Lindsay Charnock Redcar

08/05/95 Big Dipper Maiden Auction Stakes 5f Mark Birch Newcastle

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New House Farm, Sheriff Hutton, York, North Yorkshire, UK, YO60 6TN Tel: 01347 878368

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