Bill Davis: finally tasted victory with Ayr Of Elegance at LingfieldPICTURE: Graham Dench
Owner Bill Davis gets long overdue first winner
BEING a racehorse owner is, for the majority, an expense justified by the fun the sport provides and that magical moment when your colours pass the post in front.
However for Bill Davis he has had to wait a long time to experience that euphoria, 26 in years in fact.
Owner-breeder Davis has continued to have horses in training despite never making the winner's enclosure, but finally on Wednesday his luck changed when Ayr Of Elegance justified odds-on favouritism in a 1m4f maiden at Lingfield.
Davis was overcome with emotion watching on from the stands, and said: "It's fantastic, it's so wonderful. At last I've got one [a winner]."
Trainer Philip Hide was also emotional, and added: "I'm sweaty. You just worry what will go wrong. You can't believe anyone would keep horses for 26 years without a winner, it's madness!"
The road to the elusive first winner for Davis has not been straightforward, and he has had more than his fair share of bad luck with Ayr Of Elegance.
Last May she was awarded a race having been beaten a nose, but then had it taken away again upon appeal.
Then, in August, she was joint-favourite for a race but contrived to ruin her chances by getting her nose wedged in the grill of the stall.
Thankfully there were no problems this time, with jockey George Baker able to steer her home by a length and a quarter.
Davis told At The Races: "That was terribly disappointing when it was taken away as I thought at last I've broken the mould.
"I just enjoyed [owning horses] but the end product is you want a winner. At last I won one, but I never had a penny on it."