Britain's Prize Mare, Pebbles, Bets Her Heart on a Racetrack Flop Named Come on the Blues
He is far from an ideal catch—slow, unreliable and broke, worth only the spare change he occasionally brings home from handicapped races. She is an English aristocrat, a 4 year old worth $4 million, winner of last year's Coral Eclipse Stakes and One Thousand Guineas, two of Britain's most prestigious races. The relationship can never come to much: He, alas, is a gelding. But the lustrous Pebbles and the hapless Come On The Blues (Bluesy) have been close friends ever since they met two years ago during an early morning run at Carlburg Stables in Newmarket, England. Although Bluesy, a graying 6 year old, seems to have no ambition, he's supportive of Pebbles' glittering career. He always accompanies her to races, comforting her devotedly before post time. Says their trainer, Clive Brittain, "Pebbles is very uptight, very fractious before a race. She needs a horse like Bluesy to calm her down." At their home in Newmarket, the two animals live in adjacent stable boxes, where, according to Brittain, "they spend hours looking at each other. Their relationship is like a happy marriage."
Obviously Pebbles' royal virtue remains intact. But at the end of the racing season, her owner, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, plans to move her to another stable where she'll meet more capable, if perhaps less affectionate, mates, including some of America's top stallions. Says Anthony Stroud, the sheik's racing manager, "Pebbles needs companionship. I'm sure she'll find another friend."
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