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The Day IWon The King George: Time Charter prevailed despite the unluckiest build-up.

Henry Candy is not known as one of life's cock-eyed optimists and, while preparing Time Charter for the King George of 1983, he had every reason to think the fates were against him. His star filly endured a winless build-up to the big race and then had to contend with both a late jockey change and last-minute nerves.

THE weather during the spring of 1983 was awful and Time Charter had been beaten on her first start of the season, in the Jockey Club Stakes, because she wasn't quite ready.

She had lost out again in the Eclipse - as she would once more the following year behind a horse called Sadler's Wells - due to there being no pace in a muddling race.

Then, in the run-up to the King George, her usual jockey, Billy Newnes, had a shocking fall on

the gallops at home when a horse he was riding died underneath him.

So, we arrived at Ascot with a filly still looking for her first win of the season and a rider who had never even sat on her - perhaps I should have been nervous.

Certainly, before the big race, Time Charter was very much on her toes, and it was one of those hot July days when everything that could sweat was doing so.

Luckily, in the race, all went to plan. Joe Mercer, who had sworn to me when he phoned for the mount that it was the one and only time he'd done such a thing, always had her in an ideal position.

I could see her going nicely under just the right amount of restraint and, when Joe asked her to quicken, she came on the wide outside to win going away from Diamond Shoal.

We were all quite pleased with ourselves, and when we got home we celebrated with a couple of bottles of champagne.

I remember I was wearing a medallion belonging to my wife and thinking it looked very fetching resting against our hero's chest.

When she arrived, however, having been riding somewhere else, she advised me it just made me look `distinctly left-handed'.

Henry Candy was speaking to DAVID LAWRENCE

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Time Charter: arrived at Ascot looking for her first win of the season
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2003
Words:374
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