Susan Crawford

ArtistSusan Crawford
Paper Size (W x H)40
Edition Size22

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Motivator’s victory in the 2005 Epsom Derby was one of the most memorable racing performances of recent times. The three-year-old colt was notable in that he was owned not by a powerful racing magnate, but by a 230-strong syndicate that had been set up only seven years previously. Favourite before the race with odds of 3-1, Motivator justified his reputation with an inspired win. In 1998, the Duke of Devonshire and Harry Herbert, manager of the hugely successful Highclere racing syndicate, saw the potential of a disused patch of storage space in the members’ stand at Ascot to accommodate a first class racing organisation, and duly founded the Royal Ascot Racing Club.

With a small budget and a reputation yet to be built, the club purchased Motivator in 2003, for just 75,000 guineas. The buyer that day, bloodstock expert John Warren, later spoke of his immediate attraction to this majestic horse. He said: “It’s a bit like looking at a girl – you either like them or you don’t.” Warren’s faith was rewarded handsomely as Motivator enjoyed a flying start to his racing career, and approached 2005’s Derby still unbeaten. Despite the huge levels of hype before the race, jockey Johnny Murtagh calmly guided the horse to a five-length victory. He sealed a place in history for one of the most popular horses to win the Derby.

About the Artist

Susan Crawford

Equestrian and portrait artist Susan Crawford was born in Scotland. Her father was a racehorse trainer and she grew up on the family farm, inheriting her parent's affinity with horses. 

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