A horse whose name is derived from one of the world’s more mysterious tragedies earned some notoriety of her own with a courageous win in the Group Three HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
A day after the 15th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death as a result of injuries sustained in a Paris car accident, a filly called Lady Of Harrods ($26) won the McNeil with sheer speed and with a notable reversal of the form she displayed in her distant 10th of 11 against similar company at the same track two weeks ago.
As intriguing as her improvement may have been, her naming is even moreso.
The filly is by Dubawi from Royal Conspiracy, parentage that part-owner Mark Dawson explained had evolved into the name Lady Of Harrods.
Dawson said Dubawi, being an Arab name, had put the well-known owner of Harrods, Mohamed al Fayed, in their mind.
“He has maintained that the death of his son and Princess Diana was the result of a royal conspiracy, so there it is,” Dawson said.
Trainer Russell Cameron provided a more straightforward explanation of Lady Of Harrods’ poor effort at her previous start, blaming the heavy track for her dismal performance.
“She showed a lot of speed here last time but just couldn’t handle the going when she was let down,” Cameron said.
“We actually fancied her today.”
Lady Of Harrods held off the fast-finishing Kabayan ($4.60) to score by a head with the same margin to Shamexpress ($13) in third place.