Anne Cowley

One of the most media-friendly angles to this year’s QIPCO2,000 Guineas would be if theRoger Teal-trained Tip Two Win is in the Newmarket mix along with colts from the yards of messrs O’Brien, Gosden and Stoute.

Hopefully all continues to go well until next month, to give his trainer and owner-breeder Anne Cowley potentially the thrill of their racing lives.

Tip Two Win owes them nothing as it is, having won four of his seven starts, the last two being extremely lucrative victories in Doha, Qatar.

Al Rayyan racecourse is not a common springboard to the Classics but Tip Two Win did look pretty awesome when winning the Al Biddah Mile, a local Group 2, in February by two and a quarter lengths to collect the £105,000 first prize.

While an unconventional stepping stone, connections admitted on the day it did look as though they have a 2,000 Guineas candidate on their hands.

Crowley told Racing Post reporter Stuart Riley after David Probert had extricated himself from a pocket to fly home for a convincing triumph: “I was in a Burger King car park in America watching it through a phone being held up to a laptop for his last run and I cried then, so I was always going to cry today. It’s just fantastic.”

Crowley’s love for racing was something of a slow burner, and she admits her interest is a relatively recent phenomena.

“I’ve not always been interested,” she says. “My late husband Fred and I only ever went to the Queen’s Stand enclosure for the Derby, and for a day at Royal Ascot every year. Neither Fred nor I have ever sat on a horse in our lives.

“In 2002 Fred was diagnosed with onset dementia. By 2004 his memory had got worse and he was unable to go into the office any more.

“I decided that I needed something to make me take him out as much as I could whilst I was then running our group of engineering companies.I decided to buy two horses so we could go and watch them run.”

Cowley, who was an accountant/financial director, then Chairman, and her husband, a Chartered Electrical Engineer, owned three horses together, while her individual count is now around 18.

She sold their engineering group in 2016, a few years after the death of her husband, and is a breeder as well as an owner.

She says: “I have an American business partner, Jay Grandfield, and we bought Bow Bells in foal, having been covered by American Pharoah.”

Teal, for whom Tip Two Win is the stable flagbearer in a team of 21 he submitted to this year’s Horses inTraining annual, has trained just that one horse for Cowley, whose other trainers, Seamus Durack and David Flood, are likewise able to provide a personal service the owner prefers.

“I tend to go to small yards as I want my horses treated as an individual,” she says. “I feel also that it’s the smaller yards that need the help more than the larger yards.”

Wherever a horse is trained, andby whoever, nothing beats seeingyour colours carried to victory on the racetrack, and aside from her Doha delights Cowley has experienced other magical moments.

She says: “The Rectifier winning the first race at the John Smith’s Cup meeting at York in July 2013 would be one, and Tip Two Win winning his first race at Windsor last summer another.”

Like for any owner, there are frustrations, and Cowley says ofhers: “For me it’s when you can’t find a maiden race for an unraced/unplaced two-year-old and have to enter your horse in a nursery, where they are racing against horses who have won races or have had the experience of running several times and earned their handicap mark,which is high. Also, when your horse is drawn in the car park several times consecutively.”

Happy memories from Burger King car parks are one thing; you certainly don’t want your horse drawn in one.The draw can sometimes play a part even in a race like the 2,000Guineas, so if Tip Two Win does make it to Newmarket, fingers crossed for a decent stall – though undoubtedly, if he does, just being there will be enough.

(April 2018)