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Saunders Ambition by Eurig Jones

Dark Bay mare 1982 by Saunders John out of Saunders Marlene

I bought Saunders Ambition in 1983 at the Saunders sale. She cost 1,450. I thought she was a cute little mare with rather big ears. I took her to my friend Derek from Ammanford, who broke her in for me. I went to see her one day and she was going really well without hobbles.

When I had her back, no matter what I did no way would she pace. So I took her up to Bob and Stevie Lees who sent her back after a couple of months telling me to get rid of her as she was no good. I offered her to Raymond Jenkins for 500 and Stevie Watt for 750, neither of them wanted her. So I put her to a stallion called Pipers Gold and had a colt foal out of her which another mare Saunders Duchess pinched off her, so I had to bring her in with the foal for a long while. When I turned her out the other mares ran her across the field, they were in full gallop and she was only trotting! So I had the vet out to see if she was in foal, she wasn't and I decided to trot her.

We trained her and the first race meeting I took her to was Weobley where I asked to trail behind. She was back about 150 yards but by the time they had gone three quarters of the way around I had passed all of them, but she broke and I lost. Three months later John Evans and I took her up to Chasewater, the same night Stoneriggs J. R. ran 1/2 mile in 1 minute. Saunders Ambition ran the last lap in 1.4 and that night Stevie Watt who I had offered her to for 750 offered me 7,500 and I refused him.

In 1991 we raced in the Prakas at Tir Prince she won the heat and was second in the final. Stevie Lees was driving, he did not realise she was the same mare he could do nothing with. First Shot won with Johnny Blissett driving. I think she might have won but three days before she could hardly walk because she had dry mastitis and had to be milked every day. We took her back in 1992 and she won the Prakas in a time of 2.09 if she was pushed she would have been a lot faster! After 1992 I could no longer afford to race with British Harness so I joined Wales & Border Counties. Saunders Ambition has only ever been beaten once by another trotter.

She is the biggest character I have ever had, the things she has done! A friend of mine put a nail in her back shoe and she limped for about 5 minutes, we knew there was nothing wrong with her so we went for a cup of tea. When we went back out she was limping on the other foot! The day of a race meeting she would stand in the corner with her chin touching the floor and wouldn't eat her feed. If we went in the stable to see her she would turn her behind to us.

She was also a character to train because if we weren't ready in the sulky when she was wanting to go, she would be on the floor, lying down in temper, and as a sixteen year old she still did it! The worst thing I have ever had to do with her was to take off her shoes when she finished racing in 1998.

Saunders Ambition is the best friend I have ever had and has been with me longer than any woman has!

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