Sunday Video: Multitasking Sir Mark Todd Returns to Racing

Sir Mark Todd is no stranger to the racing world. After “retiring” from eventing after the Sydney Olympics in 2000, he turned to training racehorses in New Zealand, earning Grade 1 wins including the New Zealand Oaks in 2003 and the Wellington Cup in 2007. Eventing eventually sank its claws into Sir Mark once again and he returned to eventing with great fanfare shortly after the Cup.

Lately he’s been back at it, training the first racehorse he’s had out in 10 years. He’s Eminent (Frankel x You’ll Be Mine, by Kingmambo) had a successful start to his career, but after losing form and subsequently being found to have a fibrillating heart, he was on his way to stud in New Zealand when he passed through Sir Mark’s Wiltshire yard. The horse’s owner, New Zealand Bloodstock principal Sir Peter Vela, has owned several eventing horses with Todd, and thought Eminent might enjoy one last crack at the starting gate. He asked Sir Mark if he’d like to be his trainer.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Sir Mark said yes. Away they went to Australia to take aim at two Grade 1 races in Sydney: the Ranvet Stakes on March 23 and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 13.

In the Ranvet, the horse finished an impressive second with jockey James McDonald after leading much of the race. He’s the #5 bay with a big blaze and blue silks in this replay video.

Many thanks to reader Annie for the tip. She remarks, “They call him SIR Mark Todd for a reason — because he can be in the money as a racehorse trainer for a group 1 race while doing that whole international eventing thing.”

What a testament to the extraordinary horsemanship of one of our sport’s greats. Go Sir Mark Todd. Go Eventing!