Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Channon Has Unsung Star as First Line of Defence

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Channon Has Unsung Star as First Line of Defence

Article excerpt

Byline: COLIN FLEETWOOD JONES

YOU don't hear much about racing secretaries.

They are the voices at the end of telephones telling you that "the guv'nor" is either in Ireland, out in the yard, on the gallops or at the sales. Their domain is often something that resembles a box room, or, in more palatial establishments, a mini computer laboratory.

They can be charming, or formidable, as the first line of defence for a trainer who doesn't want to speak to an angry owner, a fodder purveyor asking when his bill is going to be paid, or a jockey trying to get on the stable's pride and joy in the last race at Leicester.

An unsung breed, she (the post is predominantly filled by females), must have the diplomacy of a Henry Kissinger, the hide of a rhinoceros, be prepared to work all hours and put up with language that could blister paint off woodwork.

Susan Harding, Mick Channon's right-hand girl, is a mixture of all these.

Besides her administrative skills, the 21-year-old is a useful work-rider and has partnered Queen's Logic - hot favourite for next month's 1,000 Guineas following an impressive win at Newbury last weekend - in gallops.

Harding said: "Queen's Logic got a great reception here on Saturday night after she had won the Fred Darling Stakes.

Everyone here thinks she will take all the beating in the classic.

She has eaten up well since the race and looks a million dollars."

She added: "The horse I look after and ride out at home, Kulachi, didn't exactly cover himself in glory in the Greenham Stakes on the same card.

"It was just not one of his days, and the ground was a bit too firm for him.

No reason to give up on him, though. He will win his fair share this season - you can take that from one who knows!"

The daughter of Irish point-topoint handler John Joe Harding, and the third youngest in a family of eight children, she cut her milk teeth in County Cork, riding a chestnut pony called Lucky with the Avondhu and Duhallow hunts. …

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