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Breeders' Cup: Mucho Macho Man has class for fairytale ending

By Sam Walker 

When he was born he lay still and silent on the turf. The lifeless body was three weeks overdue and his carers could do nothing but rub and pray, rub and pray. In the end they stopped rubbing and just prayed. 

In the same state, 300 miles to the south, Kathy Ritvo was in a bad way. Hooked up to a intravenous machine that kept her failing heart functioning, she would spend a further five months in the critical care unit before a donor could be found. 

Mucho Macho Man (Matthew Stockman Photo)At the time of the transplant her heart was so damaged the doctor said she may not have survived the week. Now, almost five years after the operation, she is fit and healthy and planning ahead. 

And the horse? Well, the Lord must have answered. When she stopped rubbing the colt's little torso, looking instead to the heavens, breeder Carole Rio recalls: "He didn't just stand up, he jumped up and then ran off from the mare. It was bizarre." 

That slow starting horse was Mucho Macho Man and in November, five years on from his trainer getting her second shot at life, he will take his second shot at winning the most important race in America. 

The Breeders' Cup Classic is one of the richest races in the world. It's the race where US champions are generated and venerated. On occasion, it's also where beautiful stories are concluded. 

Read more at The Racing Post