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Horse trained by Maidstone’s John Best romps to victory at Epsom Derby Day

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A Kent racehorse has become the world’s fastest over five furlongs - with the Queen looking on as she kicked off her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The incredible performance of Stone of Folca, from the original name of Folkestone, saw him take the world record over that distance in front of the Queen.

He is trained by John Best at Detling near Maidstone, who could not be happier, as the horse’s value has just soared.

Anyone with around £400,000 to spare and fancies owning an animal with more horse power than any other can get in touch.

Stone of Folca is owned by people holding 120 shares, which were originally bought for £555 each.

But then the horse won the Investec Specialist Bank Dash during the Epsom Derby Day meeting on Saturday in front of the monarch.

He was a 50-1 long shot, ridden by Luke Morris, but it left the rest of the 20-strong field in his wake win in a time of 53.69 seconds. That is 0.09 seconds faster than Indigenous did 52 years ago using a handheld stopwatch which was wildly inaccurate, especially when hundredths of seconds count.

The £46,000 prize money is now paid out to the shareholders at around £380 per share, almost paying the owners back in one race.

Mr Best said: “We do sell horses from here when they run well so we make a profit. I would say this horse is now worth something between £300,000 and £400,000. Many go to Hong Kong.”

The Epsom course is slightly downhill, so the record is unlikely to be broken at any other track, and Stone of Folca just happened to be on his best form that day.

Mr Best said: “He is four this year. He was a fine two-year-old, then had last year whichg wasn’t too great, and now this.

“And he did it from stall two. At Epsom no one wins from under stall nine out of the 20 or so. A high stall number is vital to win. So if Stone of Folca had one of the higher stalls, he would have shattered all the records.

“I’ve always known he was quick but sometimes he can be very hard to handle. This time though every thing went like a dream.

“I believe not only was it the first time the race has been won from a stall lower than nine, but also the fastest time recorded electronically for any five furlong race. We will almost certainly take our chances at Royal Ascot, in June although that will be a huge step up.”

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