I don’t know much about the Sport of Kings, nor horses in general for that matter; infact I’ll go so far as to say that horses are an absolute mystery to me. Whilst some may get positively giddy over the sight of a thoroughbred, I just about manage a shrug of the shoulders at best. I really do wonder what all of the fuss is about.

That said, I do know something about underdogs and I do get excited by a good rags to riches tale and that’s exactly what Dark Horse is; a moving documentary about the unlikely rise to sporting stardom of a foal, reared, initially at least, on an allotment in the Welsh valleys.

Quite how a syndicate of inexperienced Welsh hopefuls succeeded in turning Dream Alliance into a contender in this billionaires playground, without the considerable benefits of having a Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on speed dial, should leave even the eternally optimistic amongst us scratching our collective heads in confusion; but succeed they most certainly did.

Director and writer Louise Osmond has lovingly pieced together sections of original footage alongside assorted interviews with those from the ex-mining community whose tale it is to tell and it’s their natural charm and abundance of character that really give this film wings.

Dark Horse has the feel of a real life Brassed Off or Full Monty, capturing nicely that close-knit spirit of working class community and togetherness that many a fictional Brit-flick has done so well over the years.

Even a self-confessed, bewildered equine-sceptic like myself couldn’t help being considerably charmed by this little gem.

It might not remain on furlong, so do yourself a favour and stick it near the top of your ‘to see’ list.

Charming, at times life-affirming and a lesson to all in the power of belief and perseverance.


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