WONDER horse Laghat won 26 races in his native Italy – despite being BLIND.
The now-retired 17-year-old caught a virus as a young horse before a fungal infection, called mycosis, attacked both of his eyes.
He was left totally blind in his right eye and 95% blind in his left.
Despite his battles with sickness as a yearling, Laghat proved resilient and easy to break in when put into training.
He went on to make an incredible winning debut in January 2006 at San Rossore in Pisa – before following up by six lengths on his second start.
His owner Federico de Paola, who also rode the horse in amateur races, said: “Laghat has a sixth sense, which tells him where to put his legs.”
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Apprentice jockey Giuseppe Virdis was his regular partner, and Laghat raced mainly in low-grade handicaps and stakes races.
Overall, he raced 123 times over a nine-year career, with 26 victories, 30 placed efforts and over £100k in prize money.
According to stable staff, Laghat would kick and bite his stable companion after losing a race – but he would be quiet and relaxed if he won.
His story attracted attention from the national Italian media ahead of his 20th career win in the spring of 2012 – with the press naming him the "blind beauty".
Author Enrico Querci even wrote a novel about Laghat’s life in 2014, while an illustrated children’s book sold out in just a MONTH in 2018.
Laghat was retired from racing in November 2015, with San Rossore racecourse holding a special event to mark the occasion.
He is kept company in his paddock by a Norwegian Fjord horse called Cerere, and he is still visited regularly by local schoolchildren.
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