As a rule, kids love animal movies, but if you’ve had enough of watching cute animation movies and your kids are getting a little older, it’s sometimes hard to find movies that hit the right note for both the parents and the children.
One film that does just that is Secretariat, the true story of how a woman who knew nothing about racing managed to train a horse to win the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in 1973.
For the uninitiated, the Triple Crown is the highest achievement for a thoroughbred racing horse. It’s when they win three prestigious races in the same year – the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland and the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York.
As Secretariat is a Disney production, it’s perfectly pitched at a young audience, while still providing a great yarn for the adults watching it.
Released in 2010, the film starts with the main character Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) taking control of her father’s stables as he is sick. She knows little about racing, but when the stables faces bankruptcy following her father’s death, as there is a $6 million death taxes bill to pay, she has to take a gamble on the horse born in the stables, Secretariat, being able to win races.
Aided by trainer, Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich), she decides to syndicate ownership of Secretariat and sells 32 shares in him, giving her enough to cover the death taxes if he can win a 3 year old distance race.
With Laurin’s help, she not only achieves this while navigating the male-dominated world of horse racing, but Secretariat goes on to win the Triple Crown. Not only is this an incredible achievement, but it’s the first time it happened for 25 years. In fact, there have only been 11 Triple Crown winners since 1911, so it’s no small victory.
Secretariat is a great Sunday afternoon movie – and you do not have to be a horse racing aficionado or a regular gambler with Betfair to enjoy it!