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Stevie Fisher: Mark Of Gold provides owner with locked-in syndrome a fairytale success at Plumpton

Stevie Fisher, a former farrier, has had locked-in syndrome since suffering a stroke in 2014; Fisher part-owns Mark Of Gold, who provided trainer Gary Moore with his 200th victory at Plumpton on Wednesday; he spoke to Sky Sports Racing via a prepared interview using blinking to type

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Owner Stevie Fisher, who suffers from locked-in syndrome, prepared a winning interview using blinking as his only means of communication after Mark Of Gold's emotional success at Plumpton on Wednesday.

Owner Stevie Fisher, who suffers from locked-in syndrome, enjoyed an emotional victory as Mark Of Gold won at Plumpton on his first visit back to a racecourse since the coronavirus pandemic.

Fisher, a former farrier who used to shoe Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Sire De Grugy, has been paralysed since suffering a stroke in 2014 and his sole means of communication is via his left eyelid.

The 50-year-old has maintained a huge interest in racing and watched on with fellow owners of Mark Of Gold as the 8/11 favourite took the BetGoodwin Maiden Hurdle for trainer Gary Moore, who celebrated his 200th victory at the Sussex track.

Clarence House Chase live on Sky Sports
Clarence House Chase live on Sky Sports

Watch every race on Clarence House Chase day from Ascot live on Sky Sports Racing on Saturday, January 22 at 12.40pm

Speaking via a prepared statement made by Fisher before the race, he told Sky Sports Racing: "Gary is a very sensible man and never gets carried away. He knows that I've been following racing for long enough to know that anything can happen in a horse race.

"The only thing he'd said is that he'd been working very well at home and is very happy with him.

"It would be very nice for us as a syndicate. I have 10 great friends with him, especially when it comes to paying the bills!"

Stevie Fisher at the winner's podium at Plumpton with fellow owners of Mark Of Gold
Image: Stevie Fisher at the winner's podium at Plumpton with fellow owners of Mark Of Gold

On the importance of racing to his life, Fisher added: "I have always followed racing and enjoyed having a bet, but now the racing has become more important to me because it gives me something that I really love to follow.

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"The Injured Jockeys Fund have made sure I have the racing to watch by very kindly getting me Sky.

"The better I have become at using my eye gaze, the more I have been able to see a racing paper because to start with my wife used to email me the runners on a Saturday so I could pick some losers!

"Racing has given my mind something to think about and has made following the racing so important to me."

Owner Stevie Fisher enjoyed victory with Mark Of Gold at Plumpton on Wednesday
Image: Fisher spoke to Sky Sports Racing using a prepared statement written using his left eye to blink

Sky Sports Racing presenter Hayley Moore, daughter of trainer Gary, was brought to tears by the victory, adding: "He's been a very, very good friend of mine for a long time.

"I saw him on the morning of his stroke. I had Sunday roast with him and his wife Geraldine who's here today, let me tell you, Sunday roast with him, he was very good fun. He was the life and soul of the party.

"I remember he used to come in and shoe Sire Du Grugy, he was just brilliant. My mum noticed that day he wasn't quite his usual exuberant self because he's usually a larger than life character and that unfortunately was the day he had that life-changing stroke and locked-in syndrome.

"It's tough when you see him because I don't know how I would carry on, but he does and he's an inspiration."

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