Arkle was owned by Anne, Duchess of Westminster, although she was known to all as Nancy. Originally Anne Winifred from Glanmire, Co. Cork, ‘Nancy’ was a great horse woman who loved hunting and racing. When the Second World War broke out, Anne volunteered for the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and served six years as personnel driver. On her return to Ireland after the war she met Hugh Grosvenor, the 2nd Duke of Westminster and became his fourth wife.
The Duchess had a horse in training with Meath trainer Tom Dreaper and when she and
Tom spotted the seemingly unremarkable 3 year old Arkle at Goffs sales in 1960, he was
bought and sent to Greenogue to begin training. He was put in the hands of rookie
stable lad Johnny Lumley and slipped under the radar for his early months at the Co.
The Duchess played an important role in the decision making process when it came to
when and where Arkle was to run and her love and care for was a contributing factor
to his success, health and happiness.