Author(s): Jessica Owers
Before Black Caviar, So You Think or Takeover Target, There Was Shannon. Wartime Sydney, a small and weedy racehorse was kicking his way through the top tier of Australian racing. He was Shannon, one of the fastest horses the nation had ever seen. Between 1943 and 1947, Shannon broke record after record with his garrulous jockey Darby Munro. When they sensationally lost the Epsom Handicap by six inches, they forever were stamped by the race they should have won. Sold in August 1947 for the highest price ever paid at auction for an Australian thoroughbred, Shannon ended up in America. Through headline-snatching pedigree flaws, acclimatization and countless hardships, he blitzed across the ritzy, glitzy racetracks of 1948 California. Smashing track records, world records, records set by Seabiscuit, the Australian bolted into world fame with speed and courage that defied all odds. Long before Black Caviar, or So You Think and Takeover Target, Shannon was Australia's first international racehorse. Starring Hall of Fame trainers and jockeys, Hollywood lawyers and legends Bernborough and Citation, this is his tremendous story.
Jessica Owers was born the year Kingston Town won his first Cox Plate. In 1988 she was introduced to Phar Lap on the school curriculum, and she has been writing about racehorses ever since. After completing a degree in environmental science and journalism from the University of Stirling, Scotland, Jessica worked as a riding instructor, then staff-writer for the Sydney-based magazines R.M. Williams' Outback and Breeding & Racing. Her work has since been published in Inside Breeding, The Thoroughbred, Turf Monthly and Racing Life, along with various other books and publications across the Australian racing industry. Jessica lives in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Peter Pan: The Forgotten Story of Phar Lap's Successor is her first book, and the result of five years of work. Shannon is her second racing book.