Review: Chasing The Win (Documentary – 2016)

CHASING THE WIN is a documentary feature film from Laura Sheeny & Chris Gelfi that follows the meteoric rise of a rookie trainer, a down on his luck owner, and their imperfect racehorse after an unprecedented victory thrusts them into the global spotlight of horse racing. Success and fame are followed by the hard-hitting reality of what it means to survive in the Sport of Kings.

Marketed as a documentary about the world of horse racing; what is actually presented here is a real life ‘rags-to-riches’ story. We follow up-and-coming trainer Carl O’Callaghan who in his earlier days spent two weeks homeless in New York but goes on to win the Dubai World Cup with Kinsale King (a horse of little pedigree) and whose owner Patrick Sheeny hadn’t previously had a win in a Group 1 event. But, as the film shows; one win does not a career make and it is a constant struggle for owners, trainers and jockeys. You are only as good as your last race.

The film-makers do a good job of showing & connecting the journey of the humans and animals involved in this story; their personal investment, struggles, trials, tribulations and shared journey. There are some visually interesting sequences but at it’s core the interest here is the personal stories; aided by a subtle and reflective score from Ryan DeNardo, although the pacing of the film was a little slow in places. I would also have liked to see more viewpoints from the wider world of horse-racing.

Whilst this film didn’t spark an interest in horse racing it did offer a great insight into that world and ultimately I felt a connection to the personal stories shown here –  4/5

The film is available to rent/buy now on Amazon

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