Warner Bros. UK has released the trailer for the feel-good film of the year Dream Horse — based on true events at the 2009 Welsh Grand National.
The film, based on true events set in Wales, stars Toni Collette in the lead role, alongside Damian Lewis, Owen Teale, Joanna Page, Karl Johnson, with Nicholas Farrell and Siân Phillips and is directed by Welsh director, Euros Lyn.
Jan Vokes, a cleaner and bartender, recruits her initially reluctant husband Brian and local accountant Howard Davies to help her bring together a syndicate of local people to breed a foal – which they name ‘Dream Alliance’.
On the racetrack, he proves himself to be more than a match for the multi-million pound racehorses he comes up against – a true working-class champion, taking on the establishment at their own game. But much more than this, Dream begins to alter the lives of everyone in the syndicate, not least Jan’s. He is everything to her: friend, confidant and an escape from a life of always putting other people’s needs first.
Dream Horse is a classic heartwarming story of triumph against adversity — and a tale of how a woman strives to make her dream a reality in a place where hope wears thin on the ground.
Watch the official trailer for Dream Horse here:
The film Dream Horse is based on a true story. In 2009, Dream Alliance really did win the Welsh Grand National. Dream was no ordinary racehorse — born in 2001 and raised on an allotment in Cefn Fforest, Caerphilly, a village in the Welsh valleys, he was bred by Jan Vokes and her husband Brian, two ordinary folk with a dream of their own.
Funded by a local syndicate made up of amateur enthusiasts, that the horse began to win races was miraculous enough. But after a devastating fall, where Dream almost severed a tendon and required stem-cell surgery, his recovery to win at the Welsh Grand National was nothing short of a sensation.
After Dream’s epic win, Jan’s real life story made headline news and immediately attracted the attention of the film industry. At the time, producer Katherine Butler was working at Film4. Part of her job was to commission lower-budget features and documentaries, and it was in this capacity that she met Louise Osmond and Judith Dawson, two filmmakers working on Dark Horse, the 2015 documentary about Dream’s amazing journey from allotment to winner’s enclosure.
While Film4 did support Dark Horse, which eventually went on to win the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Butler realised there was further potential to develop the story as a narrative feature.
When the idea for the feature length was brought to Welsh-born director Euros Lyn’s attention, whose BAFTA-winning work includes Damilola, Our Loved Boy (2016), Lyn already knew of Dream Alliance. “It was one of those stories that had crossed over into local mythology–the tale of the underdog from the valleys, who had beaten the best in the world,” he said in a statement.
“When I read the script, I fell in love with screenwriter Neil [McKay]’s telling of the story, his representation of the characters, and more than anything, the sense of hope that shone through the script.”
Dream Horse will be released nationwide on 4th June 2021 by Warner Bros. Pictures.