What's In a Name: Amniarix

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Amniarix | Racingfotos.com

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6th-Wolverhampton, £20,000, Cond, 1-4, 4yo/up, f/m, 7f 36y (AWT), 1:26.70, st.
AMNIARIX (f, 4, Speightstown–Bold Lass {Ire}, by Sea the Stars {Ire}) Lifetime Record: 5-3-0-1, $29,465. O/B-Bjorn Nielsen (KY); T-Ed Walker.

The recent Wolverhampton female winner Amniarix is out of a mare named Bold Lass and her namesake was indeed a very brave young woman. Amniarix was the spy codename of Jeannie Rousseau (1919-2017), who was not only a hero of the French Resistance but also an uncompromising survivor of three German prison camps. Jeannie's command of the German language was apparently perfect and she had access to Nazi war planners as part of her work for a French company in occupied Paris. Her reports to British spymaster R V Jones were remarkable for their quality and led to the famous August 1943 raid on Peenemunde, where the Germans were developing the V-2 missile-bombs. Jeanie was arrested by the Germans in April 1944, just a few weeks before D-Day and the Normandy landings; she was only 25 years of age. Her captivity took her to the camps of Ravensbruck, Torgau, Konigsberg, and to Ravensbruck again–in a truly horrific war odyssey. When the Swedish Red Cross rescued her from Ravensbruck at the end of the war, she weighed only 31kg (70lbs). Spy chief R V Jones was not the only one to think highly of Amniarix/Jeannie Rousseau (he called her “one of the most remarkable young women of her generation”): the CIA awarded her the Seal Medallion in 1993, under Director R James Woolsey. This legendary spy was also modest: she did not talk much with reporters and historians, and her incredible story is not that well known. Therefore, credit is to be given to whoever gave this historic name to this tenacious US-bred 4-year-old filly, whose persistence, by the way, won her the race after having been hampered at the start.

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