Lata BrandisovÃ¡ was a truly inspiring woman: a shy countess who achieved the seemingly impossible. Not only was she the first woman to win the toughest horse race in the world, she was also the first woman to even take part. She had to fight a ferocious battle against prejudice simply to get to the starting line. She then showed repeatedly that she was tougher and better than the best male jockeys of her day. She won her greatest victory at the age of 42, in circumstances of extraordinary historical drama, on the eve of the Second World War, in a desperate showdown with Nazi Germany. Some believe that, by defeating the feared horsemen of Himmler’s SS cavalry, she provoked Hitler into war. And that, remarkably, is only part of the story.