Etta Bancroft – sweet, kind, still beautiful – adores racing and harbours a crush on one of its stars, the handsome, high-handed owner-trainer Rupert Campbell-Black. When her bullying husband dies, Etta’s selfish, ambitious children drag her from her lovely Dorset home to live in a hideous modern bungalow in the Cotswold village of Willowwood. Etta’s life changes when , in the snow in nearby woods, she finds a horribly mutilated filly, which she names Mrs Wilkinson and nurses back to health. The filly charms everyone in the village, then tests reveal her to be a spectacularly well-bred racehorse. After a nail-biting court case, she is awarded to Etta, thus ensuring the lasting and vengeful enmity of her former trainer and owner. A village syndicate is formed to put the filly into training, consisting of a riotous mix of local characters, who set off to the races in a minibus clanking with bottles. Ridden by Rupert’s delectable god-daughter, Amber, Mrs Wilkonson captivates vast crowds as she progresses from point-to-point to major races and brings fame and fortune to the syndicate, until, at last, she is entered into the Grand National.