SHARPE MIND: Close Call For Lester

In this week’s SHARPE MIND blog, where sports betting PR legend GRAHAM SHARPE aims to bring you a rundown of Sensational, Hard to believe, Amusing, Remarkable, Pertinent & Entertaining events which have happened over the years in the worlds of racing and betting during each specific week of the year, he digs out some of the golden moments from the week between 25 October and 31 October.


OCT 25, 1968………..BOOKIES’ FAVOURITE – AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN AND AGAIN!……..…Ribofilio was an unplaced favourite in Newbury’s St Simon Stakes today in 1968. It was his last race – having also finished as beaten favourite in the 2000 Guineas, the (Epsom) Derby, the St Leger and the Irish Derby.

OCT 25, 2008………………BREEDING WINNERS…..French trainer Freddie Head’s Goldikova won the Breeders Cup Mile today, as Sir Michael Stoute’s first St Leger winner, Conduit, landed the $3m Breeders Cup Turf and Ralph Beckett-trained Muhannak won the Breeders Cup Marathon on a great day for European raiders, the first two of which would both win the same races again in 2009.

OCT 26, 1992…………………NON RUNNER? WEIGHT A MINUTE!……………………..Paul Cole-trained Run Don’t Fly, a horse with £91,154 prize money to its credit was withdrawn from Leicester’s Wysall Stakes today in 1992. Not entirely surprising as race conditions adding 1lb of weight for each £500 won in prize money, would have seen the horse carry 21st 3lbs.

OCT 26, 1994……………….BETTER LATE THAN NEVER…….With over £250,000 prize money to his credit already,9/1 shot Needle Gun finally won for the first time, today in 1994 at Yarmouth, having being beaten in all 13 of his previous races. He was ridden by Michael Roberts for trainer Clive Brittain.

OCT 27, 1990……………….LATE ENTRIES SAVE RACE…………For the first time in Britain all of the runners in a race – four of them – were supplemented entries after all the entries for Doncaster’s Racing Post Trophy were withdrawn. Steve Cauthen won, today in 1990 on 2/1 fav, Peter Davies.

OCT 27, 2007…………CUP TRAGEDY………………..One of my saddest days at the races came on this date in 2007 when I saw Aidan O’Brien-trained George Washington break his off-fore towards the end of the $5m Breeders Cup Classic at Monmouth Park, having to be put down – the tenth horse to be euthanised at Breeders Cup meetings. Curlin won the race.

OCT 28. 1989……………..WINNER’S A LOSER………………………………Lady Winner won at Laurel, USA today in 1989, but was then disqualified and placed last. In March 1990 the horse was reinstated as the winner by the Maryland Racing Committee, but in January 1991 was disqualified again by the Baltimore circuit court.

OCT 28, 1973……………..SEC’S APPEAL…………………….US equine superstar, Secretariat raced for the last time today in 1973, winning the Canadian International Championship on turf at Woodbine. He won 16 of 21 races, including the 1973 US Triple Crown of Belmont Stakes, the Preakness and Kentucky Derby, breaking track records in all three, and earned a total $1,316,808.

OCT 29, 1886…………….FRED’S FINAL FLOURISH…………..…..Blanchard won at Newmarket today in 1886, giving multiple champion jockey Fred Archer his 2748th winner. Noone guessed it would also be his final winner. Ten days later he committed suicide, shooting himself.

OCT 29, 1992……………..TWENTIETH CENTURY QUEEN MUM……..Set Free, the only broodmare of the 20th century to produce three Classic winners in Britain, was put down today in 1992 aged 28. She produced Juliette Marny, 1975 Oaks winner; Julio Mariner, 1978 St Leger winner, and Scintillate, winner of the 1979 Oaks.

OCT 30, 2004……………….WINNING CONTRASTS…………….…Frankie Dettori screamed ‘I love America’ as he rode 28/1 Wilko to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile today in 2004 – later, Kieren Fallon won the Filly & Mare Turf on 10/11 Ouija Board , saying quietly ‘She done it nice.’

OCT 30, 1856……………..PARR FOR THE COURSE……..Three year old colt, Fisherman, owned and trained by Tom Parr, landed a record-breaking 23rd win in a single season today in 1856. His victories were from 4furlongs to three miles. He went on to win 22 races in 1857 and 21 more in 1858, eventually totalling 70 wins in 121 races.

OCT 31, 1791…………………..CASHED IN……………….…Cash was the first yearling in British racing history to win a race, doing so at Newmarket today in 1791 and beating a three year old who was giving away three stone in a match race. Five days later, renamed Ariel, he ran and won again at the same track. Yearling racing was banned in 1860.

OCT 31, 1992…………….CLOSE CALL FOR LESTER…….Lester Piggott ended up in intensive care today in 1992 after falling from fatally injured Mr Brooks in the Breeders Cup Sprint at Gulfstream Park, Florida.

AND FINALLY………………..He dressed flamboyantly, wearing colourful robes, with a plumed headdress, and claimed to be from Abyssinia, although he was actually West Indian. Known as Prince Monolulu (26 October 1881 – 14 February 1965, real name Peter Carl McKay), he became famous for selling his racecourse tips with the cry, ‘I’ve gotta horse’. He was remembered today in 1992, on what would have been his 111th birthday, at the London pub bearing his ‘stage’ name. His finest moment came when he championed the horse Spion Kop in the 1920 Derby, which romped home at 100–6, and from which he personally made some £ 8,000, a vast amount of money at the time, equivalent to almost half a million pounds today.

 

GRAHAM SHARPE


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