AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SHARPE MIND: Coming Back In Style…

In this week’s SHARPE MIND blog sports betting PR legend GRAHAM SHARPE brings us 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. This week he digs out some of the golden moments from between January 23 and January 29.

🗓️ JAN 23, 1992………COMING BACK IN STYLE………A mere 1470 days since last seeing a racecourse, 9yo Barry Window, ridden by Peter Scudamore for trainer Martin Pipe, won over hurdles at Newton Abbot. He went off 7/4 joint favourite to beat his 11 rivals.

🗓️ JAN 23, 2022……….NOBLE BUZZING……….Indian Buzz won the first race at Tampa Bay Downs, paying $17.80 and marking the first runner for trainer Reynaldo Nobles – whose daughter owned the horse –  in eight years. Not only that, Nobles was now 84 years old. The biggest successes for the Cuban came with Deputy Minister in the early 1980s and Dehere in the early 1990s, before he left racing after suffering from arthritis, for other roles, including working as a security guard at Palm Meadows and as a school crossing guard. But he’d never given up on the idea of training again.

🗓️ JANUARY 24, 1948…………BEEB’S DEBUT…….….The BBC began showing televised racing – starting with two steeplechases and a hurdle race from Sandown. ‘The first broadcast of its kind in the world’ according to John Lawrence in 1966 book, The History of Steeplechasing.

🗓️ JANUARY 24, 1977……….HYWEL’S ADVICEQ1……………Jump jockey Hywel Davies, born in 1957, rode his first winner, Mr Know All on this date, aged 19. He spoke only Welsh until the age of 7, and rode 761 UK winners, including the 1985 Grand National on 50/1 Last Suspect despite relatively recently having been ‘brought back from the dead’ following a racecourse fall. He once said, ‘The longer a young rider goes on without a winner, the better. Too much success early on and they begin to think their job’s easy.’

🗓️ JANUARY 25, 2002…..FOND FAREWELL……..Amateur jockey, Dick Saunders, died aged 68. He made his mark in racing history when, in 2002, aged 48, he came the oldest winning rider in the Grand National, on 7/1 Grittar, the first favourite to win the race for 22 years.

🗓️ JAN 25, 2015…….LADIES’ DAY…… Female jockeys rode all eight race winners at a meeting at Mount Gambier in South Australia. Three-kilogram claiming apprentice Emily Finnegan stole the show with a treble.

🗓️ JAN 26, 1847………WITCH WINNER?…………..A meeting run today in 1847 at the Southgate course in London’s Barnet’s opening meeting,  saw The Witch beat Broomstick in the final event on the card.

🗓️ JANUARY 26, 1945……..OLD BAILEY CAUGHT APPEARANCE………………..With WW2 still continuing it was reported that racehorse Old Bailey, a 4yo belonging to Mr J Strachan, had run away from his stables in Epsom. He was found by the steps of an underground air-raid shelter.

🗓️ JAN 27, 1965…..CORNY COMMENT…….Cornelius Lysaght was born on this date……Working at York racecourse on one occasion in his role as BBC (for whom he worked for some thirty years) radio racing correspondent (his role between 2001-2020) Cornelius was concerned that an ice-cream van was parked in his line of sight for the next race – ‘I heard myself asking colleague John Hunt if he could use his binoculars to see the price list as I fancied a 69 – rather than a 99! Private Eye enjoyed it and the Daily Star made it one of the broadcasting faux pas of the year’ he told the Racing Post Weekender in August 2011.

🗓️ JAN 27.1967……..SIRIUSLY SOVIET…..A horse called Sirius III – David Mould on board – won a division of the Combermere Novices Hurdle at Windsor. Owner Mr Isidore Kerman reportedly purchased the horse ‘from the Soviet government’ thus qualifying him to be a candidate to be the first Soviet-bred British winner.

🗓️ JAN 28, 1982……….FOUR FOR FOUR…………Four winners at Taunton were from four local stables – Marion Babbage’s Rich Encounter; Nan Smith’s Janus; Spartan Major for Pam Sykes, and  Sue Morris-trained Holemoor Star.

.🗓️ JAN 28, 2022…………..SOUPERSTAR………….….Alphabet Soup, who won a memorable renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Woodbine in 1996, died on this date at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. Then the oldest living Classic winner, the grey was 31 years old and had been retired at the farm since 2015

🗓️ JANUARY 29, 1957…….JUMPED FIRST………….…Leading jump jockey Dick Francis, champion jockey in the 53/54 season, announced his retirement, aged 36 – ‘I wanted to stop before I began going rapidly down the scale.’ He turned his hand to writing racing thrillers, many of which became best sellers.

🗓️ JANUARY 29, 1994……66/1 St Adam dead-heated with 9/2 favourite Sazerac over hurdles at Bendigo in Australia on January 29, 1994, ridden by, respectively, Rodney Durden – and his son, Craig.

🗓️ JAN 29, 2009………………..……Racing UK tv’s Nick Luck used a word rhyming with his surname when their coverage switched from Wincanton to Dubai, catching the presenter off-guard as he exclaimed; ‘f***ing Nad Al Sheba.’


🗓️ JAN 29, 2022……….4000 FOR J.P,………Nicky Henderson-trained Chantry House won Cheltenham’s Cotswold Chase performance to become one of the fancies for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup but, perhaps of more significance, becoming in the process legendary owner JP McManus’s 4,000th winner. Sir Anthony McCoy, McManus’s long-serving retained jockey, said of the owner: “He counts every winner, he loves them all. He knew how many he’d had before today. He loves the game and it’s nice he’s done it with a big winner.”

🗓️ AND FINALLY………JAN 23, 2021……..DEER ME!……Jockey Jason Hart had to be alert to what could have been a potentially nasty incident in the opening race at Newcastle’s evening meeting, when a deer entered the track while the race was ongoing. The animal slipped under the railings onto the Tapeta surface as the eight runners in the 1m4½f handicap raced down the back straight, forcing leader Jack Yeats to shy and jink, before being skillfully manoeuvred around the deer by Hart without  impeding other runners.  However, his chance was gone and he finished last.

In all, three deer were present at the back straight six furlongs from the finish, leaving clerk of the course James Armstrong relieved that jockeys, horses and deer were unharmed.

Armstrong added: “They’re wild animals and they roam about the park and they happened to run out about 50 yards in front of the horses in the first race.

No equine or human participants suffered any harm as the race was won by Philip Kirby-trained Madeeh, 6/1, under Jack Mitchell.




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