17 January, 2022

AUTHOR: James Dowen

SHARPE MIND: Elbowed Out…

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 17 January and 23 January.

JANUARY 17, 2007……ART-ISTIC ASCOT JIBE………..American writer, Arthur Buchwald,  (born October 20, 1925) who died on this date was best known for his long-running Washington Post column. He once wrote of Ascot racecourse: ‘Ascot is so exclusive that it is the only racecourse in the world where the horses own the people.’

JAN 17, 2021………STREAKING BACK TO FORM……..…French jockey Antoine Hamelin brought his 51-ride losing streak to an end, by booting home a 456,013-1 five-timer at Sha Tin, with winners at 147/10; 13/1; 103/10; 16/1 and 98/10.

JAN 18, 1992……….UNIQUE DOUBLE WINNER……Dual Breeders Cup Mile Winner,  Da Hoss, was foaled on Jan. 18, 1992. He was trained by Michael Dickinson and became one of just five horses to win the Breeders Cup Mile twice, and the only horse ever to win twice in non-consecutive years, 1996 and 1998. He died, aged 30 on Jan 5, 2022.

JANUARY 18, 2020………I ASK YOU!……The outcome of a 16 runner, 3m5f chase run at Navan today in 2020 was – first, Ask And Answer 7/1; second, Ask Mary, 7/1, third, Ask Cory, 14/1……well, I ask you!

JANUARY 19, 1996…….ELBOWED OUT……Brilliant, but often controversial Kiwi jockey Chris Johnson’s lengthy disciplinary record was added to on this date in 1996 when he was found guilty of using his left elbow ‘eight or nine times’ during a race at Greymouth to prevent rival rider David Wadley being able to mount a challenge. Johnson was suspended for six months.

JANUARY 19, 1993………HAT TRICK OF WINNERS……Football internationals, Jan Molby of Denmark, Bobby Robson of England and Ian Rush of Wales, who had teamed up to own Boogie Bopper, trained by Martin Pipe, were celebrating scoring a victory as the horse was a 9/2 winner at Folkestone.

JAN 20, 2021………JANUARY JABS ADJOURNED FOR RACING…….Newbury racecourse was being used as a mass covid vaccination centre, but  there was media controversy when the service was suspended on January 20, for racing to take place.

JANUARY 20, 1994………..WARMED UP…….On the ‘cold list’ for almost 13 years, Midlothian trainer Robin Dun charged back to form as his Coqui Lane was a 3/1 winner at Ayr.

JANUARY 21, 1992……DISQUALIFIED – 12 TIMES IN ONE DAY……..Adrian Maguire lost a dozen winners in one day as the Jockey Club confirmed he had been incorrectly claiming 3lb when riding those horses.

JANUARY 21, 2006…….SIX OF THE BEST…Paul Nicholls became the first UK jumps trainer to win six races on a single card, achieving the feat at Wincanton.

JANUARY 22, 1972………EARLIER MAGNIFICENT SEVEN……..Aussie jockey Geoff Prowse scored his own Magnificent Seven, almost a quarter of a century before Frankie Dettori’s – booting home seven winners from as many rides at Elwick in Tasmania.

JANUARY 22, 1991…..TOMMY TOOK FLIGHT IN THE DERBY………79 year old former jockey Tommy Lowrey died on this date. The highlight of his career was riding one of the greatest ever ‘coincidence bet’ winners when his 50/1 shot Airborne won the 1946 Derby, shooting down the bookies by carrying the bets of tens of thousands of ex-RAF WW2 personnel.

JANUARY 23, 1993…….STAGGERING ACHIEVEMENT……Warwick staged almost certainly the first race named in honour of a stag night – The Jimmy George Final Fling Hurdle, marking the impending nuptials of racing magazine Pacemaker’s advertising manager.

JANUARY 23, 1997……..QUITTING WHILE AHEAD……Having ridden over one hundred winners, never having missed a ride and never broken any bone in his body, 29 year old jump jockey Roger Marley retired from the saddle – his decision almost certainly prompted by being unseated in a Lingfield chase the day before.

AND FINALLY………WEIGHT A MINUTE……..the decision was taken by stewards to allow jockey Danny Wright to ride 7/2 favourite Lady Broker at Wolverhampton on January 22, 1994, despite knowing full well he would be carrying 6lbs too little due to a mix up over a penalty incurred for winning at Southwell the day before. The stewards had decided it was ‘too late to take action’. The horse won comfortably, and was permitted to remain the winner for betting purposes, but was later officially disqualified.