AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SHARPE MIND: Every Little Helps

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 February 13 and February 19.

🗓️ FEB 13, 1988…….EVERY LITTLE HELPS…….Saros may only have finished 4th at Santa Anita, but in so doing,reportedly pushed Panamanian jockey Jorge Velasquez’s career prize money total past $100m. He rode 6795 winners from 40,852 mounts during his career.

🗓️ FEB 13, 2022…….SIBYLLE’S SNOW GOOD………UK trainer Milton Harris and his Middleham Park Racing doubled up at St Moritz’s White Turf meeting as their Mordred, under Swiss-born jockey Sibylle Vogt, won there for a second consecutive Sunday. Last season Vogt became the first woman to ride a Classic-winner in any of the established European racing countries, winning the German 1000 Guineas in November.

🗓️ FEB 14, 1980…LOVE THAT FELLA……Few took the topical tip on Valentine’s Day at Taunton – but 33/1 shot, Favourite Fella, ensured lovestruck punters were quids in.

🗓️ FEB 14, 2022…FAIR ENOUGH, HUGHIE…………Hughie Morrison sent out the 1,000th winner of his training career, as odds-on favourite Miss Fairfax eased to victory in the mares novice hurdle, at Catterick..Morrison has enjoyed big Flat and jump winners. His first winner was Tayovullin, at Southwell on April 1, 1997.

🗓️ FEB 15, 1832…FRANKLY, THE BEST…The Times announced on this date that ‘The celebrated jockey, Buckle’ had died during the previous week. ‘Fifty years’ experience proved him to be perhaps the best rider known. His last race was at the close of the Houghton Meeting, 1831, when he took his leave of the turf.’ His Christian name was Frank, he was born in 1766 and he died on February 7, 1832 of ‘inflammation’ and was buried alongside his father. He had won 27 Classic races. When he rode his first race in 1783 he weighed 3stone 13lbs.

🗓️ FEB 15, 2001…………..DICK’S DOUBLE….Former jockey Dave Dick – born on March 8, 1924 – died. His unique claim to fame was being the first – only – jockey, to win both the Lincoln Handicap – in 1941, on Gloaming – and the Grand National – in 1956 on E.S.B. The latter win came about when the Queen Mother’s horse, Devon Loch dramatically collapsed on the run-in. HM asked Dick how he had felt when he saw that happen, and he reportedly replied: ’Absolutely delighted.’ He was something of a rarity, a six feet tall jockey.

🗓️ FEB 16, 1924……..COLIN’S CUPS………Future Aussie champion trainer, Colin Hayes, was born in Adelaide. He rode 52 winners as an amateur and his first winner as a trainer in 1947. Went on to send out 10 winners in a single day, and his At Talaq was 4th in the Derby before winning him his second Melbourne Cup in 1986, having first won it in 1980 with Beldale Ball. Notched up 5333 career winners. Hayes received an OBE for his racing achievements in 1980, and died in 1999.

🗓️ FEB 16, 2022….AYR’S MAGNIFICENT SEVENS…….Five of the first 6 winners at Ayr on this date were returned at a starting price of 7/1.

🗓️ FEB 17, 1990……FINGERS CROSSED PHIL….Having notched a run of ten straight wins from August 23 to September 3 in 1986, Phil Tuck rode 5/4 favourite Midland Glenn to victory at Newcastle, bringing his career total to 423, and promptly retired, aged 33. He did reappear briefly, in October 1994, partnering Sophism in the William Hill Golden Oldie Stakes at Bangor. At one point, Tuck was known as the most superstitious of jockeys, saluting magpies to avoid bad luck and even naming his house ‘The Magpies’. Luckily, this….perhaps….. helped him win the 1984 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Burrough Hill Lad.

🗓️ FEB 17,1993………SULKY SULUK….Bidding for a record 17th win in 18 outings at Southwell, Suluk went off at 1/14 – and was beaten, becoming the biggest odds-on loser since 1/14 Arum Lady at Haydock in December, 1988. One punter tried to ‘buy’ £200 with a £3200 wager at 1/16 on-course.

🗓️ FEB 18, 2005……..RIDING HIGH AFTER 2000 YEARS+…….…. Seán Hemingway’s book,’ The Horse and Jockey from Artemision: A Bronze Equestrian Monument of the Hellenistic Period. ‘ was discussed in Classical Review magazine on this date. The ‘Jockey of Artemision’ is a large, bronze statue of a young boy riding a horse, dated to around 150–140 BC. It is a rare surviving, Ancient Greek, original bronze statue – a rare example in Greek sculpture of a racehorse. It was saved from destruction thanks to a shipwreck in antiquity, before being discovered in a shipwreck. It is thought to have been dedicated to the gods by a wealthy person to honour victories in horse races. The first parts of the equestrian statue were recovered in 1928, with more pieces found in 1936. The statue was reassembled, after restoration, and first went on display in Athens in 1972.

🗓️ FEB 18, 2022………..BLINKING HARVEY?……..Former jockey, turned pundit, Luke Harvey told the Racing Post: “If I were a horse I’d never need blinkers, because I thrive on work. It’s not why I stay fit, but I think my ace card on TV is my energy, so I’ll keep myself busy while I wait for somebody younger to come and knock me off my perch.”

🗓️ FEB 19, 1966………….WALTER WHIPPED OUT A GUN……..Racing was interrupted at Flemington in Australia on this date, when racegoer Walter Hoystead held up the runners and riders at gunpoint for 16 minutes to publicise his campaign to ban whips.

🗓️ FEB 19, 2022…….WEDDING GUEST WINNER………… It was a case of friends reunited at Haydock on this date, as 9/4 shot, Cousin Pascal was cheered to victory by the bride and groom of the wedding he had attended in September, 2021.The horse, 66/1 winner of the 2021 Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree, was the special guest when owner Peter Clifton’s daughter Sarah married Jason Evans, and he now provided them with another reason to smile, landing the spoils by two lengths in the hunter chase.Clifton recalled: “Sarah got married in September. We had about 120 guests at the service and Cousin Pascal paraded at the drinks reception.’

AND FINALLY….. FEB 18,2022………SALLY’S STORMY CRITICISM….…..With ‘Storm Eunice’,predicted to be the most powerful for many years, set to hit the country, Fakenham racecourse, which had a fixture scheduled for the day, had taken the precaution of cancelling the meeting the day before. Sally Jones in the Daily Telegraph was not impressed: ‘Fakenham Races in the heart of pancake-flat Norfolk – (likewise) distinctly lacking in dangerous woodland – cancelled its entire meeting before the storm had hit……..I’m sure not a few people will have been wondering how extraordinary it is that just a generation after the stubborn heroics of Dunkirk and the Blitz, so many of us now meekly accept that we should be told how to “stay safe”, to an almost ridiculously patronising degree.’Lingfield and Southwell also cancelled their meetings scheduled for February 18, leaving Kelso as the only meeting to go ahead on the day.




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