AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SHARPE MIND: Pancake Day ran flat ……

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 6 and February 12.

🗓️ FEB 6, 1850……WEIGHTY WINNER…..…. A Hong Kong-based mare, Kathleen, won two ‘long-distance races’ there, then on the next day won two more – in the last of the four it WAs reported that she carried 181 lbs (13st9lbs) – giving away up to 76lbs to her rivals.

🗓️ FEB 6, 2022……….HONEY OF A RECORD……. Honeysuckle, ridden by Rachael Blackmore for trainer Henry De Bromhead, retained her Irish Champion Hurdle title at Leopardstown, in the process becoming the first horse to win it’s first 14 races over hurdles, eclipsing the previous record of 13, by 1971 and ’72 Champion Hurdler, Bula.

🗓️ FEB 7, 1921…BELLA’S BROOMSTICK……. Aged 57, on the day before her 10th wedding anniversary, Bella Button fell from the horse she was riding when it reared up. She broke her neck and died. Bella was ‘a true pioneer’ of training, riding, racing and driving horses in New Zealand, even competing against men – until she was banned from doing so. She trained Kahikatea to win a steeplechase at Ashburton on Sept 1, 1891.She won trotting races and trained Slow Tom to win the 1904 Grand National Steeplechase at Riccarton, NZ. Another claim to fame was training her cat to jump a broomstick at a height of some three feet!

🗓️ FEBRUARY 7, 1969……DIANE BROKE THE MOULD…… On this date, Diane Crump became the first woman to ride in a professional race in the USA. Her participation was so controversial at that time, that she had to have a police escort to walk through the crowds at Hialeah Park racecourse. Diane recalled the occasion in a 2012 interview: “The crowd was just swarming all over me. They were crazy, up in arms. . .the hecklers were yelling: ‘Go back to the kitchen and cook dinner.’

🗓️ FEB 8, 2015…….DIDN’T PAN OUT WELL!…….‘The rider of Pancake Day reported that the colt ran flat’ was the deadpan comment put forward by connections to officials at Southwell in February 2015 to explain a disappointing performance in finishing 5th of six.

🗓️ FEB 8, 2018………MANN, WHAT A SHOCK!….’He got through the rail, I don’t even know how, and was away in the trees.’Trainer, Charlie Mann, remembering 9/2 The Lion Dancer, running out, and disappearing into the woods mid-race at Towcester on this date.

🗓️ FEB 9, 2022……FAVOURITE FIESTA….. 5/2 favourite, Isolate, won the 2.30 at Ludlow, sparking a run of 14 consecutive winning favourites at the four meetings taking place that afternoon, ending with 2/1 Getastar at Sedgefield in the 4.07, at the four meetings that afternoon, which also included Fakenham and Fairyhouse. The 4 meetings produced a total of 20 winning favourites.

🗓️ FEB 9, 2009….GRAND, GRAND, GRAND, TONY…… A.P.McCoy won on Nicky Henderson-trained 13/8 favourite, Restless D’Artaix at Plumpton – his 3000th jumps winner in Britain and Ireland.

🗓️ FEB 10, 1964….MIKADO’S MACABRE MATING…….. The Sporting Life carried this somewhat bizarre and macabre story: ‘Trainer Jack Fawcus said that when his horse, Mikado, who was over 20 years old, was sent to the Lauderdale Hunt kennels to be destroyed, the kennel huntsman telephoned a local owner and told her of Mikado’s arrival. Whereupon, the owner took her mare, Prejudice, to the kennels, and a mating with Mikado took place outside the killing house. Mikado was shot immediately afterwards.’

🗓️ FEB 10, 2020…..WINNER WISE BUT WEIRD….. Age of Wisdom was a 7/2 winner at Plumpton for trainer Gary Moore, who said of his runner:‘The horse is a weirdo, I’ve never known one like him. He lives outside, won’t go in the stable no matter how much it has rained, the only time he goes in is to eat.’

🗓️ FEB 11, 2022……RUSSIAN RUSHES TO VICTORY…… Azure Coast,trained in Russia, under Antonio Fresu, produced an amazing run to come from a seemingly impossible last position, to first, in the Gp 3 UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan, at odds of 15/2, collecting £66,666.67 prize money. Foaled in Kentucky, it was the 3yo’s third win in three races, having arrived in Dubai via a success in Moscow, under A. Shikov, where he won as a 2yo over 1 mile, for prize money equating to just £741.03“We never raced here and this is one of the best racetracks in the world, so it was always the dream to come and race here,” trainer Pavel Vashchenko said.

🗓️ FEB 11, 1993………LESTER UNBROKEN…..Having broken his collarbone and two ribs in October, Lester Piggott was back in action in Dubai on this date – and duly rode a win double.

🗓️ FEB 12, 1556….BETTER TO BE RUNNER UP?……The annual Kiplingcotes Derby is claimed to be England’s oldest horse race, first run in 1519. On this date the oldest written reference to the race was made when one Thomas Carter of Helperthorpe said on oath that he was ‘chauncinge to be at a horse running at Kiplingcotes Ashe about Shrovetide last.’ The race has been traditionally run over the Yorkshire Wolds each year on the 3rd Tuesday in March. Oddly, the runner up has ofen won more than the winner as the first prize is funded by interest on the original prize fund, while 2nd receives the entry fees of those entered.

🗓️ AND FINALLY………FEB 7, 2012…RICHARD’S AMAZING GESTURE…. 69 year old retired jockey Richard Pitman was recovering after undergoing surgery to donate one of his kidneys to a stranger. Reported the Daily Mail: ‘The former jump jockey, who won 470 races in his 15-year career and now works for the BBC and Sky, made the decision after watching a close friend suffer kidney failure. He underwent surgery to remove the kidney at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital, and is now recuperating at home.’




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