AUTHOR: James Dowen

SHARPE MIND: Rock On Ryan…

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 7 February and 13 February.

FEBRUARY 7, 1952….…TONY, A PRO-PER WINNER………..Jockey Tony Ives was born today in 1952, and he enjoyed great success in 1984, partnering 2yo Provideo, who set a 20th century record by winning 16 of his 24 races, to be named Horse of the Year by both Timeform and the Racegoer’s Club . In 1985 Tony won the Arlington Million on Teleprompter. He named his Newmarket house…..Linga Longa.

Feb 7, 2016……ROCK ON RYAN…….Barnsley-based trainer, Peter Winks, won Musselburgh’s £20,000 Scottish Champion Chase on Feb 7, 2016 with Chestnut Ben – ridden by his son Ryan. After the race the jockey, who mixed riding with singing in a rock band, sang a duet with Derek ‘Tommo’ Thompson, the pair of them belting out Queen’s We Are The Champions.

FEBRUARY 8, 1989………..ANTLEY POSTS WINNERS………..Chris Antley rode a winner at Aqueduct, USA – then repeated the feat for an amazing 64 successive racing days, including one five timer, before finally drawing a blank on May 1.

FEBRUARY 8, 1990…………..MAJESTIC PRICE…….Five green leather armchairs from a Newbury racecourse box were sold for £10,900 at auction on this date, despite an estimate of just £1000, Perhaps explained by the fact that the chairs were used by the Queen, Prince Philip and other Royals when they visited the track.

FEBRUARY 9, 1988….CASH OVER-PRICED?…..On this date in 1988 Cash Asmussen was confirmed as stable jockey to French trainer, Andre Fabre – and admitted, ‘To some people I am over-priced, and they use other people. But I ride quality horses for quality people.’

FEBRUARY 9, 1809…..NO SWEAT, TOM………Born on this date, trainer Tom Dawson was the first of his trade to ditch the accepted practice of ‘sweating’ horses by giving them strong gallops whilst wearing heavy rugs and hoods. This didn’t seem to inconvenience his runners – his Pretender won both the 2000 Guineas and Derby in 1869 and he had three other Classic winners out of his Middleham stable.

FEBRUARY 10, 1990……TIM TIME……Jockey Tim Reed rode two winners at Catterick today in 1990 – where 100/1 Wrekin Melody and 20/1 Alistair’s Girl, resulted in a 2120/1 double.

FEBRUARY 10, 1899………..HAY, A NEW COURSE…….Haydock staged its first jump meeting on this date, while Windsor hosted a very busy card on this date in 1945, as 192 runners contested the track’s 11 races.

FEBRUARY 11, 1884…………..HARRY’S PLUM RIDES………..Plumpton staged its first race meeting today in 1884, and Harry Eacott rode a treble – two of his wins coming on the same horse, hurdler, Cowslip.

FEBRUARY 11, 1998……….A LOWER HIGH…………….Jonothan Lower became the first diabetic jockey to ride a British winner when doing so on 6/1 Serendipity at Ludlow, on this date.

FEBRUARY 12, 2008……………..MONKEYING ABOUT……..The most expensive horse ever at the time, bought for $16m, 4yo The Green Monkey was retired today in 2008, having managed a 3rd & two 4th places. Coolmore paid that sum for him in 2006. By contrast, Fisherman, beaten at Lincoln on this date in 1856, went on to win 23 of 34 starts during the season for trainer Tom Parr.

FEBRUARY 12, 1994……..BARBER SCALPS BOOKIES……Dorset trainer Richard Barber set a point-to-point record with 6 winners from 9 runners at the 8 race South Dorset meeting, with Polly Gundry setting a female rider record by winning on four of them.

FEBRUARY 13, 1959…………….LESTER’S LAST………..…6/4 favourite Jive won a Sandown race today in 1959 – the 20th and final hurdles winner for his jockey, Lester Piggott.

FEBRUARY 13, 1993……..KING JAMES…….Bred and trained by actor James Bolam, and jointly owned with thespian wife Sue Jameson, their horse King Credo was 10/1 winner of The Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury on this date in 1993.

AND FINALLY……….FEB 11, 2008…..…FRANKLY OUTSTANDING…. He weighed 123 lbs when he was born on February 11, 2008, eventually bulking up to about half a ton, and standing 163.8 cms tall. His diet consisted of , on average, 23lbs of Canadian Oats per day, American and English hay, as well as alfalfa, bran, calcium, carrots, chaff, corn.

Many people’s (not mine!) idea of the greatest racehorse to run on the flat, Henry Cecil-trained, unbeaten Frankel raced 14 times, collecting £2,998,302 in prize money – by racing for a total of a mere 23 minutes and 24 seconds.

If you’d bet £1 on Frankel to win each time he ran, you’d have made a profit of just £5.97, mainly because he was odds-on in all but one of his races. His top speed was 43.19mph, during a race at Goodwood – twice as fast as Usain Bolt’s peak pace.