AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SHARPE MIND: Tony The Robot

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 30 and February 5.

🗓️ JAN 30, 2021…..TONY THE ROBOT…‘Martin turned me into a robot but in the best possible way. I wouldn’t have broken any of those records if it wasn’t for him, because he made my mind need to do it.’….tribute to his former boss, Martin Pipe made on this date by retired multi champion jockey, Sir Anthony McCoy.

🗓️ JAN 30, 2021…KIWI CHAOS……A man who jumped on to a racecourse in New Zealand during a race was fined and handed 100 hours of community service after “an alcohol-fuelled moment of complete madness.” Justin Bergman, 24, pleaded guilty to ‘creating a criminal nuisance by disrupting a public meeting, knowing it would endanger the safety of the public, and to disrupting a meeting at Trentham racecourse, near the country’s capital, Wellington.Bergman had been drinking all day at the meeting, and unsuccessfully attempted to scare the horses by screaming and yelling at them before later running on to the track.He was sentenced to 100 hours of community work and ordered to pay compensation of NZ$8,880 (£4,580), the amount that was lost to racing by bets being refunded on one of the runners in the race who was hampered by his actions.

🗓️ JAN 31, 1992…MAJOR BOOKIE…..Former Prime Minister John Major appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme, ‘Desert Island Discs’, on which he revealed that in his younger days; ‘From time to time neighbours would dispatch me to place bets with an illicit bookie who plied his trade in the environs of Loughborough Junction Station.’

🗓️ JAN 31, 2021…..DEATH OF GRAND TRAINER…Announcing his retirement after a fifty+ year career, aged 86, trainer Milton Bradley – who died last week, aged 88 – commented on this date: “I claimed The Tatling for £15,000 and he won nearly £700,000, including the King’s Stand,” he said. “I gave £3,500 for Brevity and he won eight races in one year, and I won the Bovis Handicap at Ascot with Offa’s Mead who cost me £100!’ Bradley sent out more than 1,000 winners from his farm at Sedbury, close to Chepstow racecourse, on the Gloucestershire side of the Welsh border after taking out a full licence in 1969.

🗓️ FEB 1, 1986…MILLION DOLLAR PUNT…Californian punter, Craig Phillips’ tried a speculative ‘Pick Nine’ bet at Santa Anita – and by the end of the meeting he was $1,906,491.90 better off.

🗓️ FEB 1, 1996…..TIM TIME….Tim Easterby took over the training licence from hugely successful father, Peter, and won with his second runner, 6/1 chance, Bridle Path, in a Sedgefield hurdle.

🗓️ FEB 2, 1995…………MAGNIFICENT SEVEN?….The Dowager Lady Beaverbrook, whose Bustino won the 1974 St Leger, was widow of Sunday Express founder and politician, Lord Beaverbrook. She usually gave her horses 7 letter names, such Terimon, Relkino,Boldboy, Petoski, Mystiko, Charmer, etc.. Her racing colours were beaver brown and maple green. Her Peutetre, an exception to the 7 letter rule, won on this date at Lingfield. Even though she had died on October 28 the previous year, her executors had continued racing her horses. Her original name was Marcia Anastasia Christoforides,

🗓️ FEB 2, 2008……..PETERING OUT…..Trainer Peter Grayson saddled six of the nine runners in a 5f maiden at Lingfield, winning with his 40/1 Stoneacre Pat – having indicated to punters that Stoneacre Chris, 20/1, was his best hope. It finished second.

🗓️ FEB 3, 1968…….TAUNTON TROUBLE…….There was chaos at Taunton – where part of the starting gate failed to rise properly in a hurdles race.  The recall man missed the Starter’s signal and failed to stop the race, which Indamelia ‘won’, only for the race to be voided.

🗓️ FEB 3, 2022……FRED’S FIRST………Fred Gingell, who turned 16  days before Christmas, rode his first winner, West Approach, at Wincanton. The grandson of trainer Colin Tizzard, his mount was 6/4 outsider in the two horse Open Hunters’ Chase, and his immediate thoughts were for late mother, Kim, who died from cancer two years before, aged just 43.”She meant the world to me. She’s probably up there now, crying. It’s such a shame she can’t be here to see it.”

🗓️ FEB 4, 1862……COULDN’T SPLIT ‘EM……..…Ace of Hearts and The Rug (did he start at double carpet?) dead-heated in a 4mile chase at Carmarthen, so a run-off was staged – which ended in a second dead-heat.

🗓️ FEB 4, 2020……….DEAD UPSET………‘I suppose we will be told no animals were harmed in the making of (movie) Baghdad Central, but I can’t lie: when that beautiful racehorse was flattened by a car in a gratuitous scene 16 minutes in I did not feel well disposed to this drama’…Times’ tv critic, Carol Midgley.

🗓️ FEB 5, 1930………EARLY STARTER..……Former jockey, Herbert Woodland died at Maisons Laffitte on this date, aged 53. He rode a winner on the flat when nine years old.

🗓️ FEB 5, 2022……….JIM’S FULL SET….James Bowen said it was a real “feather in his cap” as he rode Peejaybee to win at Sandown, making him, at the tender age of 20, the latest jockey to ride a winner at every British Jumps racecourse.His previous 31 mounts at Sandown had all been beaten but he made no mistake on the 3/1 joint favourite. Bowen’s older brother Sean reached the same landmark when riding a winner at Catterick in December, 2021.

🗓️ AND FINALLY……A GRAND SUCCESS…..FEB 1, 2022…….There was a dramatic end to proceedings at Wolverhampton as the final contest of the evening, at 7.50, over a mile and half a furlong, a match race between 1-6 Golden Sands and 4/1 Havana Goldrush, produced a dead-heat, which took five minutes for judge, David Hicks, to call. There was then a stewards’ inquiry into whether there had been interference between the Stan Moore-trained outsider ridden by Liam Keniry, seeking his 1,000th winner in Britain, and Joe Fanning aboard Charlie and Mark Johnston’s hot favourite. Following a further 15 minutes delay, the announcement at 8.15pm, fully 25 minutes after post-time, revealed that the places remained unaltered, as a result of which Keniry had completed his grand winning feat.




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