SHARPE MIND: Winning twice in a day

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 6 and 12 December.


🗓️ DECEMBER 6, 1989…………….BRITTAIN’S TEXAN BLUES…..
Texas Blue became the last horse to race twice in one day in Britain, as the 2yo filly, trained by Mel Brittain took part in consecutive races at Southwell today in 1989 on the all-weather, finishing 9th at 10/1, in the 14 runner 1.10 over 6f; then, in the 7f 1.40, again under S Maloney, finishing last of 13. Such a schedule is now banned.

🗓️ DECEMBER 6,2019………..CORNY EXCUSE?….. 
Reporting today in 2019 that Cornelius Lysaght, 54, was to leave the role he had held since 2001 as BBC Racing Correspondent, Times’ writer Rick Broadbent noted: ‘The Daily Mail suggested he was a white, middle-aged man sacrificed on the altar of the shouty phone-in, the latest victim of the BBC’s lust for a younger audience.’

🗓️ DECEMBER 7, 2019……….RANDY RED ROYAL RACECOURSE….. 
The Times reported in a photo-story that ‘fires turn the sky red over Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney’, today in 2019, explaining that this was an effect of ashes from Australian wildfires.

🗓️ DECEMBER 7, 1983……..WORTH THE WAIT?………
Chris Brownless rode On Leave to win at Carlisle today in 1983 – his next winner,7/1 shot Candy Cone, in a Hexham handicap chase – arrived almost EIGHT AND A HALF years later on March 21, 1992 . In between the two Chris had officially retired to assist trainer Bobby Brewis, who sent out the comeback winner.

🗓️ DECEMBER 8, 2019…………….WHAT’S BIN GOING ON?…………
The 13 runners contesting a chase at Huntingdon today in 2019 had to be alert to avoid an unusual additional obstacle in the race, as an empty dustbin rolled across the track in front of them.

🗓️ DECEMBER 8, 1997……………..TAKING THE MICK?……..
Former footballer Mick Quinn’s first runner as a trainer, Fairy Domino, finished last of 13 at Southwell today in 1997 – his second, Katie’s Cracker, later on the same day at the same course, was beaten into second by fellow footballer-turned-trainer, Mick Channon’s Cutting Anshake.

🗓️ DEC 9, 1992…………………….HAY’S HURDLE HANDICAPPED………………….
A 2mile 3 furlong hurdle race at Haydock took longer to finish than the Grand National, run over some two miles farther, after the runners mistakenly missed out a hurdle, today in 1992, only to be warned after completing almost a full circuit that they must return to jump the omitted fence or the race would be voided. It took 12 minutes 19.6 seconds for Richard Dunwoody-ridden winner, Mighty Mogul, to complete the race, while the fastest Grand National time is 8minutes 47 seconds, by Mr Frisk in 1990.

🗓️ DECEMBER 9, 1961……….ROYAL HAT TRICK AT LINGFIELD……
The Queen Mum was delighted as her horses landed a 16/1 Lingfield treble today in 1961, with Even money shot, Laffy, starting the ball rolling, before being joined by 4/1 Double Star, and rounded off by 8/13 favourite, The Rip, completing the acca.

🗓️ DECEMBER 10, 2008……….NOT SO COMMON RACING COMPLAINT……….…
The House of Commons considered an early-day motion today in 2008; ‘That this House regrets proposals being discussed by the BBC to reduce the number of days of British horse racing it intends to cover from the present level of 27 days per year to just 13 days by 2010.’

🗓️ DECEMBER 10, 1988………………NEARLY ZUSSED THE WINNER……
Aussie bookies faced a multi-million Aussie dollar-deluge as Zusrab was hammered in from 100/1 to 6/1 to win the Savoir Handicap at Moonee Valley today in 1988 in a nationwide gamble, Layers on course faced a million-plus payout while Sydney and Brisbane bookies had seven figure liabilities, Zusrab finished an agonising second, beaten into second place by inches.

🗓️ DECEMBER 11, 2019………………..HUNTER’S BEACH BID………………..….
David Hunter, clerk of the course at Fakenham racecourse floated the suggestion today in 2019 that Holkham Beach, some twelve miles away from the course, would be an idea location on which to introduce racing on the sand at the seaside to England, to rival the likes of Laytown.

🗓️ DECEMBER 11, 1948………FIRST YANKEE MILLION WINNER…..
Citation completed his US Triple Crown season by winning the Tanforan Handicap at 1/20 today in 1948 – his 19th win in 20 starts during the year. He went on in 1951 to become the first horse to win $1m prize money.

🗓️ DECEMBER 12, 1984…………….OWNER IN A FLAP……
Owner Gwyn Griffiths was warned off for 15 years today in 1984, after admitting his horse Spare Wheel, a Newmarket winner in the summer, had been ‘flapping’ – running in unofficial races.

🗓️ DECEMBER 12, 1964……………GOOD LORD, DOUBLE DISASTER…………..…
Lord Oaksey, then known as John Lawrence, jumped clear at Plumpton’s second last on Pioneer Spirit in a handicap chase today in 1964, only to fear he had taken the wrong course and double back on himself – only to find French Cottage under Bill Tellwright running towards him and going on to win. Oaksey was fined £25, went home to run a bath to soak his cares away, only to forget he’d done so, until the ceiling of the room he was sitting in collapsed as the water overflowed.

🗓️ AND FINALLY……..DECEMBER 10, 1954………FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS……
Few thought that 20/1 shot Mandarin, trained by Fulke Walwyn. 3rd on his racecourse debut in the Fisherman’s Hurdle today in 1954, at Newbury, would go on to great things – but he became one of the era’s best loved and most talented performers, landing over £50,000 in prize money as he won both the Hennessy (twice – 1957 and 61) and Cheltenham (1962) Gold Cups during the 1961-62 season, plus two King George VI Chases, in 1957 and 59, plus for good measure, the 1962 Grand Steeplechase de Paris, for which his jockey Fred Winter ‘wasted hideously’ to ‘do’ 9st 10lbs, then had to stay on board his mount over 18 fences with neither brakes nor steering after the rubber bit snapped in his mouth as he landed over the third fence.

GRAHAM SHARPE


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