AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SHARPE MIND: Winston’s Immorality

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 28 November and 4 December.

🗓️ NOV 28, 1939………..ROGER’S CLASSIC CAREER……..Roger Attfield is an English trainer, born in Newbury on this date, but little known in his own country, despite sending out 2000+ winners including 22 Classic victories. He is an inductee of both the Canadian and United States horseracing Halls of Fame. He emigrated to Canada in 1970, and began training soon after. At time of writing, he had 22 Canadian Classics to his credit, winning a record eight Queen’s Plates, the Prince of Wales Stakes five times and the Breeders’ Stakes, the final jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown, (established in 1959) on nine occasions. He also landed the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf with Perfect Shirl.

🗓️ NOV 28, 1967……….RACING SHUTDOWN NOT A HIT……..….Foot and mouth disease caused the lengthy cessation of UK racing back in 1967 when it shut down from Tuesday, November 28 – at a time when the appropriately named Long John Baldry song ‘Let The Heartaches Begin’ was topping the charts. Racing eventually returned on Friday, January 5, 1968, but was almost immediately halted again as frost and snow intervened for the next 12 days – during which period the equally appropriately Beatles’ hit, ‘Hello Goodbye’ was number one.

🗓️ NOV 29, 2008………..BAKER’S WEIGHTY TON…….George Baker completed his first century of winners, probably the first jockey never to ride below 8st13lbs in so doing….On the same date, triple World Hurdles winner, Inglis Drever was pulled up with a leg injury on his seasonal debut at Newbury. He never won again.

🗓️ NOV 29, 2008………..AUTHOR’S TALL TALE?………………Interviewed on Channel 4 Racing, Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie said he first went racing while growing up in Bombay, adding that in his twenties, he had enjoyed backing a run of ‘seven or eight Grand National winners.’ Hm. He became 20 in June, 1967, but was only 19 when 100/1 Foinavon won the National. However, to back 7 or 8 of the next nine would involve all bar a maximum two of those winning at 100/7; 100/9; 15/1; 28/1, 14/1, 9/1, 11/1, 13/2 and 14/1.

🗓️ NOV 30, 1874………WINSTON’S IMMORALITY……………Winston Churchill was born on this date. He became a racehorse owner relatively late in life at the age of 75 via the very useful Colonist II. When this horse reached the age where it was suggested he should be retired to stud, the great man opined: ‘To Stud? And have it said that the Prime Minister of England is living on the immoral earnings of a horse?.’

🗓️ NOV 30, 1985……FRANCS A LOT…………John Francome’s first winner as a trainer was unexpected to judge by the 25/1 offered about That’s Your Lot in a 3yo, 2mile hurdle race at Sandown in which he was partnered by Francome’s mate, Steve Smith Eccles.

🗓️ DEC 1…2006……….BELLE BAZE…….…US jockey Russell Baze rode Butterfly Belle to win at Bay Meadows, the 9,531st victory of his career, taking him past Laffit Pincay Jr. to set a North American record for winners. Baze retired in 2016 at 57, with a then world-record total of 12,842 wins.

🗓️ DEC 1, 2021……..GARY’S GAFFE……Some early morning listeners to the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme were slightly startled to hear sports presenter Gary Richardson giving the day’s Racing Tip as: “At 12:40pm it’s number eight, Seymour Cox, and then Haydock at 1:15pm it’s number seven, Ned Tanner.” In fact, the horse’s name was Seymour Sox. The horse went off as 7/2 favourite but didn’t win, finishing 8th of 10.

🗓️ DEC 2, 1993……..TRIO’S TROUBLE……Britain’s three top jump jockeys of the day – Richard Dunwoody, Adrian Maguire and Peter Niven – were found guilty of rushing the tapes at Uttoxeter, and each fined £110.

🗓️ DEC 2 , 2000…….ANTLEY TRAGEDY…….California-based jockey, Chris Antley, whose glittering career had often been interrupted by personal problems, was found dead at home ‘in suspicious circumstances’, aged just 34. In 1985 he rode 469 winners, in 1987 nine in a single day – four at Aqueduct, five at Meadowlands. In 1989 he rode at least one winner every day for 64 consecutive racing days. Antley died of an overdose of multiple drugs – and injuries to his body were probably the result of a fall while under the influence, according to the county coroner’s office. Hours after the toxicology reports were released, Antley’s wife, Natalie Jowett, gave birth to the couple’s first child.

🗓️ DEC 3, 1981….THE WAY WE WERE……‘When I ring trainers and they ask ‘who do you have available?’ I say ‘Frankie Pickard’, and they say ‘we’ll have him. It’s not until she gets in the paddock that they realise.” ‘ said US jockey agent Sarah Metcalfe of her way to get rides from macho trainers, for her up and coming female rider, Frances Pickard, born on this date.

🗓️ DEC 3, 1990………MACHO MAGO….…….Jockey, Magomed Tokov became the first Russian to win a race in Britain, partnering Macho Man at Kelso during an international event, the Maxwell Glasnost Handicap Hurdle.

🗓️ DEC 4, 1895………WALLEY’S HAT TRICK………..….Recorded only as ‘Walley’, that gentleman became the first jump trainer to saddle a treble – doing so at Sheffield – during that season.

🗓️ DEC 4, 1956…………DOZEY DAVIES……..Born on this date in 1956, jockey Hywel Davies, who won the 1985 Grand National on Last Suspect, answered ‘Sleeping’ when asked to name his favourite recreation.

🗓️ NOV 30, 2021………..AND FINALLY…GARY’S MAJESTIC TRIBUTE……..As Barbados officially ended the era of living under the British Monarch, on this date, Sir Garfield Sobers, one of the most famous of all Barbadian Test cricketers, said of Her Majesty. “She used to come to Lord’s when the West Indies were playing there. We would sit down and have a chat. We used to get on very well. She loved what I love – racehorses.”




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