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1984

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  • #6122
    scallywag76
    Member
    • Total Posts 280

    Do we have ‘characters’ associated with racing any more?

    The very nature of such individuals may make the definition of a character impossible. In general terms, however, perhaps they are people who, by whatever dint, break the mould. Within my own experience of racing, I view the likes of (in no order of importance or personal affection), Phil Bull, Lester, Jeffrey Bernard, the Easterbys (Peter & Mick) and Ryan Price to have been true characters – to name but a few. As a youngster, I found it infuriating to see Paddy Broderick being allowed to ride Night Nurse and John Thorne (in my opinion) denying Spartan Missile the right to win the Grand National but on reflection realise the true sporting nature of such decisions.

    Where are the characters now, though? In common with other sports, perhaps the scent of fear dominates at a certain level, with those involved pandering to the corporate image, the ‘brand’ and taking every opportunity to self-publicise, lest they should be cast aside.

    We seem to be entering an era where the thought police dominate, everyone’s fart can be recorded via a betting exchange and God forbid that anyone should actually enjoy the sport.

    #133208
    insomniac
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1453

    Characters? John McCririck, Derek Thompson, Matt Chapman… how many do you want?

    #133216
    stilvi
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4518

    Are you longing for a return to the halcyon days when jockeys used to ride round fences in the fog? Or to put it another way cheat.

    As for ‘characters’ I am not sure how you define it – for instance Lester for all his ability in the saddle can hardly string a worthwhile sentence together.

    #133218
    The real barney
    Participant
    • Total Posts 162

    Good luck Stilvi, should catch some with that one.

    #133220
    scallywag76
    Member
    • Total Posts 280

    Characters? John McCririck, Derek Thompson, Matt Chapman… how many do you want?

    I did refer to self publicists in my original post! Taking the opportunity to appear in front of the camera at every opportunity, speak in a loud voice or to maximise personal revenue via telephone tipping services do not, in my opinion, qualify the aforementioned as characters – please reflect and compare with those mentioned in my short list.

    As for ‘characters’ I am not sure how you define it – for instance Lester for all his ability in the saddle can hardly string a worthwhile sentence together.

    And what a sour view of humanity you seem to have. Lester may have suffered from deafness and failed to achieve an Oxbridge education but his possession of character, be it expressed through displays of single-mindnedness or in other ways cannot be denied. I suggest that you read his biography, or better still speak to someone within racing who had direct contact with Lester.

    #133235
    quixallcrossett
    Participant
    • Total Posts 358

    I reckon Barney Curley is a character!

    #133478
    Fist of Fury 2k8
    Member
    • Total Posts 2930

    Do we have ‘characters’ associated with racing any more?

    The very nature of such individuals may make the definition of a character impossible. In general terms, however, perhaps they are people who, by whatever dint, break the mould. Within my own experience of racing, I view the likes of (in no order of importance or personal affection), Phil Bull, Lester, Jeffrey Bernard, the Easterbys (Peter & Mick) and Ryan Price to have been true characters – to name but a few. As a youngster, I found it infuriating to see Paddy Broderick being allowed to ride Night Nurse and John Thorne (in my opinion) denying Spartan Missile the right to win the Grand National but on reflection

    Where are the characters now, though? In common with other sports, perhaps the scent of fear dominates at a certain level, with those involved pandering to the corporate image, the ‘brand’ and taking every opportunity to self-publicise, lest they should be cast aside.

    We seem to be entering an era where the thought police dominate, everyone’s fart can be recorded via a betting exchange and God forbid that anyone should actually enjoy the sport.

    I remember right after the National John Thorne was the happiest man at Aintree……absolutely delighted he had finished second.

    Like you I thought at first he should have maybe won despite the fact I had bet Aldiniti………..Later I looked again and thought old JT gave him every chance, for a moment he looked like he was going to go through with his run but never and just wasn’t good enough….the fact is, no one knew the horse better than old JT…but wouldn’t argue with anyone about the outcome as it’s a hard one to call.

    Thank God you realise the true sporting nature of these decisions especially Paddy Broderick……..Paddy, uneducated, couldn’t read and write, but could memorise horses names out the Sporting Life, was a real character….not the brightest star on the planet but just everyone loved the guy……..no one and I mean no one, could have ridden Night Nurse better than him….The two were so well suited to one another…………lot of people thought like you but when did Paddy ever lose a race on Night Nurse he should have won? The man won two champion hurdles on him………the horse would have run forever for Paddy……..actually he was a very good Jockey despite having the worst posture imaginable..Easterby’s don’t employ amateurs.

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