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Most helpful person you have met within Racing.

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    Having had enough doom and gloom about the whip debate etc., I thought that a more upbeat post might get us all thinking.
    We all know that many a person can be helpful / accommodating when there is a financial incentive for them to be so.
    However I’d be interested to know who you have found to be the most helpful when they had nothing to gain. Whether that be advice, assistance , a kind word, support etc etc

    • Total Posts 486

    I like to see some positivity like this!

    Personally it was the late journalist George Ennor who was by far the most helpful person I’ve met within racing.

    • Total Posts 1402

    When we were selling a horse a few years ago, Geoffrey Howson was very helpful even though we weren’t retaining him.

    Generally, if we are looking to buy a horse, the people we ring for information on them (current trainer, stud farm) are always very open and honest about the horse. In particular Shadwell are very helpful.

    I’ve also received lots of helpful advice on breeding from a number of people at various stud farms.

    Clerks of the course are by and large very helpful when you ring them about the state of the going.

    Michael Harris offered some excellent advice when we were trying to decide whether to run in a below-tariff race.

    I think that most professionals you meet in the racing world are happy to spend some time talking to you without any expectation of ‘something in it’ for them.

    Bearing in mind how friendly, approachable and knowledgable most people in racing are, it seems like a particularly cruel misfortune that the running of racing is beset by so much infighting.

    • Total Posts 8783

    I haven’t actually met anyone in racing who


    been helpful when i’ve asked for something (and usually it was ME wanting something from them with nothing in return).

    My experience has been that there are lots of very, very nice people in racing.

    If I had to single one out, Paul Ostermeyer has been very helpful to me.

    • Total Posts 4607


    • Total Posts 4607

    I have met very few unhelpful people in racing (although the very small minority who are unhelpful really are unhelpful)

    If I were to single one person out it would have to be Lee McKenzie, although his biggest help has been non-racing related.

    When my father was terminally ill last year Lees help and support made the difficult "journey" smoother, even though his helping me probably bought back some painful memories for him.

    I don’t think I ever have thanked him properly so if you are reading this – thanks Lee.

    • Total Posts 738

    There are a couple of people I would name. In the mid eighties I fancied myself as a racing journalist. Had a go at producing my own publication. I was a nobody ( still am) working as a postman in Bristol. Wanting to get into the racing scene I wrote to local trainer Richard Holder. I explained the situation and what I was trying to do. He replied and invited me to his stables one sunday morning and spent an hour of his very valuable time taking me round and talking about his horses so I could do an article. I sent a copy of the completed publication to Brough Scott for his views. He sent me a lovely letter back praising it and advised me to write to Timeform and the Sporting Life and told me to use his name. He also said that if i saw him at the races to introduce myself and I did so at Epsom. Gentlemen both.

    • Total Posts 6939

    I have many kindnesses to remember from people within racing, namely;

    – Simon Rowlands, David Cleary, Richard O’Brien and Ian Dean, guiding lights and professional / moral compasses during mine (and several other colleagues’) first tentative steps into published race analysis with the



    – Paul Champion and Stephen Mullen, both of whom suggested / offered advice on how to keep writing on / analysing racing – and where to offer it – immediately after the


    ‘s demise,

    Big Green Annual

    creator and editor John Beasley, who spotted my notes, race-reading scribbles when I visited his stall at Eaton Hall Point-to-Point in March 2005, and wondered why I wasn’t submitting them to anyone,

    – Dom Bradshaw of

    Jumping For Fun

    , who was happy to upload said Point-to-Point scribbles thereafter and encouraged more of the same,

    – Phil, webmaster and creator of, the first chap to accept any of my Rules meeting reports back in 2004 and similarly encouraged more of the same,

    – Geoff Sanderson, former assistant trainer to Ted Caine (and therefore of Quixall Crossett also), who first encouraged me to submit creative pieces to Quixall’s website to go along with all the stats I produced for the site. Without him, there would literally be no Graysonscolumn – that was the name of the first piece.


    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    • Total Posts 3772

    No one in officialdom to speak of, however, although off kilter, this is a true story nonetheless.

    Ayr racecourse, Jan 1975.

    Standing at the parade ring eyeing up the runners for a novice hurdle, we ( my friend and I ) were very keen on the favourite. However. as it passed by where we stood, we asked the young lass who was leading the horse round if she fancied it to win. She looked round before shaking her head. We waited until she came round next time and I shouted over to her – what one then – and she replied with a smile that number 4 is well fancied and that he was the one to be on. I think she must have fancied me. :lol:

    Anyway, we duly took the hint and backed a winner at 8/1.

    If only there were more like her.

    Gambling Only Pays When You're Winning

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