Over the last 2 year, I have been frustrated regarding my role in life, taught to be a loving family man, I have carried out the function diligently.
my two sons, only had to ask, for advice, and I would place my arm on there shoulder and work out what should be done to alleviate them of there pain.
However for those who know a little of thought, will know that two years ago. a happening took place that no father and certainly no mother should face.
It was a moment in my life when I questioned my role.
Ir was a moment when I realized that every one will be asked a question at some time when there response will be of no use to the questionnaire.
“Sit down Dad, I wish to ask you something, I don’t know what to do”
The request that I sit down, should have set on motion the same type of fright that would occur when the door bell rings at 4.30 in the morning, and a policemen is at the door.
The period of 2 years 8 months and it is no easier,
On a personnel note, I still have two wonderful grand Kids, who have all the characteristics of there father so that every time I see them I get the impression that he is till with us,
Personally my health wise I have over come the problem of my knee’s the replacement (Right) is brilliant no pain and can power walk 4 miles a day.
However there is a feeling that dementia could be a problem in a few years time, how do I know, I will explain.
Over the past 12 months ago I have enjoyed the two T.V offerings,
Mr Selfridge and Peaky Blinders.in the case of the former I always enjoyed reading about Harry Selfridge as I had never seen him, personally, for he died when I was 10,
The program director had a problem by the time Harry came to London to look for a site for his first super store .he had knocked 5 years off his age, already.
Watching the program, I could visualise what it would have been like to see one of the many stars of radio and film who went racing during the time.
I once saw The Ali Khan the year before he died and once again The Prince and Rita Hayworth standing less than 10 yards away was much better than any Train that my school chums, may have seen between filthy black smoke,.
I also saw George Raft, when he was part of a team (Mafia) looking for a Casino opportunity.in London, fortunately they were all ousted.
For those who are prepared to calculate Harry’s age, you will understand the difficulty in balancing his
play boy description when already in his 80s.
I cant wait to see the final episode where Harry is booted away from the Shop entrance, as a tramp.
I realise that it is good coverage, to have the billionaire, play boy, living with his daughter in a Fulham slum. I can fully understand why the historians, dont mention that his daughter was a Russian Princess, perhaps she was on benefits also.
As for Peaky Blinders the Shelbys struggle to keep up with anything factual they mention taking over the on-course racing industry, it was sad to see the film of Tattersalls Epsom Derby day, for in the mid 1920s Bookmakers were betting in lines like they do now, every Bookmaker would have had one Bookmaker a clerk, a floor man and tick tac all round the joint. and as the horses were supposed to have been at the off, there would have been 5,000 people in the betting ring, not half a dozen. but then I guess expenses must be considered.
Whilst on the subject of historical content, I have been vetting The Book, “Druids Lodge Syndicate,”
I have always enjoyed this great book, by Paul Mathieu. however I have always had a feeling that there is something not right with the facts portrayed. who am I to say that Paul may have missed an ace in the syndicates hole.
Take for instance, the so called 5 brains in the plots, like the american doping on our soil; that took place between 1895 and 1905, the question must be raised were they gaining more than simple handicap cheating.
Could he have missed a number 6, in the plotters, an American who was very close to the New York Mafia, and as a politician who was so corrupt , that it was days away from a prosecution, hence he bolted back to his birth place Ireland, taking a fortune with him. and I guess someone with his millions$ living in a mansion
His relationship with the syndicates Vet, and the two horses, Ypsilanti and Hackers Pride, and all American jockeys involved, was to close for comfort,
I also feel that a close examination of the Jockey Club itself, during the doping years also to many Old Etonians, hovering around the plot. I cannot believe that what was taking place on Britsh racecourse during the period in question stinks to high heaven.
I will not bore your inelegance to much, at the moment, I will carry on my full enquiry, and bring it to you attention, the full glare of interest as far as I an concerned fal’sl on Lambton. the trainer his involvement in the Doping scam, to clever to be anything but dodgy.
Like robbing a bank to show how easy it was. I cant see the police standing for that one, and as fore the friend who he gave some dope to try, didn’t anyone think of the losing punters,
Just read this and tell me that you don’t get a feeing of nausea,
Mr. Lorillard and Mr. Whitney were the type of sportsman that any country would be proud of, and their trainers, first Huggins and later Andrew Joyner, were two good fellows. Both of them, especially Joyner, were very popular with the racing world. Their horses were always run out in the most straightforward manner. I can say that at the time when Joyner made up his mind to leave England and return to America there was no more popular man in Newmarket, and I shall always look back with pleasure on the dinner we gave him before he left. The more Americans of this sort that come over, the better.
At the time I write of, Mr. P. Lorillard had a large string of horses in England trained by J. Huggins. He was as great a gentleman and as good a sportsman as ever went racing. He was not a new-comer on the English Turf, for in 1881 he had won the Derby and St. Leger with Iroquois, and in 1879 he had a wonderful old gelding called Parole. This horse created a sensation by beating Isonomy for the Newmarket Handicap in April. He was ridden by Charles Morbey, and started at a hundred to fifteen. His victory was not unexpected by his connections, and he followed it up by winning the City and Suburban and the Great Metropolitan, in both of which races Archer was his jockey. Mr. Lorillard’s horses were then trained by a curious character, Jacob Pincus, who remained in this country when Mr. Lorillard for a period gave up racing in England and returned to America. Pincus had practically given up training, but occasionally had a horse or two of his own. I remember one year when, as a very old man, he owned two shocking bad horses, and, much as everyone would have liked to see the old man win a race, they were so bad that they were the despair of the handicapper. Yet on the same day at Lingfield both these horses managed to get their heads in front, and the public was as delighted as the owner.
I believe it was the interference of the Government with racing in America that brought Mr. Lorillard and his horses back to England. He had an enormous stud in America: his yearlings were broken and tried at home, and he brought the best to England, where he had considerable success for some years. Mr. Harry Cuthbert, well known to race-goers of to-day, then quite a young man, came over with him as his secretary, made his entries, and had much to do with the breeding of his horses. Mr. Lorillard was a great believer in English blood, and frequently replenished his stud with it. Eventually, Lord William Beresford entered into partnership with him, and, with Sloan as their jockey, they had a right royal time.
The late Mr. Whitney and his son were both of the same class of owner. When they gave up and retired to their own country, they were a great loss to English Racing. Mr. Whitney got his racing colours in rather a curious way. One August Meeting, at York, I was in a vein of bad luck, my horses being continually second. Mr. Gerald Paget came to me after one of these reverses and said, “Are you fond of your colours?” They were light blue with a brown cap. “No,” I replied, “I hate the sight of them.” He then asked me if I would take £100 for them. “Give me the money,” I answered, “and they are yours.” The deal was completed at once, and then I learnt that it was Mr. Whitney who wanted my colours, and as long as he lived his horses carried them. At his death I got them back again. Partly on account of my old colours I was always fond of backing his horses, and I had a good race on Volodyovski when he won the Derby.
Another American trainer, Wishard, was a very shrewd man, who won a great deal of money. He went in for a different class of race, and trained for a different class of owner, but I personally liked him very much. He was a remarkably clever man with horses. There is no doubt that he supplemented his great skill as a trainer by making use of the dope. In those days there was no law against this pernicious practice.
Wishard brought over with him as jockeys the two brothers Lester and Johnny Reiff. Lester was a very tall man, and had great difficulty in keeping his weight down. He was a fine jockey, and a wonderful judge of pace, while Johnny as a boy was the best light-weight I ever saw, excepting Frank Wootton.
I always thought it was a great pity that Wishard ever took to doping, for he was somewhat of a genius with horses, and would, I am sure, have made a great name for himself without it. His horses generally looked beautiful, and I am sure whatever dope he used could not have been a very powerful one: they looked too well for that, and kept their form too long. I had many a talk with him, and found him a most agreeable man, but we never got on to this subject.
Perhaps his greatest success was with Royal Flush. He was a very handsome chestnut horse by Favo, and had passed through more than one man’s hands, but at the time Wishard bought him he belonged to Mr. F. W. Lee, who is well known to the present-day racing public as the Handicapper at most of our big meetings. I am sure that Royal Flush must have taught his genial and kindly owner what an uncertain thing a race-horse may be, for he, while well known to be a good horse, seldom produced his home form in public, and he continually disappointed Fred Lee. But when he had been for some time in the hands of Wishard he began to show what he could do. After running a good third for the Jubilee at Kempton, he won among other races the Hunt Cup at Ascot and the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.
I remember Wishard telling me to back him for the Hunt Cup, but, knowing how often he had disappointed his former owners, I would not do so. And what a fool I felt when I saw him run a game, honest horse and win a head. From that time on “he got better and better”, and ended the season by running a match for £500 at Hurst Park against Eager, the best sprinter in England at the time, at even weights. The excitement over this match was intense, and the betting close. I was firmly convinced that Eager would win, which he did with ease, but the career of Royal Flush bears out my theory that Wishard was a great trainer as well as a good doper. Whether Royal Flush was helped by a dope of course I do not know, but if he was it cannot have been a very injurious one, or he would not have kept his form throughout the season as he did, and come out always with the appearance of a perfectly trained horse.
There is no doubt that the Americans started the practice of doping, though it must not be supposed that they all doped their horses. Both Huggins and Joyner detested it. They had seen too much of the mischief it caused in their own country, but, when they came over, there was no law against doping and those people who, like Wishard, made a study of it were perfectly within their rights.
It was Huggins who told me how it originated. In America they used to race eight or nine days in one particular place, and would then move on to some other district, where the same thing would take place. The consequence was that towards the end of these meetings most of the horses had run several times and were played out. In fact, it became a survival of the fittest, and every dodge and device was used to keep the poor devils up to the mark, and some man hit on the marvellous properties of cocaine for the jaded horse.
After the Americans brought the dope over here, many Englishmen took it up, but they were not very successful, as they did not really understand enough about it. My own experiences were rather interesting.
I remember at the Newmarket First October Meeting of 1896 running a horse belonging to Sir Horace Farquhar, called East Sheen, in the Trial Selling Stakes. He was a useful plater, and anything that beat him was worth buying. In this race he was beaten a neck by a chestnut mare, Damsel II. When she was put up to auction I bought her for £450. She was pouring with sweat, looked very bad, and I thought that I could probably improve her. That evening, when I went to my stables, my head man remarked that the mare I had bought was a wild brute, and had been running round her box like a mad thing ever since she came home. I went to look at her, and she certainly was a miserable object, with eyes starting out of her head and flanks heaving. This was the first doped horse I ever saw, although at the time I was quite unaware of what was the matter. I gave the mare a long rest, and got her quiet and looking well, but she was no good. Eventually Charlie Cunningham bought her for jumping, but he could do no good with her. He afterwards put her to the stud, where she produced a dead foal, and beyond that I know no more of her. But in 1896 doping was in its infancy, and it was not until about 1900 that it really began to be a serious menace to horse-racing. Even then, although there were mysterious hints of its wonderful effect, few people knew much about it, or really believed in it. After 1900, this horrible practice increased rapidly, and by 1903 it had become a scandal. I myself was still sceptical about any dope making a bad horse into a good one. But very strange things occurred, and one constantly saw horses who were notorious rogues running and winning as if they were possessed of the devil, with eyes starting out of their heads and the sweat pouring off them. These horses being mostly platers, and running in low-class races, did not attract a very great deal of attention, but three veterinary surgeons told me that the practice was increasing very much, that it would be the ruin of horse-breeding, and ought to be stopped. Then there occurred a case when a horse, after winning a race, dashed madly into a stone wall and killed itself. I then thought it was about time that something was done, so I told one of the Stewards of the Jockey Club what my three friends, the veterinary surgeons, had said. He was as sceptical as I had been, and declared he did not believe there was anything in it. At that time I had in my stable some of the biggest rogues in training, and I told the Stewards that I intended to dope these horses. They could then see for themselves what the result was.
The first horse I doped was a chestnut gelding called Folkestone. This horse had refused to do anything in a trial or a race. He was always last and would come in neighing. I first of all doped him in a trial. He fairly astonished me, for he jumped off in front and won in a canter. I sent him to Pontefract, where he beat a field of fourteen very easily, and nearly went round the course a second time before his jockey could pull him up. He won a race again the next day, was sold and never won again. I had told my brother, Lord Durham, who was not a Steward of the Jockey Club at that time, what I was doing. So much did he dislike this doping that he was inclined to object to my having anything to do with it. But when I explained that my object was to open the eyes of the Stewards, he withdrew his objection, but begged me not to have a shilling on any horse with a dope in him. To this I agreed.
I obtained six dopes from a well-known veterinary surgeon. They were not injected with a needle, but just given out of a bottle. Their effect on a horse was astonishing. I used five of them, and had four winners and a second. Not one of these horses had shown any form throughout the year. One of them, Ruy Lopez, who had previously entirely defeated the efforts of the best jockeys in England, ran away with the Lincoln Autumn Handicap with a stable boy up, racing like the most honest horse in the world. At the end of that Liverpool Autumn Meeting I had one dope left. I had made no secret of what I had been doing, and Lord Charles Montague asked me to give him one of these dopes. He wanted it for a horse called “Cheers,” winner of the Eclipse Stakes, belonging to the Duke of Devonshire; so I gave him my last one. “Cheers” had run badly all the year. The following week he beat a big field for the Markeaton Plate with the dope in him, including a horse of my own, Andrea Ferrara, who I very much fancied.
Perhaps the warning off of several of Lambton’s chums, took place after his Book I hope so for he seems to have been a very poor judge of people