How many times was Pat Eddery Champion Jockey?

How many times was Pat Eddery Champion Jockey? Sadly, Patrick James John ‘Pat’ Eddery succumbed to alcoholism before dying, prematurely, at the age of 63, in November, 2015. However, he enjoyed a long, illustrious career, spread over the course of five decades, during which he rode 4,633 winners in Britain and became Champion Jockey 11 times. Indeed, since 1840, only Nat Flatman, George Fordham, Fred Archer and Sir Gordon Richards have won more jockeys’ titles and only Sir Gordon Richards has ridden more winners.

Born in Newbridge, Co. Kildare on March 18, 1952, Eddery began his riding career as apprentice to Seamus McGrath in 1966, before moving to England and joining Prestbury trainer Herbert ‘Frenchie’ Nicholson the following year. Having finished fourth and second in the apprentices’ table in his second and third full seasons, 1969 and 1970, he finally became Champion apprentice in 1971.

Two years later, he succeeded Duncan Keith as stable jockey to Lambourn trainer Peter Walwyn, in which capacity he would become Champion Jockey four years in a row between 1974 and 1977. During his time with Walwyn, Eddery rode his first three British Classic winners, Polygamy in the Oaks in 1974, Grundy in the Derby in 1975 and Scintillate in the Oaks, again, in 1979.

The following year Eddery left Walwyn to succeed Lester Piggott as stable jockey to Vincent O’Brien at Ballydoyle, Co. Tipperary and, later in his career, rode as retained jockey for Khalid Abdullah and as a freelance jockey. All told he won 14 British Classics and rode at least a hundred winners in Britain every year between 1973 and 2001, except 1982, when he was Champion Jockey in Ireland.

Which horse won the inaugural Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Which horse won the inaugural Cheltenham Gold Cup? By way of clarification, by ‘Cheltenham Gold Cup’ we mean the Cheltenham Gold Cup in its current guise, as a steeplechase, which was first run on March 12, 1924, rather than the three-mile Flat race, which was first run at nearby Cleeve Hill, rather than Prestbury Park, over a century earlier. Nowadays, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious contest in National Hunt racing but, in its early days was overshadowed by other races, notably the National Hunt Chase.

Nevertheless, the inaugural running was covered by British Pathé News, under the title ‘Chasing’s Ascot’, and produced a thrilling finish. The eventual winner, Red Splash, trained by Fred Withington and ridden by Dick Rees, edged his nearest pursuers, Conjuror II and Gerard L by a neck and a head and won the princely sum of £685 for his trouble.

As a footnote, the original Cheltenham Gold Cup presented to winning owner Major Humphrey Wyndham, which consists of nearly a pound-and-a-half of nine carat gold, plated with 18 carat gold, was returned to Cheltenham Raecourse by its previous owner in 2018; since 2019, it has been presented to winning connections as a perpetual trophy.

Who was Fred Archer?

Who was Fred Archer? Frederick James ‘Fred’ Archer was a legendary Victorian jockey whose life came to a tragic end, at his own hand, on November 8, 1886, at the age of 29. On the day after the second anniversary of the death of his wife, Nellie Rose, during childbirth, deliriously ill with typhoid fever and ‘in a state of unsound mind’, Archer shot himself with a revolver in his bedroom at Falmouth House, Newmarket.

Neverthless, ‘The Tin Man’, as Archer was known, won the jockeys’ title 13 years running between 1874 and 1886 and still jointly holds the record, alongside Elnathan ‘Nat’ Flatman, for the most consecutive titles. All told, he rode 2,748 winners, including 246 winners in a single season in 1885, thereby setting records that would stand until the inimitable Sir Gordon Richards rose to prominence decades later.

Unusually tall for a jockey at 5’10” – interestingly, the same height as Sir Anthony McCoy – Archer faced a constant battle with his weight in his later years and was forced into a Draconian regime of starvation diet, Turkish baths and purgatives, which ultimately contributed to his demise. Nevertheless, having eventually succeeded the equally ill-fated Tom French as stable jockey to Matthew Dawson in 1875, he went on to win the St. Leger six times, the Derby five times, the 2,000 Guineas and the Oaks four times apiece and the 1,000 Guineas twice, for a total of 21 British Classic winners.

Which was the last British racecourse to close permanently?

Which was the last British racecourse to close permanently? The last British racecourse to close permanently was Towcester Racecourse, a National Hunt-only venue near the market town of Towcester in Northamptonshire in the East Midlands, which closed in October, 2019. In fact, it was first British racecourse to close since December, 2012, when Folkestone Racecourse ‘temporarily’ shut its gates, but has been left in a derelict state of neglect ever since.

Towcester Racecourse entered administration, with debts in excess of £1.3 million, in August, 2018 and was sold to Fermor Land LLP, a local company linked to Lord Hesketh, chairman of Towcester Racecourse Company, the following November. However, racing never resumed and, in October, 2019, the new owners announced that, after considering options for the future of Towcester Racecourse, the 93-year-old track was to close permanently.

With the assistance of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Fermor Land LLP sold the remaining ten National Hunt fixtures in its ownership, scheduled for 2020, to Arena Racing Company (ARC), with host venues to be confirmed at a later date. Richard Wayman, chief operating officer of the BHA, said at the time, ‘We had hoped, following the course going into administration, that the new owners might find a solution which allowed racing to resume, and it is disappointing that has not proved possible.’

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