The horse that didn't want to win
By Judy Evans
April 25, 2016 7:21pm CST
I wrote a discussion about a jockey dying during a race and it reminded me of a story I heard about a trotting race held in my home town in Western Australia probably during the 1950s or 60s. One of the local lads turned 21 on the night of the trot meeting. He was driving a horse in one of the races and the other local drivers decided it would be nice if they let him win the race seeing it was his birthday. When the horses came into the straight on the last lap, the lad's horse was running second but try as he might, the driver couldn't make him pass the leading horse. The only way the horse was going to win was if the driver of the leader fell out of his spider (cart) so disqualifying himself from the place-getters. This he did. There was a protest but this was dismissed. Only now, some 60 odd years later, has the chief steward confessed to having had money on the boy's horse. Probably most of the other drivers had bet on the boy's horse too. No doubt this created a furore at the time but so far on, I find it very funny that a well-laid plan went awry because one horse wouldn't pass another. I'm sure the drivers never thought of that scenario.
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• Bunbury, Australia
27 Apr 16
@jaboUK There were lots of stories of a similar nature I'm sure. Australia had many outback tracks which were very primitive. There are stories of corners being cut or one jockey grabbing another's leg or the reins, all on the far side of the track where no-one could see what was going on.