Darius: 17 Consecutive Racing Years, Worst Race Ever & Banning Your Own Horse

Good Morning!

From today I will be back on track for every Saturday morning at 11am, I’m excited to be back researching and writing and putting my content out there. Also very exciting that it is only just into October and I have had more viewers read my posts than any other year! So without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Part One of today’s post is all about Darius. Darius was a South African horse who was born in 1910. I couldn’t find out much information about him, however he was a horse with quite some record. In South Africa around the 1920’s there were two USA geldings who were racking up some incredible figures. Firstly George de Mar who raced 333 times winning 60 of them and secondly Seth’s Hope who raced 327 times winning 62 of them, which is very impressive. But what caught my eye about Darius was the fact he didn’t retire until 1929, at 19 years old after racing for 17 consecutive years.

Without even looking at his race record, can we just appreciate that he was racing for 17 years until he was 19 years old and that in itself is some record. But now let’s take a look at his race record itself. Darius ran in 236 races, winning 42 times, finishing second in 38 races and finishing third in 29 races. Meaning 99 out of the 236 races he finished within the top 3.

Personally, I have never heard of a horse racing for so many years and especially not until he was 19. I just wanted to share this little story.

Moving on to part two of today’s post and we head to Hereford for this section. On February 29th 1992 Hereford Racecourse held their February Novice Selling Hurdle and it was quite possibly the worst race ever.

The race was over 2 miles and 3 furlongs and had 13 runners declared. Interesting none of the 13 had actually ever managed to finish in the first three of any race they had ran in… So the race ahead could be interesting.

Nine of the 13 failed to finish with 6 of them being pulled up, two falling and one unseating the rider. So now we look at the final four runners, the only ones to finish. The last of the four was Northern Glint who tailed off but still made it round. In third was a 50/1 shot who finished ‘at one pace’. In second was a 20/1 shot who ‘found no extra on the flat’. And the winner was the 50/1 shot Arr Eff Bee whose form figures were PPPB and went off virtually unbacked. He was ridden by Ian Lawrence and trained by Peter Smith and took 5 minutes 12.4 seconds to complete the race – this was 29.8 seconds slower than the average time.

Unsurprisingly to most – the horse attracted no bids after the race and went unsold.

On to part 3 of today’s post and it’s a pretty interesting one from the other side of the world. This time we head to Australia. In 1987, the Stewards of the Western Australian Turf Club banned Perth based trainer George Way for 20 years after he was found guilty of doping two of his horses Brash Son and Hollydoll Girl with a drug nicknamed ‘elephant juice’ – Etorphine, which was so strong that it would be able to tranquillise an elephant.

But the worst part of it all was the fact that the the Western Australian Turf Club chairman John Roberts was the owner of Hollydoll Girl – one of the horses that the trainer had been drugging. He was said to be pretty embarrassed by the whole thing and didn’t comment on it beyond this.

So there we have it, I wanted to share these stories but with them being so short I decided putting them all into one post would be the best thing to do, so I hope you all enjoyed and I will see you next Saturday at 11am for a brand new post!