Tuesday, 10 February 2015



Week Monday February 9, to Sunday February 15.

  Taking a Closer Look at Horseracing  
Sponsored by Dubai
 High Definition
Big-Race-Entries 2015

The clues are here, but can you spot them?



BBC1 6.00am - 9.15am
Louise Minchin and Bill Turnbull

Health workers 'afraid to speak up'

The findings of a major report into how to create a more open NHS culture are expected to be released today.
"Sir Robert Francis QC was asked by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to carry out the Freedom to Speak Up Review to recommend how best staff can be supported to raise concerns about poor patient care amid concerns that this has gone undetected because warnings from staff were quashed.
"In an interview before the review's publication, Sir Robert told the BBC a "significant proportion" of health workers were afraid to speak out. "

How do you deal with a rude,hostile,combative doctor's receptionist..? 

who after explaining to her that your mom is in the hospital in really bad shape and you just want the blood test results she took the day before and her only reply is: ...show more

Driverless cars: A close-up look at how they work

11 February 2015 Last updated at 00:01 GMT

Driverless cars could soon be a permanent feature of British roads.
Car manufacturers are developing the technology, with the help of £19m of government funding.
Richard Westcott has a closer look at one of the new designs.



Racing Right Global Equus Zone (GB)
Your adventure into the world of Global Horseracing
a warm welcome to Nicholas Godfrey (GB) (Racing Post)

Last week in Racing Post's Daily Feature Series:
 " Racing's Forgotten Stories"  .
"Black jockey's journey spanned different worlds. "
 Nicholas Godfrey brought us in part the true story about the life and times of American horseman, -global-jockey, -handler-rider, - Jimmy Winkfield (USA).  (Bloodhorse Literate Achiever in his own right) In yesterday's  Racing Post page 10, Nicholas Godfrey brings us more, entitled:  
"Enthralling postscript to story of a life less ordinary".
JMC: Yes, yes, yes, a massive and remarkable true story that tells us accurately about one man's brave lifetime journey spanning many different worlds, in this case often harsh, often cruel, compassionate, in perspective, a true story that spans many different worlds, as follows: 
The world of the horse perhaps the most remarkable world of
all, when so generously shared with man, come what may.

“GRATIFYING as it was to be told how much people enjoyed my contribution to last week’s Racing’s Forgotten Stories series concerning the extraordinary life of Jimmy Winkfield, the last great black American jockey, I can’t help feeling such a remarkable tale was left dangling like a half-finished sentence.

“Ironically, a significant part of one of racing’s forgotten stories was, er, forgotten as I deliberately concentrated on the most dramatic aspects of the Winkfield story, relating how the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby played an integral role in leading more than 250 racehorses to safety on a miraculous 1,000 –mile journey fleeing the Bolsheviks in crumbling Tsarist Russia.


“We left Winkfield in Warsaw with his equine charges ready for the reopening of the city’s hippodrome, but the so- called ‘black maestro’ lived until 1974, and there were further twists in his tale. So here’s a bit more, in case anyone feels slightly cheated.

“By 1920 Winkfield had reached Paris, where he resumed riding. Although he had been a superstar in Central Europe, he never enjoyed quite the same cashet in France, where he developed a reputation for winning on longshots-“A dark man who likes the dark horse”, according to one contemporary article.
“But he also had his moments higher up the food chain, once coming seventh in the jockey’s championship and winning some big races, including the prestigious Grand Prix de Deauville.
“Winkfield’s personal life was seldom a straight forward affair – he had many affairs, few of them straight forward either – but he met and married Lydie de Minkwitz, racing-mad daughter of an exiled Russian aristocrat. The pair set up house in Maisons-Laffitte, where Winkfield established a small training operation after he retired in 1930, having partnered about 2,600 winners in the US, Russia, Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Spain.
“Family life, though, soon became tricky. Winkfield plainly had problems keeping his iron out of the fire, as it were. He had at least two mistresses: one of them, Clara, accused him of fathering a child and shot him in the elbow after confronting him at his stable.  A second, Josephine Davies, had at least two children by Winkfield.
“The devoted Lydie fought to keep house and home together, only for war to intervene. German tanks rolled down the Champs-Elysees in June 1940; the Nazis soon got to Maisons-Laffitte, where they demonstrated that valuable art pieces were by no means the only ‘cultural-goods’ they were happy to purloin. The great Pharis 11, winner of the Prix du Jockey Club and Grand Prix de Paris in 1939, and the stallions Brantome and Bubbles  were among the horses stolen and sent to Germany.
“Winkfield told the Nazis he had no horses left-he said they had been requisitioned by the French army-so they took his property instead. The former jockey hung on trying to get US visas for his family but the period of Nazi occupation did not pass without potentially fatal incident. Like so many ill-adjusted racing folk, Winkfield was always more sympathetic  with horses than people: He was driven past breaking point when a German officer started beating a horse he had tried to force into a stall already housing two others. Winkfield grabbed a pitchfork; a bad move as the officer raised his pistol. “I’m an American-don’t shoot, “ said Winkfield, saving his skin with his smattering of German.

"The visas finally came, so Winkfield, Lydie and their son Robert-a natural horseman-cut across France into Spain  and thence to the States via Lisbon. "On Friday 25, 1941, Jimmy made another circuitous escape from a war-torn country, " says biographer Joe Drape. "When he finally arrived in New York on April 30,1941, he had $9 to his name. "

"THE family lived in Harlem for a spell, an etiolated  50-year-old Winkfield making ends meet operating a jackhammer in Queens before Robert found work in a steeplechase stable. He became a jump jockey, and his father-son team went on to train a few horses in the States as Lydie saved up to move them all back to France, which is where Winkfield died in 1974. He was given the ultimate accolade of a posthumous place in the Hall of Fame 30 years later.

"To end this tale of a truly amazing life, however, let's return to 1942, just after Robert Winkfield  had secured his father a menial job at a farm in Aiken, South Carolina, owned by American Jockey Club member Pete Bostwick, old-money through and through.

"Bostwick bumped into Winkfield one morning. "Say, you aren't by any chance the Winkfield who won the Kentucky Derby, are you? " asks the patrician farm owner, as related in both biographies. "Yes sir, I won it twice in '01 and '02," says Wink.

"Well, my goodness, " says Bostwick, extending his hand to shake that of a racing figure now regarded as a legend, then totally forgotten in the land of his berth. "Where have you been all these years?"

"Wink thinks for a moment, then answers: "Well I tell you Mr Bostwick, I been around. "
You can say that again.

'He was driven past breaking point when a soldier started beating a horse'


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