Monday, November 20, 2006

RIP Brown Windsor

It's sad to hear of the death of the popular chaser Brown Windsor, who won the first Whitbread Gold Cup I ever attended, back in 1989. My favourite story about Nicky Henderson's gelding came from the trainer Ben Pollock. Pollock had ridden BW, then long in the tooth and well past his best, to a victory in a point-to-point. The next day he went in to ride work for the legendary trainer Captain Tim Forster, feeling rather pleased with himself. The Captain, as he was known in racing, was having none of it. "The horse won a Whitbread and you won a point-to-point on him. Great." The Captain was not known for dishing out too much praise. "There are 60 million people in this country" he once told Pollock. "20 million are idiots. And every single one of them has had a job with me." He was also a born pessimist. When jockey Charlie Fenwick asked Forster for instructions before setting out on board Ben Nevis in the 1980 Grand National, Forster's reply was : "Keep remounting."

Meanwhile, here's some better news about another Nicky Henderson chaser.

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