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sparrow
18 Oct 21 20:25
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Date Joined: 20 Jul 02
| Topic/replies: 40,923 | Blogger: sparrow's blog
Virtually a bank holiday in London in those days.
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Report Oldgit1 October 18, 2021 11:41 PM BST
I always put in for a days holiday for Derby day as soon as back to work in the New Year as they only allowed six to have that day off. Huge crowds there on Wednesdays when you count the number on the Downs.
Report Hibore October 18, 2021 11:49 PM BST
I went to school in Ewell. We all bunked off…including the teachers. No one got in trouble as it was such a big day for the local area.
Report casemoney October 19, 2021 2:00 AM BST
The country stopped for the Derby , Hundreds of buses up the a24  Epsom packed
Report jimnast October 19, 2021 7:11 AM BST
they all talk plenty of rubbish then just move on as if it was not said,anybody who went to the derby in the years leading up to a saturday derby and then when it became a saturday derby knows the truth.
Report sparrow October 19, 2021 7:52 AM BST
Chapman's whole act is just a name dropping exercise. Group 1 winning trainer...Group 2 winning jockey....Johnny G.....Back in the Day...ermmm... blah blah.Sad
Report Brian October 19, 2021 8:33 AM BST
I went to every Derby 1970-1976 and it was packed and a great ambience so of course he is talking nonsense.  I would have liked them to have kept the special Wednesday but the genie is out of the box now and I don't think returning to Wednesday would bring back those days. Sadly.
Report jimnast October 19, 2021 8:46 AM BST
i would like to give it a try brian
Report Storm Alert October 19, 2021 9:02 AM BST
Whilst I much preferred a Wednesday Derby as it was a brilliant day out from work, numbers definitely starting collapsing around about 1990. I went to most in the 80's and you could see the difference especially numbers inside the track and around Tattenham corner station by early 90's. I first noticed it at Nashwan's Derby which was a miserable rainy day. Apparently TV viewing figures had fallen off a cliff when BBC stopped showing.
Report jimnast October 19, 2021 9:11 AM BST
nashwan brightened up the day Happy
Report dambuster October 19, 2021 9:24 AM BST
All midweek racing needs to improve imo, why have The Derby on a sat .?
it pales into insignificance.
Report Llamedos October 19, 2021 10:27 AM BST
Wednesday used to be half day closing, town centres where like ghost towns, pubs shutting usually at 2.30pm
Report johnnyrant October 19, 2021 10:29 AM BST
The marketers have done their best to kill racing. Everything now is a massive hype machine. Saturday's 'Champions' Day' at Ascot another example. They try to bill it as the greatest day's racing ever but it is run in mid-October on bad ground on the wrong track.
If you are genuinely seeking fare races and unearthing the true champions, it should have stayed at Newmarket.
The Flat racing schedule, as was, didn't need tinkering with. Epsom Derby on a Wednesday was part of its lure and USP. Same as the July Cup on a Thursday, 1,000 Guineas on a Thurs… They just want to seek maximum exposure & selling as many tickets as possible.
ITV Racing is part of the problem with Chamberlain spending most of his time hyping things when it is not needed. I cannot believe they are improving racing's popularity, unless they want numbskulls following the sport which is maybe true given the punch ups you now get to regularly witness on the courses, and some no mark from Love Island part of the presentation team.
They've also ruined the GN by running it, what, 5.30pm? Too late in the day.
Report penzance October 19, 2021 10:35 AM BST
it's not as though the Derby has just been moved.
It's been run on a Saturday since 1995,over a 1/4
of a century.Times change.
Report Blackrock October 19, 2021 11:12 AM BST
Think the BHA have missed a trick here. Returning to a Wednesday would be a good idea.

You would still get huge crowds and the Derby would be the main focus of sport. Now, it has to compete with numerous live sports on a Saturday, and gets lost amongst it all.

I think it should be given a trial period on Weds and see what happens. The poster who mentioned Coolmore running half the field and spoiling the race, has a very good point however
Report Brian October 19, 2021 12:03 PM BST
jimnast19 Oct 21 07:46Joined: 03 Jan 01 | Topic/replies: 9,940 | Blogger: jimnast's blog
i would like to give it a try brian


I would be in favour of giving it a try, just wouldn't be too optimistic about the overall result. Presumably the Oaks would then be on a Thursday, can't see them returning to a four day meeting.
Report sparrow October 19, 2021 12:43 PM BST
Llamedos 19 Oct 21 09:27 
Wednesday used to be half day closing, town centres where like ghost towns, pubs shutting usually at 2.30pm




Half day closing in London was on a Thursday and tens of thousands came to Epsom from there in coaches.
Report dambuster October 19, 2021 12:43 PM BST
Coolmore running 6 in the derby is a joke, especially when they don't even know who the best are out the 6
Report Tiger Tiger October 19, 2021 12:48 PM BST
If one of those six wins the race then its not a joke surely?
Report penzance October 19, 2021 12:50 PM BST
had 1 runner this year.
Report handtorofe October 19, 2021 1:10 PM BST
The great Derby days are over and never coming back makes no difference what day you run it the interest just does not exist with the general public.
If you asked general public to name a derby winner most could not and those that did would most likely recall Mill Reef or something ridden by Piggott Laugh
Report SlippyBlue October 19, 2021 1:25 PM BST
My first Derby, aged 7, was Snow Knight in 1974, back then crowds were around 200,000 or so I think. I went to all the Wednesday Derbies, I never needed an absence note as the teachers always knew where I was that day.
Report sparrow October 19, 2021 1:26 PM BST
You could ask the general public that same question about almost all classic races but those same people will tell you its the biggest race of our flat season.
Report alun2005 October 19, 2021 1:41 PM BST
My first (and last) Wednesday Derby was 1994 and the incredible winning run from little Erhaab from a most unpromising position.

"It's between these three" said GG....no it wasn't pal.

Carson described the race as 'carnage'. The race also memorable for the much-discussed Mister Baileys front-running ride.

In fairness I did well to keep my eye on the race given the pleasing amount of cleavage being exposed by the lass I was seeing at the time.   

Not sure if I'd like The Derby to return to a Wednesday though.
Report Oldgit1 October 19, 2021 8:46 PM BST
All the classics were mid week then. The Leger was on a Thursday.
Report lockup October 19, 2021 11:11 PM BST
First derby was 74 Snow Knight threw Brian Taylor off did a lap of the track then made every yard 50/1 I think last one commander In Chief and although the Downs was free land they fenced off the last furlong and charged entry crowds certainly down ten but heaving in 70s.
Report brigust1 October 20, 2021 9:16 AM BST
It is the same with most British sports today, I am afraid. Who won the FA Cup, who won the Derby, who won the Grand National, who won Wimbledon, who won the British Grand Prix, who won the Ashes, who won the Open? There are so many other alternatives that now, individually, they pale into insignificance. Is it a bad thing? I'm not so sure. The world is our oyster now and perhaps we should let the past go?
Report Storm Alert October 20, 2021 9:38 AM BST
alun2005 ...The race also memorable for the much-discussed Mister Baileys front-running ride...

I was there that year and backed Mister Baileys and Kings Theatre both around 16/1. My recollection was the former was taken to the lead too early and the latter was held up for too long. Finished 2nd and 4th respectively. MB disappeared without trace but KT did go on to win the King George having got beaten by a filly in the Irish Derby.
Report sparrow October 20, 2021 11:50 AM BST
I also backed Mister Baileys and was able to email Jason Weaver one night on ATR to ask him whether it might have been better to hold the horse up a little to get the trip but he said it would have made no difference.
Report sparrow October 20, 2021 11:50 AM BST
I also backed Mister Baileys and was able to email Jason Weaver one night on ATR to ask him whether it might have been better to hold the horse up a little to get the trip but he said it would have made no difference.
Report Andrew.in.Sweden October 20, 2021 11:56 AM BST
Despite the unseasonably cold, damp weather, the race attracted an estimated 500,000 spectators including Queen Elizabeth II.

Wikipedia

A Wednesday Derby !
Report Andrew.in.Sweden October 20, 2021 11:57 AM BST
1989 Nashwan
Report Storm Alert October 20, 2021 12:57 PM BST
The thing is Andrew they used to state "an estimated 500,000" every year. Clearly in the 90's that just wasn't true, I doubt there was half as many for Erhaab's Derby. Nashwan' Derby I do remember crowds around the inside rails for most of the way around the track. It was a miserable day weather wise and no way was it as crowded as References Points Derby for example.

Did Queen Elizabeth II miss a Derby between 1953-2019? As part of or traditional day out we used to wait near Tattenham corner station so the woman could see the royal car go past.
Report jimnast October 20, 2021 3:37 PM BST
as far as i know storm alert from attending shortly after her coronation in 1953 only covid stopped her attending,in 2016 to celebrated her 90th birthday there,in 1979 she saw the best derby winning performance and in 2022 she will celebrate her platinum jubilee at epsom god willing.
Report alun2005 October 20, 2021 3:47 PM BST
I've never seen a Thursday St Leger. When was it changed to a Saturday?
Report jimnast October 20, 2021 3:53 PM BST
neither have i alun
Report elise October 20, 2021 3:56 PM BST
ive got the paid entrance numbers from 1989 to 2021, probably meaningless as there's no number for the freebies on the hill etc
Report alun2005 October 20, 2021 3:57 PM BST
Someone mentioned midweek St Legers earlier in the thread, so I'd liek to know more if possible.

First St Leger I watched was Nijinsky on a Saturday 'World of Sport' broadcast.
Report jimnast October 20, 2021 4:00 PM BST
my first was dunfermlin also a saturday and has been ever since.
Report jimnast October 20, 2021 4:03 PM BST
ged or anorak will be able to confirm my feeling is it probably was at some stage although a long time ago,it was held at both manchester and thirsk in the war years so maybe then.
Report elise October 20, 2021 4:04 PM BST
i found a ref to tues 22nd sept 1778, , you were probably still a nipper
Report jimnast October 20, 2021 4:07 PM BST
Laugh
Report elise October 20, 2021 4:07 PM BST
sorry jim, just messing, i can't see a date for a switch only that tuesday mentioned
Report Movewiththetimes October 20, 2021 4:16 PM BST
The Derby has been run at Epsom in all years except during the world wars. From 1915 to 1918 and from 1940 to 1945, the Derby was run at Newmarket. These races are known as the 'New Derby'.

From Wiki.
Report thelatarps October 20, 2021 4:32 PM BST
I have never understood this need to shunt all the big races to saturday.
There are other sporting events going on at the weekend you know, plus other arts and entertainments.
Couple of times the derby has coincided with England football internationals so there is only one winner in that match up.

Seems to me that a return to a midweek derby would mean racing has the spotlight all to its own.
Like it does during cheltenham.
Theres no lack of enthusiasm for the midweek festival, even if some numpties want the gold cup moved to saturday. Yawn
Report penzance October 20, 2021 4:33 PM BST
Never Say Die (1954) St Leger was on a Saturday,
by the looks of it.
Report Andrew.in.Sweden October 20, 2021 4:37 PM BST
The thing is Andrew they used to state "an estimated 500,000" every year.

Storm Alert

Sure, the point i was making was Matt Chapman's assertion that no one went to a Wednesday Epsom Derby simply isn't true, even if there was only 50% of the quoted figure in attendance.
Report SlippyBlue October 20, 2021 4:41 PM BST
I agree thelatarps, I've been to many Derbys but never on a Saturday. If it was to be on a Wednesday I'd probably start going again.
Report elise October 20, 2021 4:43 PM BST
i can't think that they saw the possible increased levy as a reason, but equally they probably saw other sport flourishing on a weekend and fely that as the sport was in decline it made sense to move key races to fight for their share (more so in the bookies than on track)
Report elise October 20, 2021 4:44 PM BST
i can
Report sparrow October 20, 2021 4:49 PM BST
Chapman's remarks reminded me of that football tipster in the Racing Post Mark Langdon who claimed there was no such thing as "The magic of the FA Cup". I think some people of a certain age like to believe that if they never witnessed it then it never happened.
Report The Management October 20, 2021 4:52 PM BST
I like it when a young person gets asked a history question on a quiz show - the standard response is "But I wasn't even born then"

Seems a valid excuse for not knowing any names of any of Henry VIII wives imo Laugh
Report TheAnorak October 20, 2021 4:56 PM BST
Jimnast,

Well I can confirm that the St Leger was held midweek pre WW1. The oldest form book I have is from 1913 and that year, the four day meeting at Doncaster ran from Tuesday to Friday. Champagne Stakes on day one, Leger on Wednesday, Portland Hcp on Thursday, Doncaster Cup on Friday.

There would have been numerous moaning threads on here, as there were three runners in the Champagne (won by Tetrach at 5/1 on) and two runners in the Cup, plus a walkover in the Scarborough Stakes on day three.
Report jimnast October 20, 2021 5:02 PM BST
cheers anorak and we think we have problems now with runners.
Report unitedbiscuits October 20, 2021 5:14 PM BST
Chapman is wrong there.

It was a big day out for Londoners and the best bit was, it happened on a workday, so the sense of a "treat" was enhanced.

That was c 1980. Going back a generation, it was even bigger, going to the Derby or Royal Ascot was even more important than going to Parliament!
Report Oldgit1 October 20, 2021 8:47 PM BST
Alun2005

" I've never seen a Thursday St Leger. When was it changed to a Saturday? "


The St Leger was run on a Saturday 1940-1944
                                                          1947-1954
                                                          1958-1961
                                              then from 1970 onwards
Report alun2005 October 20, 2021 11:45 PM BST
Thanks OG
Report johnnyrant October 21, 2021 9:28 AM BST
Look at the MC - 'the race that stops the nation' - always on the first Tuesday in November. That's how you make a race iconic and the Epsom Derby on a Wed had that. Coolmore's monopolisation and AOB's permitted scattergun, 'I don't care which of mine wins, as long as one of them does' has been harmful too. It used to be a Classic highlight in which all the top yards would be pitted against one another with their best middle distance 3-y-o colts, but moving it to a Saturday has also damaged its kudos.
Report steerforth October 21, 2021 12:00 PM BST

Oct 20, 2021 -- 10:52AM, The Management wrote:


I like it when a young person gets asked a history question on a quiz show - the standard response is "But I wasn't even born then" Seems a valid excuse for not knowing any names of any of Henry VIII wives imo


"Before my time" - instant red card on Pointless.

Report themightymac October 21, 2021 1:23 PM BST
Contestant on show.

Q. "How many Kings were called Henry?".

A. "I`m not exactly sure. I know there was a Henry VIII, so I`ll hazard a guess and say 5?".

.... 95% of the general public are thick and ignorant.
Report themightymac October 21, 2021 1:46 PM BST
For the record the Derby was initially run on a Thursday and all bar 5 were run on that day until it moved to a Wednesday in 1838. It was even run on a Tuesday during WW1 at Newmarket.

You could run it on every day of the week and the crowds will not return. Society has changed and racing is now a minority sport with a capital M. Does not carry any interest with the vast majority of the population and never again will.

Grand National is going the same way and if it`s still around in 25 years time, it will probably be a Flat race.
Report Facts October 21, 2021 3:07 PM BST
Utter tosh
Report themightymac October 21, 2021 3:16 PM BST
It`s a fact Facts.

WAS RUN ON THURSDAYS.

CROWDS LIKE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY WILL NEVER RETURN.


..... ok maybe the last bit about the GN becoming a Flat race might be utter tosh, it will probably just disappear. Crazy

..... mind you it`s just a run of the mill long distance steeplechase now. It`s nothing like the historic GN.
Report BARROWBOY October 22, 2021 12:38 AM BST
Running the derby midweek on a work day only added to its attraction for me as a special occasion.I still regard the 1985 derby day as one of my best days racing for atmosphere,despite dancing brave getting beat being still to this day my biggest single loss on a horse.
Report BARROWBOY October 22, 2021 12:41 AM BST
*1986 derby*
Report elisjohn October 22, 2021 6:10 AM BST
in reply to  united biscuit , more inportant than parliament
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlSh37yi7pI
Report geordie1956 October 22, 2021 7:08 AM BST
Whilst I did prefer the big mid-week meetings Saturdays have now taken over to the detriment of the sport & we aren't able to turn back the clock ... usually half a dozen meetings on a Saturday & the Derby gets something like a 10 min slot on UK Racing before they go to a minor meeting immediately after the race which is a disgrace.
The Gold Cup works on a Friday so why not have some big flat races like the 1000 Guineas & Derby on a Friday when they can get plenty of prominence as they should & it becomes part of that particular weekend ...
I used to love York in May & August when the racing was Tuesday to Thursday & worked my holidays around them so I could go each day ... I hardly bother now & certainly not on a saturday
Report steerforth October 22, 2021 4:31 PM BST
"Whilst I did prefer the big mid-week meetings Saturdays have now taken over to the detriment of the sport & we aren't able to turn back the clock..."

Why not? If there was the will to do it it could be done perfectly easily.  What can't be done is restoring it to the status it once had in our national psyche. That's gone whatever happens. What we can never know, is whether the decline would have been so sharp had it been left where it was. I suspect not, but there would certainly have been a decline anyway. The Grand National is the best indicator, acknowledging that the 5.15 start is accelerating it's demise.
Report sparrow October 22, 2021 4:37 PM BST
steerforth 22 Oct 21 15:31
The Grand National is the best indicator, acknowledging that the 5.15 start is accelerating it's demise.





Assuming they changed the Saturday to accomodate Football fans then that is hardly relevant now with far fewer games starting at 3pm.
Report sparrow October 22, 2021 4:38 PM BST
*Saturday timing of the race.
Report penzance October 22, 2021 6:00 PM BST
most games kick off 3pm still.Normally more
or less all full programme apart from the
Premier league
Report sparrow October 22, 2021 6:16 PM BST
That's true penzance but these days its all about the Premier League for the majority.
Report themightymac October 22, 2021 6:39 PM BST
They changed time for bigger tv audience worldwide, particularly in USA.
Report sparrow October 22, 2021 6:47 PM BST
Oh right, mac. I just assumed it was for the British football.
Report themightymac October 22, 2021 6:52 PM BST
Do you remember Sparrow, standing on the football terraces listening to the National on radio? I think so many fans had a transistor radio, lol.
Report sparrow October 22, 2021 7:06 PM BST
Yes mac in the 60s on the North Bank at Upton Park.Grin
Report sparrow October 22, 2021 7:07 PM BST
I also recall listening to the Monday evening National at work that Grittar won.
Report sparrow October 22, 2021 7:10 PM BST
Whoops....It was Lord Gyllene in 1997.
Report themightymac October 22, 2021 7:27 PM BST
Wow! Would never have believed 24 years ago! Time is flying past. Sad
Report isleham October 23, 2021 7:52 AM BST
In 1974 I went to Epsom on the Thursday to see,from memory, the Coronation Cup..there definitely was no crowd on that day .
Report isleham October 23, 2021 7:54 AM BST
But as already mentioned there was a huge crowd for Snow Knight the day before and there was no concert to falsely enhance the numbers
Report Brian October 23, 2021 8:15 AM BST
When it was 4 day meeting in the 70s it was normal to have a massive crowd on the Wednesday(Derby), small crowds on the Thursday and Fridays and a big crowd on Saturday (Oaks). Epsom(perhaps jointly with Goodwood) is one of my favourite racecourses (I lived not too far away in Croydon) but apart from the 2 classics it seems poorly supported by both trainers and the public. I haven't been there for years for a variety of reasons but I'm hoping to go one day next year but alas Derby and Oaks days would be too much for me.
Report sparrow October 23, 2021 8:29 AM BST
I remember going on Oaks day in the 60s but I was sure it was a Thursday.  Would I be right in thinking that?
Report jimnast October 23, 2021 8:38 AM BST
in 1968 sparrow united won the european cup on wednesday 29th may most of the players spent the day watching epsom before the game ,two days later la laguine won the oaks on friday 31st may therefor there were midweek oaks in the 60s.
Report sparrow October 23, 2021 8:43 AM BST
jimnast, It was 1964 when Homeward Bound won the race and it was definitely Thursday or Friday.
Report jimnast October 23, 2021 8:45 AM BST
greville starky rode her to win the oaks on a friday sparrow
Report jimnast October 23, 2021 8:52 AM BST
back then michael was the most popular name for a male in the uk followed by john the most popular now mohammed did not get a look in.
Report sparrow October 23, 2021 8:53 AM BST
Ah right, thanks jimnast. I remember Paddy Prendergast had the favourite Patti and my dad laid it back to a course bookmaker friend of his at 100/30.
Report jimnast October 23, 2021 9:00 AM BST
i hope he declared it to the tax man sparrowWink
Report sparrow October 23, 2021 9:13 AM BST
As soon as he got home, jimnast Grin
Report jimnast October 23, 2021 9:15 AM BST
just to add before the players spent the afternoon watching the derby there day started by making there own way to piccadilly by bus or a lift from a friend before boarding the train with the supporters to travel to euston in 2nd class.
Report themightymac October 23, 2021 3:13 PM BST
The 1964 Oaks was run on a Friday. 5th June.

Patti owned by Lady Granard started at 3/1f ridden by Garnie Bougoure.

Homeward Bound ridden by Greville Starkey won by 2 lengths from Windmill Girl, who would become famous for being the dam of Derby winners Blakeney and Morston, with La Bamba 3rd.
Report sparrow October 23, 2021 3:36 PM BST
Thanks mac, my dad was over generous with his lay at 100/30 then Grin.  John White senior was the bookmaker.
Report themightymac October 23, 2021 4:33 PM BST
I just love the old Pathe newsreels of the Derby in the 60s Sparrow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pHi8SZFwzw
Report alun2005 October 23, 2021 4:40 PM BST
Didn't the day after Troy's Derby win get abandoned because of SNOW or was I hallucinating?
Report themightymac October 23, 2021 5:13 PM BST
I can`t recall that Alun tbh.
Report bluebook October 23, 2021 7:39 PM BST
Skived off school on two occasions to be there, with the express permission of my parents, since it was with them I attended !

Got in for nothing, too.

I was a fat lad, and in order for the entrance gate to work properly, I was supposed to climb over it to get in for free. Impossible for me, but luckily my dad was a steel erector, so he paid, then climbed over the barrier to let me through !

For many, going to the Derby midweek was a welcome - if tiny - relief from the drudgery of their working week.
Report bluebook October 23, 2021 7:43 PM BST
Just to add, went in consecutive years : 1988, '89 and '90, so was privileged to see NASHWAN win under Willie Carson -  but all three years were great.

Remember one year seeing Peter Bowles strolling back through all the proles having crossed over the course from the Queen's Stand.

'Bedrich ! Bedrich !' Wink
Report jimnast October 24, 2021 7:16 AM BST
alun

the day after troys derby win the previous years king george winner ile de bourbon put up a superb display when winning the coronation cup,setting up a mouthwatering clash between troy and ile de bourbon at ascot,injury forced ile de bourbon to miss the race,troy went on to win the race,regarding his derby win i have yet to see a better performance in terms of form from any derby winner since 1979.
Report alun2005 October 24, 2021 11:30 AM BST
Cheers Jim, I would concur that Troy's Derby win was visually spectacular and fantasically impressive, not least because I'd backed it. The horse was barely seen until between 2 to 3 furlongs out but won it as easily as possible.

I was at work listening to the radio commentary and Peter Bromley certainly didn't pick up the horse until very late on, so I had assumed my money was gone. He roared it home so maybe he'd put a few quid on as well.

I've still got this memory in my head of one day of a big summer flat meeting abandoned due to snow, but as we all know time plays tricks with memory.
Report jimnast October 24, 2021 11:41 AM BST
Times certainly plays tricks with us alun

Some say the toilet roll spooked Troy which contributed to his incredible turn of foot that day ,behind were that seasons 2,000 Guineas winner the champion stakes winner the eclipse winner the following seasons king George winner and cracaval who beat the brilliant ile de bourbon in that seasons September stakes.

All by at least 7 lengths
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