|The great Fred Archer|
Looking down the card at HQ today you will see that the third race is entitled Bet365.com Fred Archer Stakes. This race is held in memory of the greatest man in the history of the turf. Archer had his first winner over fences at Bangor at the tender age of twelve before going on to be crowned champion jockey on the flat for thirteen consecutive seasons (1874-1886). During his unrivalled career theTinman as he was known rode 2748 winners out of 8084 starts – amongst these wins he claimed a total of twenty one british classics. Archer suffered more than others for his art being 5ft 10 inches he followed a strict regime of constant dieting and self denial. Towards the end of his career it was clear to many that this was taking its toll on Archer alongside the death of his young wife Helen Rose (who was the niece of Matt Dawson who he had apprenticed with and rode for). Racked by depression Archer took his own life aged only 29 years on November 8th 1886 at the end of his thirteenth season as champion. It would be fair to say we will never see his like again.