The great Fred Archer

Looking down the card at HQ today you will see that the third race is entitled Betfair Supports The Animal Health Trust 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 the Tinman 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.

Hayley Turner rides Dandino today

Looking at todays card Crockford is certain that the shrewd and competitive Archer would have chosen Dandino if he had the choice. Today’s jockey is a modern day star – the brilliant Hayley Turner. Having given a excellent last ride to Dandino at Goodwood just losing out to the classy Sea Moon she should go one better today in this listed contest.  So in memory of the great Archer we give the first ever Archer’s Selection – Dandino

Archer’s Selection – Dandino (3.00 Newmarket)
The brilliant Turner will steer this warm favourite home and into the winners enclosure.