7th March 2006
Worlds Craziest Horse Race
When champion Australian stayer Sailor’s Guide won the Washington International in 1958 it was dubbed by the media as ‘one of the craziest races in turf history’.
Sailor’s Guide beaten 3 ½ lengths by American horse Tudor Era won the $100,000 event on a protest.
Jockey Grant who rode Sailor’s Guide alleged that Tudor Era caused him interference throughout the running of the race, and without knowledge of the Australian owners protested to the stewards.
The stewards upheld Grant’s protest after studying the race film for about ten minutes.
The record crowd hooted and jeered when the protest was upheld – Ballymoss, riden by Scobie Breasley was a head away third.
There was also a sensation before the running of the race when the Russian entries Zaryad and Garnir caused several false starts. When the race field was finally dispatched Zaryad stood flat footed and lost many lengths.
The Americans were greatly impressed with Australian race caller Bill Collins description of the event.
Sailor’s Guide was owned by Mr A. C Dibb and his son Keith of Melbourne. Before the race they agreed to sell Sailor’s Guide to a Philadelphia doctor for $24,553. The deal provided for the horse to change hands after the race.
Sailor’s Guide success in America surprised Australian turf men who thought he was on his way out after his failure in the Doomben Cup.
However Australian jockey Neville Sellwood said the Washington track was like Wyong and would have suited Sailor’s Guide. “He is a nippy sort and I knew he would have been well placed all the way”, said Sellwood.