The Stimulation of Genius: How Electricity Worked as a Racing Persuader in England, Daily Racing Form, 1919-01-27


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THE STIMULATION OF GENIUS How Electricity Worked as a Racine Persuader in England. Recently in printed English gossip there has been stories of the use of electricity as a racing stimulant to horses. The stories are repudiated as untrue by the named stables in the Sportsman, which goes into the past about "dope" of all sorts in this way: . Taking electricity first, here is a case drama, tragedy and farce rolled into one, mostly farce.. It is interesting in case anyone supposes that it is a novel idea to treat a race horse with electricity as a stimulant. Picture yourself on Newmarket heath one morning away back in the early part of the century, when nolvody was about. Enter Alfred Sadler, Jr., now trainer to the senior steward of the Jockey Club. With him a horse called Genius an animal that had taken it into his head that, though lie would consent to go to the post for a race, no power on earth should compel him to start. Genius !eIonged to Sir Henry Randall, Mayor of Northampton. It was deemed advisable to "bring science to bear on the colt a little inducement to impart courage to him. Enter next on the scene Kcmpton Cannon, first jockey to the stable Kempton Cannon, who throughout his riding career was always more engrossed in mechanics and electricity than in the commonplace business of riding race horses, which an unkind fate had ordained for him. Enter, then, ICempton Cannon, with an electric battery and appurtenances, which were to create a new era on the turf. The dope bv drugs was to bo a tiling of the past. llie stimulant of the future was to be electricity. Ldi-son in all Ids glory had not thought of things like tliis. The battery was to be placed in the pocket. The method of communication to the horse was to be by wires attached to spurs. When you touched your horse with the sp;ir the fluid of life would be imparted to him. . Excellent. Nobody lias ever won anything without experiment; nobody has ever won any tiling without enterprise. And so Kempton Cannon got on the back of Genius, and well, the tiling worked. Kemp-ton Cannon eventually picked himself up and asked the way to the nearest hospital. Alfred Sadler got on "to all the telephones to ask if anyone had come across a loose horse, and Genius, It is said, was found comfortably ensconced in a box munching dates in the Sahara desert. That is the first and last time electricity lias ever been used as a stimulant to a horse at Freemason Lodge. Duke, the trainer, was associated with George Thursby in those days when doping was permitted and was recognized as the greatest artist and chemist, perhaps. He never made any secret about it. In fact, he was proud of his reputation, and all his rivals among the other trainers used to do their utmost to discover his recipes. Duke was open, but I doubt if he ever told anybody anything ibout that was likely to bo of any use to them. He once said to the writer on a railway journey, when there were no Other occupants of the carnage, ".Tockevs are jockeys and sense is sense, and the reason Trigg and I get on so well together is because Trigg understands the doie." Trigg was riding first jockey to Mr. Thursbys stable at that time. All this occurred lief ore there was any rule of lacing which made doping illegal.

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