England: Path Across Epsom Track Near Finish Causes Fatal Accident to Masquerade, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-01


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England Path Across Epsom Track Near Finish Causes Fatal Accident to Masquerade By CLIVE GRAHAM Our London Correspondent LONDON. — One of the most dramatic incidents ever seen on our race tracks marred the closing phase of the City and Suburban, run over the last iy4 miles of the Derby course, at Epsom last week. After rounding Tattenham Corner, headed for home, the four-year-old colt. Masquerade, led the field, with the eventual winner, Guersillus,* menacing him on his outside. Two hundred yards from the wire, a pathway leads across the track. This is used on non-racing days by visitors and equestrians, who wish to ramble over the downs. When racing takes place, it is covered over with chopped grass, which may deceive | ! j | ! j | ! [ ! I I I | I I , j I humans, but does not fool all the horses. Masquerade, anyway, noticed the different quality of the herbage, and made an almighty jump over this imagined obstacle. On landing, he stumbled slightly veering leftwards through a gap where the temporary guard rail had not been replaced on its iron supports. The poor Cagire II. colt caught the projecting continuation of rail in his chest, and crashed to the ground, breaking off one of his hind legs at the hock. The rider, young Peter Boothman, executed a jack-knived parabola through the air, descending on his head, which was, fortunately, well shielded by his crash helmet. He was carried away on a stretcher, but no other fate was open for Masquerade, except to be shot where he lay. Recalling Hugh Lupus Incident In a comparatively short experience, your correspondent has seen this path jumped on countless occasions, but never with such disastrous effects. Farther up the track, there is another intersecting pathway. It was here in 1955, that the much-fancied Epsom Derby colt, Hugh Lupus, having a trial spin on the morning before the classic, attempted to jump, became unbalanced and ricked a muscle in his back, which necessitated his withdrawal. Last year, jockeys complained of another unnatural hazaid, the roadway at the top of the Hill, on the approach to the Tatten- ham corner bend. It was at this point in the 1958 Derby that the French -trained favorite. Wallaby n., stumbled and injured himself so severely that he afterwards had to have veterinary assistance to enable him to be returned to his stall. An old-timer, whose experience of Epsom racing dates back to the 1890s, claimed that he had seen two jockeys killed at the spot where Masquerade met his end. Said champion jockey, Doug Smith: "With its undulations, turns and uneven surface, there is no doubt that the Epsom Derby course provides the supreme test for a thoroughbred. He has to prove himself rugged, agile and brave. But it is a tough course to ride round at the best of times." He joined with other jockeys in suggesting that a tunnel should be bored underneath that track, to replace the existing pathways. One of the difficulties facing the Epsom executive is that under a statute dating back to the 14th century, the down-land which forms Epsoms infield, is an area to which the common public have an inalienable right of access. A number of big stakes were decided during the week. The two-year-olds, Sound Track by Whistler and Honeymoor by Honey way— as predicted in this column! — both won again, Honeymoors victory being the more incisive of the two. Rose of Medina, a three-year-old filly by Never Say Die, brilliantly handled by Piggott, got the better of Tuylars daughter, Fiorentina George Moore* in a photofinish for the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom, and the French-bred My Aladdin by Tourment, took The Blue Riband Trial Stakes, thereby causing a sharp reduction in the Derby odds against Parthia, for Sir Humphrey de Traffords colt had beaten him easily in the White Rose at Hurst. It is a long way ahead to Laurel Park, but Aggressor on the short list last year, re-established his eligibility, by trouncing London Cry and Nagami for the Coronation Stakes at Sandown last Saturday. It may be remembered that this four-year-old colt by Combat, half brother to ben Lomond, started favorite for last years Cam-i bridgeshire. His jockey, Lindley, explained ! his failure afterwards, by saying that he I disliked the Rowley Mile straightaway. Sandowns feature race was the 5,000 Whitbread Gold Cup, of 35s miles over fences. The Irish, Saffron Tartan was made the choice, and jumped magnificiently in the lead for 3 miles, but then folded up. Six horses came to the second-last obstacle I with a winning chance, but Done Up by j Donatello II., and little Mandarin by I Deux Pour Cents i , drew away to fight out the short head decision, so Mandarin was runner-up for the third successive year. As a spectacle and attraction, this | steeplechase — sponsored by a firm of London brewers — now vies with, and even out-[ classes, the Cheltenham Gold Cup and i Grand National.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1959050101/drf1959050101_11_2
Local Identifier: drf1959050101_11_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800