Spindrifter, Provideo & Timeless Times

Article 12_010_1
12th February, 2012

1. Introduction

A purely informational article prompted by looking at the lists of input to Internet Search engines (90% Google) which then direct people to the B2yoR site. Regulars in the list are versions of the "Which 2yo won most races in a season?" question. Some go further and ask about three juveniles in particular - Spindrifter, Provideo & Timeless Times. Important history for the 2yos and this article is a place to gather some information about those three horses together to tell the 'Most Wins' story.

Mainly of historical interest now and the changes in race planning mean that their totals are unlikely ever to be removed from the record books. In the last ten seasons one horse, Peak To Creek trained by Jeremy Noseda, has managed 7 wins but there have been years where 4 or 5 successes have been the best achieved.

To put the development into context the records for 2yo wins in a season had stood since the 1880s until some movement in 1975. A horse called The Bard won 16 races in 1885, one a walkover, to hold the record for the males. Three fillies had managed 12 wins and they were Catalogue (1864), Lady Elizabeth (1867) & Semolina (1889). It would be interesting to know what changed in 1890 to put those records out of reach for a long time.

In 1975 a filly called Nagwa (Tower Walk ex Tamarisk Way) trained by Barry Hills won 13 of her 20 outings. That bettered the level of the other three fillies and also could be used as a 'Modern Day Record' considering that racing in the 1970s was presumably a different place to be than in the 1880s. If by a lesser margin than one might imagine.

In 1980 Spindrifter, trained by Mark Prescott, won 13 of his 19 starts which left him 3 short of The Bard's record for males. But, he had matched the 'Modern Day' mark set by Nagwa. The story then comes to a climax with the training career of Bill O'Gorman. He had been producing multiple winning 2yos since the late 1970s and had more than one example of juveniles winning 9 races in a season in that period. In 1984 the experience and the horse came together with Provideo who had 16 successes from his 23 outings. This surpassed the 'Modern Day' level and matched the historical record set by The Bard. Provideo had won the Brocklesby Stakes as the first race of the season in March and won his 16th race on November 1st.

Mr. O'Gorman has said that he had other horses that he could have pressed into winning this high number of races but targeted higher class races with them instead. In 1990 the right type of horse, of the 'right' quality, came along in Timeless Times and he won 16 of his 21 starts. He had won 16 by September 15th but then got an injury otherwise he might well have surpassed the record held by The Bard & Provideo rather than joining them at the top of the list.

To get a feel for the quality of these horses Nagwa was rated 8 points below the Champion filly of her year and was probably better than the three later males. Spindrifter was rated 102 by Timeform when the champion males typically rate between 124-128. The O'Gorman trained pair both tried Listed races with Provideo managing to win one and were rated a little higher than Spindrifter at season's close.

The three sections below give more information about the three subject horses of the article including full, date ordered, listings of their runs. The short answer to why we do not see these types of winning totals anymore is the changes in race planning brought in by the 'Competitive Racing' ideal. This takes as it's target producing larger fields of closely matched horses which will maximise the amount punters bet on races and therefore the funding Horseracing receives via the bookmakers' Levy contribution.

Look through the lists below and the majority of the races had 3-5 runners and perhaps two really competitive horses and often just one apparent and a short priced favourite. Punters do not bet as much on these races so they get sidelined. The Northern 'Stakes' events on the list are mostly gone with a few remaining as the small number of 'Conditions' races left in the 2yo calendar. Whether taking 'Levy maximisation' as the primary goal produces the best type of races to develop juveniles and test them through the season is an issue which provokes a variety of responses.

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2. Spindrifter
Date Dist. Course Race
Value Place SP Weight
Apr 15 5f HTON Campsie Stakes 823 1st Evf
Apr 24 5f PFCT Ropergate Stakes 2nd 3/1
May 7 5f RDCR Ugthorpe Stakes 1,608 1st 4/7f
May 19 5f PFCT Snaith Stakes 1,352 1st 5/2
May 28 5f CATT Grinton Stakes 873 1st 1/3f
Jun 7 6f CATT Hornby Stakes 955 1st 13/8
Jun 24 6f PFCT Youngsters Stakes 2,136 1st 4/5f
Jul 7 6f PFCT Wentbridge Stakes 1,918 1st 5/2
Jul 17 7f CATT Huddersfield Stakes 889 1st 1/5f
Jul 23 6f HTON Wallace Stakes 994 1st 4/9f
Aug 2 6f THSK Crathorne Stakes 2,696 1st 2/9f
Aug 18 6f LEIC Leicester City Stakes 1,979 1st 8/11f
Aug 26 6f RIPN Wensley Stakes 2nd 6/4
Sep 9 6f PFCT Junior Stakes 2nd 5/2
Sep 27 7f RDCR Tally-Ho Stakes 2,035 1st 7/2
Oct 7 8f NEWC Princes Stakes 2nd 5/2
Oct 18 7f CATT Otley Stakes 1,044 1st 2/7
Oct 27 5f STCK Carrs Stakes 2nd 6/4
Nov 8 7f DONC Jockeys' Trophy Nursery Unp 5/1

Note that STCK = Stockton-on-Tees racecourse, aka Teesside Park, which closed in the early 1980s and became a housing estate. Despite the dire warnings at the time, and at intervals since, of the financial problems with British Horseracing it remains the last racecourse active at that time to have closed. Since then Great Leighs in Essex & Ffos Las in South Wales have both opened. Great Leighs closed within 12 months of a rushed opening in 2008 and at the time of writing this article people were still working to try to re-open the track with all the facilities at the course still in place in late 2011.

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3. Provideo
Date Dist. Course Race
Value Place SP Weight
Mar 22 5f DONC Brocklesby Stakes 2,238 1st 9/4 2fav 8-11
Mar 28 5f CATT Toytop Stakes 983 1st 2/5f 9-4
Apr 11 5f LING Carlberg Stakes 1,629 2nd 11/10f 9-2
Apr 14 5f THSK Clifton Stakes 2,553 2nd 7/4f 9-4
Apr 28 5f RIPN Sonnen Gold Stakes 2,070 1st Evf 9-7
May 2 5f CATT Richmond Stakes 1,274 1st 1/3f 9-7
May 12 5f LING Parthia Stakes 2,096 1st 11/10f 9-5
May 28 5f LEIC Victoria Stakes 1,758 2nd ?f 9-7
Jun 4 5f FOLK Metropole Challenge Cup 2,578 1st EvF 9-1
Jun 9 6f CATT Hornby Stakes 1,366 1st 1/2f 9-7
Jun 14 5f BVLY Beverley 2yo Trophy 3,785 1st 7/4 9-4
Jun 20 5f BVLY Sinnington Stakes 1,758 1st 4/9f 9-4
Jun 29 6f DONC Grimthorpe Stakes 3,650 2nd 11/10 9-2
Jul 7 6f HYDK Cock of the North Stakes 6,648 1st 3/1 9-0
Jul 9 6f PFCT Spindrifter Stakes 3,130 1st 1/4f 9-9
Jul 16 6f WDSR Woodland Stakes 1,535 1st 2/5f 9-5
Jul 26 5f SDWN Star Stakes 3,817 1st 5/6f 9-4
Aug 2 7f GDWD Champagne Stakes (Listed) 11,162 2nd
(to Petoski)
9/2 9-0
Aug 23 6f YORK Prince Of Wales Stakes (Listed) 7,076 2nd 4/6f 9-4
Aug 27 6f RIPN Ripon 2yo Trophy (Listed) 5,765 1st 10/11f 9-7
Sep 7 6f KTON Sirenia Stakes (Listed) 7,337 3rd 13/8f 9-3
Oct 26 5f DONC Doncaster Stakes 2,523 1st 2/1f 9-7
Nov 1 5f RDCR Dinsdale Spa Stakes 1,452 1st 1/8f 9-5

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4. Timeless Times
Date Dist. Course Race
Value Place SP Weight
Apr 9 5f WTNT Trillium Maiden Stakes 2,060 1st 7/4f 9-0
Apr 12 5f RIPN Roecliffe Stakes 2,950 1st 6/4f 9-4
Apr 21 5f THSK Clifton Stakes 2,898 1st 3/1 9-4
Apr 25 5f CATT Richmond Stakes 2,660 1st 2/5f 9-4
May 8 5f FOLK Metropole Challenge Cup 2,636 1st 8/15f 9-1
May 18 6f THSK Rosedale Stakes 2,950 2nd 1/2f 9-3
May 24 6f CATT Grinton Stakes 2,685 1st 11/10jf 9-7
Jun 1 5f NEWC PO Mauritius Stakes 3,319 1st 4/5f 9-0
Jun 2 5f EDIN Powderhall Stakes 2,611 1st 8/13f 9-7
Jun 9 6f CATT Hornby Stakes 2,734 1st 4/5f 9-7
Jun 12 6f PFCT Youngsters Stakes 3,040 1st 4/11f 9-6
Jun 25 6f WDSR D Hicks Stakes 2,905 1st 4/6f 9-5
Jun 26 7.3f NWBY S & P Stakes 6,290 1st 7/2 9-4
Jul 2 6f PFCT Spindrifter Stakes 2,846 1st 8/13f 9-9
Jul 6 7.5f BVLY Cottingham Stakes 2,950 1st 3/10f 9-7
Jul 9 6f WDSR Woodland Stakes 2,954 2nd 11/10f 9-9
Aug 23 5f SALS Nightfall Stakes 3,883 1st 11/10 9-5
Aug 27 6f RIPN Ripon 2yo Trophy (Listed) 8,220 3rd 6/4 8-11
Sep 4 6f PFCT Timeform Futurity 3,470 1st 11/2 9-6
Sep 5 5f YORK Products Stakes 5,299 3rd 7/2 9-4
Oct 20 8.5f LAUR Laurel Futurity (Grade 3) 111,801 13th 15/1 8-10

Note "LAUR" = Laurel racecourse in the US state of Maryland.

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5. Pictures

Spindrifter Provideo Timeless Times

The picture of Provideo shows him winning the Star Stakes at Sandown on July 26th. The two pictures of Timeless Times show him winning his 16th race of the season at Pontefract on September the 4th. Trainer Bill O'Gorman is in the light jacket talking to jockey Munro in the second picture. The location of the picture of Spindrifter is unknown to the author, possibly returning to the entrance gate at Pontefract? Right clicking on any of the pictures for Provideo & Timeless Times link to the full sized versions.

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