I was delighted to meet Nicole Ward at Ascot (WA) on Railway Stakes day. Nicole is the granddaughter of former champion jockey Arthur Ward, who died five years ago at the remarkable age of 94.
Nicole has been kind enough to send me some wonderful old photos of her beloved grandfather, who rode some of the best horses of his era.
One of them was the great Redcraze, who won sixteen races in NZ, and one in Australia for trainer Syd Brown, and another fifteen in Australia for Tommy Smith. Arthur was his jockey in fourteen Australian wins.
Nicole sent me this picture of the remarkable stayer humping 59 kgs to win the 1956 Brisbane Cup from Caranna and Beaupa. The gelding gives the impression he was laying in slightly in the closing stages.
Most NZ horses travelling to Australia in the winter months arrive with a heavy winter coat. This photo clearly illustrates that Redcraze had been clipped “trace high” before heading to the Brisbane carnival.
Arthur’s fourteen wins on the great horse included a Metropolitan Hcp with 61 kgs and a Caulfield Cup with 63 kgs. There’s little doubt he was a certainty beaten when second to Evening Peal in the Melbourne Cup of 1956. He carried a massive 65 kgs and spotted the triple Oaks winning mare fourteen kilos.
I hate to spoil the festive season for all of you Tulloch fans. Arthur Ward won three races on Tulloch, and chased him home many times on Prince Darius. In his later years, the great jockey expressed his belief that Redcraze was better than Tulloch.
We’ll have more Arthur Ward pictures on Friday Flashback in the weeks ahead.