Trevor hemmings

My tips for this season and a look back at our Flat Twelve

There are Flat people and there are jumping people. People like the late Captain Tim Forster, trainer of three Grand National winners, Ben Nevis, Well to Do and Last Suspect, who once declared: ‘One day I’m going to stand for Parliament. If I get in my first Bill will be about abolishing Flat racing and the second about doing away with hurdlers.’ People like Trevor Hemmings, the billionaire with the flat cap whose later life became a quest for Grand National winners in his green and yellow quartered colours, a quest in which he succeeded with Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds. Sadly the kindest of owners died last month and

Racing can’t survive without crowds

We all have weeks when every win bet finishes second and every each-way comes home in fourth. You begin to feel as though the Fates have something against you personally, as with the American punter who had lost his job, his wife and his home. Call him Fred Jones. On a seaside racecourse he invests his last ten dollars on a Tote jackpot. All six horses come in, but as he approaches the pay window, joyfully brandishing his win ticket, a gust of wind whips it from his hand and blows it out to sea. Despairingly, he sinks to his knees and implores aloud: ‘Just what have I done to