Mick & David Easterby

50 Years Ago: Red Rodney

50 Years Ago: Red Rodney

50 years ago today: Red Rodney wins the Bass Rosebowl.

Friday 05 August 2022 at 7.15 AM

It’s 50 years ago today that Red Rodney hacked up to win the valuable Bass Rosebowl at Redcar.

A giant chestnut colt by Matador, Red Rodney made his debut in the Fountains Plate at Ripon in April 1970 but didn't trouble the judge as a juvenile. However, he would make amends in his later career, winning nine races for owner John Henderson.

Red Rodney's biggest win came on 5th August 1972, when he ran out an easy winner of the feature race at Redcar, collecting the £1,270 first prize and the coveted Bass Rosebowl trophy.

The Rosebowl was the third win of Red Rodney’s 1972 campaign but the additional handicap weight eventually caught up with him, and a 10-pound penalty proved to be too much when he was turned out at Haydock Park a few days later.

Red Rodney

In 1973 Red Rodney lined up at Redcar to defend the Rosebowl. His form had been good and he went sent off as the favourite. Running a good race, he finished first, but the rider of the runner-up, George Duffield, objected. After a tense wait Rodney was demoted the second place and the race awarded to Duffield and Three Sevens.

Red Rodney is first past the post in the 1973 Bass Rosebowl only to be disqualified.

Brian Bivens who looked after him and rode him at home and as an apprentice remembers Red Rodney well.

"Red Rodney never won a race unless he was sweating and shaking in his box at the races. We always knew he was spot on when he was like that. He was right character. I loved him. He used to eat the light bulbs in his box."