Mick & David Easterby: Racing Syndicates and Racehorse Ownership

Sawdust Jack at Newcastle 3rd December 1991

On This Day: The Tale of Sawdust Jack

On This Day: The Tale of Sawdust Jack

08.37 | Sun 3 Dec 23 | Memory Lane

Sawdust Jack was a legend in his own lifetime.

When Jack first came to the yard nobody wanted him as he was sired by Rarity whose offspring had a reputation and all being nutters. However, Mr Brewer was prepared to take a chance and in the coming years Jack would pay him back handsomely.

Jane Towse was Jack’s groom throughout his life. He only ever had one groom and their bond was immense like no other she loved him with everything she had.

Jack made his debut at Catterick in April 1986, finishing sixth. He ran five times as a juvenile without making the frame, after which he had a long break before making his hurdles debut at Catterick in November 1987.

Jack finished runner up in his first two hurdles races before winning for the first time at Wetherby on 28th December when he took the 'Bradford Novices Hurdle' ridden by Phil Tuck. He was a winner again the following February at Newcastle.

Jack went onto win two more hurdles races at Hexham and Haydock before switching to fences, winning on his first outing over the bigger obstacles at Sedgefield in January 1990. He would record further wins at Market Rasen, Wetherby and Newcastle.

Jack’s final win would prove to be his last race. On 3rd December 1990 he won the ‘Silver Blaze Handicap Chase’ ridden by Peter Niven. He was the only horse to finish the race, turning over the odds-on favourite Greenheart who fell. The race was carnage but worse was to come and what started as a happy day would end in tragedy.

During the race Jack had struck into a tendon very badly and in the following weeks myself and Jane did all we could by sending him to one of the top vets. If they could repair his leg he could retire gracefully and enjoy the rest of his life.

Sadly this wasn’t to be and eventually the vet delivered the bad news that things were not going to improve.

Jack was peacefully put to sleep with his groom by his side. Jane’s heart was broken in two when she said goodbye.

Jack was a hero and was much missed. His final record read eight wins but his legacy was much greater than could be measured by numbers.

Jane Towse and Sawdust Jack after his final race at Newcastle.

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