Legends of the Turf – The Walk of Fame
In 2014 the decision was made to commemorate various racing people and horses by way of specially designed paving stones along the High Street. Suffolk County, Council, Forest Heath District Council, Newmarket Town Council, the Jockey Club and the Newmarket Journal provided funding and/or assistance and there were donations from various local individuals and organisations.
The first six were selected by public vote. It came as no surprise that amongst the first was Fred Archer, joined in the jockey category by Lester Piggott. The first two personalities were Sir John Astley and Sir Henry Cecil and the first two horses were Hyperion and Frankel.
At the end of this article is a diagram showing where each tablet can be seen. Whatever one thinks of the merits of the scheme, it is sure that the practicalities were not worked out. As can be seen from these images, after less than 6 years the first tablets are un-readable. Hopefully, this will not be rectified by pressure washing or wire brushes!
For the more complete details of project, please go to www.legendsoftheturf.org.uk.
The map below shows the location of the 23 plaques on the ‘Walk of Fame’, and underneath are details of each location:
- (in front of Scotts Eyecare) FRED ARCHER 1857-1886, Champion Jockey 1874 -1886 and winner of five Derbies and a career total of 2,748 wins.
- (in front of Pizza Express) Sir JOHN ASTLEY 1828-1894, A senior Steward of the Jockey Club and founder of the Astley Institute, a social club for stablemen.
- (in front of Jockey Club gates) Sir HENRY CECIL 1943 to 2013, Champion trainer ten times and win)r of 4 Derbies. Knighted in 2011. Tablet 3 is
- (in front of The Jockey Club) HYPERION 1930-1960, Winner of Derby and St Leger. He was not entered for the 2,000 guineas. He was champion sire 6 times.
- (in front of Bendalls) FRANKEL 2008 – , Winner of 2,000 guineas and unbeaten in his 14 races. Highest rated horse by Timeform in forty years.
- (in front of Rutland Arms Hotel) LESTER PIGGOTT 1935- , Champion Jockey 12 times between 1960 and 1982, winner of nine Derbies (from 36 rides) and a career total of 4,493 wins.
- (in front of T T Nails) FRANKIE DETTORI MBE 1970 – , Lanfranco arrived in Newmarket in 1985, rode all seven winners in one day at Royal Ascot in 1996.
- (in front of Caffe Nero) NAT FLATMAN 1810-1860 – Suffolk born Champion jockey for 13 consecutive seasons. Won 10 Classics.
- (in front of ex Horseracing Museum) Sir NOEL MURLESS 1910-1987, Leading trainer eight times between 1957 and 1973. Knighted in 1977.
- (in front of Goldings) PRETTY POLLY 1901-1931, Winner of 22 of her 24 races, including the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger. The most influential broodmare of the 20th century.
- (in front of Equine World) Hon. HENRY ROUS -1795-877, Official Handicapper.
- (in front of Yorkshire Building Society) SHERGAR 1978–1983, Rated as one of the best Derby winners in history, sadly most remembered for his kidnapping by the I.R.A.
- (in front of Grosvenor House) BAHRAM 1932-1956, Triple Crown winner in 1935, trained at Fitzroy House, by Frank Butters.
- (in front of White Hart Hotel) STEVE CAUTHEN – 1960 – , American born, only jockey to win both the Kentucky and the Epsom Derby. British champion jockey three times.
- (in front of Hartwell Blinds) MATHEW DAWSON 1820–1898, Training at Heath House, he enjoyed a winning partnership with Fred Archer and also trained St. Simon. He won 4 Derbies.
- (in front of Boots) DOUG SMITH 1917–1989, 5 times Champion Jockey, Career wins 3,112.
- (in front of Cartwrights) St. SIMON 1881–1908, Unbeaten in 9 race career and nine times leading sire.
- (in front of My Photoshop) ALFIE WESTWOOD 1935-2015, Retired jockey, a favourite of the young visitors to the Horseracing Museum, where he was a guide.
- (at the entrance to Market Street) KING CHARLES II 1630-1685, Returning to Newmarket on the restoration of the monarchy in 1666, he re-introduced the “Sport of Kings” to the town.
- (in front of ex Santander) Sir JACK JARVIS 1887-1968, Training at Park Lodge from 1919 to 1968, three-time champion trainer. He won 9 Classics. First trainer to be knighted, in 1967.
- (in front of Celiks Barbers) PEBBLES 1981-2005, As a 4 yr old, the first filly to win the Eclipse and later that year won the Champion Stakes, beating Derby winner Slip Anchor.
- (in front of Barclays Bank) WALTER SWINBURN 1961-2016, 3 times Champion Jockey. Winner of 8 Classics, including 3 Derbies.
- (in front of Keylocks) WILLIE SNAITH MBE 1928-2019, A Legend of the Turf not merely for his race-riding achievements, but for the special place he occupied in the local community.