DATE 5th May 2011 

 

SHROPSHIRE AUTHOR UNCOVERS GREATEST SCANDAL IN RACING HISTORY 

 

A Shropshire author is to explain for the first time the complete story of the greatest scandal ever to fall on the world’s most important horse race, The Epsom Derby, in a new book to be released in June this year. 

Racing historian, Tony Byles from Madeley, Shropshire, uncovers new evidence to provide the complete story of how the 1844 Epsom Derby came to be regarded as the most infamous racing scandal of all time in his book, In Search of Running Rein – The Amazing Fraud of the 1844 Derby. While The Sport of Kings has been plagued by corruption since its birth, no other scandal before or since has matched The Amazing Fraud of the 1844 Epsom Derby for audacity or infamy.    

Byles explains how the racing world was duped when the race, eligible for three-year-old horses only, was won by a four-year-old horse - and therefore far stronger than its competitors – in a criminal scheme of creating an imposter thoroughbred, a four-year-old which would masquerade as a three-year-old. The conspirators sought to make a vast profit on the crime by betting on the four-year-old, a horse by the name of Maccabeus, who would act as an imposter for the genuine three-year-old, Running Rein.  

The book uncovers the plot behind the event and how the conspirators would hide behind a patsy who would actually own the four-year-old in name to minimise their implication should their audacious plan fail. Byles brings to life the excitement of the race itself while the intrigue of the subsequent trial surrounds the conclusion of the story and the fate of the conspirators.  

How Byles came to write the book is a story in itself. Entirely by chance, Byles’ own daughter found the previously forgotten legal case notes of the scandal’s trial while employed at Newmarket Racecourse, the home of UK horse racing. The find set Byles on an eight-year trail of research, including locations as far afield as Russia and Poland, to piece together the complete circle of events. 

“As the world’s most important horse race, the Epsom Derby had always fascinated me, and none more so than the most infamous running of the event in 1844,” says Byles. 

“While the story will fascinate racing fans, it is a saga of scandal, risk and corruption that should intrigue a far broader audience.” 

In search of Running Rein – The Amazing Fraud of the 1844 Derby, will be published on 3 June 2011 by Apex Publishing, and will be available from amazon.co.uk, amongst other good book stores.  For more information visit www.1844derbyfraud.com

 

Date 11th April 2011

 

A review from Polish magazine "zmdom” "Z MIEJSCA DO MIEJSCA"
http://www.zmdom.com.pl/nowosci.now"zmdom"

Date 22nd March 2011

 

NEW BOOK EXPLAINS YORKSHIRE’S ROLE IN BIGGEST SCANDAL IN RACING HISTORY

 

A new book to be launched in June this year will explain howYorkshireplayed a key role in the greatest scandal ever to fall on the world’s most important horse race, the Epsom Derby.

 

Racing historian, Tony Byles, will explain in his book, In search of Running Rein – The Amazing Fraud of the 1844 Derby, howYorkshire was involved in a betting coup surrounding that year’s Epsom Derby, regarded as the most infamous scandal in the history of racing. The racing world was duped when the race, eligible for three-year-old horses only, was won by a four-year-old imposter named Maccabeus – and therefore considerably stronger than its competitors - masquerading as a three-year-old. The full extent of the scandal andYorkshire’s involvement has only now come to the fore as a result of Byles’ eight-year trail of research.

 

Byles explains how the race horse at the centre of the saga, the four-year-old imposter who went on to win theDerby, came from aYorkshirestable. The infamous coup began inYorkshirewith the purchase of a yearling colt at the Doncaster Sales in September 1841 by the fraud’s chief perpetrator, a gambler of questionable repute by the name of Abraham Levi Goodman. The colt itself, later to be named Maccabeus, was bred at Denton Hall near Otley by Sir Charles Henry Ibbetson, a gentry playboy, racehorse owner and breeder, who was frequently in debt.

 

Byles explains how Goodman and his gang then purchased a second horse, which would be used to provide the legitimate pedigree to support the claim that the imposter horse was the legal age for the 1844 EpsomDerby. This second horse also came fromYorkshireand was purchased from small time thoroughbred breeder, Dr. Cobb of Sutton House – now Sutton Farm – at Norton-on-Derwent, near Malton. The second horse with its legitimate pedigree would also provide the name that Maccabeus, the imposter, would run under, and also the name explained in the book’s title: Running Rein.

 

“Yorkshire played a key role in the greatest racing scandal of all time: The 1844 EpsomDerby,” says author Tony Byles. “Maccabeus – who falsely ran under the name of Running Rein – was perhaps the most infamous race horse of all time, and he was bred here inYorkshire.”

 

In search of Running Rein – The Amazing Fraud of the 1844 Derby, will be published on 3 June 2011 by Apex Publishing, and will be available from amazon.co.uk, amongst other good book stores. For more information, visit www.1844derbyfraud.com

 

Date 8th March 2011 

 

NEW BOOK EXPLAINS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE’S ROLE IN BIGGEST SCANDAL IN RACING HISTORY

 

A new book to be launched in June this year will explain how Northamptonshire played a key role in the greatest scandal ever to fall on the world’s most important horse race, the Epsom Derby.

 

Racing historian, Tony Byles, will explain in his book, In search of Running Rein – The Amazing Fraud of the 1844 Derby, how the county was involved in a betting coup surrounding that year’s Epsom Derby, regarded as the most infamous scandal in the history of racing. The racing world was duped when the race, eligible for three-year-old horses only, was won by a four-year-old, masquerading as a three-year-old.

 

Byles explains how a key conspirator of the infamous 1844 Derby Fraud, Henry ‘Pickles’ Higgins, a Northampton coachmaker, sought to make a vast profit on the crime along with a gang of conspirators. The fraudsters bet on the four-year-old imposter thoroughbred while hiding behind a patsy who would actually own the horse in name, thus minimising the key conspirators’ implication in the fraud should it fail.

 

The book elaborates how Abraham Levi Goodman – well known in planning turf robberies – and Higgins played a vital role in the fraud.  They purchased a yearling colt, later to be named Maccabeus, who was to become the four-year-old imposter. He was initially kept in a paddock at George Worley’s farm at Sywell and subsequently moved to other variousNorthamptonlocations. However the Northamptonshire location was also the entire plot’s undoing, as George Worley discovered the scheme and his revelation helped to uncover the crime, though not before Higgins and his co-conspirators managed to steal victory in the 1844 event with their four-year-old imposter.

 

All bets were suspended until a Trial overturned the result and victory awarded to the second-place horse, Orlando, owned by Colonel Jonathan Peel, brother of the Prime minister. Proposed proceedings against Higgins and the other conspirators was eventually dropped through lack of corroboratory evidence and unreliability of witnesses.

 

“Though little realised, Northamptonshire played a pivotal role in the saga surrounding the most infamous running of the world’s most important horse race: The Epsom Derby,” says author Tony Byles.

 

“The story of Higgins and his downfall, greatly assisted by Sywell’s George Worley, tells us how two Northamptonshire men were key protagonists on opposing sides of one of the greatest gambling scandals of all time.”

 

In search of Running Rein – The Amazing Fraud of the 1844 Derby, will be published on 3 June 2011 by Apex Publishing, and will be available from amazon.co.uk, amongst other good book stores. For more information, visit www.1844derbyfraud.com