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HORSE RACING: Where are they now - BRIAN JAGO.

AS another renewal of the Derby approaches one lucky stopover for jockeys riding in our premier Classic is a thing of the past.

Though Brian Jago rarely rode in the big race himself, his house in Epsom's Albert Road was a regular overnight dwelling for many saddlemen that went on to glory the following afternoon.

Now 62 and living in Cheam, Jago recalled: "We were quite popular as we had a sauna and many of the boys stayed with us.

Pat Eddery was with us in 1975 when he won on Grundy, Greville Starkey three years later when he won on Shirley Heights and Walter Swinburn was another the year he won on Shergar. Steve Cauthen also came once or twice."

Jago, a popular lightweight until his retiral in the early 1980's, sat on some decent horses during his career including triple champion hurdler Persian War, Gold Rod, Joshua and Welsh Rarebit while his biggest victory came aboard Tom Cribb, in the 1973 Northumberland Plate.

He said: "Tom Cribb was a savage. If he was crowded out, he'd think nothing of grabbing another horse or a jockey for that matter.

"Though he was only tiny, he carried some big weights. he had plenty of ability but he was a dirty little devil."

Like many pilots of his era, Jago often found himself 'jocked' off by Lester Piggott and the 'Long Fellow' eventually secured the ride on Tom Cribb when injury dealt its cruel hand of fate.

"I got badly smashed up in a fall at Sandown in 1974 and the owners asked Lester to ride him at Ascot.

While I was laid up in hospital Lester phoned me to find out all about the horse and I told him everything he needed to know - needless to say they won."

Injuries, such as broken pelvis, foot and hand, were a regular part of Jago's life which saw him ply his trade in exotic locations such as Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and Singapore.

Despite his spells on the sidelines he still bagged many decent prizes including the Liverpool Spring Cup, the Newbury Spring Cup, the Champagne Stakes and the November Handicap.

In the twilight of his time in the saddle, Jago enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Pat Haslam before he embarked on a new career building house extensions and conservatories.

Nowadays his weight may be just over nine stones but his connection with racing is all but severed and he has lost touch with most of his weighing-room contempories.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 2, 2001
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