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Robert Sangster 1936-2004: Hills: we celebrated when we won - and when we lost.

Byline: Rodney Masters

Few were closer to Robert Sangster Robert Edmund Sangster (May 23, 1936 - April 7, 2004) was a well-known English thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder. He was British flat racing Champion Owner five times and his horses won many major races, including two Epsom Derbys, four Irish Derbys, two French Derbys, three  than

Barry Hills, who trained 30 Group-race winners for him, shared the frustration of their three near-misses in the Derby and has countless memories of their fun together around the world, from Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  to Melbourne and Paris.

Hills yesterday described Sangster's contribution to racing as nothing short of phenomenal, and queried as to why his name had not appeared in the Honour's List, believing the omission to be a serious error of judgement.

"Robert won everything in the book around the globe, and he was a legend because of the way he promoted racing," said Hills. "Certainly, in my lifetime, he was one of the sport's most influential characters. He introduced a fresh

dimension and was such a major player at the sales for many years. Without him, we would not have seen Steve Cauthen Steve Cauthen (born May 1, 1960 in Covington, Kentucky) is an American jockey.

Cauthen, the son of a trainer and a farrier, grew up in Walton, Kentucky around horses, which (along with his small size) made race-riding a logical career choice.
, Brent Thomson and Bill Shoemaker William Lee Shoemaker (August 19, 1931 – October 12, 2003) was an American jockey.

Referred to as "Bill", "Willie," and "The Shoe", William Lee Shoemaker was born in the town of Fabens, Texas. At 2.
 in Britain."

Hills, who had three Derby runners-up for Sangster with Hawaiian Sound, Glacial Storm and Blue Stag, added: "He was the ultimate sportsman. We celebrated when we won, and usually celebrated when we lost. There was never an inquest into what went wrong. He'd never take a horse away from a trainer. And he loved a bet. The only time he'd become upset was when his horse won and the trainer hadn't told him it had a chance."

Even when Hills failed to raise the finance to purchase the Manton training establishment from Sangster, there was no blip in their friendship.

Earlier this year, they had lunch together in Ramsbury, near Marlborough, and Hills had seen him for the last time at his flat in London shortly afterwards.

"Sadly, Robert was too ill to see visitors after then," said Hills. "His death is a terrible loss, not only personally, but to racing in general.

"He enjoyed life so much. I imagine that right now he's ringing Charles Benson Charles Benson is the head reporter for WTMJ-TV and their weekend anchorman.

Charles Benson is one of the most seasoned, most experienced reporters in Milwaukee and has been in Wisconsin for almost 20 years.
 to arrange to meet for lunch at the pearly gates. I'm not sure who'll pay, though!"


Glacial Storm, owned by Robert Sangster and trained by Barry Hills, finishes second to Kahyasi in the 1988 Derby
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 9, 2004
Previous Article:Robert Sangster 1936-2004: Eddery and Cauthen speak of the `good days' with their great friend.
Next Article:Robert Sangster 1936-2004: We had great days and great horses. He was a marvellous person to ride for - Piggott.

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