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Horseracing: Where are they now?; Stan Hayhurst.

Byline: GARRY OWEN

IT may have been way back in 1958 that Stan Hayhurst rode Verly Bewicke's Kerstin to Gold Cup glory, but he still recalls events as if they were yesterday.

Now a sprightly 68-year-old, Northumberland-based Hayhurst has long since retired from the saddle but he's kept busy as a well-respected racecourse steward at Hexham, Newcastle and Sedgefield.

He said: "Kerstin was a very straightforward ride in the race itself but she was a real cow of a mare at home and a nightmare to school.

"Cheltenham suited her - she was runner-up in the previous year's Gold Cup to Linwell - and the gallop was always going to be in her favour.

"We ended up beating Polar Flight by half a length and it was a great feeling although it cost me pounds 15, a lot of money in those days, to buy a crate of champagne for the weighing-room!

"The following spring we were unlucky not to win the Grand National in Oxo's year. She was travelling as well as anything when I popped the angle at Becher's second time and we got knocked over by another horse."

Born in County Durham, Hayhurst had his first ride in 1949 and ended up booting home over 300 winners before retiring in 1973.

He added: "The rides had started to dry up but then again I was 40! Things were a lot different in the early days of my career and I had to stop riding for two years between 1954-56 to do my National Service.

"You got a wage from the yard you were attatched to and you were expected to ride out every day and school when required as well.

"As a result most of the horses you rode you knew all about which is not the case today.

"There was also a lot less racing then - maybe two days a week sometimes - and most of the meetings were on Saturdays or Bank Holidays.

"Hexham, Perth and Kelso had very few meetings but we used to love Ayr as they raced on Saturday and a Monday which meant we stayed in the Station Hotel and had a bit of fun over the weekend!

"I rode winners at Bogside and Rothbury and I remember riding the odd one for Ken Oliver and Bobby Fairbairn."
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Title Annotation:Punter
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 2, 2002
Words:384
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