By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport


SCENE & HEARD: Trainers Allan Jack, 84, and Frank Barroby, 75, have blazed separate trails over the years at Hastings Racecourse but the footprints they’ve created along the way have led to similar ports of call.

They are two world-class horse racing gladiators deserving of their respective Hall of Fame status that they humbly shrug off when the subject is brought to their attention.

The word ‘heartwarming’ comes to mind with their reactions to accepting invitations as Guest Decorators for the $50,000 stake races on our Hastings calendar this weekend.

Allan Jack – ‘AJ’ to his multitude of friends – simply said “I would be honoured” when asked if he would participate in the winner’s circle Saturday for the running of the Strawberry Morn Handicap.

The great home-bred filly owned by Aubrey and Jenny Roberts was trained by AJ and won the first race ever staged at Emerald Downs when the facility opened in 1996. Strawberry Morn went on to collect more than $500,000 in career earnings that led to her induction into the BC Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

Frank Barroby instantly expressed the same feelings when he was approached to decorate the winner of Sunday’s John Longden 6000. “I’d be thrilled,” he said, adding: “I rode against Johnny Longden. He was one of the greatest jockeys of all time.”

Barroby knows all about great jockeys. He was one himself before getting involved in life as a trainer. Frank and brother Harold are in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame as well as the BC Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Frank just last week was front and centre when he was presented with the 2019 Avelino Gomez Award at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto.

To have these two horse racing icons appear back-to-back in the winner’s circle Saturday and Sunday as Guest Decorators is something to cherish. Hastings Racecourse has a rich history in the industry and it is the likes of Allan Jack and Frank Barroby who have contributed in no small way to the big picture.