Famous last tip

Charles 1 Comment


Felstead winning the 1928 Derby


From a letter by Roger Mortimer, onetime (horse) racing correspondent of The Sunday Times: 

Racing has always contained some odd characters not invariably on the side of the law. One such was John Stewart who, when times were bad, used to do a bit of housebreaking in the Kensington area. One afternoon the flat owner caught Stewart at it (there was no racing that day because of a hard frost) and Stewart lost his head and killed him. 

He was caught, tried and sentenced to death. To his horror he found that he was going to be hanged on Derby Day (1928). He applied to the Home Secretary to have the execution put off til after the race but the stony-hearted individual declined to intervene. 

As the awful little procession left the condemned cell for the scaffold, Stewart interrupted the parson’s droning prayers to advise all present to have a really good bet on Felstead. They were his last words. Felstead won the Derby at 33-1. 


  1. Charles

    I owe my fortune to a dead man’s tip –
    Though I envy not Hell’s demons, for that man sure had some lip –
    But the person I feel sorry for is that condemned soul’s wife,
    For I only bet my house, while her husband bet his life.

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