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Smirke, Charles James William (1906 - 1993)

Charlie Smirke on Windsor Lad
Charlie Smirke on Windsor Lad
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Jockey (J)

Also Known As:  Charlie Smirke


Charlie Smirke was one of the greatest jockeys of all times but never the Champion. Self-assured and unflappable, horses ran sweetly for him, but he was never on such easy terms with his employers. He fell foul of the stewards too and was warned off in 1928 after his mount, and odds on favourite, was left at the post. The stewards relented five years later in the light of the animal's similar behaviour in India. He also missed the seasons of 1941 - 1945 due to war service, but picked up the threads of his career a second time.

Smirke was born in Lambeth and apprenticed to Stanley Wootton at Epsom in 1920. In 1922 he was given a retainer by Mr Solomon Joel and in 1926 and 27 by HH the Aga Khan III, whose horses were with Richard Dawson at Whatcombe. Later he moved to the Newmarket trainer Victor Gilpin. His achievements on Windsor Lad brought him back to the attention of the Aga Khan III, and thus to working at the stables of Frank Butters and Alec Head. He also had a retainer at Marcus Marsh's stables after the war. He finally retired in 1959.

Important successes:

2000 Guineas
My Babu   1948   (J)
Palestine   1950   (J)
1000 Guineas
Rose Royale II   1957   (J)
Windsor Lad   1934   (J)
Mahmoud   1936   (J)
Tulyar   1952   (J)
Hard Ridden   1958   (J)
St Leger
Windsor Lad   1934   (J)
Bahram   1935   (J)
Tulyar   1952   (J)
Never Say Die   1954   (J)
Other major race(s)
(featuring horses in this database)
Eclipse Stakes  Windsor Lad   1935   (J)

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