Winners, sinners and life as a £100m super-stud

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CONGRATULATIONS first off to Champion Jockey Richard Hughes who landed his first title at Doncaster at the weekend.

He won it at the age of 39 with 172 winners, including his own Magnificent Seven at Windsor on October 15.

He gave everyone a month’s start by picking up a ban up in India but his spells of intense consistency thoughout the season were enough to land him the jockeys’ crown at last.

Now on to far less tasteful matters.

When you first see it you can’t believe your eyes.

An attack so pre-meditated and violent that it should be restricted viewing.

But once you’ve watched it you’ll want to see it again to prove you don’t need new glasses.

It’s a ‘tackle’ by Eddie McCreadie of Chelsea on Johnny Giles from a Division One game back in 1964.

The video clip been posted the BBC Match Of The Day archive ahead of the clubs up-coming clash in the Capital One League Cup at Elland Road.

See it here one minute and seven seconds into the clip: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00h1gkz

The rivalry between the two came to a head in the FA Cup Final replay at Old Trafford in 1970, a match infamous for its brutal thuggery.

But the hatred had already been going on for years by then.

This assault by McCreadie has to be a retaliation for something Giles had done in the past. Giles tore knee ligaments in the challenge and McCreadie hurt himself because he kicked the Leeds midfielder so hard.

The amazing thing is that the referee was standing only five yards away when the boot went in and he saw everything - or appeared to. All he did was give a free-kick.

The ‘tackle’ was so late that all eyes were following with ball as Giles was scythed to the ground in a twitching heap of agony.

If it happened today 24 cameras would have every angle covered and the full horror exposed to the TV millions before Giles was on the stretcher.

McCreadie would be looking at a ten-match ban - at least - and the referee wouldn’t get another game for six months.

The good old days eh, don’t you miss ’em?

Leeds and Chelsea meet again in the League Cup next Wednesday at Elland Road and it could be argued that it’s mischievous of the BBC to post the video at such a sensitive time.

Haven’t they got enough to worry about at the beeb without stirring up old football rivalries unnecessarily?

If you think top footballers are pampered and over-protected these days, consider the case of super-horse Frankel.

He’s at stud now, bless him, siring mares as fast as they can get them to him, at Banstead Manor, near Newmarket at £145,000 per servicing.

One of the most popular and best horses in racing history, Frankel, after his phenomenal 14-win career, is taking his star quality into the stable.

And it’s becoming a bit of a handicap. Frankel is valued at an unbackable £100 million these days - a sum so vast that owner Prince Khalid Abdullah is having trouble insuring him against infertility and mortality.

Regular insurers are not willing to take the whole risk and his owners are having to lay off some of the cover to shipping insurers who are better equipped to handle such vast sums.

Now THAT’S the big time.