Mr Brooks (horse)

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Mr Brooks
SireBlazing Saddles
DamDouble Finesse
DamsireDouble Jump
CountryUnited Kingdom
BreederMrs J R Rossdale
OwnerKevin Connolly
Paul Green
TrainerKevin Connolly
Jim Bolger
Richard Hannon, Sr.
Record22: 8-9-1
Major wins
Gladness Stakes (1991)
Ballyogan Stakes (1991)
Concorde Stakes (1991)
July Cup (1992)
Grosser Preis von Berlin1 (1992)
Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp (1992)
European Champion Sprinter (1992)
European Champion Older Horse (1992)
Last updated on 27 December 2006

Mr Brooks (7 April 1987 – 31 October 1992) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who was bred in the United Kingdom and trained in both Ireland and England in a career that lasted from 1989 to 1992. A specialist sprinter, he was posthumously awarded the titles of European Champion Sprinter and European Champion Older Horse at the Cartier Racing Awards


Mr Brooks was bred in the United Kingdom by Mrs J R Rossdale. He was by some way the best son of his sire, the Australian-bred Blazing Saddles, and the only racehorse of any consequence produced by his dam Double Finesse. His only notable relative was the Champion Two-Year-Old First Trump, a son of his half-sister Valika[1] He was named after Mel Brooks who wrote and directed the film Blazing Saddles after which Mr Brooks' sire was named.[2] He was first trained in Ireland by his original owner Kevin Connolly, and then by Jim Bolger, for whose stable he won several important Irish sprint races. His greatest success came after he was transferred to the Wiltshire stable of Richard Hannon, Sr. in early 1992.[3]

Racing career[edit]

1989-1990:early career[edit]

Mr Brooks won his only start as a two-year-old, taking a maiden race at Leopardstown by six lengths.[4]

As a three-year-old he was campaigned at the highest level, over distances ranging from five furlongs to one and a half miles, but failed to win in five starts, including the 2,000 Guineas in which he finished fifth, and the Derby in which he came last of the eighteen starters behind Quest For Fame.[5]

1991:four-year-old season[edit]

From the age of four, Mr Brooks was aimed at sprint distances, and proved more successful, finishing either first or second in fourteen of his remaining sixteen races. In 1991, racing exclusively in Ireland, he won three Group races, starting with a win over the good English filly Aldbourne in the Group III Gladness Stakes in April.[6] In June he won the Group III Ballyogan Stakes at Leopardstown[7] and the Group III Concorde Stakes at Tipperary ten days later.[8] In all his races in 1990 and 1991, he was ridden by Pat Shanahan.

1992:five-year-old season[edit]

His championship year of 1992 began with a win in a Listed race at Tipperary, before he was sent to pursue his career in England where Lester Piggott became his new regular jockey. He established himself among the British sprinters with a second place behind Shalfoed the Duke of York Stakes and was then sent to Royal Ascot for the King's Stand Stakes (then a Group Two race). The race proved highly competitive, with seven horse finishing within one and a half lengths, but Mr Brooks ran on strongly under pressure to take second place behind the Breeders' Cup Sprint winner and reigning Champion Sprinter Sheikh Albadou.[9]

He was then sent for the Group One July Cup at Newmarket, which was expected to be dominated by Shalford and Sheikh Albadou.[10] Starting at 16-1 he was held up in the early stages before being moved up to contest the lead close home and win by a head from Pursuit of Love with Sheikh Albadou a neck away in third.[11] Although he had appeared to be struggling at one stage, Piggott explained that he had always been confident."He was hanging a bit on the ground... but I was always on their heels and knew he would pick up when I asked." It was Piggott's tenth win in the race, achieved at the age of 56.[12]

For his next start, Mr Brooks traveled to Germany to win the Grosser Preis von Berlin1 at Hoppegarten from the French colt Monde Bleu [13] Returning to England he finished second to his stablemate, the European Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Lyric Fantasy in the Nunthorpe Stakes, again beating Sheikh Albadou and Shalford.[14] By this time he was regarded as one of Europe's "top sprinters", particularly over six furlongs and a bid for the Breeders' Cup was being considered.[15] On his next start he was matched with Sheikh Albadou for the fourth time in five races in the Haydock Sprint Cup and this time finished second to his rival, beaten two and a half lengths. Sent to Paris for the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp, he returned to his very best form, taking the lead two furlongs out and pulling away to beat Keen Hunter "easily".[16]

His next start proved to be his final one. Sent to Gulfstream Park for Breeders' Cup Sprint he was expected to do well by his trainer, especially after receiving a good draw, and confidence was generally high for the British sprinters after the win of Sheikh Albadou in 1991 and the narrow defeat of Dayjur a year earlier.[17] On the day, Piggott was unhappy with Mr Brooks, who moved poorly in the warm-up, and was reluctant to enter the starting-stalls.[18] In the race itself, Mr Brooks, who was always struggling on the unfamiliar dirt surface, fractured his right foreleg on the approach to the final turn. Piggott reported that his horse tried to keep galloping for several strides before falling heavily.[19] Mr Brooks suffered severe injuries and had to be euthanized by injection on the track.[20] Piggott was knocked unconscious and trapped under the fallen horse, suffering several broken bones and a collapsed lung [21] which forced him to miss the next three months.[22]

Partly as a result of Mr Brooks's fatal accident, the Breeders' Cup organisers introduced a more stringent regime of checks to ensure the safety and welfare of horses in subsequent events.[23]


In January 1993 he was named European Champion Sprinter and European Champion Older Horse at the Cartier Racing Awards [24]

At the time of his death he was officially rated 122 by the British handicapper.[25]


Pedigree of Mr Brooks (GB), dark bay or brown horse, 1987[26]
Blazing Saddles (AUS)
Star Kingdom Stardust
Oceana Colombo
Lady Simone
Wilkes Court Martial
San Tares
Day Tripper Bourbon Prince
Double Finesse (IRE)
Double Jump
Rustam Persian Gulf
Fair Bid My Babu
Market Fair
Horus Blue
Golden Horus Tudor Melody
Persian Union
Real Blue Borealis
Blue Mark (Family: 8-k)


1 Grosser Preis von Berlin. This was a Group III race over 1300m which was run under various names before being discontinued in 2006,[27] not to be confused with the Group I Deutschland-Preis, which was formerly known as the Grosser Preis von Berlin.


  1. ^ "Mr Brooks pedigree". Racing Post. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Grim History of the Sprint Adds a Chapter". 1 June 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Mr Brooks". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Kilternan E.B.F Maiden". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Epsom Derby". Racing Post. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Gladness Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Ballyogan Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Concorde Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Results from the 4.20 race at ASCOT - 19 June 1992". Racing Post. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Racing: Shalford favourite". The Independent. 3 July 1992. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  11. ^ "July Cup". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Albadou is upstaged by Piggott". The Independent. 10 July 1992. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Grosser Preis von Berlin". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Fantasy defies generation gap". The Independent. 21 August 1992. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Fantasy's focus on fillies". The Independent. 28 August 1992. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Prix de l'Abbaye". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Rodrigo finds his feet on dirt". The Independent. 30 October 1992. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  18. ^ "Mr Brooks, Europe's top sprinter, destroyed". 1 November 1992. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  19. ^ McGrath, Jim (24 October 2002). "Cup brings back memories for Piggott". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  20. ^ "Death Again Dims Racing's Biggest Day". 1 November 1992. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  21. ^ "Gulfstream may sweep away all except Daylami". The Independent. 6 November 1999. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  22. ^ "Piggott noses back". The Independent. 11 February 1993. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Courses tune in to Santa Anita:". The Independent. 1 October 1993. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  24. ^ "CARTIER AWARDS MEDIA RELEASE". 8 October 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  25. ^ "Mr Brooks race record". Racing Post. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  26. ^ "Mr Brooks pedigree". 8 May 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  27. ^ "Liste der Sieger". Retrieved 4 September 2011.