Beloved General Tufto to lead parade of Southwell racing stars

General Tufto, who ran more than 100 times at Southwell and won 15 times at the track.
General Tufto, who ran more than 100 times at Southwell and won 15 times at the track.

General Tufto, the most prolific and beloved horse in the recent history of Southwell Racecourse, will lead a parade of stars to mark the track’s 30th anniversary of all-weather racing.

Affectionately known as ‘The General’ among Southwell regulars, the 15-times course winner is to grace the turf one more time before the landmark fixture on the evening of Saturday, November 9.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when General Tufto triumphed on his 100th appearance at Southwell in December, 2016 in the colours of long-standing owner John Theaker.

It was the 17th victory of a career that endeared itself to racegoers and punters because of the gelding’s customary last-to-first running style.

Although unable to add to his tally after that, he ran many more creditable races for trainer Charles Smith until he retired after his 218th start, which was that same race as his final win at Southwell. He is now 14 years old.

Mark Clayton, executive director of the course, said: “We are delighted that Charles has agreed to parade General Tufto, who built up an enthusiastic following here over seven years.

“We plan to have six former Southwell stars in total, including his stablemate, Alpha Tauri, who won 13 times on the Fibresand here, and Scott Dixon’s Sir Geoffrey, who achieved nine of his 21 victories here.

“It will be a nostalgic way to begin celebrating three decades of all-weather racing at Southwell.”