Harry Wragg : Horse Racing Jockey
After twenty-seven years in the sport of horse racing, Harry Wragg is a jockey that will always be remembered for the way he raced - with complete and utter perfection. It was his ability to hold his horse back to the very last second, before letting the reins drop, and allowing his horse to release his final challenge and overtake the frontrunner that earned him the nickname, The Head Waiter.
Harry Wragg, the Head Waiter, started his memorable career in thoroughbred horseracing by being an apprentice to Robert Weston Colling. Colling was established in Newmarket, and together with John Alfred Dawson Jr and James McKie Bell, trained the famed Trespasser that won the Imperial Cup for three consecutive years, 1920 to 1922. Wragg was recruited by King George V to race for him and in 1926 Harry Wragg moved over to Soloman Barnato Joel, better known as Barney Barnato. And the long list of important racehorse owners that approached Harry Wragg, didn’t stop there. Captain Oswald Bell recruited Wragg to be his very first jockey, and Wragg combined this position with racing for owners at the John Layton Jarvis Stable Yard and for the 5th Earl of Rosebery.
In 1941, jockey Gordon Richards, who was riding for Frederick Darling, broke his leg in an unfortunate incident, and Harry Wragg was approached to replace him. Harry Wragg was also the first option for the 17th Earl of Derby, who recruited the Head Waiter to be his first jockey in 1942. Wragg rode for the 17th Earl of Derby for four seasons, and within those seasons he managed to win six Classics.
In his career as a jockey, which lasted from 1920 to 1947, Harry Wragg had won the Champion Jockey in 1941 and went on to ride thirteen winning horses in the United Kingdom Classic Races. Wragg won the 1000 Guineas in 1934 on Campanula, in 1943 on Herringbone and in 1945 on Sun Stream. In 1944 he won the 2000 Guineas on Garden Path and won the Derby on Felstead in 1928, on Blenheim in 1930 and in 1942 on Watling Street. Rockfel carried him home in 1938 in the Oaks race, and won the same race in 1941 on Commotion, on Sun Stream in 1945 and again in 1946 on Steady Aim. Harry Wragg also won the St Leger in 1931 on Sandwich and in 1943 on Herringbone.
After retiring in 1947, Harry Wragg trained five horses that were winners in the 1000 Guiness (1962- Abermaid and 1969- Full Dress II), the 2000 Guiness (1954- Darius), the Derby (1961- Psidium) and the St Ledger (1969- Intermezzo). Not only was Harry Wragg a successful jockey but he was the only person who both trained and raced Derby winners. Harry Wragg passed away in 1985.