Last link to a bygone age and a gentleman who inspired loyalty
Sir Mark Prescott on his fellow Newmarket trainer and friend Geoff Wragg
Geoff was an interesting man to know and the last of the racing generation who was around in Newmarket in the war. If you spent time with him, he remembered the High Street being bombed.
He was very much part of the Abington Place stable owned by his father Harry, and with his father not retiring until he was 80 he did a lot of the training late in his father’s career.
I remember him telling me about being there when his father’s Psidium won the 1961 Derby at 66-1.
Geoff also successfully travelled a lot of his father’s horses, many owned by Gerry Oldham, to Germany and Italy, long before John Dunlop did the same.
He was a true gentleman, very much gentle, quiet and understated, but always a deep thinker.
He was ahead of the game for a long time and very well travelled internationally. When he got good horses he didn’t make mistakes.
Geoff was also never happier than when playing with electric gadgets that he would make. When satellite televisions came in he could turn your dish around to get anything on it – he loved messing around with gadgets.
He also had his own timing set-up for the horses on the gallop.
His staff and his owners stayed with him throughout his career, which is testament to the man he was.
As his owners were breeders we never saw Geoff at the sales until after the Mollers died and set up a trust fund, which John Ferguson managed in the early days to buy horses to race on their colours.
His death really is the end of an era.