The day Maurice Foster won money after seeing Seymour MullingsSunday, October 13, 2013
By HG HELPS Editor-at-Large firstname.lastname@example.org
The late former Deputy Prime Minister of Jamaica, Seymour 'Foggy' Mullings is not only known as one who got on well with just about everyone with whom he came in contact, but brought luck to others too.
Mullings, who died last Wednesday, October 9, aged 82, touched thousands of lives in his time as a parliamentarian, with many benefitting from housing solutions, education, employment, among other things, from his direct involvement in their affairs.
But he also came up good for former Jamaica cricket team captain and West Indies player, Maurice Foster, who cashed in on Mullings's presence during a race meet at Caymanas Park in St Catherine, nine years ago in 2004.
Mullings had just returned from a stint as Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States, and like punters who love horse racing, he felt compelled to visit Caymanas Park one Saturday. Those who know Mullings well are aware that when it comes down to race time, there is very little that ranks above that sport and only a few things that could switch his attention from what is happening on the track.
Foster, who was part of a KLAS Sports Radio broadcast team, was about to enter one of the corporate boxes at the North Lounge section of the facility, when out stepped Mullings, who greeted the ex-cricketer and other members of the broadcast team and headed to the washroom. A race was about 10 minutes from post time and Mullings apparently wanted to 'freshen up' to witness what promised to be a keen encounter.
Known as one to pick up on rakes, Foster promptly aborted his original mission of speaking with fellow Wolmerian Jeffrey Mordecai, looked at a race programme, saw jockey O'Neil Mullings down to ride a horse, and promptly went to the cashier to place a bet on the horse ridden by the young jockey, called Lester Piggott, after the legendary English master of the pigskin.
It was an anxious few minutes for Foster, who perspired through a delayed start, worrying that the $200 that he spent in the win pool might go up in smoke.
But then the Mullings factor clicked. Held off the pace for most of the race, jockey Mullings put the horse in front with just over a furlong to go, and left the rest of the field gasping from that point onward.
Foster's hairless head almost damaged the roof in his jump for joy.
The horse paid $114 for first place, and Foster was forced to treat the members of his team to drinks, a rarity, his friends said at the time.
That was it for Foster as a punter, and even after he told Seymour Mullings about the stroke of good luck that he brought to him, Foster would not spend another red cent on any other horse, notwithstanding the urging of Mullings.
Not even the appearance of Member of Parliament and race horse owner Derrick Smith could force Foster to flick out his leather wallet again.
And Mullings too had thrown in the towel, having failed to convert the cricketer into a serious punter.
"I can see that you are really not a racing man," he told Foster with a broad smile as he walked back to one of the boxes to continue his deliberations with those serious about the business of horse racing.
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