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Crockford

William Crockford died following a fit of apoplexy brought on by the poisoning of his prize horse Ratan, a few days before it would likely have won the 1844 Derby. When they learned of his death, Crockford's gambling friends were greatly perplexed; Crockford also had a heavily backed filly entered for the Oaks, a second race traditionally held on the occasion as the Derby itself. Were his death to become known, the filly would be disqualified. Their solution? They simply propped Crockford's body up at a window in his house overlooking the racecourse, where, clearly visible to the crowd, it served to discredit any rumors of his untimely demise.

[The filly in fact won the race and the punters were able to collect their winnings before the ruse was discovered.]

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