Basil Foster was Davy Jones' mentor in racing, and was considered to be his second father.-link

He passed away on April 11, 2013.

Davy's YouthEdit

(from above link)

"The pair first met 50 years ago and Jones said: 'My father used to take me to Manchester racecourse and suggested that when I left school, because I didn't have the height, the size or capacity to do a carpentry or plumbing apprenticeship, I should try racing. 

'We actually contacted the Manchester Evening News who put us in touch with Basil in Newmarket.' 

By then, Jones's acting talent had already begun to show and he'd appeared briefly in a 1961 episode of Coronation Street, playing Colin Lomax, the grandson of Ena Sharples, But Jones also wanted to star on the Turf. 

Bob Hop beneficiary: Jeremy Glover got Jones' cast-offs

'I spent six weeks with Basil after I'd left school earlier than I should have done, in December 1961, and went to work for him as an apprentice,' he recalls.

'I was galloping up Warren Hill after only a few weeks and loving every minute of it. Being a cocky kid, I even went into the stable lads boxing championship. I got a good walloping from Taffy Thomas – that was an awakening – and now I can honestly say that I'm all mouth and trousers!' 

Former trainer Jeremy Glover was also apprenticed to Foster at that time and remembers Jones was never backward at coming forward.

Glover recalled: 'We lived in a caravan up the yard for six months. It was evident that Davy was always going to be a star.

'We used to go down to the Bob Hop at the Memorial Hall in St Mary's Square. It was a shilling to get in and Davy was always up on stage singing. He used to attract the girls and I used to get his cast-offs. 

'He wasn't a great judge though, because his cast-offs were invariably better looking!'

It was clear to all, including fellow apprentices Keith Beason (now a saddle-maker in Tampa) and Gary Cooper (who went on to become the leading jockey in Ohio for many years), that the footlights rather than furlongs would be the more beneficial career path for their young friend, and they were proved right. 

Jones said: 'After four or five months, a theatrical agent who knew Basil spent the day shooting with us. In the car on the way home Basil mentioned that I was in showbusiness. I had that confidence and had spent all day cracking jokes.' "

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Jessica Jones' (Daughter) Facebook Post 4/11/13:

Goodbye for now, Basil . . .Even when Dad was in his 60's and Basil in his 80's they still got up to antics with the horses. Basil remained the Governor and Dad the apprentice through out their lives together! One day Dad took Basil up to the stables and while they were there Dad asked Basil's advice about a difficulty he was having with a youngster. Basil's advice was that the young horse needed to " Go Back to Basics " as we say in the horse world. Basil prescribed long reining for the flighty mare which involves 2 long ropes being set either side of the horse from the bridle and you drive them from behind using the ropes gently to guide them.

Dad got out the long reins and attached them to the mare and he attempted to begin the training under Basil's supervision. The little mare had clearly never had the basics and was rather confused by the process. Dad tried his best and Basil continued to shout instructions at Dad from the side-lines apparently to no avail. Basil became frustrated by Dad's " Technique " and resumed his " Governor " role as he would have done when Dad first became his 13 year old apprentice over 50 years before . . .

He stomped over to Dad snatched the reins and said " For Goodness Sakes (or words to that effect ) David you need to do it like this . . ." With that the young mare they were handling decided that these 2 little men had pushed her too far and took off at full gallop! 

Basil kept hold of the reins and was dragged along behind her like a balloon in the Breeze . . .Dad shot after them shouting " Basil Let go you bloody fool ". Basil who had only become more stubborn in the last 50 years refused to let go until the mare gave in and she dragged him around the 3 acre field. She finally stopped and Dad went rushing over to his Governor who was covered in Florida dust and had a bloody nose and fat lip and much to Dad's relief nothing more serious! 

Basil who was still lying prostrate in the dirt clinging to the reins looked up at Dad and said " Now that's how you long rein a horse David ". Dad fell to the floor laughing till tears streamed down his face and then Basil got up like nothing had happened and resumed the long reining lesson all be it with a slight limp!

There was an incredible photograph in Basil's room of him as a young man sitting on a huge horse that was rearing right up into the air . . .I think Basil would like to be remembered like this!

God Bless Basil for taking my Dad in when he was a little 13 year old boy grieving for his mother. Learning to ride and being with the horses helped to heal Dad and empowered him to have the confidence he needed to go out into the world let his talent shine . Dad did not want to leave the stables but Basil told him he had to go and use his talent and one day he could buy horses of his own and come back to the stables with Basil. 

Basil had the instinct to recognise Dad's talent even when he was just a little boy in Newmarket which is a far cry from the bright lights of Hollywood! He gave Dad the wings he needed to fly and set him up with his first role on Broadway which led to his career in the Monkees. Every Daydream Believer out there has a lot to thank Basil for. May he rest in Peace x x x


"Doncaster-born Foster started his training career in 1955 at Rectory Farm in Enfield before moving to Newmarket's Lansdown House, which was renamed Holland House in tribute to his first winner, Joe Holland. 

Foster 'can't remember' the number of winners he had at Newmarket, or later at Lambourn and Middleham, before emigrating and training in Canada and later in Florida, but he says: 'I know I had a good time and trained a lot of winners, mainly over jumps."

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