Funeral service for Jules Miller today

By Glen Mohammed

THE FUNERAL service for Emmanuel Alpha “Jules” Miller, who was discovered dead by Arima Police on Christmas Eve (December 24), will be held today. He died from heart failure.

 Miller, who saddled winners at all the racing venues—Union Park, Queen’s Park Savannah and Santa Rosa Park—won the 1,800-metre Carib Brewery Guineas, the first leg of the Triple Crown series, on Indian Arrival Day (May 30) 2009 with Santa Rosa Boy at odds of 80/1, with Neptali Ortiz aboard for owner David Mahabir.

His funeral service will be held at Allen’s Funeral Chapel, Arima at 1 p.m.

Miller, 58, whose pet name was “Jude” according to his sister, Selma Miller-Joefield, was probably mispronounced by paddock people, and she thinks that is how he got the name Jules from the paddock.

Miller-Joefield added: “He was the (elder) of two children and is survived by three daughters—Natasha, Felicia, and Nisa—and four grand children: Jadyn, Damon, Nikita and Chelsea.

The Tobago-born Miller, who lived in Canaan, came to Trinidad as a teenager, Miller-Joefield said.

 “I really do not know how he got involved in horses, because my mother tried him in the electrical trade, and he just gravitated to horses.”

“Loderick Stephen,” she also remembered, “a very close family friend who was involved in horses, probably had an influence on Jules getting involved in the sport.” 

Bernadine Noel, Miller’s aunt, remembered Jules as a very private person.

She said, “He was a disciplinarian, and loved his grandmother “Coy” (pronounced as Ky), which was her pet name. He was never a failure, he was a survivor.”

Joe Hadeed former trainer, who was training horses when Miller started his career at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, said: “I knew Jules all his working life in racing. He started off as a lightweight (apprentice groom) with the late Elton Harper, and then was his assistant (trainer).”

 “All my life I knew him, and then he decided to train, and did well. His horses looked good, and (he) was big asset to Elton. He was now establishing himself as a trainer, and it is very sad. He has done nothing else in his life but racing.”

At the time of his death Miller had several horses in training, and one of his charges, King Of Siberia—entered on the recent Boxing Day card—was touched off by Chase The Dragon in a stretch duel close to home.

The industry also lost owner/breeder Margaret Bovell, wife of George Bovell, a former Trinidad and Tobago Racing Authority (TTRA) chairman and grandmother of national Olympic swimming bronze medallist George Bovell III, during the Christmas holidays.

Another blow to racing was the loss of former groom James “Jimmy” Butcher, who died on Christmas morning at age 57. Butcher, whose nephew David Butcher was named champion apprentice of the 2013 racing season, last worked at Santa Rosa Park with trainer Glenn Mendez.

He conditioned horses such as Windjammer when racing was centralised. A stroke cut short Butcher’s career, which started at Queen’s Park Savannah.

He looked after the undermentioned horses: Boston Blackie (trained by Steve Ammon), Rocket Man (2nd 1985 Trinidad Derby), Prince Of Wales (3rd 1986 Trinidad Derby & 1st 1985 St James Stks), Black Jack (won with him [maiden] backend of 2 y.o. season in 1985  up to early 3 y.o. campaign), Tune In Time (as a 2 y.o. backend and up to maiden score early in his 3 y.o. season), Prince Charlie, Mister Morgs (as an older horse, 1983), Chantaco (B class imported sprinter 1985), useful importations Sea Ruler and Worthy Pleasure (for the late Cyril Arneaud) in the early 1980s.

Another notable owner, who recently passed away was Horatio Thorpe, who owned creole Bright Spark, one of the leading three year olds in the classic 1983 season.

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