Crockford’s horse Ratan was favorite for the 1844 Derby. A few days before the race the horse was poisoned. Crockford’s rage and disappointment brought on a fit of apoplexy that proved fatal. This put his gambling friends in a quandary as Crockford also had a heavily backed filly entered for the Oaks, which is run at the same Epsom meeting a the Derby itself. If the owner’s death became known, the filly would be disqualified. They therefore propped Crockford’s body up at a window in his house at Epsom, overlooking the racecourse, where it would be clearly visible to the crowd, who would thus discount any rumor of Crockford’s demise. The filly won the race and the punters duly collected their winnings before their ruse was discovered.