Monday, 18 June 2012

Frankel

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I am going to attempt a little mobile blogging, because there shall be so much to tell you. Sadly, no pictures though. You shall just have to paint mind pictures of Red and the Pigeon until I return to my desk.

I sit in the lovely London flat of a generous relation, hardly able to believe that only fourteen hours ago I was sitting with my mare in her damp Scottish field. In my absurdity, I had to rush up to say goodbye before catching the train south. She was lying down when I arrived, dozing. I know I bang on about it all the time, but horses are flight animals; it is very, very rare for them to lie down in the presence of a human. Often, they do not lie at all, but sleep standing up, their heads lowered, one eye flickering, just in case of predators.

I walked in very softly, not wanting to disturb. She was not disturbed. I sat down next to her in my London kit, and gave her some nuts, and stroked her dear white face. She was still lying there, contemplating the universe, when I left.

Tomorrow, there shall be another wonder horse, of quite another kidney. Frankel is so wild and majestic that he has been known to trash his box, pulling the manger off the wall, turning his rug inside out. Someone has to go and check on him at ten at night, to make sure he has not been up to his emperor's tricks. No dopey lying down for him.

I've written about Frankel so often that I scrape the barrel for superlatives. His bald figures are enough: never beaten, top-rated horse in the entire world. The not being beaten thing is extraordinary enough on its face. Even the best horses have an off day. Sometimes they don't get the luck in running; the ground might not be right; the jockey may make a tactical mistake. The mystery of the thoroughbred is such that racing people have a good, honest expression for it. They say: he just did not run his race. No one knows why.

Frankel always runs his race. He runs it with such power, such exuberance, such glory and joy that he puts himself into a category all his own. His dancing, raking stride eats up the turf, making fine horses look ordinary. He has a singularity, a fired determination, a straightness in running that makes watching him feel like poetry. It is elemental, and beyond mere prose.

Tomorrow is the first time I shall see him in the flesh. It is the first time I shall hear the roar, sense the crack of electricity in the air. Usually, when a horse I love goes out to do his thing, I hedge the race about with caveats. Anything can happen in racing, I say. This time, I have no caveats. If Frankel gets beat tomorrow, I shall eat my hat. Which shall be fatal, since I only have one hat.

He is the reason that I have travelled five hundred miles, even though I hate to travel. He is the reason I have left my dear little Pidge with The Mother, and left my gorgeous mare dozing in her field. He is the reason I shall put on my damned hat.

I am very, very lucky to be alive to see him. He is one of the few we shall all remember, when we are old and crabbed.

If you are near a television at two-thirty tomorrow, switch on BBC1. Unless something very terrible happens, you shall see history. You shall see a king, in all his glory and pomp. Let us hope the hat goes in the air, where it belongs.

5 comments:

  1. Have a *WONDERFUL* time!
    (it calls for capitals and exclamation mark)
    Oh my your photos of the girls yesterday were so very beautiful.
    Anne.x

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  2. Have a great time ~ and good luck to Frankel. Will be watching ~

    Bird
    PS Are you staying all the way to Saturday for Black Caviar too?

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  3. Hope it is every bit as you anticipate. Go Frankel! xx

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  4. Go Frankel, Go! Go Tania Go! :)

    Hope you have a FABULOUS break. :)

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  5. Just heard him described over the Tannoy at Ascot as The Frighteningly Phenomenal Frankel. The Husband humphed at the attempt at alliteration and decided Fucking Fast Frankel would have done...

    I just keep hearing this in my mind's ear. Can we also dedicate it (the verse especially) to Red?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaV-6qerkqI

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