Exhausted after a tremendous afternoon’s racing. I had a wild accumulator which hinged on two of the tightest of photo finishes, so I was screaming ‘Get up, get up’ and my blood pressure was shooting through the roof. (Luckily, it is historically low, so this may count as an excellent medical intervention.) Stanley the Dog has taken to yowling in protest every time the commentator says ‘Photograph; photograph.’
It all ended well as my brave fancies stuck their dear, doughty noses in front and kept them there for the judge.
There was keen pleasure too in seeing AP McCoy back in the winning enclosure in the JP McManus colours, after their tragic loss of Darlan this week. AP is one of the toughest jockeys I have ever seen in my life. His will to win and his ability to drag himself back from injury are extraordinary. He puts himself through constant physical hardship of a kind difficult for an ordinary human to imagine. But even five days on, that man, who appears to be composed of iron filings, was too distraught to speak of the tragedy.
I must admit, it made me weep. It’s always the most moving when the really strong ones find their voices cracking under the weight of emotion.
Tired too because I actually did social life last night. This almost never happens. It was a tremendous evening, and I roared with laughter and shouted about politics and waved my hands around in the air. I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to be one of those calm, composed people, who speak in quiet sentences and do not shriek and bellow. If anything, it’s getting worse as I get older. Quite soon, I shall not allow myself out of the house at all.
So now I am going to keep old lady hours and stump upstairs very soon with a fat slice of ginger cake and a nice, soothing book.
No time for pictures today. Just this most beloved face:
Last night, one of the interesting people I met was a proper, serious horseman. He is a seasoned professional. Imagine my delight when I discovered that he has a colt he adores so much he actually keeps a picture of the fellow on his telephone. I spend a lot of time feeling rather idiotic about the wild love I have for Red the Mare. It seems I am not alone. Even the hardened pros may succumb. Nicky Henderson, who has been training since I was a little girl, was in inconsolable tears after the loss of his champion on Monday.
There is something about horses. It is a combination of authenticity, beauty, bravery, even mystery. The good ones, the kind, intelligent, bonny, bold ones, can gallop into your heart like nothing else.