Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The absolute absolute glory of Sprinter Sacre.

Would really love to write a whole blog about this glorious day, but I am so wiped out, from emotion, and from cantering about Prestbury Park like a wild pony, that I have no strength left in my typing fingers and no coherence left in my addled brain.

It was lovely.

My friend Emma who runs HorseBack laughs every time I use that word, and we have a pact that each moment I chance it in serious HorseBack UK literature it must be stricken from the record. But today, it is the very mot juste.

I did win some more money, which is always handy, and would make my dad laugh, from his spot in the grandstand in the sky. I had Sprinter Sacre in a variety of doubles and trebles with Quevega and Hurricane Fly, so both the Irish and the English did me proud.

But, as always, it was not that which made me cry and brought me joy. It was, as I said to someone earlier today, the beauty.

Sprinter is a very beautiful horse, huge and gleaming and bonny and astonishingly well put together. He is getting the look of eagles, which my mother always says the great ones have. But even that is not quite it. It’s not just that he is magnificent to observe, walking quietly round the pre-parade ring, or cantering down to the start.

It’s the beauty of what he does on the course. It’s the wild, glorious, effortlessness of how he leaps over those fierce obstacles, as if they were nothing. It’s how he cruises past really good horses, making them panic and struggle and look second-rate.

I can’t remember who first said he was like a big black aeroplane. Barry Geraghty, perhaps, who has the keen privilege of riding him. But whoever it was, they were right. He does not run; he soars. He flies like a bird in the sky.

And that is why I clapped and cried and yelped, and turned round to complete strangers and said, Oh, oh, was that not beautiful?

And the complete strangers smiled and nodded, and said: Yes. Yes, it was.


  1. As another - let's face it, most of the Dear Readers are - complete stranger, I am prepared to add my voice to the chorus, yes it was. I wasn't even there, but the TV + your account add up to a very close second, I think.

  2. Couldn't they have made him Pope? I mean, horses have been ennobled before - it's not much of a stretch...

  3. 'The look of eagles'

    Your mother is to be commended for that observation and I shall remember it always. The great ones do not ever quite belong to us, after all, and always appear to me to have at least two hooves in the heavens. Yes, eagles and Pegasus. How lovely to be there.

  4. I can feel the excitement all the way over here.

    What a GRAND two days!


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