Luckily, today there is no horse with whom I am in love. The emotion is too exhausting. Yesterday, my heart almost broke when little Integral inexplicably started going backwards instead of forwards half-way through her race. I was almost torn in two between admiration and affection for Dermot Weld and Free Eagle, and my old, enduring love for The Grey Gatsby. For one breath-stopping minute, I thought they had dead-heated, almost a dream result. In the end, I was glad it was Free Eagle who stuck his brave head just in front. I said yesterday he was a dark horse; that is because he kept having training problems and not appearing on the track. They all thought he was a champion, but then he would get something as entirely unstellar as a ‘head cold’ and stay at home, leaving everyone to wonder how good he really was.
Yesterday, he showed that he was very good indeed.
Today starts with some speedy two-year-olds who might glitter and shine, and then later in the day, the mighty stayers in the Gold Cup. I am nearly in love with Forgotten Rules, but not yet, quite. I don’t know him well enough. I’m not a complete slapper; you need to take me on more than one date. Funnily enough, my old friend of the day is dear old Simenon, who loves it at Ascot and has run some astonishingly brave races in defeat. He’s getting on now, and he’s had his problems, but for old love and loyalty, and because it’s Willie Mullins, I think he’s worth a little bit each way. Forgotten Rules could be one of the great ones, but he has never been this far and he likes a bit of give in the ground. I’d rather love him to dazzle, but my head says that it’s a mountain to climb.
I won’t be yelping and howling so much today. Or at least, that is my plan. I’m going to take iron tonic instead of Guinness and calm down. I shall need all my resources, because tomorrow is Tiggy Wiggy, a flying filly I love so much she makes me cry. And there is still Saturday to go.
Luckily, the duchess was stateliness itself this morning, as if sensing that I needed a moment of stillness and sanity in the middle of the hurly burly. We wandered about on a loose rein and I thought calm thoughts and looked at the trees. It really was very lucky that she did not live up to her pedigree. If she had been as good as her ancestors, they would have sent her to stud and we would never have met and she would not hang around outside the shed practicing for the Standing Still Olympics.
Some quick calming pictures: