The dancing mare could not quite make history. Treve did not win the Arc. Golden Horn did, with a glorious, imperious burst of power, under a ride so audacious that I need new words for audacious. (At one point, Frankie Dettori appeared to be taking his colt for a nice little wander in the Bois de Boulogne.)
Even though I love and admire Golden Horn, and screamed my head off when he won the Derby, I felt desperate for the mare. There is something about great thoroughbred mares which removes all my sense and wrings my heart.
She doesn’t care that she could only finish fourth. She’s gone home to the people she loves, had a good night’s sleep (this was reported by the racing press, in exactly those words), will be let down and then go to stud and have lots of babies. She’ll stay with the Heads, who brought her into the world, and when she is too old to breed she will have the happiest of retirements in the beautiful French countryside. Not too shabby.
It made me think about proportion, and wanting things. I think one should want things. Lassitude and indifference are not very taking traits. Passion is good, surely? But if one wants things too much, and they don’t happen, there is the terrible psychological crash. This is ridiculous, and exhausting. My instinctive liberal mind searches, as always, for the bloody, buggery middle ground. Yes, yes, you can want things, you can have passion, but not too much. Save your strong feelings until you see the whites of their eyes. Don’t fritter away pointless emotion on impossible objects. Can I teach myself this, as I teach myself to be a better human for my horse, so that she feels settled and happy and safe? (Too much jangly human emotion can make an intelligent thoroughbred nervy and uncertain.)
My passions are faintly ridiculous. I don’t really mind that. I’m used to being faintly ridiculous. I think though that I would like a little proportion, before I run out of iron tonic. I used to think all or nothing was rather marvellous. Run at life, as fast as you can. Now I wonder. My poor old mental legs sometimes feel the ache. Perhaps I could learn to be sensible. Perhaps not.
Are from yesterday. A lot of family sweetness and happiness, in the dazzling Scottish sun: