Friday, August 20, 2010

The sciatica diaries

Lack of blogging is down to me really having very little to say as I have been keeping as quiet as possible in a bid to rid myself of a dreaded bout of sciatica.

Two wonderful trips would have been more wonderful had I not been in such a sorry state but it was great to be part of the Lorna Bradburne/Harry Fowler wedding on a lovely sunny Scottish Saturday a few weeks ago. Dancing with George Haine circa 3am probably did my back no good at all but it was a superb wedding and I particularly enjoyed the chance to sit opposite one of my secret heroes during dinner, Julian Pritchard.

Julian is well known to many as a former champion point-to-point rider. He was forced to give up several seasons ago after breaking his leg very badly. It's clear from our conversation that he misses every single second of the adrenaline rush that is race riding. While my own pathetic riding skills fall far short of Julian's this year has been marred by not being able to ride Panto at all. Well hardly at all. One short ride three weeks ago when I thought I'd seen the last of my back pain proved to me very quickly that that was far from the case and the sciatica has returned with a vengeance.

So I'm pretty useless just now and miss being more closely involved with the yard and going to the races. Most of all I just miss my horse. The bond with a horse you ride every day is like no other. A special trust. I look at Panto every day, currently looking better than he's ever looked in his life, and feel more and more depressed at the length of time that I know it's going to take me to get back on board. But I'll be back.

The second nice trip was to Deauville to cover the August Sale. Calvados and the kindness of others got me through what was otherwise a pretty painful weekend. It was, however, lovely to see the response from the crowd to the great mare Goldikova and while I was sad to see her beaten, to see the prize go to Mikel and Ann Delzangles via Makfi was decent compensation.

It's nice to see horses follow their sires and Makfi's win in the Prix Jacques le Marois was following the example of his sire Dubawi and grandsire Dubai Millennium. The same has happened today with Sole Power winning the Nunthorpe, a race also won by his sire Kyllachy and grandsire Pivotal.

Sole Power wasn't the only 100/1 winner of the day as 'our' jockey Will Kennedy rode a 100/1 winner at Bangor, which will probably go unnoticed by all but his most ardent fans, which we all are at this yard.

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