Osblog 12 – Florida Pearl
8th May 2012
Need two blogs, so much happening. Short sentences, twitter-style. What a weekend.
We know our game is full of highs and lows and life and death. Tiny gap between hero and zero. Unless you are Aidan O’Brien when it is highs and even higher. The Ballydoyle phenomenon is beyond words and is the result of the uncompromising search for excellence every step of the way. The outcome is stunning, particularly if you are competing with them! We better up our game a notch or several.
At the Irish National Stud we endured the loss of Florida Pearl to cancer (haemangiosarcoma). After twenty glorious years I think sadness is the wrong emotion. He was a pleasure to have and he scaled heights few have reached. There had been a false alarm earlier in the week when an incorrect tweet telling of his death caused a media storm. The speed and power of the social media nearly matched the great horse in his prime.
The death of Gray Pearl was another in a month or two of difficult televisual situations. She was a beautiful foal, bought bravely by Larry Stratton and reoffered by Tom Whelan as an outstanding (and profitable) yearling. It was one of the good stories of the race that she was lining up as Charles Hills’s first Classic runner. Then fate intervened and altered the course again.
That Frankel had lit up the same track 27 hours earlier in front of an adoring crowd was meant to mark a new dawn in the story of 2012, and hopefully it is the good news we crave. There were plenty of good news stories from the brilliance of Camleot and the smile on Ryan Moore’s face after Homecoming Queen, to the joy for the Armstrong’s at the win of Mayson. Truly a superb two days of the best of what we enjoy.
The Kentucky Derby was fascinating to watch and unfolded as the analysts had predicted – almost. A blistering pace which was meant to collapse, in fact the fastest ever. But Bodemeister did not give way until inside the last 100 yards and then to just one other runner, I’ll Have Another. The winner won by a neck which is the equivalent of 0.04 of second and Mike Smith was castigated for an “error” which translates to 99.97% of perfection. Who would be a jockey?