A funny story…
In 2012 Phil decided to pull on jockey boots once more….13 years since he had last ridden on the track. He warmed up with a 2nd on his own ‘Into the Light’ at Alnwick and then it was all systems go for the famous Yorkshire Point to Point the ‘Grimthorpe Gold Cup’ one of the longest running races in the calendar over 4 miles and won in the past by many grand stayers. In Durham Grand National winner ‘Simply Smashing’ we had the horse for the job and it would be a warm up for a season of Hunter Chasing.
What happened next won’t quite go down in pointing history.
We thought you may like to read about how the race went….lets just say it didn’t quite go to plan.
The Grimthorpe Gold Cup
It should have been so simply smashing….the weather’d been kind for a month,
with good to firm ground and the sun shining down – champagne and a fine picnic lunch.
For months he had been in strong training – that’s Tiny of course; tall and sleek,
but not so prepared was his jockey that day, Phil had jogged for precisely one week.
This meeting had great natural viewing; the crowd was ten deep at the bar.
The trip of four miles was making us smile as we had the best stayer by far.
But if Phil’s legs would last was in question – It was thirteen years since he’d raced.
He would jump off to lead and blunt all their speed by maintaining a very strong pace.
With a Red Bull and two shots of whiskey, and a walk of the old Yorkshire course,
Phil dashed to the loo in his silks of pale blue, while we polished and tacked up his horse.
The crowds were packed round the paddock, but no Colin, as Phil was legged up,
He was sat in his car as the walk was too far – could they win him The Grimthorpe Gold Cup?
The pair had been backed into favourite. We all held our breath in suspense.
In his quest to suceed Phil set off in the lead and made ground at the very first fence.
The gallop they set was relentless, but on going eight clear from the pack –
on his gallant bay horse, Phil took the wrong course -missed a marker clean out down the back.
It made for the most painful viewing and we watched in increasing dismay,
but although they made most and came first past the post – the Grimthorpe Gold Cup went astray.
And Borero was led in victorious, while Philip was left to recall,
how the error he made at the marker displayed meant now they’d won nothing at all.
But leading from flagfall to finish, though no cup to lift high, none could say
that they didn’t impress on their quest for success and were both unsung heroes that day.
And the final word on this matter, is praise for a stayer so fine,
He proved that of course he was Yorkshire’s best horse, when he galloped in front past the line.
Pippa Kirby 2012