Many years ago, back in the day when I used to write poetry, I penned this poem. I didn't keep very many of the poems I wrote, most of them were normal teenage therapy type stuff, but for some reason I kept this one.
Seeing as how Bracken Ridge features a horse race, albeit under very different circumstances, I thought this was an appropriate poem to share.
The stables were abuzz with people
for today was the Championship race
and all the good horses were entered -
to lose would be a disgrace.
The manager fingered his beard
and shouted "today I'll be rich!
the prize money's four million dollars!
from now on my life will be swish.
Sapphire Rose must pull together"
he said, "we're counting on her for the win;
and you-" he then said to the jockey
"must push her hard - to not, would be sin.
You must keep at her, keep pushing her onwards,
encourage her, demand for her best;
today she must prove what she's made of -
this race is the ultimate test.
Her mother's a champion broodmare
her sire, too, a first-running boy;
she has all the speed in her breeding
and endurance, and strength, but she's coy.
Keep with her, keep her up with the leaders
don't let her get back in the pack,
coming down the back straight push her harder
she'll surge forward, there'll be no turning back.
Just look at this glorious horse here,
all muscle and sinew and spirit;
she wants to run - look at her stamping -
she's got this race won, so don't blow it!
Saddle her up now, but be careful
bandage tightly her delicate legs.
This race is worth millions of dollars
so treat her like you're handling some eggs.
Come here you!" he yelled to the jockey
"If you don't win this race you are dead!
This race is worth four million dollars -
you lose, and it goes on your head!"
The manager just wanted money,
to get it he was ruthless and mean;
it's known he's not beyond cheating,
where there's money involved, he's keen.
In another part of New Zealand
a young girl prepares for the race
she's fallen out big with her family
and to win this would help her save face.
You see, she ran off with her boyfriend
and her family have cast her away,
her boyfriend was once the farm worker
but her father would not let them stay.
He said to them it was 'disgraceful'
to fall in love with each other like that.
He said: "I'm ashamed you're my daughter.
You can both leave right now!" he spat.
This race was a chance to prove herself,
her father had challenged her to win;
the only way to win his approval
was to become the new Champion.
Finally they got to the racetrack
and they checked out who she had to beat -
fast horses and professional jockeys
who would be quick on their racehorse feet.
The odds were not in their favour
their chance was six hundred to one;
Sapphire Rose was the favourite,
she was fast and she loved to run.
She had all the speed from her breeding
her trainer was right by her side,
she had a professional jockey
who was paid to do nothing but ride.
The girl thinks to herself "I am crazy!
I'll be lucky not to come last!"
her horse was not bred to win races
and Sapphire Rose will be fast.
Her horse is a pedigree Thoroughbred
and yes, he has youth on his side
but with no racing blood in his breeding
all they can do is ride.
He was bred out the back on the farm
for galloping up hills after sheep;
he's not used to running on flat land -
his muscles were toned on the steep.
They have no alternative way
to give four million bucks to her dad,
winning this race is their only hope
their situation is very sad.
"All competitors onto the field"
the announcers voice suddenly cries
the girl leaps onto her horses' back
and friskily he shies.
"Get on up Danny Boy," she spurs him
she rides him out onto the track,
they eye up the other competitors
but now there's no turning back.
The horses and jockeys line up in their box
adrenaline runs through their veins
their stirrups are short, they're sitting up high
and tightly cling onto the reins.
The starter gun goes, the horses leap out
they're in a fast sprint in one pace,
Sapphire Rose jumps into the lead
and Danny Boy boldly gives chase.
They're galloping hard along the first leg
they're both nose and nose in the lead,
the jockey spurs her a little bit more'
and Sapphire increases her speed.
Another horse catches up Danny Boy
and passes him on the back bend
the jockeys all pressure their horses -
the best one will win in the end.
Another horse comes, and another,
Danny Boy's dropping back in the pack
but one horse is starting to labour
and soon two or three have dropped back.
They're coming along the back straight now
and Danny Boy's still going strong
he passes one horse then another,
he and Sapphire gallop along.
Sapphire Rose is starting to wheeze
exhausted, she's starting to slow;
her jockey whips her and pushes her on
Danny Boy's still raring to go.
Sapphire Rose has given her all
she just can not run any faster,
Danny Boy's rider gives him his head
and Danny Boy goes surging past her.
Sapphire's manager is shaking his fist
and yelling "give her more spur man!
I intend to win! Push her harder!
Dropping back is not part of the plan!"
Sapphire Rose gives it one more shot
she gives it one more burst of speed
but just as she gains on Danny Boy
he jumps right back into the lead!
The girl has to win so she spurs him
she's after much more than the prize;
the money is not why they're running,
she wants acceptance in her father's eyes.
Danny Boy stretches out further
he lengthens his strides even more
the girl wants him to go faster
so he stretches out more than before.
His lead on Sapphire is increasing
the end of the race is in sight,
Sapphire's jockey is urging her on -
they won't lose without a good fight.
Danny Boy's muscles were toned on the hills
and Sapphire trains on the track
Danny Boy's lungs are big and strong;
Sapphire tries, but drops back.
They're strides away from the finish line
and Danny Boy's a good length ahead
Sapphire's jockey whips her for all he's worth,
Sapphire tries, but stumbles instead.
Danny Boy races over the line
the crowd whistles and cheers for their win;
Danny Boy, ridden by a slip of a girl
is now the new Champion!
For love they overcame tremendous odds
they gave of their best till the last
the girl and her boyfriend can now be together
and this race will soon be in their past.