Thursday, March 18, 2010

Silver Buck wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup on 18th March 1982

Silver Buck is my favourite jumping racehorse of all time. He was the best horse around at the time when I was first getting involved in racing. A lovely dark bay, almost black horse with a beautiful head, he was traioned by Michael Dickinson and ridden in his later years by Robert Earnshaw, on whom I had a bit of a crush.

He did not appear in the 1980 Gold Cup, I think because fo a slight injury. This was won by Tied Cottage, who was later disqualified, giving the race to the wonderfully named Master Smudge. Second, was the amazing MacVidi who at 14 years of age, suddenly found the best form of his life and ended up running in and running very well in the best race of the season.

Silver Buck did take part in the 1981 Cheltenham Gold Cup and he looked like the winner until near the end when he was beaten by Little Owl and former Champion Hurdler Night Nurse into third place. This was quite a disappointment.

However, he was back again in 1982, not the favourite anymore, and tyo be honest I had my doubts that he would stay the distance. I decided to go to Cheltenham for the first time in my life and was rewarded by seeing my favourite horse win the best race of teh year against a very strong field of horses, including Tied Cottage, Master Smudge, Night Nurse, Diamond Edge, Border Incident and the up-coming Bregawn (Silver Buck's stablemate who would come second this year and next year take the crown for himself - but I will write about this next year, inshallah).

As it turned out, Silver Buck had picked up a small injury just before the 1981 Gold Cup, which explained probably why he was beaten then. I am still elated when I look back to that wonderful day exactly 28 years ago, also on a Thursday.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup has been moved to a Friday now and tomorrow's race wil be the third clash in a row between the mighty Kauto Star and his stablemate Denman. Denman won two years ago, then got injured but came back to run a good second to Kauto Star last year. Since then, the horse seems to have lost his confidence, while Kauto Star just goes on getting even better. He is the big big favourite tomorrow but who knows what might happen? Time for a new horse on the blaock? Tricky Trickster, anyone?

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