Not so much a horse race...more a lap of honour.Countrywomen in hacking jackets and surgical stockings dangled precariously from a barbed wire barbed wire, wire composed of two zinc-coated steel strands twisted together and having barbs spaced regularly along them. The need for barbed wire arose in the 19th cent. fence.
And ruddy-faced farmers jostled with teenagers for a foothold in surrounding trees at Gowran Park's parade ring.
The country track near Kilkenny was packed to bursting point on Saturday as the racing phenomenon that is called Danoli transformed an ordinary four- runner Champion Hurdle The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race in the United Kingdom for four-year-old and above horses. It is run over a distance of 2 miles 110 yards (3,319 metres) on the Old Course at Cheltenham Racecourse on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival in March. prep race into a huge, happy, raucous party.
As young jockey Tommy Treacy emerged from the sanctuary of the weighing room, media men and camera crews surged forward in a scrum the faltering Irish rugby team would do well to emulate.
"Tommy, over here! Tommy, can you go back in and walk out again? Tommy, place your whip in the other hand."
Then the cheers started for Danoli as he trotted into the paddock.
And the race itself didn't disappoint Gowran Park's biggest-ever crowd.
Treacy, oozing oozing
exudation of fluid. confidence, took him straight to the front.
Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square, large public square in Beijing, China, on the southern edge of the Inner or Tatar City. The square, named for its Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen), contains the monument to the heroes of the revolution, the Great Hall of the People, the museum of - like Danoli returning this season from serious injury - made his move under Charlie Swan Charlie Swan (born January 20 1968) was a former top National Hunt jockey in Ireland in the 1990s. He will always be associated with the great Istabraq, on whom he won 3 Champion Hurdles. on the home turn.
The startled star·tle
v. star·tled, star·tling, star·tles
1. To cause to make a quick involuntary movement or start.
2. To alarm, frighten, or surprise suddenly. See Synonyms at frighten. crowd fell silent but Danoli, playing to the gallery, changed gears and was gone.
The tumult was almost deafening as Treacy punched the air in a victory salute.
He said: "The crowd was very tough out there. They closed on me a little approaching the turn, but Danoli was only idling. We had plenty left."
Make no mistake, cult figure cult figure n → idole f
cult figure cult n → Kultfigur f
cult figure n → idolo Danoli's fairytale comeback continues to gather relentless pace, a momentum that will sweep him to Cheltenham on a wave of Irish pride and euphoria three weeks tomorrow.
I suspect Corals' generous odds of 5-1 won't last too long. Ladbrokes already have the Irish challenger down to 7- 2, which may well represent good value come the hour.
Danoli's eight lengths victory was, in all truth, only to be expected.
But such is the theatre inspired by Danoli that Saturday's Red Mills Hurdle was a curtain call, a lap of honour, for the nation's most endearing horse whose broken bone in a foreleg is held together by three screws. For trainer Tom Foley it was another proud moment.
And further vindication of his decision to bring Danoli back into full training so quickly after his career- threatening injury at Aintree last Spring.
Although man-of-the-people Foley - minus a tie as usual - trains just seven miles from Gowran Park Set amid the Annerly Estate in the heart of County Kilkenny, Gowran Park is home to the Premier Racecourse in the southeast of Ireland.
The racecourse hosts 16 race days throughout the year with both National Hunt and Flat meetings. , this was Danoli's first visit to the course.
Foley said: "Now we can look forward to Cheltenham this year.
"We have got the run into him that was vitally needed and he will be a lot more relaxed than he was last year." Finding a second wind, just like Danoli, the Bagenalstown farmer added : "It's great to give the local people the chance to see him in the flesh.
"I was very grateful for their well wishes and prayers last year. They have been answered.
"It is unlikely that he will need anymore X-rays on his leg in the next three weeks and all we need now is a nice bit of fast work approaching Cheltenham.
"Danoli was third in last year's Champion Hurdle, but this year things will be different. Alderbrook's connections will go there expecting to win - BUT SO WILL WE."
Fighting talk Fighting Talk is a topical sports show broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live during the English football season. It is a radio version of the American sports channel ESPN show Around The Horn. Its first season aired in October 2003, and was presented by Johnny Vaughan. . Danoli the gladiator gladiator
Professional combatant in ancient Rome who engaged in fights to the death as sport. Gladiators originally performed at Etruscan funerals, the intent being to give the dead man armed attendants in the next world. is primed and ready for battle at Cheltenham, racing's most unforgiving theatre of war, on Tuesday March 12.
Whatever you do, wherever you are, don't miss it.
I've a feeling Danoli has a date with destiny.