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'The Winner' and Two Racehorse Videos!

'The Winner' is a story I wrote a few years ago. It's another word challenge piece and the words I had to use are: cigar, legend, greyhound, private, linen, avert.

I hope you enjoy it!

We visited It's a Fluke and Audi's World today (March 24) and there are short video clips and an update below the story.

Mimi (Prized Spirit) will be joining them at Woodbine in a few days. We're excited that we'll see her next time we go to the track. I hope I'll have a couple of pictures to share with you.

The Winner


He puffs on a fat cigar, his paunch touching the rail, as he peers over the immaculate ponds and gardens. He lunges into his pocket as if he’s just remembered he has his binoculars with him. I can see the holes in the lining of his worn tweed jacket as it flaps open.

I doubt his visibility is good because cigar smoke is being wafted into his face by the gentle breeze, and the sun is so bright it’s making his temples gleam.

The thoroughbreds will soon be making the turn for home. As he follows the ten horses, I can almost feel his sense of resignation. He has had a long stretch of losses. None of the horses he trains has won any money. In other words, not one has come in the top five of any race this year, and it’s only four weeks from the end of the racing season. His horse is running at 50:1.

But this man used to be a legend. It had been rumoured he could communicate with his horses, and that he had an intuitive perception of what was ailing them or what they needed in order to be successful.

But then his wife left him. Almost a year ago I saw her get on a Greyhound bus, headed for Las Vegas. She said she wanted more excitement in her life.

He hadn’t seen it coming.

He’s such a private man, he’s never talked about it, not even with me, but I know that her abrupt departure shattered his world. About the only thing that’s remained the same is the pleasure he gets from smoking a cigar when he’s standing at the rail, as he is today.

He hadn’t been prepared to face a dirty divorce. He didn’t have the heart to fight, so he lost a lot. He moved into an austere apartment close to the track, cut back on expenses, cut back on living. Except that he took to eating as a way of consoling himself—taking comfort in fatty fast foods and lots of cream and sugar in countless coffees. His paunch grew, and his clothes stretched.

The saddest thing is that he has become somewhat of an automaton, rather than the feeling, sensitive, intuitive trainer he had been. So, ever since his wife left, success at the races has alluded him.

I’ve decided it’s time for things to change. I want to stop his spiral downwards, and this is the start. I button up my linen jacket, confident that I’ll be in the winner’s circle in about five minutes.

The horses’ hooves are thundering on the turf, throwing divots up in the air behind them. The beautiful chestnut filly with a broad white flash on her face is taking the lead. I knew she would.    

My father drops his binoculars, so they hang around his neck and sit on his paunch. He pulls the cigar out of his mouth and starts to yell her name, cheering her on, over and over, and almost choking on his words. I’m almost choking on my tears.

I admit I used my knowledge as a veterinarian to dose the filly with something that would give her an advantage. I’m an ethical person and don’t believe in cheating, but I had no choice. It was the only way I could think of to avert the inevitable—my father being sucked into a deeper and darker depression. Something good had to happen. Something had to be done to restore hope and optimism. And she’s a good filly. She’ll do well without my help, once Dad’s back on track, so to speak.

As I smile at the camera in the winner’s circle with my father’s arm around my waist, I have no regrets. The horse looks good, and I know that they won’t detect the drug.

My father’s broad grin is worth the small risk.


Vicky Earle Copyright 2024

Two Racehorses

This is Audi's World waiting for his saddle and bridle before going out for a gallop.

He looks calm here but he was excited about getting out to exercise.

We have to remember he's only a two-year-old!

He did well.

There's a short clip below of him trotting on the training track. The rider is wearing an orange outfit.

My video skills are poor and I didn't get a clip of him cantering.

I blame it on my very cold hands!

Isn't he handsome?!

We're biased, but still!

This is It's a Fluke looking for carrots (Martin gave him some of course!). This was after he'd had a lovely gallop.

He wants to do more and will get the chance to do a 'timed work' of four furlongs this week.

He's a big horse, has a lovely nature, and we're lucky to be part-owners (as we are of Audi's World).

Here's a short video clip on him training on the main track at Woodbine.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Please share!

Thank you.


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1 Comment

Mar 25

I’m seeing an intriguing new side to you, Vicky!!! 😂

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