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Omar's Diary to 18th October 2023

Sport at its very best and man at his very worst

By Alan RussellPublished 4 months ago 4 min read

On Saturday 14th October the Servants and I were able to catch some of the coverage of The Dewhurst meeting from Newmarket. What a race The Dewhurst Stakes turned out to be. It was only over seven furlongs but by the time the pack had entered the fifth the race was over. That was when City of Troy was eased into the front. A colt not normally suited to anything but good going lengthened with only the slightest of urgings from the jockey who didn't have to draw his whip let alone use it.

Comments from the trainer were that despite their best efforts on the gallops at home they have never been able to get to the bottom of City of Troy's energy. Comparisons are already being made with Frankel but my own view is that this sort of judgement should be reserved until he proves himself next year.

One to watch out for in 2024 as City of Troy is already quoted at evens for the 2000 Guineas over a mile on 6th May and in the range 1.5/1 to 2.5/1 for The Derby over one and a half miles less than a month later on 1st June.

After the race Man Servant retreated to the back garden here at Omar Towers to make the best of the daylight and beyond to clear the sad looking detritus of vegetation marking the true end of summer. This was far too much activity for me to contend with and it was rather chilling off quite quickly so I supervised from inside.

Later in the evening Man Servant and I caught the closing half hour of the rugby match between Ireland and the All Blacks. Both of them leviathans of their sport on the international stage. What we watched was exemplary and had us both glued to the screen until the final whistle.

We both thought "It can't get any better than this."

On Sunday we caught the closing minutes of England vs Fiji. For those few minutes we were both totally absorbed in the end to end play that could have flipped the result either way. When the final whistle went England had won in a match as good as the All Blacks against Ireland.

Sadly, as sport is competitive, there are the victors and the vanquished. Despite the individual match results there was were two overall winners. They were sports in general and rugby union specifically.

In the Observer on Sunday following the All Black game Jonathon Wilson wrote:

"Sport in its essential triviality is a chance to let fly the better angels of our nature."

How profound those wards are. Sport is essentially a trivial pursuit in relation to all the other things that are happening around the world both man made and natural. Please note that at no time in history have any disasters been attributed to felines. We have been here for 10 - 12 million years compared to just 300,000 years for homo servus.

Sadly, Afghanistan was rocked by at least three serious earthquakes in its western regions in the week ending 14th October. That tragedy has been demoted from the headlines by events in Gaza. However, Afghanistan did have some cause to be distracted from this disaster. Their national cricket team beat England convincingly in the one day international series currently being held in India. I hope that gave the people of Afghanistan some reason to look beyond their tragic circumstances if only for a few minutes to enjoy that rarest of victories; to let their better angels fly.

The Servants, beau and I live in a beautiful part of southern England. The New Forest almost reaches to the back border of the Omar Estate and the ocean, not that I ever go there, is about a thirty minute drive away. At least it was in the family red thing before Man Servant had the chance to drive a Ford GT40 around Goodwood.

The New Forest is 566 square kilometres of outstanding natural beauty with its heathlands and wooded enclosures. Its population is approximately 180,000 (servants not felines) with an average of 318 per square kilometre. We are lucky.

Gaza hit the headlines two weeks ago and is till the lead on most mainstream media channels both broadcast and published. I don't know enough to judge who is right and who is wrong in this current round of violence. I will leave that sort of thing to those who think they know best. All I do know that there is a lot of suffering that has not been caused naturally and therefore the only way it can be stopped is if those non natural forces choose to do so.

Gaza Strip is 365 square kilometres of land with very few natural endowments. Its population is 2,000,000 with an average of nearly 5,000 per square kilometre.

All so very different from the New Forest.


About the Creator

Alan Russell

When you read my words they may not be perfect but I hope they:

1. Engage you

2. Entertain you

3. At least make you smile (Omar's Diaries) or

4. Think about this crazy world we live in and

5. Never accept anything at face value

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