"The Biggest Risk is Not Taking Any Risk"
I don't own this superb quote. Sheikh Mohammed said it last night after his horse Dawn Approach won the G1 St James' Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. I think that he is absolutely right. I guess it is my new approach to life as well. Like a line from "The Dish" which is one of my favourite movies "sometimes you've just got to take a risk".
I didn't get to Royal Ascot this year. I was disappointed when I stayed up to watch Animal Kingdom, who will be my 'new boy' at Arrowfield Stud later this year, fade to finish at the tail of the field in the Queen Ann Stakes. He's better than that, and perhaps the travel to 2 continents was overall too much. He pulled and wasn't happy, then faded badly.
I went to bed after that. And woke to the news that the Darley stallion, New Approach, had sired the winner, Dawn Approach, of the St James' Palace Stakes later in the night. The victory, a narrow and hard fought one, followed the colt's abject last placing a couple of weeks earlier in the Epsom Derby. He's a lovely colt Dawn Approach (isn't that a fantastic name for a horse???? I often think horses with great names have much to live up to), and is very like his sire as well if you Google him and look through the Google Images.
We photographed New Approach when we did Helmet for Darley on 5 October 2012, at their beautiful Seymour Northwood Park Stud. New Approach wasn't part of the official brief, but it was important for me to photograph him, and the farm staff were so accommodating about this.
First light? Paddock photographs of a world champion stallion? On the dawn of a beautiful day, with that beautiful crisp early morning light? Is there any better way to spend the morning? I can't think of many nicer mornings actually. I should note to readers that I did not take all of the images below. I could jokingly say that I took all the good ones. But that would be lying, because the fact is that they are all good. And I had my usual help getting the stallion to look the right way as well.
On another note, as readers will know, I am currently taking a break from Facebook (humble, pleading, abject apologies to my Bronwen Healy Photography FB Page follows). But it is amazing how invasive this little program is. And once you step back from it, you notice how much time others spend on it, which makes you realise how much time you spent on it. And it's amazing how much Facebook and the world wants you to rejoin.
What's my point?? I tried catching up on the few Words with Friends games I still have going. Over the past 5 months I seem to have lost the initiative to play WWF even though I always liked it. Now I'm frequently taking too long in between moves, I guess in part because I'm out of practice and therefore sometimes can't think of any moves, and partly because it's no longer habit. So then I get resigned on and therefore lose the game.
But today it took me ages to be able to play a move in the game, because it kept wanting me to log in to Facebook. It made me want to shout back at my iPhone 'NO, I DON'T WANT TO LOG IN TO FACEBOOK!!!!!!
|New Approach (Galileo - Park Express). Photographed at Darley Northwood Park. 5 October 2012.|