Thursday, August 28, 2008
Dead Heat, by racing expert—and former champion steeplechase jockey—Dick Francis and his son Felix, features one of the great annual flat racecourse horse events (i.e., no jumps) of England. It’s called the Two Thousand Guineas, and, like the Kentucky Derby on this side of the pond, is a popular entertainment for anyone interested in thoroughbred sports.
Out of curiosity, I did a little Internet digging and found out more about the race. The Two Thousand Guineas is a race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and usually takes place in April or, as in Dead Heat, early May at the Newmarket Racecourse in Suffolk, England. It is the first of the five British Classic Races. It takes its title from the first prize awarded, in 1809, of 2,000 Guineas—worth today about £110,000, or $220,000. The purse, which has grown over the years, was £350,000 ($700,000) in 2007.
Above is a beautiful painting by artist Samuel Henry Alken (1810-1894) of a 19th century finish of the one-mile contest.