I’m not a horsey person, even though I live in rural Somerset where there are a lot of horses and horse obsessed people, but having filmed at champion trainer Paul Nicholls’ yard, I am totally in awe of the 50 or so race horses he looks after. They are quite simply magnificent.
The pick of the bunch is the fantastic Kauto Star. He is an equine equivalent of Usein Bolt; an athelete of unbelievable quality. Even if you don’t know much about horses, being near him sends a shiver down the spine. He really does have that aura of one of the greats.
So having a chat with him over the stable door and asking him to do it … to win the Gold Cup again … was a privilege. And I do believe he understood, especially when he nodded.
“Pah, Gold Cup, that’s food and drink to me … I don’t even work up a sweat going up that last hill at Cheltenham.” At least that’s what I think he would have said if could he talk.
So the money is on and the anticipation builds towards the 19th March 2010. He’ll be up against stiff opposition. His stablemate, Denman, is not going to give up his challenge easily.
And as for us mere mortals, we get on with the filming, editing and postproduction, so the DVD of Paul Nicholls in conversation about the Cheltenham Festival will be ready on time for Kauto Star’s imperious arrival, and for the punters who will be working up a sweat to see him sweep all before him.