Ride like a girl meets Anti-Knife UK

27 Sep

String theory physicists would no doubt have a formula to explain it but it seems that yesterday the story was completed with a most satisfying conclusion.

It all started when back in London in early November 2015,I phoned the founder of Anti-Knife UK ,Danny O’Brien , to talk about knife crime related matters and his upcoming trip to an event in Edinburgh. At the end of the conversation ,I said, “I’ll send you the field for the Melbourne Cup.Pick a horse and I’ll put a pound each way on it for you.”

Back came the due reply ,”Prince of Penzance please”.Not a horse that I knew anything about as I didn’t follow Australian racing at all. I went to Paddy Power in Morden , placed the bet and said jokingly ,”I’ll be back for my winnings.”The price was 100/1.

For some reason I woke during the night so I switched on the radio just in time for radio BBC 5 live to cross live to Melbourne for the running of the Melbourne Cup.

The race that stops a nation in Australia.

Two miles ,where legends are created.

I listened out for Danny’s choice and my own. And the result is well known- Prince of Penzance ridden by Michelle Payne created history. The first woman jockey to win the Melbourne Cup,a race they send horses from all around the globe to win.

And Danny O’Brien had chosen the winner,mine came 4th.

As Danny wrote on Facebook later that day, the only time he didn’t mind being woken up early was to be told the horse he had chosen on the other side of the world because he had visited Penzance had won him a nice amount of money, which would be used to travel to campaign against the rising tide of knife crime in the UK which affects all age groups and all levels of society. A lot of campaigning is done out of our own pockets as funding is scarce .So having dropped by Paddy Power ,collected the winnings and tipped the employee,I met Danny at our usual business meeting place,a coffee shop at Victoria Station to hand over the winnings.

Danny set off for Edinburgh and I looked online for more information about this amazing win. That the jockey had had to struggle hard to get to where she was was made clear in her words which caught media attention.She named those who had given her a chance but added

“I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world.”

And that reverberated with me.That had been my attitude in the seventies and eighties in Australia. Last century.

Surely things had moved on since then .

Not in horse racing apparently.

Move on 4 years. A new film is released , Ride like a girl, telling the story of Michelle Payne,filling in many details the media had not mentioned in their Cup success story.

Yesterday I went with family members to see it and we all enjoyed it immensely.

A gripping tale bringing laughter and tears and much talk that continued over a Pad Thai in the local Thai restaurant.

The circle is now complete.String theorists must surely agree the world is a very small place. Certain themes are universal.A chance event can have surprising consequences.

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