The white pigeon showed up about four weeks ago. The yard lab Vladamir the Impaler was the first to notice him, of course, and sat fixated on the roof where the pigeon perched, looking out of his element trying to grip the clay tiles that the ordinary pigeons navigated with ease. I pointed him out to Agata, who glanced up and said “It’s God. He’s here to check on us.” It was, after all, just after Pentecost, if you believe in that sort of thing, so the timing would be about right.
I don’t know if God had anything to do with it, but our first two runners after he showed up were both in the money: Grey Falcon was second in Angers and Gorki Park was third at Longchamp. God then disappeared for a few days, and it was probably a coincidence, but Eternal Gift’s comeback race at Le Lion d’Angers couldn’t have gone worse. God must have decided that the food wherever he went wasn’t as good as the stuff he was getting in our yard, so he came back. No one told Gold Knight, though, and he ran a dismal race in Chantilly.
Just after that, God got brave enough to start eating out of our hands. As a matter of fact, he preferred it that way, because the other, ordinary pigeons kept their distance, so God got all the food. God had pretty much settled in by the time Grey Falcon and Hard Way headed down to Durtal, where Grey Falcon ran a good fourth and confirmed he was starting to understand the game and Hard Way ran 6th, a good effort after six months off in a race that was too short for him.
God is getting quite fat now, and I’ve said that if he attains the size of the neighboring trainer’s chickens, we’ll have to eat him. This suggestion didn’t go down well with some in the yard, who argued that he was clearly bringing good luck. We’ll get a chance to see whether or not that is the case on Sunday, when Deep Ocean runs the nightcap on the French Oaks card. It is a pretty good entry for him, and I’ve given him plenty of time to prepare. Deep will the third runner I’ve had on Oaks Day, and I haven’t had much luck so far. Something always seems to go wrong, and I’ve decided that next year, unless we have a horse in the big race itself, I will be watching the Oaks from the comfort of my couch.
But who knows? Maybe God can turn things around. He’s been eating a handful of Red Mills High-Oil Racehorse mix morning and night, and he certainly seems to be doing well on it. He prefers that to the other blends, like Cool Mix for horses not in work or Endurance Mix, which is meant to put on weight. He is now twice the size of the normal, grey-and-speckled pigeons, and he cuts quite an imposing figure, snow-white with red feet and a pink beak. We have no idea where he came from or how long he’ll stay, but as long as the horses are running well, God can keep eating out of the palm of my hand morning and night.