Charles Dickens, the great English writer, was obsessed by inequities of the class system in his Victorian era. He warned against wealth being a measure of morality and was hugely empathetic with people living in poverty through no fault of their own.
Of course, for a keen observer of humanity, there was plenty of diversity, with honourable rich folk and evil aplenty among the poor characters.
Dickens was also reported to enjoy a day at the races.
What would he make of Saturday’s L’Ormarins King’s Plate race meeting at Kenilworth in Cape Town?
ALSO READ: Christophe Soumillon pays a price — but picks up a Golden Ducat
There will be plenty of wealth in evidence at South Africa’s classiest race day, but with the local racing game making efforts to be “inclusive”, attention will doubtless be drawn to the less privileged players, such as work riders, grooms and battling punters.
And Dickens the author, being the very human fellow he was, might be diverted and a tad proud that a three-year-old chestnut prodigy named in his honour is the undisputed star of the show.
Charles Dickens, the colt from the stable of Candice Bass-Robinson, is said to be “home and hosed” in the main race, the country’s premier mile contest, despite lining up against some of the current titans of the turf.
It is the manner of six wins in six starts that mark Charles Dickens and trusty partner Aldo Domeyer out as the biggest racing certainties in a long time. They have sliced thorough well-rated opposition like the proverbial hot knife and block of butter.
Is Charles Dickens the equine reputation too big, too fast? The writer once said: “Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There is no better rule.”
Persuasive evidence is there, but is it enough?
Dickens the author loved underdogs, but it is strange to have to consider stars like Jet Dark and Kommetdieding as mere outliers for Trifectas and Quartets. Golden Ducat, Russian Rock and Linebacker at long odds?
It is the best of times, it is worst of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness…
Kenilworth, Race 8:
9 Charles Dickens, 8 Kommetdieding, 10 Jet Dark, 1 Golden Ducat