Sandeep Gauravaram with Frankel
(Photo courtesy of Sandeep)
“He’s a nice big strong horse and I thought
‘I’ll take him’”
If you read the latest edition of the Summerhill Sire’s brochure, or if you’ve listened to the opening stages of the new Summerhill Sire’s DVD, you’ll have heard what the famous Australian author, Les Carlyon, considers the most compelling aspects of racing: horses and people. “The rest is dros,” he says. The truth of Carlyon’s statement was borne out again this week when Frankel finally donned the Emperor’s cloak as the greatest horse we’ve known.
But there are deeper stories around horses like Frankel (and just about all horses, for that matter). They are a language we can all share; sometimes there are quieter sides, sometimes there are dramatic moments, but there is always a story to tell. Like the one those that manage our Facebook and Twitter accounts have eeked out in an intimate interaction with Frankel’s groom, Sandeep Gauravaram, a one-time Indian jockey who now works for Sir Henry Cecil.
“He’s a nice big strong horse and I thought ‘I’ll take him’ - he stood out from all the others,” says the 30-year-old, nicknamed Sandy. From day one, I thought there was something great to look forward to, something special. He definitely makes me proud - more than proud. He has such a beautiful, long stride and makes it all look so easy. Frankel also has a personality all his own and is a hot-blooded male. He gets warm very easily and pulls his rug off quite a lot, which is quite unusual,” says Gauravaram, who quit as a jockey in India because of injuries and came to England five years ago. “He’s a very clever horse who knows what he wants. If he is hungry, he will drag you over to the feed box. I think he knows how good he is and likes to be the centre of attention. He loves having people around. He’s like a little kid who wants to know about everything. He’s very inquisitive - quite nosey actually. He keeps an eye on everything that goes on.” Gauravaram believes the horse recognises him.