Panel 1 Detail
The Original Oil painting by D.M.Dent. The highly renowned Architects and Interior Design company Sampson Associates commissioned a piece for the pub 'The Fellow' in King's Cross London for Geronimo Pubs. Because it was a pub they wanted canvas prints so the number 1 of the edition is displayed in the pub on a large scale.
Artist David however retained the original as a focus for the Save Kempton Park Campaign by highlighting one of the great races.
The brief from the client was to get the atmosphere of the races with risque goings on in the crowd and period fashions. This was difficult as there is virtually no photographic reference of either the race or the crowd on the day, so it is all imaginary. So....that led to considerable artistic license and plenty of fun in capuring the spirit of London's racecourse at its busiest on boxing day in the early 1990's.
The race was won by French raider The Fellow trained by the Doumen family, from a top class field including that year's Gold Cup winner Norton's Coin, and second Toby Tobias, The Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Remittance Man, dual Martell Cup winner and Whitbread winner Dockland's Express, the popular Sabin du Loir ridden by champion jockey Peter Scudamore, and of course the mighty Desert Orchid.ridden by Richard Dunwoody.
The scene was set for a fabulous contest and there was drama as Sabin du Loir and Desert Orchid came down at the third last. The Fellow took it up and won from Dockland's Express and Remittance Man in a thrilling finish.
PANEL 1 DETAIL The narrative of the race with the riderless Desert Orchid galloping to applause of the crowd in his last race is condensed for dramatic effect as the race reaches its conclusion though he was actually 20 seconds behind.
In the crowd we see a bending lady on one side having her bottom slapped with a whip by jockey Graham Bradley (who wasn't actually riding at that meeting but did the following year in the Stewart-Brown colours but the artist put him in as he has the bad boy image; as does Steve Smith Eccles who is also pictured in Halkopuos colours who did run that day. Also hinted at are Richard Pitman, Kim Bailey, Nicky Henderson and the Doumens, Peter O'Sullevan and owner the Marquesa de Moratella , with bookie Steven Little and even John McCrirrick in the far distance. A French tricolour flies high in the crowd.
In the foreground is a lady the artist once met whose couture mouton fur coat was a gift from her husband won from one of Desert Orchid's victories in the same race. We see a smartly dressed gentleman with his hand on her leg clutching a victorious betting slip with £500 on The Fellow as she lights a customary after race cigarette. This is reflected on the far side as another punter punches the air his victory cigar already lit. In the foreground we see a cheeky young man in a tweed shooting jacket hold mistletoe above the glamorous sexy wife of her older husband distracted by the race through his binoculars. She smiles and you must decide what happens next. In the sky swans and other birds reliant on the lakes at Kempton fly and on the track Peter Scudamore and Richard Dunwoody rise to their feet. Both horses and riders were unhurt.