Spears, paintings and nude horses
I don't know much about spears, but I like a nice piece of art.
I have a few artworks in my house and some show naughty bits. But many of these bits belong only to horses in paintings and sculptures so I'm not expecting a protest march.
Of course, horses and their nether parts have been used in art to aggrandise puffed-up political people for centuries. From the Bayeux tapestry onwards, naked horses have symbolised the power and potency of the people atop them.
Titian's 1548 portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, is a great example, with "the prowess of the horse adding to the aura of the rider", as my arty book puts it.
In Titian's painting, there is an enormous spear thrusting out from the emperor's groin - but I must hastily add that this is a real spear, a kind of equestrian lance, not your Zulu stabbing spear . oh crumbs ...
St George on horseback skewering the dragon with his spear was a favourite subject of artists in the Renaissance and baroque eras.
But most of this art was glorifying the human subjects rather than making social comment about lousy leadership, as the pesky modern stuff does. It begs the question, why doesn't JZ get a nice portrait done of him on a horse, emphasising what a big man he is? After all, ET did it . oh crumbs .
Spears faded out of horsey art in time and you got the likes of George Stubbs and Edgar Degas painting racehorses, with no emperor, saint or prez in sight. Stubbs's portrait of Whistlejacket is brilliant, cleverly concealing the risqué, stubby bit behind the stifle.
Pablo Picasso's work Boy Leading a Horse is a masterpiece, even though the horse's modesty is preserved by crafty brushwork and it is the boy in question that's starkers - or nearly so, as Picasso appears to have added a fig leaf of sorts to the spear area as an afterthought. Brett Murray, are you listening?
The picture we're most interested in is that of the photo-finish of the Daily News 2000 in Durban tomorrow. Who will dominate that composition?
Most people think it'll be Jackson. No, not Jackson Pollock, Jackson the colt, a three-year-old that is hot property in racing now and the favourite for next month's Durban July.
This race is seen as a key pointer to the July, even though in recent years not many of its winners have gone on to capture the big one as well.
One that did the double was Dynasty, who just happens to be Jackson's old man.
Also on the Greyville card is the Woolavington, another clue in the July puzzle and featuring July second favourite Ilha Bela. I've fallen for this filly, who reminds me of the lovely grey In The Bois de Boulogne by Pierre Auguste Renoir.
GREYVILLE SELECTIONS: Daily News (Race 7): 1 Jackson, 2 Pomodoro, 9 Shogunnar, 5 Whiteline Fever
Woolavington (Race 6): 2 Ilha Bela, 4 Bambina Stripes, 12 Jet Set Model, 1 Dubai Gina