Dunshaughlin racing fan presents a piece of art to racing legend Frankie Detorri
A Dunshaughlin horse racing fan said presenting a Frankie Detorri painting to the sporting legend this week was one of the highlights of his life.
Sean Purcell, who made a name for himself creating artwork of famous faces from the stage, screen and sport, added another big name to his portfolio when he got the chance to hand over his play “Enable & Frankie” to the greatest flat racing jockey, Frankie Dettori. at a private meeting in Bellewstown last Thursday.
Dettori was in high spirits after winning the big race on the Trueba formed by Johnny Murtagh in memory of his late friend and mentor Barney Curley, who died in May.
Curley is famous in racing folklore for pulling off the Yellow Sam coup that took place in Bellewstown in 1975, which involved blocking the only public phone booth on the track.
As a result, it was arranged that Gannons City Recovery and Recycling Services Ltd. Supporting DAFA Handicap would be organized to raise funds for Direct Aid For Africa, a Curley charity established to support disadvantaged people in Zambia.
Purcell, who uses art to recover from chronic pain, described what it was like to meet your hero. He said:
“I heard a few weeks ago on ‘At The Races’ TV that Frankie was coming to Barney Curley’s fundraiser for DAFA. I knew this was a small window of opportunity to produce a painting perhaps worthy of Frankie’s signature.
“I am passionate about horses and I wanted to paint“ Enable ”an exceptional filly with a very illustrious career by winning eleven victories at the first level of group one including two in the Arc, the richest race in Europe.
“In Frankie’s own words” one of the great mares of our generation “.
“Bellewstown Racecourse General Manager Kevin Coleman was instrumental in organizing this private meeting for which I am very grateful.
“This week, 25 years ago, Frankie achieved the impossible by winning all seven races on the map now known as the ‘Magnificent Seven.’ Thinking that Frankie at 50 still achieves that level of success on the flat today compared to young runners is amazing.
“Finally meeting Frankie in person after following him for many years was a poignant moment, a highlight of my life.
“He was so generous with his time, meeting me and signing my painting, a total gentleman.”
After winning the race on Johnny Murtagh’s Trueba, the crowd was eager to see his famous flying descent and as a true showman he did not disappoint according to Sean who said:
“The crowd was thrilled when he did that; it was an unforgettable day that I will always cherish.
Frankie Detorri isn’t the only horse racing legend the Man from Meath has had the pleasure of meeting in the past. Recalling, he said:
“Through running circles, I have been fortunate to have met Ruby Walsh, Tony McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald, Paul Carberry and Barry Geraghty among others over the years.”
“Before my illness I used to run a bit here in Ireland and the UK. I love the atmosphere during a race and I really admire the dedication of the jockeys knowing the sacrifices they make. “