George's father was a jockey and George's father's father was a jockey. It just so happened that they were all Georges, so George rightfully could be called George the Third. Of course, he never used that title because it sounded so very royal and pretentious.
The diminutive jockey with the name of George was originally from a place called Sedgwick on Avon but whenever anyone asked him his place of origin, he just shrugged his shoulders and mumbled,
He had been fairly successful this past season. That was a very fortunate happenstance since his father had suffered a serious injury after a nasty fall the previous year and was unable to do any riding on the current racing circuit. He did the best he could to help out and tended the mounts to keep them in tip-top condition for the very serious business of racing.
On the very first night of the Cambridge meet, George spied a strange message in his stack of personal emails. It was from an unfamiliar female called "Devious Denise". George did not remember ever meeting any female with the name of Denise. Certainly, never with anyone with the first name of "Devious". The very thought of such a name put him on his guard and for no reason whatsoever that he could put his finger on.
Out of curiosity, he felt the compulsion to open the email. George was a gentleman and would never do anything to offend a member of the opposite sex. Of course, that would include neglecting to ignore a communication from a lady. As soon as he read the message, he immediately regretted his impulse to look at it.
Well, the die was cast and things were set in motion that he no longer had any control over after reading that message.
The message had only 11 words but they sent a chilling warning!
"Race and you will suffer the same fate as your father!"
He quickly deleted the message and decided to ignore it completely. Later he was to find out that was a mistake but he was, after all, only a simple jockey with a simple outlook on life.
George's father George was in a very good mood after an enjoyable evening at the pub just outside the racetrack grounds. Some old admirers had bought him several rounds just to hear his stories of past glories. He was a well-known face around racing circles whereas young George was a virtual unknown. The fact that the gifted drinks made him a bit tipsy caused him to persuade a young filly by the name of Queenie to accompany him to his room to see his "trophies". One thing led to another and she was introduced to a lot more than the trophies on his mantle.
When he came into the caravan, George pretended to be asleep in his compartment but he could hear his father whispering to a giggling female who was obviously well lubricated with several pints of beer.
He put the pillow over his head trying to drown out the sounds of fumbling love-making going only a short distance from his ears. It did seem kind of strange to him that his "over the hill" father was making out with the local females and he, in the prime of his life, was seldom in the company of a nubile young girl.
George could hear Prince Mojo, his favorite mount, snorting restlessly only a short distance from their caravan. The beautiful white racing horse was due to race tomorrow afternoon and he was probably a bit nervous before the outing. He wanted to bounce out of bed and run over to the stable and calm him down but it would be unseemly to disturb his father and the unknown female in the middle of their nocturnal pleasures.
He had a special rapport with the valuable animal that seemed to pull the very best effort from the handsome white horse in each and every race. They had managed to come in either first or second in every race thus far. That record made Prince Mojo the highest prize winning horse in the Sheffield Farms stable and George was the leading jockey at this point in the season.
Prince Mojo settled down, the frenzied activities in the next room quieted, and George fell off into a troubled sleep thinking about crossing the finish line on the back of a white horse. He knew it just had to be his favorite mount, Prince Mojo, son of Queen Anne and Mystic Moneymaker. They were both purebreds of great distinction and millions of race enthusiasts had felt the beat of excitement when either famous steed made their move down the homestretch.
The light of the morning sun made George open his gritty eyes early the next morning. He eased out of the caravan not wanting to know if only his father was still in residence or if he still had company.
Prince Mojo was peering out of the half door of the stable watching him approach with keen attention. George could see that he was just aching for some exercise. That silly girl, Josefina, the exercise rider was late this morning. George decided he would ride Prince Mojo to take off the edge before the big race. Josie was a hard working girl but sometimes she liked to party too much in the evening and she liked to get her full allotment of sleep no matter what. He really couldn't fault her for that as it was her only real fault. Well that, and the fact the pretty girl seemed to have an awful lot of male companions.
When he opened the stable door, George saw a white envelope underneath. It had only one word on it. That word was "George". He ripped it open whilst Prince Mojo nuzzled his neck from behind. The message was short and sweet.
"Ride the white horse at your peril!"
This message made George a bit more nervous than the first message because it had the flavor of being an omen. George had no problem with silly messages, but omens were a different matter, indeed. He took such things much more seriously because of his Gypsy blood that coursed through his veins and guided his every action. He looked over his shoulder and crossed himself 3 times before he kissed his little lucky gold coin hanging around his neck. Sometimes he wanted to curse his own superstitious beliefs but was too fearful of the consequences.
He crumpled up the piece of paper and tossed it in the trash bin in the corner. Soon, both he and Prince Mojo were flying down the straightaway at a pace that made every muscle in the huge horse's body stretch with sheer delight to be running once again. He carefully brought the champion mount back into the stable complex before he sweated up too rapidly.
Josefina was standing there looking contrite ready to wash Prince Mojo down and tend to his other needs.
"I am so sorry to be late, Master George."
"No problem, Josie, I enjoyed the ride and needed to clear my head. Were there any strangers around the stables in the last two days?"
"No, sir! There were some lads from the pub wanting to look at the horses before they made their bets. I watched them real careful and they never went anywhere near any of the horses."