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  Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Istabraq - party animal

The most astonishing news of the week has to be the retirement party thrown in Istabraq's honour.

The bash for the legendary racehorse attracted a host of VIPs, although curiously the mane man had no four-legged friends present.

Owner JP McManus was joined by the likes of Celtic manager Martin O'Neill at a mystery venue in Limerick to celebrate the life and works of his precious gelding.

But how exactly do you organise a party for an old nag? Oh to have been a horse-fly on the wall.


The venue:

JP: Hiya Bono, JP here - I'm looking to throw a retirement bash for an old friend and thought your Clarence Hotel would be an ideal place to have it.

Bono: Hello JP - great choice. Who's the guest of honour?

Keith Richards
Oh no, not Keith

JP: Well it's er, Istabraq, the legendary racehorse.

Bono: Oh. I see. Well I can see things getting a bit messy - so I'm afraid I can only offer you Keith Richards' room.

JP: Nah, you're all right - we're not that desperate.


The retirement present:

JP: Now we've all clubbed together, Isty, and we've bought you this gorgeous, solid gold carriage clock.

Istabraq: Great, just what I've always wanted. I suppose swapping it for some carrots and sugar lumps is out of the question?

JP: Now you're just being ungrateful. How many times have I told you never to look a horse gift in the mouth?


The guest list:

JP: OK, I've invited a few of my friends around, but I thought it was only fair to get some horsey-types along for you.

Now let's see - how about Trotter?

The Osmonds
Oh no, not The Osmonds

Istabraq: No, she can be a right mare.

JP: Dancer?

No, he'll only start horsing around.

JP: OK, what about Dobbin?

Istabraq: Not that old chestnut.


The sounds:

JP: Right then Isty, how do you fancy a bit of Crazy Horses by the Osmonds?

Istabraq: Sod that for a laugh, I'm going down the Nag's Head.

See also:

21 Mar 02 | Cheltenham Festival
07 Mar 02 | Photo Galleries
21 Jan 01 | Other Sports
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