|By Sir Alfred Munnings. Image size 20'' x 16'' (50 x 40 cms).
The painting depicts racehorses lining up for the start of a race at Newmarket. The horses are eager and strong with gleaming coats gliding over their tight muscles.
Munnings has captured the openness and flatness of the Rowley Course, which is used in the Spring and Autumn of each year. Munnings was fascinated by the racehorse and was a great racegoer, favouring, as well as Newmarket, the tracks at Sandown and Hurst Park. He painted a number of images of the start at Newmarket.
This scene was typical before the introduction of the rigid starting gate in flat racing and so the start of a race was often a highly charged scramble much as it remains today in steeplechasing.
‘Under Starter’s Orders’ has a sense of anticipation as participation has been planned for months and is now a reality that in the next few minutes a champion will emerge from all the runners.