Pantomime breaks her maiden

Pantomime won her first race in France at the young age of seven! It took some time, but she bested a field of 18 runners in the Class 3, 2400 meter handicap, Prix du Gazon d’Acheres in Maisons-Laffitte.

Mickael Barzalona rode a perfect race taking advantage of a nice post position at number 10 and overcoming the top-weight handicap. Golden Club, number 17, made the strongest break from his number two position in the gates to take a several lengths lead early on. This proved too much for the 10-year-old gelding as he faltered in the home stretch.

Pantomime proved too much in the end for his only challenger Notorious Imperial, a six-year-old gelding.

The race was run on good ground, measuring 3.4 on the penetrometer, in 2m34s. The winner paid 4 euros for a 1 euro wager.

It was a very good year

Winners for Gina Rarick from the 2018 season.

Looking back

Time flies, and so it is the moment for a quick look back at the year that was 2018. We had 151 runners this past year, and 80 of them came home earning some money; Twelve of them won, and our total yard earnings topped 400,000 euros for the first time, finishing at 410,258. We never have more than 18 horses in training at any one time and started a total of 31 different horses. That makes those numbers something our team can be proud of. We had some sales-ring thrills this year, too, watching Ardara Belle top 200,000 euros in the Arc sale.

Looking ahead

In the 10 years that I’ve been a public trainer, the numbers have improved every year. We have every expectation that the trend will continue in 2019. We have some very interesting horses in the yard at the moment, and the search for even better performers never stops. But nothing can happen without our owners, and this is the moment to say a huge thank you for coming aboard and having the faith to stay aboard!

We are going to put every effort into making 2019 a truly spectacular year for our yard and our owners. As you all know, French racing is struggling and after next year there will be some serious questions about prize money and the situation going forward. So over the next year, let’s take all the money we can, and hope that France Galop can sort itself out so that next year when I’m writing my annual wrap, it won’t be an obituary for racing.

Heading south

We’re off to Cagnes-sur-Mer in two weeks to start the year with a bang, and after that, we have some very specific goals to reach. We need more winners and more black type next year. Stay tuned to see if we can make it happen!

The week that was…

We entered last week optimistic. We had some good chances at the track, the horses in the yard are in form, and Gina had just returned from a successful trip to Royal Ascot.

Things, however, started to unravel mid-week. Mr Chuckles – Arcano and Caribbean Escape (Pivotal) – who is in peak form, was entered in a handicap in Maisons-Laffitte, only to be eliminated from that race. A new entry was found for the following week, but that one started to look complicated for him, so he will have to wait a few more weeks before running again.

Gina, hesitant to run at Longchamp for what are known problems with the track (unevenness of the ground that was not properly maintained during construction the last two years), decided to forge ahead there and so we went to France Galop’s Thursday night after-work meeting, Jeuxdi,  a nice play on French words and marketing effort that did actually succeed in getting a younger public to the racetrack, albeit most of them were nowhere near the racing and unaware that it was taking place.

Ray of Hope – Layman and Risque de Verglas (Verglas) – ran that night, his second race after more than a year off to repair a hind-leg fracture. The jockey who was supposed to ride, Mickael Forest, couldn’t make it because his flight was canceled. With much deliberation on the way to Longchamp, Gina reflected on her options of available jockeys. We weren’t sure that the rules of racing would allow the one she chose to ride, Mickaelle Michel, to take the ride. In the end, the stewards deliberated and she saddled up and did a fine job on such short notice.

Ray looked perfect, and seemed ready to race, but didn’t fire in the stretch. He will try again next week in Deauville on the surface that he prefers, fibersand.

Saturday we headed back to Longchamp to try and get our first results at the new ParisLongchamp, which reopened in April after two years of work to install new grandstands. This day we arrived with Eternal Gift – Layman and Get The Ring (Linamix) – who has won at Longchamp and Grey Sensation – Aussie Rules and Sensasse (Imperial Ballet). Eternal Gift was not the horse that we saw a couple of times earlier this year.  Gina had this to say the following day:

Eternal Gift has earned his retirement. I’ll never forget pulling him out of the box in Newmarket all those years ago (2012!) and what a stunning horse he was. He still is, but it’s now time for a second career. He’s won four races and placed 27 times in 65 races, and given many good memories to four different owners, particularly to Clément Rollin who has looked after him for nearly five years now. Ponito, as he’s known around here, will give someone many years of enjoyment to come. He retires with no health issues, four good legs and a kind heart. We’re looking for his next home, but we will take as much time as we need to find the right one!

Eternal Gift is available to a new home. You can see some photos of him in this gallery. Contact us for more information.

The second runner Saturday was the standard-bearer of the High Street Racing syndicate, Grey Sensation. Like Ray earlier in the week, we went into the race expecting good results, but this time with a cheering block as several High Street members showed up for the event.  

Grey looked every bit the part, but like Ray of Hope on Monday, simply didn’t fire in the stretch. Mickael Forest felt that the unevenness of the surface didn’t help so we’ll send him out again on a track that we know will suit him better.

We hope that we’ll have a winner at ParisLongchamp soon, but we’ll wait a while for the surface to get sorted out before returning to this track. We have other options.

So, what was supposed to be a good week for Ecurie Rarick, didn’t quite end up that way. But as the old saying goes, “That’s racing”.

 

Annex has the perfect answer

Réponse Exacte taking the Prix Mesnil le Roi in Maisons-Laffitte, June 16 2018.

Réponse Exacte was the first winner for the new Avenue Marengo annex of Ecurie Rarick. The Rajsaman filly won from gate to post moving away from the field in the last hundred meters of the race.

The Prix du Mesnil-le-Roi – Prix Rose Royal was run on the day of the Fete des Courses in Maisons-Laffitte. Several hundred people were on hand to watch the French national soccer team beat the Australians in World Cup play on jumbo screens.  But all eyes were on the racing after the match was over.

Michael Barzalona kept his filly away from the rail with his outside draw in this 1100m  (5½ furlong) race but eased toward the rail in the later stages, pulling away from the others.

Réponse Exacte went off as an outsider paying 13,10 for a one euro bet at the track and 16,30 online. Place bets were 3,50.  The going was considered good to soft at 3.4. The time of the race was 1’05”79.

Réponse Exacte is one of 8 two-year-old horses in the Ecurie Rarick annex from Ireland, managed by Lisa Gautier,  running under the colors of Mme Catherine Hassett.

Kicking Off Cagnes

Grey Sensation will debut High Street Racing’s new yellow and green colors on opening day of the Cagnes sur Mer winter meeting on Saturday when he takes on 14 rivals in the Prix du Val Carei. The 1600-meter (one-mile) handicap, with a value of 19,000 euros will be a drop down in distance for ‘Grey’, who will carry co-highweight of 60 kilos (130 lbs.).

Trainer Gina Rarick was unconcerned on both scores. “He’s run well at this distance in the past and the weight will not be a factor as there is only 3 lbs.separating top from bottom.”

Alexis Badel returns to the saddle on Grey Sensation, having ridden him twice before but not last time when he finished a strong closing third in a 1900-meter handicap (one-mile, 1 1/2 furlongs) at Deauville. Grey Sensation will break from the 12 post in the 15-runner field. He was scheduled to arrive at Cagnes sur Mer early Friday morning after a 14-hour van ride from Maisons-Laffitte along with High Street Racing’s second horse, Bleu Astral, and four other Gina Rarick trainees. The fourth race on Saturday’s card, the Val Carei will go off at 2:15 pm (1:15 pm GMT, 8:15 am EST).

Stretching Out

Bleu Astral got to stretch his legs on the straight gallop this morning. Ray of Hope gave him a lead. Bleu worked a little tentatively, but that’s normal for his first look at this track. He’ll start to step up now, working faster twice a week.

Enjoying a sunny Saturday

Bleu Astral with Gorki Park at the Round Poniatowski in the training center in Maisons-Laffitte.
Bleu Astral with Gorki Park at the Round Poniatowski in the training center in Maisons-Laffitte.

Bleu Astral’s workout partner for the morning was Gorki Park. He’s still just doing slow work for the moment. We’ll let him relax and build a foundation for another week or so before we see what’s under the hood on the straight track.

 

Labor pains

The pheasant that could have ended my life this morning chose not to, for which I was grateful. Far away into my own thoughts, I didn’t see him preening alongside the trail until the last second – Hard Way was nearly on top of him, bowling along toward home in a huge extended trot. Too late to stop, all I could do was crouch lower to the saddle and hope he didn’t choose that second to fly off, which would have resulted in me flying too, probably straight into a stone wall. The pheasant stayed put, and Hard Way coasted past – he probably didn’t see him, either.

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