It’s a big weekend ahead for French racing, with our European champion Arc day coming up on Sunday. We’ve got visitors from everywhere coming for the festivities, which include racing at Longchamp on Saturday and Sunday, the Arc sale on Saturday night and various dinners and parties around that. Hopefully, we all won’t be too hung over when George runs on Monday in Maisons-Laffitte. We’ll all be there to cheer on Shamalgan in the Group 2 Prix Dollar on Saturday. He’s been staying at the yard for three weeks now and I’m hoping he runs well. His lad, Costia, says his horse doesn’t like heavy ground, though, which could hurt his chances. At least that’s what I think he said. Costia only speaks Russian and Czech, so we communicate mainly by pointing and improvised sign language.
We have a party of 20 in the restaurant next to the presentation ring on Sunday, which should be quite fun. I think this is Youmzain’s year. He’s had to put up with some very good horses in previous years, but if he’s in form, this should finally be his chance to win instead of finishing second. And of course we get to see Goldikova in the Foret, and Poppet’s Treasure, Overdose’s little sister, might line up for the Abbaye. I hope she can avenge her older brother. All in all, seven Group 1 races on the card – a veritable European Breeders’ Cup. What on earth were the British authorities thinking when they came up with the idea of a British Champion’s Day only a week later? We already have a European champion’s day. It’s in France. Be there or be square.