As most of you already know, Blessing Belle came home the best of 20 runners at St. Cloud yesterday. We weren’t the only ones surprised as she paid 48-1 for the win. Needless to say, my loyal railbirds were a little annoyed at not being tipped off, but I really did not expect her to do what she did. As I told our jockey Theirry Thulliez before the race, we knew she had the ability, it was just a question of whether she would use it. All I did know is that I expected he would have more in hand yesterday than in the previous race at Longchamp, because Belle seemed a bit stronger physically (I know this from the motivated way she spun round to try to kick me in her box the other day). He was forced to go to the lead about 800 meters into the 2,400 meter race, because the pace was absolutely crawling. I was worried when I saw her in the lead, but she stayed there and fought on in the stretch to pull away from the field by two lengths at one point before Thulliez let her relax a bit to the post. (Note to my American readers: The point of racing in France is to simply win the race, not to flog your mount into ground beef to win by as many lengths as possible, thereby ruining not only your horse’s morale and the public’s good will, but also the horse’s handicap mark.)
Belle’s owners and a good group of friends were there, some of them seeing her race live for the first time, so she couldn’t have picked a better time to find an extra gear. She came back well and recovered very quickly. I’m not sure what her next target will be, but we will certainly try to time it around her reproductive cycles, because she seemed to not be in season yesterday, which surely helped matters.
Next up, Timelord tomorrow in Chantilly, followed by Rapsodie on Tuesday in Maisons-Laffitte. We’ve now got two wins and five places from 18 starts this year, which isn’t too bad. We’re going to try to keep it up.