It seems my blog has been completely overtaken by events, and like that letter to an old friend one keeps meaning to write, it got put off. Where to start? At the yard, I suppose. Since we’re going into winter and the summer didn’t plan out as I had hoped, I’ve essentially cleared the decks, keeping only horses that will run a winter season in Deauville. Brazil and Piccolo Blue have moved on. Brazil was the biggest frustration of the year, not least because she was leased by new owners who I desperately hoped to offer a winner. She will continue training with an amateur, who will do some jumping with her and race her a bit out in the country. Same for Piccolo, who went to another permit-holder. Rendition will have a break and not debut as a two-year-old, unfortunately. She has had a few minor setbacks and is a very big filly, so will be much better coming back to start racing at three. She is a really nice mover, so the dream is still very much alive with her. We also hope to bring back Hard Way in the spring, depending on what his mid-January CAT scan shows. So that leaves us with: Turfani, who will finish her career in December/January with at least one more win, I think, on the fibersand in Deauville; George (Email Exit), who runs Wednesday in Deauville and will probably run in December/January before having a break; Hi Shinko, a very promising new addition, and Blessing Belle, who has come back into training after four months off for her withers injury. Belle looks fantastic and has grown even bigger in her time off. She seems completely healed and does not look like a horse that’s been laying around for three months. I’m optimistic she can be ready for December. Hi Shinko is a really interesting horse shipped over from England, so the priority will be getting him qualified for French handicaps for December. For the moment, it’s easier said than done; he’s won five races in England and that means he has to run in pretty tough company for the moment here. He debuted last Friday in a D-level condition race in Fontainebleau and had to give weight to a Group 1 horse, which hardly seemed fair. That said, he wasn’t beaten far and it wasn’t his best distance, so we have quite a lot to look forward to with him. I’d be happy enough to run him in a claimer to get qualified, but there aren’t any expensive enough at the moment, so we may be stuck with another tough race or two before we can get serious.
I’m hoping to get another two in the yard for the winter, so we can be racing six. Next week is the big sale in Newmarket, and there may be some potential there.