Closing Cagnes

I left the sun behind and headed back to Maisons-Laffitte yesterday, finishing up racing in Cagnes on Wednesday with a nice third from Droit Devant. I didn’t get a win down there, unfortunately, but so far this year I have eight places from 16 runners, which is a decent percentage. Hopefully the win column will start to fill in soon. It was a successful meeting, with good contacts made and horses that have come home fit and healthy. The weather was spectacular, and I hope to be there again next year.

We’ll move right on with the Paris-area racing starting back up, and Elbow Beach is likely to head to Deauville on Friday for a 1,300-meter maiden on the fibersand. We’re racing her on a bit of a tight schedule, but it is the best entry coming up and she’s only here for a limited time, so I’d like to see if we can win one. Strictly Rhythm also will have another run soon. She is probably on her way to retirement soon, but she did run well last time out, so she’ll have another chance while the owners decide whether she will be bred this year.

Milly picked up very well between her two last races, and was only beaten a short way when she finished fifth in Cagnes. She has a maiden over 2,200 meters in Fontainebleau on March 7. I’m eager to get her on the turf and I think the distance should suit her. She’s still tiny, but she seems to be coming on. Deep Ocean doesn’t have a great choice of entries coming up, but I hope to find something on the fibersand, either in Deauville or on the new track in Chantilly, soon. Both of those are right-handed, so he should be happier there.

Droit Devant is back with her previous trainer, as had been planned at the start of the meeting. I would have liked to have kept her, because I think she is making progress, but it wasn’t possible.

Meanwhile, Hard Way and Triple Tonic are getting ready to race. Both stayed home from Cagnes because Triple was recovering from her nasty cough and Hard Way would have been lethal down there, where he would have had to be ridden on the racecourse every day. Both will have gallops tomorrow, and we’ll see how much work needs to be done before starting to look at entries. We also have to bring in It’s Only Money, a three-year-old filly who has been in pretraining and hasn’t yet raced, and King needs to get started back to work after his winter off and gelding.

I’m trying to get used to the loss of the sun, but hopefully it won’t be for long, since the weather is forecast to get better next week. On the drive north from Cagnes, the autoroute passes the “Porte du Soleil,” and that’s just about where the sunlight ends and the clouds begin. Spring is in the air just the same, so we’re moving forward.

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