Deep Ocean won easily in Lyon yesterday, paying an incomprehensible 26-1. I had thought he would have a good chance, but all of the handicappers in the media put us in the “outsider” category. No matter; people who know the horse (or read my blog) had themselves a nice bet.
Deep had everything going for him: The entry was good, it was a right-handed track where he had performed well in the past, and he was coming off a month’s rest after Cagnes-sur-Mer. We had a nice outside draw, and Deep settled in the rear third of the pack and galloped relaxed through the opening quarters. He started to move up in the final turn, moved out of the pack at the head of the stretch and never looked back. He won by four lengths, which is a beautiful thing to see, except that it was a handicap, and those four lengths will now cost us at least three kilos in weight next time out. If he had won a little less decisively, we might have gotten away with two. But winning well is better than not winning at all, and everybody’s happy.
He came home a bit sore, which is normal considering the amount of arthritis in his hocks, but he had an aspirin with dinner last night and was walking fine today. He’ll be ridden out tomorrow and we’ll take it relatively easy for a bit. It won’t be too easy to find his next race, because I need a 2,000-meter right-handed race on the fibersand or on perfect, good-to-soft turf. Unfortunately, nothing is jumping out of the calendar at the moment. In any case, he’ll tell me when he’s ready for another run.
Elbow Beach has the next entry, in Fontainebleau on March 30, but I’m unlikely to run there. She’s still not quite where I want her in her form at home, so we’ll probably wait for Maisons-Laffitte in April. The next runners are likely to be Hard Way and Milly on April 1 in Lisieux, which should be quite an event if it happens, because Hard Way hasn’t raced since August of 2010 and a growing fan club can’t wait to see him back. Milly is looking better and better, too, and an easy race in the country should be just what she needs to give her a bit of confidence.