Rapsodie ran dead last today – practically came over the finishing post at a trot – after one of the most dismal rides I’ve ever seen from a jockey. She would have done better on her own. I’m not saying she had a chance – it was a comeback race after a nearly a year away from the track, so all I wanted to see today was a decent run. In the hopes of learning more about the horse, I put up a jockey I’ve never used before but who had ridden her through all of the early races in her career. It turned out to be a mistake. I know we’re in trouble when the jockey turns up in the presentation ring and instead of discussing the race merely says “don’t worry, I’ve got it handled.” This is one of the most irritating things a jockey can say to me – it tells me he has no interest in what I have to say about the horse, and no respect for me as a trainer. Rapsodie was nervous going down to the gate and then extremely fractious once loaded, so now we know that like Hard Way, she will need to load last. She broke OK, though, and was running near the back of the pack when unfortunately a horse next to her broke a back leg and was pulled up (and, very quickly I hope, put down). That was about when my jockey decided he wanted no part of the race. He put his hands down and basically let her hack canter the rest of the way around. When he came back, he complained about her in the gate, and said that cost him any chance to do a decent job with her. I disagree. It was a dismal day all around – cold, rainy and miserable, worst of all for the owners of the poor horse who broke down. You don’t see it too often here in flat racing, so it always has an impact when it happens. Nice horse, too, coming off a win. Anyway, looking at the bright side – and there always is one – Rapsodie came back fine, we learned a couple of things about her and she will improve from the race.
We now have a few days break before Skid Solo on Monday…but it needs to stop raining for that to happen. Before that, I’ll be at the breeze-up sales on Saturday at St. Cloud, and then I will guide a group tour around Longchamp on Sunday. But first, I can enjoy an easier couple of days before gearing up for what’s next.