Frustration at Longchamp

As if being rained out in Guernsey wasn’t enough, the Guernsey contingent were in for still more frustration with Strictly Rhythm’s race at Longchamp yesterday. I expected her to easily be in the money, and instead we settled for sixth after a horribly run sort-of horse race. Fabien Lefebvre settled our filly just behind the leader, perfectly placed. Then things went wrong. Stephen Pasquier, out front, started backing up the pace and soon they were going no more than a hack canter. We were stuck. Too late to go around (and I really didn’t want her bowling along in front as she did at St. Cloud) and nothing to do bit sit. As soon as they came out of the turn, Pasquier started a full-out sprint. Strictly Rhythm was not made for that sort of race, and while she tried to keep up, she couldn’t do it. We just missed fifth (still dismal but a check anyway) by a nose.

If it’s any consolation, the hot favorite, the Aga Khan’s filly trained by Royer Dupre, finished behind us. And Strictly Rhythm came back wondering what, exactly, happened out there. She was hardly blowing because she really only ran about 800 meters. So we will go to St. Cloud in just over two weeks, still a maiden, to rectify the situation. She is a good filly and will win…soon!

Hi Shinko, meanwhile, confirmed what I suspected after last time: a mile on the turf is just out of his reach. He lead until about 75 meters from the end, but couldn’t hang on. The problem is there aren’t many choices for him. While he did have an entry in the 1,400-meter claimer yesterday, I was worried he might be eliminated and the company was tough, so I thought we’d try the mile one more time. He’ll now go for the 1,400-meter handicap on the 19th, again at Longchamp. I don’t think that track suits him, either, but we have no choice. Really sick of being stuck in these Tierce handicaps, but until I find a claimer, I’m stuck.

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