Hi Shinko gets serious as December approaches

Hi Shinko ran his third race in France on Sunday so can now enter handicaps, which is good news. He finished 5th of 14, again beaten only a couple of lengths and this time only nosed out of third place as two horses caught him just on the wire. The 5th is good, though, because hopefully it won’t draw too much attention from the handicappers and it still gave us a little check to pay the travel expenses down to Le Mans. It’s a nice little track down there, but the recent rain left the ground in horrible shape. We know Shinko doesn’t travel on that sort of ground, but needed the race and all things considered he did very well. He couldn’t blow out a candle after, even though they actually went quite fast. He’s come back fine and still kicking down the door for food. He could race tomorrow if there was something for him. As it is, he is entered in a handicap down in Marseilles just to get the rating – I don’t plan to actually run there but the best race for him coming up is for horses rated 29 and under in Deauville, and I’m afraid if I enter that race directly, we’ll get stuck with a rating of 30 or better and won’t get in. The waiting will be over when the weights are announced for Marseilles on Thursday morning.

The rest of the horses are gearing up for Deauville in December, too. Timelord seems back on track, and so does George, who is over his cough and just about ready to start cantering again. Actually, he decided he was ready to canter yesterday, when he popped me off in the training center and went for a few laps on his own before I could catch him. He seems no worse for wear. Blessing Belle is coming along nicely, and Turfani is all dressed up with nowhere to go, since there’s nothing for her before the 17th or so. Strictly Rhythm has settled in and will make her target race at the end of December.

We’ve also been busy in this off-season getting ready for the main flat season next year. Rendition is enjoying her break and will come back in mid-January, and word is she may be getting a little sister…deal in progress, so watch this space. The yearlings we already have, King Driver and Triple Tonic, are learning their lessons well up in Normandy; I plan to go have a check on them on Saturday. We’re also on the look-out for a good claimer, and with all that we should be pretty well-armed for next year.

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