Good intentions, bad execution

One of the hardest parts of my job is to have to accept the fact that weeks or months of work can be ruined with one split-second bad judgment by a jockey. Turfani should have had a good chance at Longchamp today, but Mathias panicked and the poor horse got screwed. Turfani normally runs with the leaders, but today she was a bit late on the jump leaving the gate. Instead of letting her find her action and then see how the race unfolded, Mathias rode her forward to try to take back a place up front. Big mistake. The minute Turfani was asked, she took the bit and jumped into the lead next to another horse and pulled like a train. He decided to let her go, thinking she might relax in front. Second mistake. She didn’t, and every time he tried to slow the pace she swished her tale and went faster. Needless to say, she was overtaken in the stretch and finished nowhere. Bad lesson and wasted race. She is a lovely, generous horse, and shouldn’t have been ridden that way. The one good thing about it: To his credit, Mathias admitted he screwed up. That is very, very rare in a jockey, and I did appreciate that.

Versaki, on the other hand, just doesn’t want to put in the effort now. He needs a break, and he will get one.

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