Hard Way 2nd; Belle up next

Hard Way ran a good second of 18 runners at Longchamp yesterday, missing victory by just three-quarters of a length. He got an extremely good ride from Christophe Lemaire, who was able to relax and settle him into the pack like I’ve never seen anyone be able to do before. Considering how close we came, how hot it was and how fast the ground was, this is an excellent result. He came home fine and will certainly win a race like this soon. He is much better over soft ground, and Lemaire said he was willing to ride him again, so the future for the moment looks bright. He’ll have to wait a bit, because there aren’t any good races coming up for him until the end of June, but the break will do him good and allow him to finally change into a summer coat.

Blessing Belle goes to Compiegne tomorrow for the first race back after her St. Cloud victory, and we seem pretty lucky with the entry; despite it being an open handicap, the second half of the Tierce, the competition doesn’t look insurmountable. If she can beat the heat, too, she might have a chance at a check. Theirry Thulliez will be back in the saddle, and we’ll run her with the same ice pack on her head that Hard Way used at Longchamp.

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