Hard Way back to Longchamp

It’s been so busy the past few days I haven’t had time to post results on the last two races, and it’s already nearly time to load Hard Way on the truck to Longchamp for his handicap this afternoon. Versaki ran at Lonchamp on Thursday and had tremendously bad luck; he is a horse that needs to come from behind, and he was drawn 1 on the gate, an impossible position for him. Normally the inside draws are great on the 1,400-meter course, and Skid would have been in the money if he had that draw when he ran. But for Versaki, who gets out slow and then grinds toward the finish, the inside post left him trapped on the rail behind a wall of horses. I know I’ve been doing a lot of complaining about post position lately, but it is so important in sprints to have a good draw. If a race is 2,000 meters or longer, the post no longer really matters. But in the sprints and even on the mile, it is crucial with our 20-runner fields.

Timelord ran yesterday in Maisons-Laffitte, and he was 7th again in easier company than last time, but I’m not too worried about him because he’ll have his day. We’re still learning  about him and I think he needs a slightly longer trip and slightly softer ground. They flew over the mile yesterday on good going, and while he finished well, it was just too quick for him. I think he will be better at St. Cloud or Compiegne, on a long uphill straight.

And back to Hard Way, who goes back to his distance of 3,000 meters today at Longchamp. The positive factors: He seems to like Longchamp, it is his distance and he will have Christophe Lemaire on his back, a top jockey who I hope will be a good choice for Hard Way. It is an easy field and he is working well. The negatives: It has turned hot and the track will be very quick, and Hard Way still hasn’t finished changing out of his winter coat.  At this distance, the post position doesn’t matter, but he does need to load last in the gate or things can go wrong. So now we’re off to see what happens.

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