Hard Way gets us back on the board

Hard Way dead-heated for fourth today in a field of 20 runners at Longchamp, beaten only two lengths over a distance of 2,400 meters (a mile and a half). It was a great run considering he has been off for about four months and still hasn’t thought about shedding his winter coat. I hesitated about racing him at all because I was worried he wasn’t quite ready, but I decided to go ahead because he had been working well and I couldn’t find another decent race for him anytime soon. Raphael Marchelli was riding him for the first time, and he did a good job because Hard Way can be a handful. He was calm and steady through all the preparations, and didn’t move a muscle while being saddled (there is a nice video of the saddling here). But once he got into the presentation ring, the switch flipped and it was almost impossible to hang onto him. We put Marchelli straight up and sent him out first; once Hard Way got onto the turf, he settled into a nice warm-up canter. I asked for him to be loaded with the last horses, because while he loads fine, he tends to panic in the gate. He jumped out straight into the air, which cost him a length, but then ran relaxed just behind the leader for three quarters of the race. When they came at him in the stretch, he battled on under a mostly hand ride; Marchelli gave him one crack, but that was all. He came back fine and recovered very quickly. Two hours after the race, he was back home and tucking into a warm mash with apples and carrots. We had a substantial cheering section on hand, and Hard Way didn’t let us down. He will definitely progress from this, and I think we can start looking to hit the winner’s circle again with him soon.

Next up: Blessing Belle on Thursday at Longchamp.

0 Replies to “Hard Way gets us back on the board”

  1. Great job having Hard Way read for the race GIna, And thanks to Valerie for grace under pressure in the presentation ring. Nice job with the camera Tim.
    We look forward.

  2. Congratualtions! I didn’t have a clue what was going on because there were so many horses running, but I watched the replay on the TV screens afterwards and saw he’d run a good race – although just out of the money for me!

    It was an interesting first race meeting experience in France for me, but I think my son is hooked! He bawled his eyes out when it was time to leave, and was imploring me to organise one more race for him to watch!

  3. Gina, congratulations on getting back into the money. Thanks for posting the video. It was great to watch.

    Kay

  4. Nice race HardWay! Considering you were relaxing for most of the winter, you came on real strong. Just relax, listen to your jockey, trainers and owners and you will do great!

    Enjoy that warm mash with apples and carrots !
    You will be in the winner’s circle next time.

  5. Hi Gina.
    Very good performance by Hard Way and a very nice video.
    I didn’t liked the jockey though. He was a bit too easy on him from my point of view. Third would have been his easily if readen properly.
    I know it was just a comeback though.
    So sorry for the draw BB has been handled. Beleive me, from that stall it’s virtually impossible to do anything.
    Maybe it’s time for a nice ralaxed run and a kilo down in the handicap.
    We wish you the very best of luck from Spain and keep up the awesome work.

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