Now that I’m here, the south of France seems a lifetime ago. I’m picking up the rhythm of things here, and planning for the spring season. Strictly Rhythm scored a nice third in Marseille, and will win a race soon. She came back home well, and will probably run at St. Cloud or Deauville in about two weeks. Poor Turfani was unlucky again. When we left Cagnes, the STH gave her a stall sized for a mini-Shetland and when she came off the box in Marseille she had stepped on herself. She normally never has a problem traveling, so it was definitely the tight quarters. The injury was superficial, and the ground looked good, so I was still optimistic. Then after the first race, the skies opened up. The downpour lasted more than an hour, and by the time it was finished, the track had turned to slop. Turfani ran accordingly. Strictly Rhythm was lucky enough to get the last of the decent going. It’s frustrating, but it’s time to call time on her career and let her go off to stud.
Back home, Shinko seems well. If we can keep him down to a dull roar for a bit, he will wait until the Tierce on March 24 for his next race. But just in case we can’t sit on him any more, he’s entered in a claimer next week. The other three-year-old fillies seem very well. Rendition, purchased at last year’s breeze-up sale, seems finally almost ready to debut. Rue de Belleyme will take a little longer, but also seems on track.
We’re looking to sell on Blessing Belle, who really needs to go hurdling if she stays a racehorse. She doesn’t seem interested in showing much on the flat, and we want to move on to new things. She is sound and fit, so I hope she will be somewhat easy to place. She’s entered in a race next week, which she will run if she’s still here.
One of the upsides to stopping off in Marseille was a chance to see a colt called Batt Ling Jo win his maiden race. He is the brother of King Driver, bought by my Guernsey connections as a yearling and now ready to come into work. It is a very exciting family, and we all have high hopes for King.