Well, I guess you’d have to say the yard is in a slump, but that’s the way racing works and at least I know it’s temporary. That said, Versaki and Turfani both ran well yesterday, but didn’t manage to pick up money. Versaki actually exceeded expectations, running a good 7th in a race he had no business being in. We were running him to get his third race in France and qualify for handicaps, so all we needed to do was show up. But he held his own and beat some good horses (which, quite frankly, isn’t going to do our handicap marks any favors, but…). Next up for him will be the Tierce race in Maisons-Laffitte in April. Turfani, on the other hand, continues to frustrate; she really should have had money in Deauville when Prat fell asleep at the wheel. In Compiegne, the going was much heavier than I had wanted, and she still handled it decently. She had the far outside 18 draw, which wouldn’t have been that bad if the field moved toward the better ground on the stands’ side rail in the stretch. But they didn’t, so she was hung out wide looking for better ground while the field toiled away on the rail. With no one to race with, she just coasted up the straight to finish midfield.
Both horses came back well and will get their checks on another day. We’ll have to wait for better ground for Turfani, which may take awhile, but Versaki showed that while he would probably prefer lighter going, he’ll try on the heavy stuff, too.
We have one more chance to get a horse in the money on Friday, when Blessing Belle goes to Deauville. This should be an interesting race, because she’ll go back on the fibersand in her first handicap, and we’re stretching her out to 2,400 meters. I think she will stay, especially since she managed to run decently over 2,100 meters on the grass uphill at St. Cloud, but we’ll find out on Friday. Theirry Thulliez will ride, and I have a feeling he might be a very good jockey for her. Sean Connery once said, much to my horror, that some women need a good smack now and then. I hate to say it, but in Belle’s case he’s right – she needs a little manhandling, and I think Thulliez is just the man for the job.