Miss Congeniality – again

Yesterday in Deauville was one of the most frustrating I’ve had as a trainer. I brought two horses with good chances to win, and neither finished in the money. Turfani got badly jostled in the early stages so couldn’t keep position close enough to the leaders to let her take a place. She finished 7th and closing, running well but too late. That’s the problem in these 20-horse fields, especially on the 2,000-meter course at Deauville. There’s not much space going into the first turn and you can get shoved out. But Hard Way was even more frustrating. He drew post 15, so I didn’t ask for him to be loaded last because I thought it would go quick enough with only four horses to go once he was in. But it wasn’t quick enough, and he started fidgeting and panicking in the gate, so when it opened, he was in the process of sitting down against the back of the stall. By then, the rest of the field was gone. Hard Way jumped out straight into the air, causing Nadege to lose the stirrups in the process. She picked up the pedals just as Hard Way launched himself into the air a second time and then finally galloped on – 12 lengths behind the rest of the field. Nadege kept her head and didn’t press the issue, allowing him to gradually catch up. Then when they turned for home she asked him to go, and he closed to finish 11th – beaten 10 lengths by the winner, which means that if he hadn’t lost the 12 lengths at the start, there’s a good chance he would have won. Paris Turf gave him “best impression” of the race, which I like to call the Miss Congeniality award. You didn’t win, but damn, you gave it a hell of a shot and we all liked you. Both horses came home fine, which is essential, and Hard Way actually managed to ride in the truck to Deauville all by himself like a big boy, even though we had to let him loose in a double-wide stall to do it. So that’s something, anyway. One has to find the positives. Next up: Skid gets let loose on the fibersand in Deauville next Wednesday.

0 Replies to “Miss Congeniality – again”

  1. Any kind of sports are a hard way to make a living, but when you toss horses into the equation, it gets to be just about impossible.
    I’m sure both horses will do really well next time –
    Isn’t there any way to get Hard Way used to the starting gates? I know in Saratoga, in the mornings, there is a starting gate ‘school’ for horses – (or should I say schooling starting gate?) is there anything like that around where your stabling is?

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