There has been a lot of movement lately in the yard, which is why I’m so far behind on the blog. Some things became clear in Cagnes: Blessing Belle doesn’t want to be a racehorse, and George (Email Exit) has really been given every chance, and even though he’s making progress, he probably needs to move on. It was already in the cards that Turfani go to breeding. So: We gave Belle one last run, but really just for the fun of it, to give Florence a ride down in Senonnes. The stud where Turfani needed to go was close by, which justified the trip; we dropped her on the way, and she will be covered by Iron Mask, a son of Danzig, when she’s ready. Belle ran predictably – moving along decently until the time to accelerate, when she stayed where she was. She has now been sold as an eventing prospect, which will suit her better. She doesn’t want to race, but she is a lovely horse to ride and she jumps.
George is more complicated. He ran in Deauville last Friday and missed a check by a nose-hair. The fourth, fifth and sixth horses in the 17-horse field were in a photo for checks, and we lost out. It was one of his best efforts yet, because he was really in over his head. It was a claimer for horses in for 13,000 to 21,000, and he beat some decent competition. Because he doesn’t have enough earnings over the past year, he is the first to get eliminated from a race. That means we take what we can get. If he gets in, he runs. But the bottom line is, he hasn’t brought home money, so he really has to move on.
So in with the new. For the prime flat season, we have some interesting new prospects. Strictly Rhythm debuted in Cagnes and has two places from three runs. She next goes to Deauville on Friday, with a good chance. Unfortunately, there is a Rouget horse that will be tough to beat, but we’ll have to give it a shot. It’s almost impossible to enter a three-year-old WITHOUT running up against a Rouget horse. It’s getting annoying, because the guy wins everything.
That said, we did get a stroke of luck. Rendition, an untried three-year-old filly, is likely to have her debut next Tuesday in Fontainebleau, and miracle of miracles, there are no Rouget entries. A couple from Sheik Mo, one from Sheik Hamdan, sure, but no Rouget. At least that’s something. Rendition has been working well, and it will be exciting to see her finally on the track. I had hoped to debut Rue Debelleyme, another untried three-year-old, in the same race, but she’s not ready yet.
Another new and very promising face is King Driver, a two-year-old colt otherwise known as the Sequestro Express (you’ll have to ask his owners about that). I bought the Express last year at the Osarus yearling sale in Lion d’Angers, and he came home from pre-training this week. He comes from an incredibly solid and winning family. His dam won eight races and her twelve foals have won a total of 59 races. There’s not much black type, but his brothers and sisters have a habit of regularly chucking checks in the bank, which is OK by me.
Eventually, the Express will be joined by Triple Tonic, a filly I bred and jointly own with two friends. She’s more for fun since the family is completely untried. She is the full sister to Well Shuffled, who we unfortunately lost during castration last year.
Some old faces will come back. Hard Way has been cleared by the vets to come back into training, and he will come home Thursday, along with Timelord, who seems to have recovered from his accident last year. And last but certainly not least is Hi Shinko, who should win a Tierce soon. We’re still looking for a couple of two-year-olds to complete the line-up, and then we’ll see what else turns up. In any case, we’re seem to be well-armed to start the year.