In just over an hour, we are expected to start seeing the leading edge of a weather system called Joachim, a depression that is supposed to bring with it a tempest to rival the one we had a decade ago. It’s been a gusty, rainy week already, but Joachim promises to be much more than all that. For the moment, it is sunny and still, and maybe Joachim will not turn out to be as big and bad as forecast. Or maybe he will. In any case, all the horses got a good workout this morning in case they’re stuck in their boxes tomorrow. Hard Way and Sunrise galloped, Milly and Magic got a long tour through the forest and Deep Ocean and Strictly Rhythm took a couple of turns around the Rond Poniatowski.
Milly got eliminated on Saturday, as did 22 other horses in her race. It takes practically an act of god (if you believe in that sort of thing) to get into a race in Deauville in the winter time; there are just too many horses needing a race, and almost everything on the card draws 100 entries. She’ll have a priority for next time – but so will the 22 other horses. Now we have to wait until Jan. 2 for the next good chance for her.
Sunrise is entered for next Wednesday, and she already holds a priority card after getting eliminated last time out. She is working well, although she did give me one cough in her box after galloping today. It’s probably nothing, but I’m hyper-alert to any sign of trouble because we have had such a horrible problem with viruses this year. I’ll be watching her carefully for the next few days – and taking her temperature at least twice a day, too. Deep Ocean came down with something after his canter just over a week ago; luckily, he tested negative for both rhino and flu, and seems to have bounced back strongly. He also is entered for next week, but that’s probably a bit too optimistic after just being sick, and I’m far from sure we’ll try to run. Triple Tonic also has a fever again.
Solidly on the healthy list, at least for now, are Magic, Hard Way, Milly and Strictly Rhythm. Hard Way is galloping twice a week now and he’s training like he has a date at Longchamp next week. Strictly is going to bounce back quickly from her vacation, and the rest of them just need a race.
But meanwhile, we’re waiting for the storm. All of the doors have been attached, stray forks and brooms stored and buckets picked up. We’re all worried, of course, about the fate of Shit Mountain, which could be blown to bits with the right gust of wind overnight. Have mercy, Joachim!