It’s a pretty quiet week for the yard this week – work-wise and noise-wise since the volcanic ash cloud has shut down air travel. Maisons-Laffitte is in the landing pattern for Charles de Gaulle airport, and while I don’t mind the planes, it is eerily silent without them. This was some comfort this morning when I realized that my cellphone – otherwise known as my portable office and lifeline – dropped out of my pocket somewhere on the track while galloping Hard Way. I dragged Tim out for the search and he used his phone to call mine, figuring we actually had a chance to hear mine ring if it was out there. We didn’t, but I did find it at the bottom of a hoofprint on the final turn, still working once I blew out the sand. Must’ve been the birdsong drowning out the sound of the ring, since there were no planes to perform that function.
Hard Way has been doing great since his race. He is still stubbornly hanging onto his winter coat, but he’s been eating great and working like he did nothing last Sunday at Longchamp. His next target is May 3 at Chantilly, the same kind of race he ran at Longchamp: a 2,400 meter handicap that will be the bottom half of the Tierce. I would expect him to do well.
Belle came out of her race slightly stiff behind, but it’s nothing serious. I would think her constant state of working ovaries probably contributed to that. She still looks great and is eating well, although she definitely left a few kilos behind at Longchamp. I don’t have a target for her yet, but I’ll look for something slightly longer next time out. I think we just have to forge ahead with her and get her more experience. She’s only had 11 races in her career, which is not much for a four-year-old.
DerringBay, meanwhile, is getting ready for his debut as our first international runner. I will take him to Guernsey for their annual races on May 3 – which means I have to miss out on Hard Way at Chantilly, but the races in Guernsey are important because I have owners there and this will be the first time their silks will be seen on a track. I’m also told it’s a hell of a party, and I’ve never been to Guernsey and I would like to see it. At last but not least, it looks like a pretty good entry in that there are only seven runners and from what I can tell we should beat them.
Versaki and Skid Solo are getting ready for their race on April 27th in Chantilly. Skid should be in the Tierce and Versaki will fall into the second half of the 1,200-meter handicap. It will be very interesting to see how Skid does this year, because he seems to be improving in the way he is working and sprinters tend to get better with age. Versaki is harder to figure out, but we’ll see how he does here.
Turfani is having a bit of a rest because I believe we have an ulcer issue to treat. I’m taking her to Chantilly tomorrow morning for a gastro scope to see for sure and determine a treatment. I don’t want to lose too much time with her if I can help it, because it has been a dry spring and there are good races for her now. I’m hoping I’m catching the problem early enough so that we can fix it in short order.
George, Brazil and Timelord are all coming along well, and they should all be ready to run in May. The question mark is George, who is coming along slightly slower than the others, but that is normal since he has to recover from his gelding. We also have a new filly, Rapsodie du Desert, who is working well and also should be ready in May.
So while it is a quiet week, it seems to be the calm before a storm of racing.