Strictly Rhythm ran a fantastic race yesterday in Deauville and would have won – except, of course, for the horse trained by Rouget, a filly who has entries in the Prix de Diane and other classic races and was predictably impossible to beat. That said, our filly ran very well and took a convincing second place. That makes three checks from four starts for Strictly Rhythm, who is turning out to be very useful indeed. There still is the annoying problem of the starting gate. She wants to part of it, and it takes four of France’s finest “pousseurs” to shovel her in. Once she’s in, she’s fine. She just doesn’t want to go. The Equidia commentators were saying that the filly didn’t want to race. Not true. She’s fine with the concept of racing, as evidenced by her performance. It’s just the gate she wants no part of. I don’t know what went wrong with her gate training, because she came this way. But whatever it was, I don’t think I can fix it. We just have to hope we never stumble upon an unmotivated gate crew. And it would be nice, for once, if we didn’t have a Rouget horse to contend with.
Next up is Rendition at Fontainebleau on Tuesday. It looks like a good entry (meaning no Rouget horses for once!), and we have Peslier aboard, but it’s a field of untried fillies, so who knows what might happen?