We have two runners at St. Cloud on Friday and two at Longchamp on Saturday, and our injury scare has turned out – mostly – to be less serious than first appeared. As I mentioned before, Skid’s problem turned out to be a minor stone bruise, and he’s on track and galloping toward his entry next week in Maisons-Laffitte. The new filly’s tendons are fine, thankfully, and her leg bump was indeed just the knock I had hoped it was. She will still head out to Normandy for a break, though, because she needs to finish growing a bit before we can press on. Unfortunately, we’ve had a more serious setback with Blessing Belle, who reared up and turned over in her box while being bridled yesterday morning and came crashing down directly on her withers. She has always been an extremely difficult horse to handle on the ground, and has had more than her share of close calls, but this time she managed to displace at least three of the caps on her spinal processes, in addition to various cuts and bruises. There’s nothing that can be done but give her time; she’ll need at least six weeks of box rest with limited hand walking (that part ought to be particularly interesting) and then probably a month off in a field before we can think of bringing her back. It’s frustrating, but there’s nothing we can do now but wait. She was certainly feeling pretty sorry for herself for most of yesterday, but today she was moving around her box fine and doesn’t seem to be in much discomfort.
Looking ahead, DerringBay and Rapsodie will run Friday; both are claiming races with better competition than I’d like, but it’s the lowest level I can find around the Paris region so they need to be able to be competitive here or they really can’t stay at the yard. Bay seems in tremendous form at the moment, and has the better entry of the two of them; Rapsodie is particularly unlucky because she is up against considerably better horses.
On Saturday, Versaki and Timelord go to Longchamp. Versaki is in the second half of the Tierce at 1,600 meters, and we’re putting Theirry Jarnet up this time. Timelord will stretch out to 2,000 meters this time, with Christophe Lemaire on board again. It will be his third race in rather quick succession, so after this he will get a bit of a break before racing in Deauville this summer.
The downside for all four horses is that we’re getting another heat snap this weekend; weather changes don’t seem to be happening very gradually this year, and it makes things extra tough on the horses. I’ll have the icecaps ready for all of them and we’ll make the best of it.