We’ve passed into July, and the weather has finally caught up with us. Summer, finally, is here. I’m actually wearing shorts and a t-shirt at 8:30 at night and not freezing. We’ve been able to leave the horses naked overnight, and they’re happy. While the weather up until now has been dismal, our results haven’t: For the first half of the year, 45 percent of our runners have been in the money. Out of 42 starts, we have four wins and 14 places and just under 120,000 euros in earnings. And yes, I’ve been bragging a bit about this, because those numbers are great for a small yard like ours. (A big disclaimer for my American readers: These percentages will seem average to poor in a country where “super-trainers” posting double-digit win percentages is the norm. I will point out that we have accomplished our numbers with eight horses in training. Unless the “super-trainers” want to declare their percentage of broken horses and their vet records, I will take the high ground here.)
We are working hard to keep the good form going, and we have some strong chances ahead. Hard Way, who ran a very good comeback race in Durtal, will go to Longchamp on Saturday to run a 3,100-meter handicap with his old friend Christophe Lemaire in the saddle. He should have every chance to win. Grey Falcon, who has been improving steadily, runs the second half of the Tierce handicap in Maisons-Laffitte on Sunday. After that, it’s on to Vichy, where Deep Ocean will try his best again as he always does in a Tierce on Bastille Day. That race marks the start of the week-long festival there, and we should have four other runners to keep us busy: Not Bad for a Boy will make his French debut, King Driver will run his comeback race, Eternal Gift will try to show us some better form, as will Gold Knight, who has been disappointing so far but seems to be on the upswing in his work.
Meanwhile, the sales season is also getting going, with Deauville this week and Newmarket next week. The Newmarket catalog is not particularly strong this time around, but it is one of my favorite sales and it gives me a chance to go to the July Meeting as well, so I won’t miss it. There are a few French-bred horses to look at, and there is usual a decent deal or two to be had. So it looks like a busy next couple of weeks, which is just what we need to kick off our summer and keep the results rolling along.