Fifth place seems to be our spot for the moment. Hard Way went back to Lisieux on April 15th for a second warm-up gallop and snagged a tiny check in the process, finishing fifth. He seemed to have a good time, and certainly took our amateur jockey for a rodeo ride going down to the post. He was ridden by a “gentleman rider” who was making only his second start, and Hard Way made sure it was a memorable one, leaping through his usual routine when let loose on the track. He galloped along freely in third, then made his move on the final turn, taking the lead. By that point in the 2,600-meter race, our poor jockey was cooked, and couldn’t really push him to the finish. Hard Way, thinking he had already won the race on his own, merely galloped out and hung on to 5th place in the 14-runner field. He seems in fantastic shape, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him race at St. Cloud on May 5, his next target. This will be his first serious race since August of 2010.
Milly, meanwhile, also ran 5th, on Saturday in Argentan. The first two home were unbeatable, but I thought we might be third, and we might have been if the race had any pace. Instead, they crawled along for the first 2,000 meters of the 2,500-meter race and then sprinted for home. Milly ran with them decently, though, and hung on to a bit of cash in the process. She seems to take her racing very well and might possibly run back this coming Friday in Fontainebleau. I hadn’t planned to run both races, but she doesn’t have another decent entry until the end of May and she seems to have come back from Argentan in good shape. We still have 48 hours to commit, so we’ll see how she seems.
If not, our next runner is likely to be Deep Ocean at Longchamp on Sunday. He has picked up four kilos in the handicap because of his win in Lyon, so the task will not be easy. Plus the ground at Longchamp is sodden at the moment and the rain that has been pelting us for weeks shows no sign of stopping. I don’t think heavy ground will exactly been Deep Ocean’s preference. Somebody please turn on the sun lamp!