Satwa Sunrise will finally debut for us on Wednesday in Deauville, running a 1,900-meter claimer for a tag of 17,000 euros. We paid 2,000 for her, partly because she was allegedly a mild bleeder; her trainer told me that he galloped her on Lasix, which is a rare thing for European trainers to do. Since she arrived here at the beginning of November, I have seen absolutely no sign of any respiratory problem. She has been everything her sales price, pedigree and past performance suggested she would be: a blue-collar horse that tries her best to do everything we ask of her. She is unlikely to set the world on fire, but from what she has shown me in the morning, she should have every chance to be a useful horse in the right category.
Sunrise is a big bay four-year-old filly, who didn’t start racing until this year – very late, so I’m sure she had her problems growing up. She was trained in France before moving to England, and now she has come full circle. She was third last time out when she raced on the all-weather track at Wolverhampton, a dismal place (from everything I’ve heard – never been there myself) tucked up in the north of England. She was bought for an owner to have some fun with during the winter season in Deauville and Cagnes sur Mer, and I’m sure she’ll do the job for us. She has taken on condition and her morale has improved quite a bit since she came here – she even gave me a good buck today while hacking around the Rond Poniatowski. She has never needed the vet, dives into her Bailey’s Racehorse mix at every meal and never even turned up her nose when the winter staples of Vitamin C, seaweed and codliver oil were added at lunch. She works 1,800 meters (a mile and an eighth, or nine furlongs, if you prefer) twice a week, usually head-to-head with a stablemate. On other days, she hack canters a couple of miles or treks through the national forest.
Her owner has spoiled her by stopping by with heart-shaped sugar cubes, and I’m sure she’ll bring plenty more of those on Wednesday. The race looks like a decent entry; there are five horses who look tough to beat, and the rest of the field looks very mediocre. I have no idea how Sunrise will race, but it seems fitting to debut (well, she’s debuting for me, anyway) a horse so named on the shortest day of the year. Gives us something to hope for during the darkest days of winter.