Grey Sensation (number 16 pictured above) earned his High Street Racing shareholders their first check at Cagnes-sur-Mer on Monday when he finished encouragingly to get up for fifth place in the 26,000-euro Prix de Roussillon, a 2000-meter (1 1/4 mile) handicap on the fibersand course.
Fifth place in the race was worth 1,300 euros, but more importantly was the style with which the 4-year-old son of Aussie Rules did it. Towards the rear for most of the way,the 12-1 Grey Sensation was short of room entering the 3-furlong straight. Gradually angled out by Alexei Badel, he was finishing fastest of all at the end, where he was just 1 1/4 lengths behind the winning favorite, Polkarena.
This was a performance that hearkened back to Grey’s third-place effort going 100 meters shorter at Deauville on Dec. 11, and had trainer Gina Rarick singing his praises.
“He’s a really consistent horse, a really nice horse,” she said., “and he loves this distance. My only regret is that he got stuck as the bottom weight (53.5 kilos, or 118 lbs.) in the second division of this handicap. But for one pound in the weights he would have been in the much easier third division, which he would have won.”
So there are a number of positives to take from Grey Sensation’s second outing for High Street Racing. Moreover, his handicap mark will remain the same after today, offering even greater encouragement for his next outing at the Hippodrome de la Cote d’Azur.
Grey Sensation is the latest addition to the High Street Racing stable. The 3-year-old gelding joined Bleu Astral in the High Street fold on Monday in a private deal from previous owner Michael Nelmes-Crocker.
The move is a cosmetic one for Grey Sensation as he has been under the care of High Street trainer Gina Rarick at Maisons-Laffitte since Sept. 24. He showed immediate improvement after the move, earning a check in all four of his subsequent starts, most recently on December 11 when he was a fast finishing third in a 1900-meter handicap on the Deauville fibresand.
“He’s extremely consistent, sound and tough and is effective over any distance from 1500 meters to 2000 meters (7 1/2 to 10 furlongs),” Gina said. “He seems to love the fibresand but he’s also fine on turf where he needs the top of the ground.”
Like his High Street Racing stablemate Bleu Astral, Grey Sensation is the son of a French 2000 Guineas winner, in this case Aussie Rules, who also won the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. Out of a mare by Royal Hunt Cup winner Imperial Ballet, Grey Sensation possesses a solid one-mile pedigree that frequently translates into a more versatile foundation.
For his High Street Racing debut, trainer Rarick will aim him at a 1600-meter (one-mile) handicap at Cagnes-sur-Mer on Saturday, January 16, opening day at the Hippodrome de la Cote d’Azur, and the first of 19 days of racing at the seaside winter meeting which runs through February 27. We hope all High Street Racing shareholders- and prospective shareholders- will be able to join us at Cagnes for a closer look at both Grey Sensation and Bleu Astral.