I’m a bit behind on blogging; spent the week with some sort of gastro thing (I’ll spare you the details) and packing what was left of the Irish contingent off on their way home.
Deauville went as expected; Shinko ran like a horse who needs a break, so he’s getting one, and then he will join Regis Reveillere in the Mayenne. Regis is a permit holder and a breeder, who just happens to be the breeder of King Driver. The change of scenery will do Shinko good, and I wish Regis the best of luck with him. George, too, will move on to other things, but not before debuting my assistant Agata in an amateur rider race on Sunday in Evreux. Birs stays on the team. He’s a big baby who is just getting started, and I’m sure he will improve with a bit of distance and experience.
That leaves us with a yard of nine at the moment. Six of the Irish horses have gone back for the fall/winter. We ran a very intense, but successful, four-month campaign with them. Rendition is back for another try, so we’re pretty heavy on three-year-old fillies at the moment, with five of them. Good thing they don’t all run the same distance.
The event of the week is the debut, finally, of King Driver on Wednesday at St. Cloud. He was bought at the yearling sales at Lion d’Angers last year and is a stunning horse, but will probably be better at three than two. Still, it’s time he gets a taste of what it’s all about. He’s still a colt, and he’s getting a bit bossy, so the experience of a race might settle him a bit.
After that, it’s George at Evreux on Sunday, possibly along with Rue B, who worked well out of the gates on Friday and seems just about ready to try something. I’ll decide whether to run her on Wednesday.
George, Hi Shinko and Birs are heading to Deauville tomorrow to help close down the August meeting. George is running 2,400 meters in a handicap on the fibersand, Shinko goes 1,500 meters in a claimer for amateur riders and Birs stretches out to 1,900 meters in a claimer. George probably has the best chance of the three; Shinko was truly disappointing last time out and I don’t know where we are with him. He’ll have blinkers for the first time tomorrow, so I’m hoping he just decides to bolt and get on with it. Birs will get more distance, which he needs, but I would have preferred to get him on the turf instead of the fiber. In any case, he’s the last of the runners from the Irish contingent. They will head home Wednesday after running a good four-month season here.
Our numbers so far this year are pretty good: seven wins and 47 places from 120 starts, which puts us in the money 45 percent of the time. Things will slow down a bit now that the Irish are going home, but we still have a solid stable that should keep the percentages up. Meanwhile, it’s already time to start thinking about yearling sales and prospects for next year. The Deauville August sale is behind us, but other sales with more realistic prices are ahead, including the Osarus sale at La Teste on Sept. 15. The catalog is quite good and the prices are usually affordable. Anybody out there interested in yearlings should get in touch.
We had three more places from our runners this week, including a game third by Talawa in Dieppe yesterday. The yard continues to roll along, but I am rolling off to Vegas for a quick vacation. Slightly questionable timing in mid-season, but there are family obligations in Wisconsin involved first, so since we’re that far, we’re zipping away for a few days in the sun. We haven’t had much of that lately in France, but it’s 100 percent guaranteed in Las Vegas in August. I’ll be away just over a week, and the team here will have things well in hand. I’ll still be doing entries and monitoring the racing from across the pond. Next week will start with Comment Dit and Twilight Allure in Clairefontaine. Twilight is coming back from a wind operation, so this will be sort of a test drive. On Tuesday, Panisette and Golden Age have very good entries in claimers in Pornichet. I’m sorry I won’t be here for that, because I’ve heard the new fibertrack there is fantastic. I hope to see it first-hand soon. We’ll have a few more runners in Deauville on Thursday and Hi Shinko makes his comeback on Friday. Vive Las Vegas!