Three to Deauville

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.

Regrouping (Hangover 3?)

I’m finally finding time to catch up after coming back from our brief, but crammed, vacation. Vegas was fun, as always. You either love it or hate it, but I think it’s great. Everyone’s there for the same reason – a little gambling, a lot of eating, some shows…it’s refreshing to be in a place where you can chat with strangers sharing the craps table or lounging by the pool and not have to worry about the French formalities. But I digress. Back in the real world, or at least what passes for it for me, we are in mid-season in Deauville, and things are clicking along.

Strictly Rhythm seems to be back on track, running a very good fifth in a maiden on Friday. She had the far outside number 18 draw, which is no gift on the 1,900 meter course. From that spot, you either have to get out front or sit behind everyone. She got out nicely, showing much more spark than she had in her past two races. A better draw would have put her even closer to the win. Comment Dit ran a good third in her claimer. She has proven to be a tough filly who has taken her racing well. Hold That Emperor was a little more disappointing, running only 6th, but he is running like a horse that needs a break, and he’ll get one, finally.

On Tuesday, Justthewayyouare ran a good fifth, but it was his first blow on the fibersand and I think he’ll be better on the turf. He’ll get one more run out in the country before he goes back to Ireland to finish growing up.

Tomorrow, George makes his comeback in the last race of the day. He seems to be back on track, and the entry is good, so fingers crossed for him. He ran off with me twice this week, so I know he’s certainly got it in the tank. It also gives me a great excuse to be on hand for Goldikova and Galikova. Deauville is quite a bit of fun in August.

Picking up the places

We’ve had three horses in the money over the past week: Hold that Emperor was 4th in Maisons-Laffitte last Wednesday, Justthewayyouare ran a very nice third in Deauville on Thursday, and Talawa was third today in Aix-les-Bains.

Panisette was unplaced last Tuesday at Compiegne, but showed a lot of progress since her last time out and should do well next time, which will be at the end of this week. Layman’s Terms, on the other hand, was disappointing in Maisons-Laffitte, but she doesn’t do herself any favors with her antics in the starting gate. She loads fine, but the minute she’s in she rears. I don’t know how to fix this; putting her in the gate for more training will only wind her up more and is dangerous for everyone. Once she settles down, she will be a very useful horse.

This week, Rose Fleur will run in Deauville on Wednesday. Panisette is likely to go to Clairefontaine on Thursday and there will be two or three runners in the claimer in Deauville on Friday. I’m away in Newmarket at the horses in training sale, so Con will be handling the logistics. The catalog for the sale seems pretty promising, and I’ll be looking for at least two horses for owners here and hopefully bringing back a few new owners who want to make money racing in France.