The home stretch

I’m in my last week down here, and things have sort of taken on an end-of-days feel. Fiona and the Moore horses went back today; four of the five horses next to me leave tomorrow night, as does Shinko, who runs the Tierce tomorrow and then goes home. I’m here through the bitter end. In addition to Shinko tomorrow, I’ve got Belle again on Saturday, then Turfani and Strictly Rhythm in Marseille on Monday. I’ll head home from there, leaving when they leave.

Belle ran yesterday and did OK, all things considered. She bowled along out front in her blinkers and lost steam in the last 100 meters. I thought she might hang in there for a place, but she finished eighth. She’ll have another shot on Saturday. The distance is better, at 2,150 meters, but it’s on the turf, which is sure to be either sticky or heavy, neither of which will help us. But we’ve already decided to sell her on, so this is sort of a last-chance effort.

Shinko, on the other hand, would have had a real chance tomorrow until I saw his draw: 18 on the far outside. I suppose 1 on the cord would have been worse, but this is not doing us any favors. No one drawn wider than 12 has won on this mile course. No one in the press gives us a ghost of a chance, which is fine by me – if I win, I like the odds to be long. Keeps the pressure off and my faithful “turfistes” happy.

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