The transformation of Tyke and Turfani

Cape Tycoon has been back to work for a week now, and even though he’s just walking and trotting (and bucking and playing around) he is clearly a changed animal from the one that left here four months ago. He is much more balanced now, and when he bucks it’s because he’s fresh, not because he’s trying to regain his balance. It’s going to be a long road back, because he’s such a big horse, but I’m much more confident that we have a decent horse to work with now.

Turfani, meanwhile, has bloomed into a fantastic big mare. She spent the winter eating and hack cantering, and she has put on about 50 kilos of muscle and looks great. She is slowly being moved onto the racing feed and will start her first canters next week. For the moment, she’s building endurance, hack cantering about 3,600 meters four times a week. Her first faster work will be 1,000 meters in hand, probably Tuesday or so.

Tommy, meanwhile finally got the all-clear from the vet after  his arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-December, so he will get to start walking out tomorrow. And Skid Solo comes back from vacation today, so he’ll also start back, too. Turfani and Hard Way should be the first runners of spring, if all goes well, with races for both in March.

5 Replies to “The transformation of Tyke and Turfani”

  1. I use Baileys compound feeds for most of the horses. There are other brands that I’ve tried, but I’ve had the best results over all with Baileys. I used the Top Line Conditioning mix, which is really for sport horses, to put weight and muscle on Turfani over winter, and she is now being switched over to a mix of No. 10 Racehorse Mix and another called Racing Light, which is the same as the No. 10 but without oats. I use Racing Light for the horses just coming back into work and No. 10 when they are in full work. I avoid straight oats because of the ulcer risk; I prefer the compound feeds.

    One slightly negative thing about the English feeds, though, is that they like to have sweet elements like sugar beets and molasses in the mix, which can occasionally be too rich for a horse, especially a long-distance hurdler or steeplechaser. For those kinds of horses, I use a brand called Troffy (which I think is only available in France) that is a good compound feed but doesn’t have the sweet elements. For the flat horses, the Bailey’s is good.

  2. Hi Gina,

    Only came across your blog two days ago in a search for “MME GINA RARICK” the trainer of Skid Solo. My husband and I bred him and wish you all the best with him this year. When do you expect him to return to training? I see from your posts that he is on his winter hols. I think he had an unlucky time of it last year in England – his trainer wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Anyway, just to let you know that his dam has a yearling filly by Hawk Wing, and is due to foal to Dark Angel in the next week or two.

    Very much enjoying your blog, and very refreshing to see such a hands on trainer!

    All the best with your season,


  3. Pippa – How nice to hear from you! I hope you found the photo of Skid coming up the stretch in Maisons-Laffitte on my home page at

    He’s just come back today and looks good. Since he wasn’t off that long, I’m hoping to have him ready by mid-March, but he’ll let me know. What will you do with the yearling? I like Hawk Wing, and we like Skid a lot, too. Also, did you name him, and if so, how did you come up with Skid Solo?

  4. Hi Gina,

    Yes he looks good coming up the home stretch.

    We will sell the Hawk Wing as a yearling – maybe at Doncaster St. Leger sales in August. She’s a January foal and is strong and correct. No we didn’t name Skid. In England he was named by his owners (The Comic Strip Heroes) who tend to name their horses after…well…comic strip heroes! They also have horses called Winker Watson, Pansy Potter and Nicky Nutjob tp name a few (they do seem to like alliterative names). As far as I know Skid Solo was a formula one driver from a comic book called Tiger Comic. Fast by name and nature I hope!

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