I’ve neglected my blog since Tommy’s race because I’ve been too swamped, but it’s past time for an update. First off, Tommy ran relatively badly; he was laying third or fourth for most of the race, then had no finish and tailed off. He was really difficult to handle and nervous before the race, which isn’t at all like him, so I knew there had to be a problem. I was most worried, of course, about his leg, but that seems fine. But he was coughing in the days after the race and ran a slight fever, so we can put it down to that. There’s been a small bug that’s been making the rounds in Maisons-Laffitte, and nearly all of the horses in the yard have been coughing at some point this spring, so it seems this is his turn.
Meanwhile, we’ve got plenty of entries at the end of the week, and I’ve been busy introducing new fans to racing. I had a group of 20 from the American Women’s Group at Longchamp last week, and I’ve had two receptions during the week to talk up racing with various expats. Then this weekend there’s Grand Steeplechase mania. My friend, Jean-Paul Gallorini, has one of the favorites in the big race, and his wife always plans a huge party around the event. I’ve been drafted since Thursday to help decorate and plan, and the first of the parties was tonight. Tomorrow is the big event – 5,800 meters over 23 obstacles. There are also three other Group races on the card, so it will be a very big day of racing. Jean-Paul’s wife, Alex, always gets a little carried away when they have a real chance of winning. The entire yard is decked out in yellow and green, the colors the horse, Remember Rose, will carry, and various friends (including me) have been asked to dress in those colors tomorrow. I’ve also been assigned a hat to wear. So if you’re watching the race, you’ll probably spot me. I’ll be the one that looks like a cake topping.