Turfani had a disappointing run in Deauville yesterday, but I have to say I’m pretty disappointed with the ride she got from Flavien Prat. He rode the first part of the race fine, but he did have to check her back pretty brutally to get cover going into the backstretch. Once they turned for home, he seemed a bit asleep at the wheel when everyone else started to move, and got boxed in and then jostled back badly. He had to give up when he got himself behind a wall of horses in the last furlong. Turfani is a big mare with long action; she’s not the kind of horse you can ask to shoot through a hole when it opens. You have to balance her up and then move evenly, and that didn’t happen yesterday. In the end, she didn’t have a hard race and came back fine, so we can expect better next time out.
Meanwhile, all eyes on Blessing Belle, who tackles a 2,100-meter claimer at St. Cloud tomorrow, with Olivier Peslier on board. Everyone is paying attention to her because of Peslier, but frankly, she will have tough work to make the top three. She is in fantastic form but needs this race, and I’m not sure she’s ready to win yet. Peslier is riding because he was available, and three other jockeys I asked (with lesser reputations) were already taken, so we had to skip straight to the top. That means we should expect a good race and a good assessment of her from Peslier at the end. Who knows? We might have a good surprise. In any case, she has grown tremendously since we bought her last summer and is certainly not the same horse that ran last year. We alternate calling her “Xena” or “T-Rex” around the yard because she has gotten so big since she came, easily outsizing anything in the yard. Now we have to see how she races.