Well, Champagne anyway

Pixie’s Blue had a disappointing run in Chantilly yesterday, but Hard Way finished a courageous third in his handicap, so Champagne all around anyway. Hard Way fought well down the stretch and should have been second; he was thrown into the rail by the horse that did eventually finish second, ridden dangerously and nastily by Anthony Caramanolis. There was an inquiry, but the placings weren’t changed, unfortunately. Despite being slammed, Hard Way kept his wits about him and fought on, and we’re very pleased with him. He’s still learning (unfortunately a bad lesson in how NOT to be afraid of other horses) and he will improve from this. Still, picking up 3,600 in purse money, plus the 1,700-euro premium for his being a French-bred horse, is not bad at all.

As for Pixie, I’m not sure what to make of her race yet. Her character has drastically changed from last year, when you couldn’t hang onto her in a race. Now, she lobs along like she doesn’t have a care in the world, which is usually not such a bad thing but in her case is slightly worrying. She did put in a slight effort toward the finish, but too late, finishing only 7th. I will have to find the solution. At the moment, I don’t see many excuses. The ground was slightly softer than Maisons-Laffitte and Chantilly is a right-handed track, while Maisons-Laffitte ran left-handed that day. But I don’t think these factors had much to do with it, frankly. In any case, she seems to have come back well, as did Hard Way. Both horses ate up everything overnight. And so we cracked some Champagne last night. It turned into quite a party, actually, so stay tuned. The party is sure to get bigger…

0 Replies to “Well, Champagne anyway”

  1. Hi Gina.
    Congrats for yesterday’s results.
    You don’t seem very anoyed with the stewards not promoting Hard.
    I think he should have been second for sure, but french stewards can be very pussy, we all know that.
    AS for Pixie, although I’m sure you have already thought about this, why not running her in front with a jockey that shows her who is the boss? Maybe that would help cause I think she needs stronger hands.
    Anyway, congrats again and keep up the good work.

  2. Hi Gina,
    Anyone interested in owning / leasing horses to race in France should take the time to visit your yard to see the kind of individualized attention that each of the horses under your care receive. If that doesn’t convince them I don’t know what will (ok – maybe the purse money in France will help – but getting that is the result of your hard work and that of the team you put together).
    And yeah – we’re real happy about Hard Way’s race.

    PS How many other trainers ride in the back of the van to keep a horse calm during the trip to the track?

  3. Gina,
    Hard Way was robbed and the steward seemed to be the only one on the course, who didn’t think the result should be changed and the second thrown out! It’s one of the most disgusting decisions, I have ever seen.
    What would he have done, if your horse had finished 4th.
    Or perhaps the French rules have now changed and rugby style horse barging into the railings is allowed, along with the odd crack across the face with a whip. The information has just been delayed by another French institution; La Poste.
    While I haven’t seen anything written in the French racing press yet, which had the guts to criticise this steward; It’s the minimum that can be expected, but we all know it will never happen, these people are a law unto themselves.

  4. Hi Gina,

    Good performance from your Hard Way which could have been better had he not been slammed by the other rider. As member of the Club Galop, I was cheering for “our” Simple Style, but she could only finish 5th.
    I guess both horses will see each other soon again, hopefully finishing a place or two better. 🙂

    Good luck for your upcoming races.

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