Saturday, May 11, 2013

Poor old Mistoffelees, starting third favourite in Niigata today, but finishing sixth. Once again, Genki Maruyama tried to race him tactically, and once again, it didn't work. Okay, getting blocked happens to the best of horses and the best of jockeys, but Mistoffelees is a nag that likes to lead from the front. Had he been given his head, as happened in his first race when he came second, he'd have probably done much better. I feel sorry that the Saito Stables are not being rewarded for their hard work...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Interestingly, both Pop Label and Agua De Vida have been assigned to the Hiromori Stables in Hokkaido, and should both be making their debut at Monbetsu soon. Pop Label goes for his final test on the 14th, so watch this space. It will be really funny if they have their first outing in the same race...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I spent Monday and Tuesday at Funabashi Keiba, but for some reason, the whole thing is a blur! I think the huge crowds and packed programme of activities planned by the jockeys and trainers kept things moving at a fast pace on the first day, as well as an enjoyable hour or so acting as a guide for friends, while I was running around like a headless chicken on the second day. In the end, it felt like I didn't take that many pictures, but it ended up at 600, and a selection of them have been posted on my Facebook page. This one shows rookie jockey Taisuke Kisanuki in action on Tuesday, when the light was absolutely perfect for photography. Good luck, Taisuke!
With the kids finishing school early and superb weather, it was a perfect opportunity to get some saddle time in. Louis took 'Jaguar' around every inch of Tokoro RC at a rate of knots - I don't know how many miles he must have covered, yet 'The Difficult Horse' was still full of tension. The boy duly handed the baton to Sophie, and between them they must have had a good hour of riding. Notwithstanding, there was still no sign of tiredness whatsoever, to the point where if he was still racing, I'd be checking his feed for dodgy substances! But it's nice to see an old horse like 'Jaguar' enjoying himself, and let's hope he can continue to do so for many years to come.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Courtesy Makoto Saito
The date against Mistoffelees has changed to the 12th, and a slightly longer distance has been selected, too. So now, Genki will be running in Niigata's 5R - a 1800m turf event. Mistoffelees is pictured here courtesy of the official Makoto Saito blog (LINK) - the horse was featured in it yesterday.

On the following weekend, Lourdes No Hitomi is out again, in the 2R at Tokyo-Fuchu on the 18th. Kosei Miura is in the saddle for this 2100m dirt race, with Lourdes-chan said to be in fine condition. Then, on the 26th, Harmony Fair is booked for the Shinzan Cup (the 6R at Tokyo), with Ebina-san at the controls for this 1400m turf race.