Saturday, November 2, 2013

In A Sweat

Both Louis and 'Jaguar' were sweating like pigs this morning, despite the chilly weather. For some reason, neither were in top form, but their taskmaster made no allowances, and they kept jumping and jumping until a satisfactory result was obtained. In reality, the course was perhaps a touch tight for Jaguar, as he doesn't like tight turns, although horse and rider came away from the lesson with more experience and a good deal more fortitude. The delightful way in which Jaguar behaved himself while being washed down proved he was no worse off for the hard training session, and it will be interesting to see how he does next weekend in his first show-jumping competition.

Hokkaido Yushun

Now fully recovered from his hoof infection, and hopefully back in race form, Pop Label has been entered for the Hokkaido Yushun for two-year olds on the 7th November. This will be a huge challenge for the youngster and his jockey, Yuji Iwahashi, for there are four JRA horses in amongst the 12 entries for the race. Fingers crossed for both of them...

Most Improved

As I was going through the photographs I took today, nothing really jumped off the screen as outstanding, so I thought I'd put this one up - 'Jaguar' enjoying a cookie or two before he came out for the afternoon session. Louis was working on his dressage skills with 'Orion' earlier in the day, but warmed the onry one up for Sophie after lunch. When a friend saw her going through the dressage test routine with 'Jaguar', he commented on how much she had improved during the year, and that's something very encouraging coming from this particular gentleman - it means her basic riding skills are up to scratch and she can concentrate on polishing techniques in the near future, like Louis is doing now. It's fascinating to watch them develop and hone their horsemanship skills. I wonder what level they will be at in another few years?

Less Than Fair

Harmony Fair was disappointing yet again in Tokyo. Starting as fourth favourite, she simply failed to do anything once the additional finishing pace was asked for - the jockey is saying dirt doesn't seem to suit her, which is fair enough, but there are very few turf races for her race category. In reality, given her recent string of poor performances, it makes you wonder if she has a future...

At least yesterday was a super day at Funabashi, with thanks to Mayuh-chan for inviting me to the special race she'd set up. I've got my own race at Kochi tomorrow - the 1300m 7R, with a good selection of Kochi stars making the start line, including Mai Beppu and Shuji Akaoka. Even though I won't be able to make it in person, I'll let you know what happened later, as soon as I receive a picture to post.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Harmony In Tokyo

Harmony Fair will definitely run at Tokyo-Fuchu tomorrow (the 2nd), with Ebina-san in the saddle. She is entered for the 8R, which is a 1400m dirt race. Let's hope she can rekindle the spirit that gave her a debut win...

Divine Daughter should be running at Tokyo on either the 9th or 10th, with 1300m or 1400m dirt races being considered. Dinner Bell should also be out within the next couple of weeks. Dinner Bell was terribly disappointing in her first race, so lets keep our fingers crossed for some signs of improvement.

Lots of pictures of Agua De Vida in this month's Carrot Club magazine, and on the Shadai front, the new kid by Vermilion seems to be shaping up nicely - the trainer has high expectations of this one. Phosphorus has settled into life at Yano Stables beautifully, and I've
a feeling this will be another one to watch.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mayano Time

As if there wasn't enough racing memorabilia around the house already, another piece arrived earlier in the week - a green saddle cloth I'd ordered from the JRA shop with the 'Mayano Time' name on. I'll take a picture of him (better known as 'Jaguar' nowadays, of course) in his full racing kit one day, once all the special training sessions and competitions are out of the way. He should look really handsome with all-black saddlery, his new green cloth and white ankle boots...

Nothing Certain

Courtesy Sunday TC
No news on whether Harmony Fair is running or not on the 2nd - I guess we will find out for sure tomorrow. And nothing positive on Divine Daughter (pictured here) either, although there are thoughts of fielding her again very soon, as in some time within the next ten days.

On the NAR side of things, Phosphorus should land at the Yano Stables later in the week, and Agua De Vida is settling in nicely at Kawasaki. She looks good, and should be ready to race at her new home track in the week beginning the 11th November.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wet Weekend

A wet weekend full of poor results - the only glimmer of brightness coming from Single Cask, who started third favourite and finished fifth. The trainer was happy, though, and Tosaki-san said he felt a good surge of speed coming through, despite the waterlogged ground. So a promising future here, at least, assuming we can get better conditions for her to run on - that shouldn't be difficult!

Divine Daughter is not in fighting mode as yet. She went into ultra-high-tension mode the moment her mask was taken off, and fluffed the start, which is hard to overcome in such a short race. The jockey is saying she would be far better suited to longer distances in any case, but there are the things one learns in the heat of battle. She came ninth, having started as third favourite.

As for True Motion, she totally lacked spirit on the day, and that was that - she was dreadful, although the long, enforced gap between Sunday and her previous race wouldn't have helped.