Sunday is traditionally known as 'The Day Of Rest' - looks like Harmony Fair and Tenshinramman figured they'd take it literally. Harmony was eighth, sort of it the fight, but nowhere near being able to frighten the leading group. The jockey thought she was going OK, then there was nothing left in the tank. Again! In reality, she hasn't done anything since winning first time out, and even though the change of trainer may have awakened some spirit that was previously lacking completely, she'll obviously never be more than an also-ran horse. Maybe, seeing as it's a new trainer, it might make sense to give her one more try? But if you ask me, she should have been retired ages ago. She's a waste of time and money.
In the next race at Niigata, there
was even greater disappointment, for while nothing was really expected of Harmony Fair (being brutally realistic), we definitely have a right to expect Tenshinramman to perform. Starting as second favourite, and with me getting ready to chalk up win number 19 for the family as she came off the last turn in perfect position to win by however many lengths she fancied, this GII runner came in tenth, 0.9 seconds off the pace. I'm not going to write how I feel, for my Japanese audience wouldn't understand half of the swear words I'd be stringing together. In fact, without a geezer background, there's probably not that many English people would understand! One thing is for sure, she's not going anywhere with her current team. She used to fill column inches quicker than I can type them, as you can see in this picture. Even the JRA website had her down as something special. As it is, she's being let down badly, having her reputation torn to shreds, so just retire the poor horse while a few of us can still remember her star quality. Please, please, please, put both her and us out of our misery by announcing an end to her JRA career.
PS. As usual, the excuses are coming thick and fast from Tenshinramman's stables. The heavy rain did it this time apparently, yet one horse in the same race clocked 34.7 seconds for the last 3F, which is a lot different to Tenny's 36.3, and she was carrying 3kg more than Tenshinramman. Disgraceful! Especially when she clocked 34.0 on only slightly lighter ground in the Flora Stakes, carrying 2kg more and having 600m more track to deal with. The jockey is mumbling about next time. He must be joking, surely? What next time? Meanwhile, there's talk of another R&R session. I can tell you the excuse for the piss-poor result in the next race already - if there is one, and personally I hope there isn't!
As for Harmony Fair, since November 2012 (nearly two years ago), the best result she has given is seventh - only one bad result was excusable, when she was fighting way above her class in a GIII outing. For ages now, she'd have struggled in a Donkey Derby, and to be perfectly frank, it's madness keeping a horse like that in training. She's apparently maturing, but she was a nervous wreck in the paddock because of race-rust. After all this time putting up with an also-ran horse, a momentary flicker of hope is not enough of an improvement to justify continued support, especially if she's kept off the track for a long spell again, as she'll only go into super-high-tension mode the minute she's unloaded out the horsebox.
Having had a few good weeks from Carrot/JRA, with some super effort being shown (I don't think we can include Tenshinramman's third as a super effort - a GII horse running in poxy classes with apprentice jockeys to save weight on her back is just sad), we've quickly returned to normal - this is one of the worst weekends I've ever had on the racing front...