I must be getting old - I got back home from Funabashi on Wednesday and zonked out the minute I sat down. Same thing happened yesterday, so you can see why I haven't touched the blog! It was a great couple of days, though, seeing Pop Label for the first time, and being called up as a stunt double at one point as well! Those that were there will know exactly what I mean. Super racing, too.
River Spirit had a bit of a tough race on Wednesday in England, but she'll be back. In reality, a fourth place is something to be thankful for anyway, especially when the handicappers are harsh on her for being so consistent. Meanwhile, in Australia, Pretty Gully picked up a slight injury when she started playing up getting loaded in the horsebox, so she won't run this weekend. These things happen...
Back in Japan, Beat The Boarder will miss the next TCK meeting, but there are still thoughts of running her in the one in the week beginning 25th August. Interestingly, she posted a better time in her last outing than she did when she won, which shows the difference in class she's facing nowadays. With her not being 100%, it's right to hold her back.
On the Carrot Club front, Belle Plage is down to run at Sapporo on the 9th. Teaming up with Katsuura-san, she will take part in the 1700m dirt race, which is the third race of the day. Hopefully she can break that duck, as she's come second three times in her six outings so far. Joyful Step should run at Niigata on the 16th (1800m dirt), with Harmony Fair scheduled for the same place on the next day in an 1800m turf race; Ebina-san has already been named as the jockey for the latter, and I imagine this is her very last chance to shine.
Facing the usual BS with Tenshinramman - she's not tired, but the trainer is going to rest her anyway! Thoughts of running Single Cask at Niigata have been scrubbed in favour of some R&R, while Irish Harp - another horse that has earned a rest - is playing alongside Phosphorus up north. The last bit of news for the time being concerns Time For Love, who will go on a crash diet, and then a debut is just around the corner. If nothing else, Time For Love has to be the cutest horse in the entire JRA circus at the moment!
As for the new riding recruit, 'Bugatti' is coming along brilliantly, even managing to do a fair bit of L1-level dressage, which is a good job, as Louis hasn't been able to practice for the weekend ever since 'Orion' started feeling under the weather, and that was the best part of a couple of months ago. Yes, the time has come for the boy to prove himself. It's not ideal, having to ride 'his' horse from cold, and only ever having ridden it once before, but I'm sure he'll do his best. Good luck, lad!