Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Excitement Over

Well, apart from Raining Dollars having a jump-out in Australia tomorrow, it's all gone very quiet all of a sudden. Depending on his condition, there's a chance Pop Label might run in the Funabashi meeting at the end of September to get rid of some race-rust, but according to his groom, he's a long way off the Pop he'd like to see entering the arena. That's fair enough, and it's better with a horse of this calibre to get him absolutely perfect and mount a proper campaign. Mikamoto-san is saying this is a special beast, too, so we all have strong hopes for a long-term winner.

After that, Single Cask is being lined up for a 1000m turf race at Niigata on the 21st September, while True Motion may make it to the track next week, but it's more likely to be the same weekend at Single Cask. Glint Moment missed out on a berth for the 14th, so hopefully will get one at Hanshin on the 21st. Meanwhile, Joyful Step is tired all over, but the trainer is determined to try one more race with her. On the other hand, Ogata-sensei is holding Belle Plage back. There's a temptation to enter a big Stakes race, but it is being resisted because the horse comes before the potential of a few extra dollar signs. I love this guy! When Belle does line up at the start in the next few weeks, we'll know she's 100% fit and raring to go. Whichever way we look at it, though, the Long family's 22nd win is a long way off...

I guess we have to look at the riding side instead for a while, and today 'Bugatti' was superb. After Sunday's clinic, he now has a beautiful walking gait, and doesn't rear up any more on the transition from trot to canter. I think he's got it - we finally have a gearbox with more speeds than a my-pace walk and gallop in it! He's been entered in two dressage competitions and a 60cm show-jumping event to get him started. After that, the serious training begins, and hopefully we'll have an L1 horse by the middle of next August.

PS. The Raining Dollars trial run went well, with only the last 100m causing him any kind of difficulty. With his long spell away from the track, that's not really surprising, and so everyone is happy with progress. Watch this space!

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