Friday, June 20, 2014

Mild Motion

Having been strong in the early betting, True Motion came home in fourth this morning, albeit almost eight lengths down on the winner. It's a shame that the horse's record reads 0-0-0-4, as there are two fourths in there. Anyway, at least the jockey seems happy enough with her dirt debut, even though she showed signs of not liking the sand being kicked up into her face too much, and if she can get out again quickly, before the real heat of summer sets in, she might just record a top three finish. I imagine that will be her last chance to shine, assuming the trainer gives her another run.

In England, Porthos Du Vallon is booked for the 5:30 at Musselburgh on the 27th (a Class 6 handicap over a mile). Having won his last race, a lot will be expected of the big fella. On the filly side, River Spirit has been booked for Chester on the following day. In Australia, by the way, Jo Hassett is in hospital, having been kicked by a horse. Joining all those that know the lady, I wish her a speedy recovery.

Received the pictures of Phosphorus' second win yesterday - a happy ending if ever there was one! Just got my fingers crossed now that yet another problem plonked on my desk this week turns out the same way...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Porthos V1

Porthos Du Vallon won the D.M. Hall Handicap at Hamilton Park in style yesterday, which I don't mind saying has surprised me - it was a pleasant surprise, and certainly not expected. Of course, dropping from Class 4 to Class 5 helped. But credit where it's due - the big fella won in a field of nine thanks to Jason Hart skillfully guiding him across the turf. With a winning margin of almost two lengths, taking his record to 1-2-1-4, maybe that jumping career isn't a pipe dream after all. Interestingly, Louis saw Wind In Her Hair in Hokkaido yesterday (the grandmother of Porthos' sire). Perhaps this was an omen?

This is the fifth winner we've had in four weeks, with Single Cask winning a JRA race at the end of May, River Spirit claiming victory in England on the 7th June, Phosphorus winning twice soon after that in the NAR arena, and now Porthos taking the spoils in Scotland to take my personal win tally to 15 and counting. Still one more chance to take the four-week figure higher, as SC got things rolling on the 24th May, and True Motion is out on Saturday (Tokyo 2R, with Tanabe-san at the controls). Looking further ahead, Beat The Border runs at TCK on the 22nd in the third race, Irish Harp is being lined up for the 2R at Hakodate on the 28th, and Miracle Rouge is down for Tokyo-Fuchu's 1800m turf race on the 29th.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

All Go

Another busy day, although Funabashi put on another superb meeting yesterday, with Kota Motohashi celebrating his 500th win with the help of some faux Kotas, and a gaggle of other jockeys joining in the fun in silks that will definitely confuse historians after the passing of a few more decades.

The auction in Hokkaido is not going to throw up a likely 'Bugatti', although I have my heart set on a stallion closer to home that fits the bill perfectly. I have my fingers crossed that a deal can be struck, as this really is a beautiful animal - the exact image of what I have been after for the last 40 years.

Porthos is supposed to be running at Hamilton Park later today in the 2:55 there. This is a mile race with Jason Hart in the saddle. I'm not saying anything - we'll just wait and see what happens later in the day (the time difference on GMT means the race is 13 hours away).

On the JRA front, lots of holiday postcards, with Joyful Step being about the only horse that looks like it might run any time soon, other than True Motion, which is booked to race on Saturday. The trainer is saying there are higher expectations of Joyful Step this time around, but its second outing couldn't possibly be worse than its debut, so it's fairly easy to say that...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Phosphorus V3

Phosphorus braved the ridiculous heat at Funabashi today to pull off his third victory so far, and his second in just eight days! Starting as second favourite, Kota Motohashi got him out the gates beautifully, kept him marking the leader all the way around, and then powered away off the last corner leaving all but one horse in his wake. Mikamoto-san got a bit close for comfort at one stage, but as soon as 'Phos' felt challenged, he found another gear and pulled away with his usual effortless gait. Thanks to the fabulous team behind Phosphorus, Kota now has a matured horse he can do his best work with, and I look forward to seeing this pairing go further and further up the ladder - there is a huge pool of untapped potential to dip in to. For now, however, the big fella has earned a good rest. Expect to see him hit the track again in mid-July.

In other news, Louis goes off to Hokkaido tomorrow for two days in search of 'Bugatti' - the replacement for 'Jaguar'. The only horse I'm really interested in at the main auction (a Deep Impact kid) is one I've been advised to leave well alone, so who knows? The boy will almost certainly come away empty-handed. Interestingly, though, I think I met 'Bugatti' at Funabashi today! A more handsome horse would be hard to find, as he looks just like Phosphorus. Watch this space, as things should become clearer by the end of the week...

PS. With a 3-2-1-3 record, Phosphorus becomes my most successful racehorse so far (excluding Mayano Time and Tempai, who'd already retired from racing when they came into my life). Pop Label is next, on 3-0-1-2, and I'm sure he'll be chasing 'Phos' as soon as he makes his track comeback.