Saturday, November 1, 2014

Great Journies

What a superb start for Realta HRC - their first race with their first horse, and they come a remarkably close second in a classy field in Northern Ireland's premier meeting. Steven Crawford did a super job from the saddle in a race that lasted over four minutes, making the most of Stuart Crawford's preparation. The future looks very bright for Danielle's Journey, that's for sure, and I eagerly await her next entry...

Silver Lining

They say every cloud has a silver lining. Well, we may have had one of the blackest, most overcast race days in our Carrot Club history, with good horses unable to show their potential for all sorts of reasons that would never be allowed to surface outside JRA circles, but at least Louis and 'Bugatti' had a super day in the Prefecture Inter-City Tournament at Tomisato, close to Narita Airport. Before lunch, he was second with 61.110 in the A1 category for his team, in which he was up against a couple of friends from Funabashi Keiba, making it all the more interesting. Then, in the afternoon, he braved the pouring rain and foggy conditions to take gold with a 60.734 in the private A2 Class, which is exceptional given that 'Bugatti' is still so new to the dressage game. A ray of sunshine that made the early start worthwhile...


Well, first I had to stomach an 11th place for Miracle Rouge, which was bad enough. But even that didn't prepare me for the result Tenshinramman recorded - 13th, and she looked like she'd run three miles instead of 1400m at the finish. I guess now she'll go for yet another long break, and that is the root of the problem - a lack of race conditioning. That has to be one of the worst performances I've ever seen - on a par with Mephisto Waltz, but at least that donkey had an excuse for bad results, as it was downright useless. Frankly, I cannot believe that this is the same horse that I had a couple of years ago - she has been ruined, physically and mentally. As far as I see it, there are only two options left. Number one would be instant retirement and broodmare duty. And number two would be a change in trainer, as Harmony Fair has proved that she is far from useless now she's getting the right guidance. There are no other options - the current combination simply does not work.

PS. Having just read the trainer's report for Tenshinramman, apparently it was the rain that made this animal slow down to a canter on the final straight. Now I'm sorry, that's just pure bullshit! If the rain was a problem - and we're not talking the rain 'Bugatti' had to contend with either - why did she sit in such a good position until the final straight? It was a pure lack of muscle, brought about by a lack of racing - it's a GII horse, for God's sake, and running in the poxy class she's been relegated to due to mismanagement, we should be measuring her victories in multiples of lengths. And now, after an excuse that a five-year old would consider a bit too childish to use, the idiot wants to send her away for another break, which means the next race will be exactly the same. Even the groom has a bloody degree with this pony (and I'm not joking), but what we need is someone with commonsense training the horse. My previous statement stands, with even greater conviction - the current combination simply does not work.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Looking Ahead

Porthos Du Vallon has been sold (he's gone to Turkey by the sound of things), so that leaves only River Spirit in England now. There is a remote chance she might have one more run, but it's probably fair to say her time with me is over. Unlike some other experiences, ownership has been a real pleasure with this little lady and the Channon family, and I look forward to next year's offerings with eager anticipation.

As we've already mentioned, Danielle's Journey will be making her race debut in Ireland on Saturday, which is definitely something to look forward to. Also, in Japan, Miracle Rouge has been confirmed for the sixth race at Fukushima (2000m over turf) on the same day, and Tenshinramman teams up with Hiyato Yoshida in the 12R at Tokyo-Fuchu, which is a 1400m turf run.

Rush Attack, who showed a great deal of promise in his first race, should be out again soon, which is good to see. Also, Harmony Fair now has a proper trainer, who not only got a decent result from her last weekend, he's looking to run her again at Fukushima on the 8th - these long breaks do no good at all, and at least he realizes that. On the same subject, Irish Harp is now in another R&R session, so I'm hoping Sugai-sensei isn't going to slip into a typical JRA pattern with a win under his belt, as that would be disappointing on a number of levels. We can also look out for Single Cask in the 1200m turf race at Fukushima on the same day.

Next up, Beat The Boarder should be running at TCK in the meeting held in the week beginning the 10th November, while Pop Label will hopefully to be out at TCK in the meeting held there in the last week of November, almost certainly in a B3 Class race. In the following week, Phosphorus should be in action again, with big things expected of the big fella.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Results And A Big Weekend

Phosphorus delivered a typical return run from a long lay-off, with Kota Motohashi letting him cruise in in eighth. He had looked pretty handy until the last corner, but then his lack of race conditioning showed through and there was no point pushing him hard - there's always the next race. Talking of the next one, there were thoughts of running him at the next Kawasaki meeting, but after Kota's post-race debriefing, it has since been decided to wait for the next Funabashi one instead (in the first week of December), by which time he should be back in tip-top condition.

My favourite girl, River Spirit, was third in England yesterday, but came very close to victory. From 15 runs, she will end my term with her with a 1-2-3 record, and that's something she can certainly be proud of. With her spirit - excuse the pun - I'd love to run her in NAR out here. For sure, her next owners will be getting a special little fighter...

Danielle's Journey should be in the 4:10 at Down Royal on the 1st - a two-mile flat race that will mark her debut, appropriately enough in Northern Ireland's most prestigious meeting. Tenshinramman and Miracle Rouge should be in action in Japan on the same day, both looking to recover some long-lost form.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Winding Down

Porthos Du Vallon was fourth at Leicester in his last race with me - he will now go to auction. The sad thing is he didn't really try, but at least he clocked up two wins for me. Our final run in England this year will be with River Spirit in the Live The Moment Handicap, which is the 6:25 at Kempton Park on the 29th; Joe Fanning has been booked as the jockey.