Saturday, August 29, 2015

Belle Epoque

Belle Plage ran a blinder today to finish a very close second to the favourite - another 50 yards (maybe even 20 or 30) and I'd have got my 33rd winner for sure... But at least it was a bloody good race, with both the first- and second-placed nags having to fight hard to clear a wall of slower horses before leaving them for dust. The jockey did a good job, and the horse was well-prepared - we were just missing that little bit of luck on the day.

I'm very tempted to try another (what would be a third) horse with this trainer, as I like his style, and the new Carrot Club catalogue has a tempting entry against his name. There are a couple of others I fancy, too. However, the J'ai Un Reve disaster and JRA system in general means there will be no new JRA horses this year, or ever again as things stand. I have placed an order for one NAR runner at this stage, and will see how things pan out - I might end up with one (assuming my request is accepted), two, three, or all four, depending on how I feel and how the sale of the J'ai Un Reve horse goes. To be told by a trainer that they couldn't build good muscle after a year with a Montjeu kid is not acceptable; the entries were totally unsuitable if that is the excuse, and the jockey selection was questionable at best after the first of only three runs. It cost a small fortune for a share, and because of the lack of effort and care put into the horse, it will probably be worth diddly at auction - if a small amount comes back, as expected, I'm not wasting any more money, and my order will stay at one horse. Obviously, Carrot Club haven't learnt anything, as they've given Ikee another good horse this year, too - unless you learn from mistakes, things will never change, and this is another problem with those associated with the inbred JRA system, as they either never learn, or are too afraid to go against the grain as long as the money keeps moving. The whole JRA system needs a number of huge changes to make it work like a real racing enterprise, and until those are made, I will stay on the sidelines and probably enjoy the racing a lot more for not being involved.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

G1 Runner?

Belle Plage teams up with Yutaka Yoshida on the 29th in a 1700m dirt race at Niigata. Meanwhile, Larressingle is said to be doing well, and will be based at the same stable as soon as its racing career begins. Eclat De Rive should run at Kokura on the 6th September to give us another imminent JRA date. It is yet to be confirmed, but, according to the racing press, it looks like Massabielle will be aiming for the G1 Kikka-sho, which is an exciting thought.

Today's other interesting - and pleasing - news, is that Chocolat Sucre will be based at Yuta Sato's stables at Funabashi. It goes some way towards making up for Million Ways' disappointing NAR performances, as at least I'll get to see it run close up and personal. Million Ways is due to run on the 3rd, and Trovao should be out on the 9th, by the way...

PS. Beat The Boarder was a disappointing sixth at TCK on Friday - a combination of the heavier going and longer distance taking its toll. Brave run for most of the way, though, and she should be out again at the next TCK meeting if she comes away from today well.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rule Of Two Thirds

Masterson came a fine third last Friday, taking his record to 0-1-1 from four outings, and then Gandvik delivered the goods at Leicester, too. Piloted by Silverste De Sousa, he came a strong third to clock up a 0-0-1 statistic from four runs, and the promise of a lot more to come. Next up, the beautiful Ettie Hart makes her debut, teaming up with Paul Hanagan on Wednesday. In complete contrast to JRA, there's always plenty happening on the UK scene, even with a lot less horses on the roster...

PS. Ettie Hart (pictured here, courtesy Lord Ilsley Racing) came a magnificent second in her debut at Lingfield - another exciting prospect. She should be out again in about a fortnight.