Friday, November 27, 2015

Badly Beaten

Another terrible result from Beat The Boarder on Friday, with a good start but what appears to be no stomach for the fight, or it could even be a lack of stamina. Anyway, Shun-kun has suggested blinkers for the next Tokyo outing, which will be her last chance - if she does okay, she'll stay, but another bad result and it's time to retire.

But at least Phosphorus is back, and I've secured another horse with Lord Ilsley Racing to run alongside Ettie Hart and take us into the 2016 season. I'll write more when the sale has been confirmed properly, but it's as good as a done deal, hence me saying something now. There's also another NAR runner I'm thinking of...

PS. A Touch Of Sparkle was declared a non-runner after it poured down in Ireland, but Blacklister is in action in England tomorrow, and War Chronicle is down to race at NAR's Nagoya track on the 4th; Pretty Gully runs on Australia on the 5th, too. Looking further ahead, Magic Key is to debut on the 11th, Larressingle and Tenshinramman are at Nakayama on the 13th, Trovao has a big race on the 16th, Beat The Boarder runs on the 23rd, and Pop Label is out again on the 29th.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Testing, Testing...

Chocolat Sucre passed her test with ease this morning, as did Magic Key, with the latter promising to be something very special. As a full sister of Clave Secreta, her blood is right, and today she cruised home in second, with no whip used, and looked absolutely superb when walking - as I said to a friend in England, I've never seen such a beautifully proportioned horse in Japan before.

As for the next races, Beat The Boarder runs at TCK (NAR's Tokyo track) on Friday, hopefully making up for last time's poor performance, while a A Touch Of Sparkle is out again at Fairyhouse in Ireland on Saturday. Looking a bit further ahead, Blacklister and Rush Attack should be out in the first week of December.

Meanwhile, I can see Irish Harp's trainer is definitely going to annoy me over the next few months, as his statements are like a knee-jerk reaction to what I said before - 'care' is something I wholeheartedly agree with, and if a horse comes out of a race needing TLC, that's what it should get. But to say there is no point in running a horse soon after it's last race is ridiculous - if it's in good condition, a race is no different to a hard training session, and the track experience is something that cannot be duplicated at a training centre no matter how hard you try (particularly a Japanese establishment). Furthermore, he can't choose between Nakayama and Chukyo, when the obvious choice - if experience from the last blown race now tells him the horse pulls to the right - is Nakayama. I can't tell if it's a real statement, which raises questions, or something simply said to bait me. My boy figured out Nakayama would be better in about 0.01 seconds!

Flying in the face of Irish Harp thinking is War Chronicle, who raced on the 6th November and came first, then raced on the 20th and came second behind the hot favourite. She is due to race again at the next meeting in less than a week's time. Two weeks between races is more than enough time for 'care', and this proves it - months and months away from the track is only good for those making money from the training centres. In England, we've raced back-to-back with shorter breaks than that, and the racing in the UK is a lot more competitive than it is here...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Popped At The Post

After the disappointing performance by JEF Utd, it was time to enjoy some horses again, with Hideya Sahara winning the 'Ganbatte Kochi' race that my family sponsors each year. I'm going to make a summer and winter version from next year onwards, as I love this track - it may be poor financially, but it is rich in spirit, and JRA could learn a lot from the wonderful people there...

Pop Label was next up, running in TCK's main race three hours later. He looked good in the paddock, and was really settled until the stalls, when he played up a bit. Fortunately, another horse was late getting into its berth, and Mori-kun had a chance to settle him and make a decent start. It was then nice to see shades of the old Pop Label, who loves a clockwise track, and Mori-kun did a super job of guiding him to second after a good fight with the clear favourite; the third horse was three lengths down, so we have a flyer on our hands again, justifying his juvenile champion status. The only sad thing is I know how much work the team at Funabashi put into him, but Funabashi runs anticlockwise and it just never suited him, so their work was never rewarded. I know for a fact everyone is still following his progress, though. A big "thank you" to both camps.