It's a shame Belle Plage has been retired, as it's a beautiful horse, but there really was no option. There has been nothing to point towards 'Belle' being a keeper for a long time, and the entries probably haven't helped in that respect - the jockey said he thought the nag unsuited to turf (an observation backed up by early history and all of her three wins coming on dirt), yet the last three races were on grass, each over wildly varying distances, which doesn't particularly inspire confidence in the knowledge of those looking after her; the jockey may not be perfect, but he was certainly right on that score. Goodbye, old girl. I hope she has a long and happy retirement...
Well, that leaves me three JRA horses - War Chronicle, which is perpetually injured and should have been retired before 'Belle' in all honesty, and Rush Attack, which should also have been retired long, long ago. The only decent one of the three is Larressingle, which is currently running in NAR, if the trainer in Sonoda ever decides to run the thing.
No word on Another Door either (with the same Sonoda-based stable), although at least we have a debut for Vertice on the 2nd. Magic Key, Kealoha and Chocolat Sucre are booked for Funabashi in the following week, and The Jazz Singer is out in Ireland again before that with any luck. Trovao has been entered for a big race at Urawa (I had thought that would be my Urawa debut at first, until I remembered an awful race from Phosphorus) close to Christmas, which is when Million Ways is due to go to its new home at TCK - something I'll believe when I see it. Pop Label should also be running at the end of the year, but God only knows what will happen to Phosphorus - another one long overdue a retirement notice, as much as I like the horse.
PS. Larressingle should be out at Sonoda within the week according to a report posted on Thursday. Another Door, too?