Friday, January 13, 2017

Decision Time

Today, War Chronicle runs at Chukyo, and will be a deciding factor in whether Carrot Club gets a call from me saying I'm quitting the club as soon as the office opens next week. The result isn't as important as seeing effort, but what will be a huge thing to sway my mind one way or the other is what happens next. If we get the usual "oh it's tired, so we're sending it to Northern Farm" then I quit on the spot. This is a horse that has ran just nine times in its 58 months on Earth, and if it gets shipped off to NF, it will wipe out any progress that has been made in recent months and any financial help a decent result will give us to make up for years of frailty.

Larressingle is at Northern Farm, Rush Attack has been there a year, Vertice is at NF, Trovao is at NF, and Million Ways is at Midway Farm (after it has held at NF for ages, of course), which is just as bad, as the cost is mad compared to Nankan stables and potential winnings, especially when the last race was more attributable to a donkey than a Thoroughbred. To have Lotus Blossom and War Chronicle as the only decent runners capable of providing bang for the buck out of seven is bad enough, and if that count goes down to one, running once a month at best, it will be time to bring my entire Japanese 'racing' programme to an end.

On a lighter note, Masterson is jumping in England today, and that is the reality. The horse, even in its off-season, has never left the stable and the care of the groom and workout rider that know him best, and the odd jumps race is simply to to keep him in perfect fettle, mentally and physically. The contrast between a country that abuses the name of racing in order to make vast sums of money for the chosen few and one that has racing in its blood is too great to put into words.

PS. War Chronicle's run is hard to sum up. The result on paper was dreadful, but if one watches the race, it was down to the jockey's inexperience in an unusual scenario - effort was seen, and I would even be happy to give the jockey another go, as he tried, that much was obvious (he was also honest in his post-race report, which is important). So it's down to what happens next - a Northern Farm trip and I finish, or another run (or retirement, of course) and I stay on...

PPS. Ummm. Sure enough, War Chronicle will be going away for a 'refresh' session, which in Japan circles means three to six months, I guess - both unnecessary for the horse, and an unnecessary expense for us. Ridiculous! But hey, Rush Attack has apparently arrived at Miho TC, which takes the edge off my conviction to quit. Let's see what happens and make a decision when things become clearer this time next month.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lotus Blossom V1

Well, the debut seemed to take forever, but at least Yuta Sato has created a horse that looks and runs like a horse during the period between leaving NF (something that at times looked as if it would never happen) and arriving at Funabashi. Credit where it's due, Yoshihara didn't panic too much when the pace looked too hot, and 'Lotus' was able to hold off the challenge from the other highly-fancied nag at the end. Effort was seen, potential was seen, and we had a fair fight - I never ask for anything more, as that is what we pay for, and therefore what we should receive without any questions. A win is just a bonus beyond those things, and I'm happy that Yuta has found an animal more in keeping with his stable than Chocolat Sucre was. Now, after all the time we've been paying out and getting nothing for it, hopefully we can get some monthly action out of her for the rest of the year.

An Amendment

Rush Attack's long-awaited report turned out to be a cut-and-paste special with no indication whatsoever of when (or even if) a comeback was in the making. Larressingle had a similar grey note on progress, and Trovao has picked up a fever. Great! Would it have picked one up in Tokyo, where it should be? And don't even get me started on Vertice - a very late debut, two mediocre races, and already off on holiday at huge expense.

I have withdrawn from both Sunday TC and Shadai TC, with the end result being that I have nothing to do with the races of the 10th. As such, I simply don't care what happened - it has no relevance to me, and if everyone else is happy with the status quo, let them get on with it. I shall be making a decision on the future regarding the Carrot Club nags on Saturday afternoon, when the results from Lotus Blossom and War Chronicle are in, with the level of effort seen dictating whether a phone call to quit is made on Monday or not.