mercredi 8 février 2012

Maybe Milly, and morning work

Fabrien Lefebvre with Strictly, Cagnes-sur-Mer February 2


In about a half hour, Milly, as Montjeu filly Surrey Storm is known around trainer Gina Rarick's yard, will run again. Her first race since she decided a leisurely pace up the home stretch suited her just fine in her last time out at Cagnes. I stopped counting how many horses passed her. It was easier to count how many were still behind her, which was exceptionally exasperating, since she has magnificent papers and her music in 2011, her débutante season, was 8p 3p 3p 4p, placing in 3 of 4 starts.

Maybe Milly doesn't like France? Oh!, but this is nonsense, considering that Papa is French and won the 2000 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamps, France's, and Europe's, most prestigious race. Cela ne peut être!

Carla O'Halloran -- and don't be mistaken by her name, Carla is Spanish and Irish, but she speaks French with the best of them, and probably is --, who has been riding Milly in her morning work, will be up, and Gina is looking for her to give Milly a little lesson in how you run a race, not necessarily to win nor to place, but to work all the way to the finish line up the home stretch, and to get in a training gallop in race conditions. Information about her condition and her reactions for her future training and the races in which to enter her will come from this outing, and that is sometimes the most important thing. She'll be talking to Carla, who will be listening, closely, and Carla will be talking to her. Everyone will be happy if she makes progress, learns a little and comes back happy and hungry.

Odd that this could be necessary, really, when you recall her performances in 2011, but horses are athletes, and they have their good moments tout comme leurs coups de mou; no one is on all the time, and the trainer's work is to know how to reply and bring the horse, like the athlete, back to top form. And, like athletes, they come into their own in their own good time. Some horses are precocious, others take longer to reach their full race stride; Milly gave a glimpse of her potential and her promise in her first races, and now I'll lay a wager that she is growing up and preparing to fulfill it.

Carla on Milly, Cagnes-sur-Mer February 2

It's 10 minutes to post time. I leave you with the photos from the backside, the morning work, and jockeys Fabien Lefebvre and Carla O'Halloran at Cagnes-sur-Mer, the morning Elbow Beach placed 4th in her first race on le sol français.


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