Week 29 (11th October to 17th)

Harry had his first work back on the sand going well before a 1200m turf gallop today on the Aigles left hand gallop as St Cloud is a left-handed course. He worked very comfortably and his recovery was good.
Now we just have to hope the rain stays away and we have no worse than a good to soft course in two weeks time.
Week 28 (4th October to 10th October)
All seems well with Harry after the race and he appears none the worse for wear. He looks to have lost virtually no weight either. He takes it easy for a few days before going back to his work.
Week 27 (27th September to 2nd October) 
Everything went well this week and fortunately we ended up with a perfect draw from the no 4 slot.
However, race day turned out to be a disappointment. Harry was loaded early which didn’t help, but he not only broke slowly, he was also very slow into stride which is very unlike him. Effectively this cost him any chance in the race. The first 700m of the Chantilly 1400 is downhill and the second 700m is uphill. If you haven’t got a good position going down the hill, you have no choice but to wait until the 400m market to make your move, and of course, if you’re too far back, it is impossible to make up the ground. Turning for home, Harry was sitting third to last and try as he did when asked over the last two furlongs, he was never going to get within striking distance. He finished seventh over three lengths behind the second horse, and with top rated Lomato accelerating off a handy position to win emphatically by three. So most disappointing. The only positive was that he had a relative easy race, only really racing the last 400m or so.
We will regroup and aim him for the G3 over 1600m at St Cloud on the 30th October.
All has gone pretty much as planned with the final touches to Harry’s work program. We got lucky with the draw at four in what has ended up as a 12 horse field.
 whatsapp-image-2016-10-02-at-14-47-24 whatsapp-image-2016-10-02-at-13-21-16
 Week 26 (20th September to 26th September)
All went well this week with Harry putting up a quick 800m gallop on the Resevoir hill turf course at Chantilly. This completes his main work for the Prix de Foret. The weather forecast suggests we’ll have a good surface – he just needs to break on terms and hopefully we’ll get a good draw to that end.  Pierre Strydom is due at the stables on Wednesday for a light blow out and that will be the program for the race, the , on Arc Day.
Week 25 (13th September to 19th September)
Harry’s gallop over 1200m at Chantilly went very well with experienced international jockey, Gerald Mosse, kindly obliging in the saddle. John Hammond kindly loaned a sprinter companion for the gallop which gave Harry a lead to about the two furlong pole before Harry joined him over the last two furlongs. It went as planned at a pace where Harry enjoyed the outing without being unduly taxed. We took the opportunity to show him the paddock and he was his usual calm self. So all good, and a big thank you to the stewards at Chantilly for granting us the opportunity to work Harry at Chantilly racecourse.

Week 24 (6th September to 12 September)

Jallota trained by English trainer, Charlie Hills, won the Prix de Pin from Attendu trained out of our yard by our host, Carlos Laffon. Jallota, a son of Rock of Gibralter, was G2 & G3 placed prior to his win in the Prix de Pin.

Harry continues to enjoy his new environment and trains well. He will work over 1200m in the company of a Hammond runner tomorrow at Chantilly, around the bend and over the course of the Prix de Foret.

Week 23 (August 30th to September 5th)

Fortunately, Harry’s hocks aren’t too bad and have responded well to treatment. Harry trotted on Tuesday and Wednesday before cantering on Thursday and Friday, with his first easy breeze on Saturday. He has slotted in with the daily regime like an old soldier, settling in quickly & eating well. On Sunday, he appeared in good fettle after his first work & went for an easy trot. The stables in Chantilly work with a skeleton crew on Sunday so only a few horses ever go to train.

Midweek is the Prix de Pin over 1400 at Chantilly, the major prep race for the Prix de Foret on Arc Day. I’ll definitely be spending my day at Chantilly.

Week 22 (August 23rd to 29th) 

Harry had a pretty easy week prior to shipping to Chantilly on Saturday midnight. We stopped over for the day about 20kms outside Poitier after a 6 hour journey. Bordeaux had a circus operating over the weekend so that was out! We continued on to Chantilly Monday morning, leaving at 2:30am and arriving at 7am.
For whatever reason, Harry did not behave particularly well on the journey. There was no rhyme or reason for it as we traveled in the same truck for the La Teste gallop and he behaved perfectly on that trip, there and back. But that’s horses for you. Each time he decided to throw a dill, as soon as I spoke to him he stopped but only after lashing out a couple of times without warning. The end result were two capped hocks (Again! As in the flight back from Dubai). Fortunately, the hocks did not blow up as we treated him straight away on arrival – it makes a difference.

So Harry hand walked on the Monday morning. All being well, he will trot tomorrow.

Week 22 (August 16th to 22nd)

The long rest after Dubai probably cost us more than I figured. Harry came out of his work at La Teste a little flat, & then worked back quite sluggishly. He simply is not quite ready for the Golden Whip at the end of the month. After discussion with the stable back home, we have elected to skip the Baden Baden race & aim for the Prix de Foret on Arc Day at Chantilly. We will ship to Chantilly this week, which will allow us a good month to prepare for the G1 over 1400m on Arc Day. In many ways, it is Harry’s best distance. The 1400 at Chantilly is a tough race with an uphill run over the last furlong, the type of course that should suit Harry well. By shipping well in advance, it affords us the opportunity to show him the course a couple of times before his run.

HS at water edge1

HS at water edge2







HS at water edge4HS at water edge3







Week 21 (August 9th to 15th)

We traveled the four & a half journey to La Teste for Harry’s gallop on Thursday 11th, leaving in the early hours to arrive at around 6am. It’s a pretty little course over a 2000m oval with a lovely wooden grandstand and a lightly wooded stable area where the trainers purchase their own individual plots for their stable yards and residence, so at least they have a tangible asset to their business. A concept that should have been introduced back at Summerveld years ago.

For the gallop at 7am, I had our rider sit back a good five or six lengths off his companion from the 1200m marker, with instructions to make up the ground approaching the 400m and pick it up over the last 200m. Harry made up the ground easily enough but didn’t really look in hand over the last 200m, showing a little tiredness despite finishing a length & a half to the good. At this stage of Harry’s preparation, we were hoping for a stronger finish so we’ll see how he comes out of this piece of work and how well he works back next week.

After allowing him to relax and then eat a small feed at 9am, we set off back to Laredo at 11am.

The following day, Harry had eaten up well and went for a light trot and paddle on his beach. On the Saturday, he then went for a light canter and seemed fine.

Week 20 (August 2nd to 8th)

Harry went through his paces on Saturday over 1200m on the beach and looked well enough. The plan is to ship to La Teste in France on Thursday for a gallop over 1200m on the turf course that should give us a more accurate gauge of where we stand for the Golden Whip at the end of the month. Weight wise he is looking good, but he is only really just coming to hand now after all his set backs with his feet and little niggles that he incurred in the Dubai Turf. It’s been quite a long journey back to fitness.

Week 19 (July 26th to 1st August)

Harry put up a fine work on Tuesday morning over a 1000 metres, especially impressive because he did it without a work companion. Harry has always worked rather lazily ‘solo’ in the past! He is coming to hand nicely and will be going to La Teste in the south of France a week from Thursday (on 11th August) for a testing gallop over at least 1000m over the turf there, and in company.

Early in the week, the annual Derby Internacional de Loredo was held on the beach in Somo, about twenty minutes from us here in Laredo. It is a three day festival of beach horse racing and Cesar Jnr had three rides for two seconds and a win. The winning purse was Euro 3500!! It was well attended with various bits of entertainment on hand, and altogether a most enjoyable experience. Only in Spain, it seems….

Week 18 (July 19th to 25th)

The long range weather forecast for Baden Baden at the end of August, and for Deauville for that matter, over the past two weeks has changed from five days of rain to two, with various combinations in between that seem to change willy nilly. So clearly the long range weather forecast can’t be used as an accurate gauge, at least this far out. But, and it is a big but, Harry will have been in full training for a solid seven weeks going into his debut European run and certainly works well over the soft beach sand that has become his training surface while here in Spain. Based on his action and work, I’d have to think that he’ll handle a good to soft surface, if maybe not a very soft surface, and especially over the shorter distance of a sprint.

Our good friend, Xavier Bozo, visited Harry & I here in Laredo for a couple of days mid-week with his son, Marco, and stunning girlfriend, Carmen, born in the Cameroons out of a local dam and by an imported French sire, an extremely attractive cross as it turns out. We enjoyed a couple of nice meals and good conversation at two recommended local haunts. And Xavier took some nice pics of Harry at the stable and on his beach. The three had driven down from Normandy to attend a family wedding in Biarritz, and decided to hoof it down to Laredo as it’s only two to three hours extra by road. It was a nice interlude for me and great to see Xavier and one of his siblings down in this neck of the woods.

Week 17 (July 12th to 18th)
I have to say that the summers are very mild in this corner of Spain with quite a bit of rainfall and very few hot days. But the beach that is Harry’s training track remains remarkably consistent, raHarrys Son on the beach in Spainin or sunshine. Harry has taken the step up in work in stride as usual, excuse the pun.
We took a trip on Sunday to Caignes in the Armagnac growing region of southern France, about a five and a half hour journey from Laredo. Cesar Alonso had a runner in a maiden race, second run off a very long layoff, and ran a good 4th over 1700m, probably looking for a little further, and collecting over two thousand Euros for his efforts. The course is your typical southern France country track with a lovely paddock shaded by old oak trees, really very cozy, and a small grandstand with a trackside restaurant between the grandstand and the paddock.
Most of these racecourses in the south cater to flat racing and jump racing, and a few have trotting tracks as well. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of France with pristine rolling hills meticulously manicured by their farmer owners. Really a pretty part of the world, and I have to say the French have style like no other. They clearly take great pride in their homesteads and villages. There is something about the way the French do things that I truly admire.
(Week 16 (July 5th to 11th )
One thing I’ve noticed in this small corner of Spain, nestled on the southern shores of the Bay of Biscay & with the Pyrenees mountains a short distance to the north, is the abundant bird life. Having finally moved to the cottage next door to Harry’s stables, I’m now surrounded by the incessant chorus of our little feathered friends. And somehow, it’s so very reassuring. I noticed back in November when Harry trained at Epsom, how the variety and extent of the various bird species I remember from my early school years in the English countryside have simply disappeared. It disturbs me greatly.IMG_0031
For whatever reason, Harry has become more vocal in his greetings whenever I arrive at the stables, be it first thing in the morning before training or in the late afternoon when I arrive to usher Harry onto the courtyard lawn to graze before supper time. Harry enjoys his routine, a ‘man of habit’, and is clearly happy with his human companionship. He likes the attention. And it’s the simple thinIMG_0027gs in life that Harry enjoys. I respect that and do what I can to oblige him, to keep him content at all times. It’s the least I can do. He has been such a pleasure to train, and has always given of his best on the racecourse. And everydayIMG_0026 since I’ve been here in Spain, Harry goes out to the beach and just does whatever you ask him to do, and without a moments hesitation. What an absolute pleasure he is. Between Harry and the birds, I am continually reminded never to take our animal friends for granted.
And back to racing, jockey Harry Bentley, who partnered Harry to fourth place in the G1 Jebel Hatta in Dubai, booted home his first G1 winner in the UK for seasoned trainer, Henry Candy, aboard Limato in the July Handicap at Newmarket over six furlongs. I’m happy for Bentley, a fine talented rider with a great future in front of him.
And at the age of sixty three, Jean-Claude Rouget who trains at Pau in the south of France at the northern foot of the Pyrenees, is having one of the best seasons of his career. At Chantilly yesterday, Rouget saddled four winners of the eight race card, including two group races and a new course record with the Sea the Stars 3yo colt, Zelzal, in the G1 Prix de Jean Prat over a mile. Being based at Pau has afforded Rouget the valuable option of developing his equine protégées against the relatively easier opposition of the southern French racecourses, thus endowing his thoroughbred athletes with early confidence before they travel later in their careers to the central Parisienne courses of Longchamp, St Cloud, Chantilly and Maisson-Laffitte, and of course Deauville out on its own, to meet the stiffer competition. And despite being a good nine hour road trip, traveling his horses clearly hasn’t been a disadvantage. And it’s certainly paying off. Over the years, he has slowly built up the solid support his results deserve and is now reaping the benefits with an ever improving quality of patron and racehorse. It’s really satisfying to witness a racehorse trainer do something well and slightly differently, and finally get the recognition for it. And there’s little doubt his approach would have been an uphill battle to get the necessary support early on in his career. So my congratulations and best wishes to Monsieur Rouget for a job well done…..
Week 15 (June 28th to July 4th)
All continues well in the Harry camp. We have stepped up the pace this week and will probably take him for a turf gallop towards the middle of July. That will give us a good indication of where we stand.
There were two races in France last week showboating Harry’s main competition in France. The first was the G3 Prix de Gris-Orangis over 1200m at Maisson-Laffitte. In an eight horse field, the race was won by the 3yo filly, Damila, in a photo with the 6yo colt, Love Spirit, over the straight course. Later in the week on the 2nd July, the Prix de la Porte Maillot over a straight 1400m at Deauville was won quite comfortably by the Andre Fabre trained, Jimmy Two Times, a three year old colt by Kendargent, by a length from the five year old Rock of Gibralter colt, Jallota, in a six horse field. Both races were run in good to soft conditions and at a relatively slow pace.
There has been unseasonably heavy rainfall in May & June over much of Europe including France, and I am hopeful that this will lead to a dry late summer….

Week 14 (June 21st to 27th)

Harry has continued steadily with his training. His muscle tone is now back to where it should be and he is really looking well. We will continue with his fast work and take it week by week to see if we can have him fully fit & training well by month end. He has had a good break, the better part of two & a half months, and is now full of beans.
Week 13 (June 14th to 20th) 
Harry started to pick up the pace a bit this week and has looked just fine, enjoying himself each day on the beach.
Royal Ascot has been a smorgasbord of top class racing, albeit mostly in the very soft, and producing it’s fair share of longish odds winners most likely because of it. Despite the underfoot conditions, there have be some wonderful winners including a couple of American bred individuals by the very successful sire, Scat Daddy, who unfortunately departed these environs earlier this year. What a loss. It was also nice to see a few up and coming trainers outside the usual big guns of European racing taking a few scalps.
Royal Ascot is really a masterpiece of what thoroughbred racing can show in all its glory, with some of the finest racehorses in training competing in many of the most competitive group races bar none. It’s a tradition that attracts all sorts in numbers, some simply there for the party and an occasion to dress up to the nines in all its fancy, and some simply for the high standard of competition. To win a group race at Royal Ascot is really the pinnacle of European racing. And what a showpiece it is!

Week 12 (June 7th to 13th)

Harry has continued with his training program & is making steady progress. We have managed to keep his weight in a nice range and we don’t think it will take much to get him back to sprinting fitness.

Week 11 (June 6th to 12th)

The good news is that Harry’s foot problem seems to be finally behind us and he has been cantering over this past week without any problems. ‘Float like a butterfly’, as Ali would say, but we just got to wait a little longer for the ‘sting like a bee’. And we should be able to pick up the pace nicely this week. In view of the lost time though, we are pretty much back to square one as he has been out of any work, to speak of, for nigh on ten weeks.
So we are now looking at bringing Harry back to the races over shorter at the end of July at Deauville in a Listed over 1000m, way too short but our options are limited. A 1200m comeback run would have been preferable but there just aren’t any. That said, this race should still set him up nicely for a crack at the Golden Whip G2 over 1200m at Baden Baden in late August, and, all being well, this race will remain his objective. And we shall plan his next objective from there, pending the outcome…

Week 10 (May 30th to June 5th)

Harry continued to trot absolutely sound throughout the week with no signs of the foot problem that has been plaguing him over the last few weeks. He will start cantering on Tuesday next week and, all being well, will start his fast work program the week after that.
There has been heavy rain this past week in central France with the river Seine almost bursting its banks. So the French Derby on Sunday  was run under very soft conditions. In a fairly run race, the partly Spanish owned, Almanzor, came with a strong run inside the last furlong to win comfortably going away by a length and a half, and at the very generous odds of 20-1. Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget out of La Testes in the south of France, it was a good win from the not so fashionable southern training centre and racecourse, and a first Group 1 winner from the first crop of his young sire, Wootton Bassett (a son of Iffraaj), who was an unbeaten 2yo G1 winner of five races and champion French two year old, but who never managed to win a race at three.
The day before, the Aga Khan’s lightly raced Sea the Stars colt, Harzand, burst through late to take the honours in the Epsom Derby on good to soft ground for his accomplished Irish trainer, Dermot Weld. This is the first Epsom Derby winner for Weld, and the first in the colours of the Aga Khan since the great Shergar back in 1981, who thrashed his opposition by over ten lengths and that to this day remains the longest winning margin in the race’s history. So neither the English nor French Guineas managed to produce the winners of either Derby.
Also on Epsom Derby Day, the Roger Varian trained Postponed, by the indomitable sire Dubawi, and winner of this year’s Sheema Classic at the Dubai World Cup, made his return to the races in devastating style to annex the G1 Coronation Cup by a facile four & a half lengths. Postponed’s next mission will be the King George at Royal Ascot, and I would be very hard pressed to come up with an equine foe capable of taking his scalp in this contest of all contests. Take whatever you can of him now….

Week 9 (May 23rd to 29th) 

Just as well we kept up with the poulticing on Harry’s foot as another abscess seeped out through the quarter on the other side of his right foot mid-week. That said, this seems to be it finally as there is absolutely no more heat in his foot and he is now 100% sound at last. In fact, he is jumping out of his skin. So he started trotting on the 29th and appears fine. However, this does mean that the proposed come back run in Madrid is definitely not going to happen. The Madrid season comes to a close at the end of June, but there are a couple of options for Harry in France over late July, one at the southern French course of Vichy, and a very nice racecourse it is. We will see how he progresses over the next couple of weeks and then make a call on his proposed return to the races.

Week 8 (May 16th to 22nd)

Harry still seemed to be favoring his off-fore a little at the beginning of the week so we delayed the start to his fast work program. By the weekend he was definitely looking much more comfortable so hopefully we can start increasing the intensity of his exercise regime by next week. This will only leave four weeks to get him race fit which is getting a little tight, although his daily paddling chest deep in the water could yet save the day. Time will tell.
The weather has still been quite chilly in the mornings although warming up nicely by midday. The spring rains have also been prevalent. Hopefully, things should start warming up in June as the warmest months here are over July & August.

Week 7 (May 9th to 15th)

Harry recovered quickly from his foot problem. It was caught early, the abscess was drawn out from all the tubbing and poulticing without any complications, and the rest is history.
By the middle of the week, Harry was back cantering on the beach and looking good. He spends time each day paddling back to the stables after his exercise which has also aided his foot recovery nicely. We’ve managed his weight well and he should be ready to start fast work by Wednesday or Thursday this week in preparation for his European debut in the latter part of June.
Harry has had a nice break over the past six weeks and it will not take that much work to get him back to race fitness. All being well, we plan to aim him for the mile contest in Madrid on the 19th of June which is a grade A type race. We would have preferred a shorter race but there is nothing available over shorter where he would qualify without inheriting a huge weight penalty, or without going straight into a group race. So after this Madrid race, we plan to bring him back to shorter distances over 1200-1400m (and all of which will be in group races) over the rest of his European summer campaign.

Week 6 May 2nd to 8th May

Harry came up with a small abscess in his right foot on Monday that we caught early, tubbed and poulticed, and had ‘burst’ by the Wednesday. So he was back trotting by the weekend, and all being well, will start training proper by next week in preparation for his Spanish debut in the latter part of June.
On the Monday, my good friend Diego arrived in Laredo from Sweden and we visited San Sebastián racecourse to the north of Laredo, about an hour & twenty minute drive. It is nestled in a small valley so the course is long with quite sharp turns, but very picturesque. We had lunch at a restaurant close to the track where they clearly filmed part of the gangster movie, The Troubleshooters with Sean Connery and Kevin Costner, back in the nineties. There are several large vats of cider inside the restaurant from which you can choose and fill your glass from a tap. The food is done Argentine style over hot coals, basic but very tasty.
Week 5 (April 25th to 1st May)
Harry has settled in nicely at his beach environment. The weather is still slightly on the chilly side but warms up by midday. He continues his light trotting regime and is looking really well.
Our Spanish trainer, Cesar Alonso, ran a sprinter in a selling race at Dax over the weekend, a small country racecourse south of Toulouse and about a three hour drive into southern France from Laredo. He ran a comfortable second over 1200m, and being a French bred with the French Breeders’ Premium, banked a wholesome Euro 3,000 for his efforts. Dax is a pretty racecourse with both a flat course and a jumping course, and both in very good condition and nicely laid out. The Spanish celebrate! Being both the trainer and owner, Cesar went to town. I hate to think what happens when they win….

Week 4 (April 18th – 24th)

Harry has continued with his light work program of trotting and paddling in the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean. He has gained weight quickly and has already been put on a calorie restricted diet! He appears very content, displaying overly boisterous & ebullient behaviour whenever he greets me, a sure sign all is well. I have added fresh dandelion leaves & clover leaves to his diet which has gone down particularly well with our man Harry!

Harry continues to flourish at the Spanish seaside resort of Laredo while trotting & paddling on the beach. He has put on all his condition and some, and has recovered very quickly from the intensive Dubai Carnival season. All being well, he should resume cantering by the end of next week.

We have come up with a race program in Europe from mid summer, taking in a possible three races over 1600m, and possibly kicking off in late June at the revived Madrid racecourse in a grade A race with an excellent purse. Thereafter, we plan to campaign him in two group races probably over a straight 1600m in France over July and August, although there are a couple of other options over shorter. There is a chance we may look at two international races at Woodbine & Keeneland in September and October, but this will largely depend on the outcome of his European races. If he races well in his European starts, there are quite a few options in France and Germany with excellent purses that may prove more prudent alternatives, especially given the travel & quarantine protocol involved in traveling to the States. There is only so much you can ask a racehorse to take after all.
We do plan on taking Harry to the Madrid racecourse at the end of May to show him the course. From what I have seen from the live racing telecasts, it looks a very good surface and quite a nice wide track with a fairly short run in of around 450m, exiting a left hand turn. And by June, we are most likely to be running on good to firm ground.

I found a furnished apartment in town at a reasonable price & moved in on Monday. It’s surrounded by bars & ‘ristorantes’ so you can see where the priorities lie with the Spanish. Seafood particularly in this area is very good and not expensive by European standards. A two course lunch special with a carafe of vino can be had quite easily at Euro 12.50 – around R200 – so not bad.

Week 3 (April 11th to 17th)

The Spring rains are here in force and it has rained at least half the week. But the beach surface remains constant with the rain having little effect. Harry continues his walking regime with his regular jock, Ramone, followed by a long paddle in the sea each day on his way back to the stables. By the Thursday, Harry has started to get very fresh so has his first trot. He looks incredibly well and continues to trot each day for the rest of the week. I’m surprised by how quickly Harry has recovered and very pleased with the way that he has flourished in his new environment.

Week 2 (April 4th to 10th)

The float collects Harry and I on the evening of Monday the 4th for the road trip to Laredo. We depart at 8pm sharp after I bid my farewells to the Hammond clan.

In strict adherence to the labour laws in France, we stop every two hours for fifteen minutes, affording me the opportunity to offer Harry a drink at each stop. Interestingly, he drank every time. The journey takes exactly 12 hours including a good hour & a half of stoppages. We switched to a two berth truck in Bordeaux for the final leg of the journey. Harry traveled very well arriving in top shape & clearly very bright. Amazing what a difference a little personal presence makes on these journeys for Harry!

It’s a very tranquil environment in Laredo and a twenty five minute walk along a bridal path to the beach that is to be Harry’s training ground over the next several months. Once he reaches the beach, Harry paddles about one & a half to two kilometres up the beach before meeting myself & Cesar Alonso. Here Harry rings on the beach while Cesar trains the rest of the horses in his string. After a few days, Harry is completely switched off as he walks around us on the beach. He especially enjoys sploshing around in the shallow waters just off the beach. Every morning I watch the botes de pesca – fishing boats – leaving the estuary & all hunting anchovy in this part of the world.

On my first Sunday, Cesar takes me on a ‘ristorante crawl’ in nearby Somo and Santander. We sample the house specialty at each of his chosen venues, all washed down with a glass of red, before moving on to the next. All the specialties are sea food from mussels to clams to octopus to lobster, and all absolutely delicious. And there are literally hundreds of these little cafes/ristorantes – clearly eating is a very important national past time. We end up at a very festive bar in Santander with senoritas all doing their stuff on the dance floor. All these places have a really cozy atmosphere that makes such a difference. Thoroughly good fun…

Week 1 (28th March – 3rd April)

Harry was found to have wrenched his offside hock in the Dubai Turf which goes a long way to explaining his poor run, & really his only poor run over his entire racing career. But that’s racing & we move onwards to fight another day.

After deciding against Hong Kong because of the injury, Harry had to ship out from Dubai to the UK no later than Monday after his run to fall within the ninety day quarantine period. He arrived in fair shape, spent a two day layover in Newmarket before the eight hour road trip to Chantilly. An old trainer friend of mine from California days, John Hammond, graciously allowed Harry to lay up at his wonderful Chantilly yard for four days before resuming his journey to Laredo in Spain. It is here where Harry will rest up in the cool waters of the Bay of Biscay before preparing for a mid-summer campaign.

It was a pleasant break for me to spend time with John and his kids who afforded me much amusement with their incessant banter – John’s three boys are Oscar, Peter & Walter, and the one daughter is Molly.