That is the way Elusive Edition's comment line begins after her first race at Canterbury Sunday. There were only a couple of things I didn't want to have happen: I didn't want her to be awful and I didn't want her to be one of those horses that couldn't earn a speed figure. She managed both.
When things are going a bit sideways, never think they can't get worse. They can.
Ellie had two official works from the gate. She'd been over there several times otherwise, including the day before the race. Still, in the heat of her first race, she locked up. Froze. From the second she hesitated I knew all was lost and I was livid. It was brutally difficult to watch the entire race. She spotted the field seven to start and was able to hustle up and get in touch with the field but it took something out of her and she flattened out in the lane.
It was horribly depressing and frustrating.
Eighteen months we waited. Suffered through her sore shins at 2; the cost of her layup over the winter; getting her back into training in the late winter; losing valuable conditioning days due to weather; missing possible start dates. All the while partners pouring in money and patiently waiting for her first start.
And this is what we got.
Back to the gate she will go until she can get it right. It's hard to take anything from this effort. The winning effort was a 27 Beyer - we need to be able to beat horses that run a 27 - but who the hell can tell how good (or not) Ellie is when she just waltzed out of the gate and exhausted herself catching up? Can she close? Should she be in front? We have no idea and this start told us nothing.
On tap is more waiting; more waiting; and more money. If patience is a virtue, Ellie's partnership group is the most virtuous group on Earth.