Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
|Class 2, Cheltenham 13:15
3m 6f 37y
|Sunday 17th November 2019|
2 Urgent De Gregaine 5/1
3 Chic Name 11/2
10 ran Distances: 4½l, 2¾l, 2l
Time: 8m 44.77s (slow by 40.77s)
Emmanuel Clayeux hasn't always specialised in Cross Country horses, but he is plainly expert with them now for he saddled first and second when the six-year-old Diesel D'Allier led home veteran Urgent De Gregaine in an all-French finish.
Clayeux nurtured the likes of Defi Du Seuil, Apple's Jade and Grand Crus through their early careers, and he also bred Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo, but he has concentrated increasingly on Cross Country since Felix de Giles, who rode the runner-up, established himself in France, reasoning that he is the best Cross-Country jockey in the country.
He hopes to bring both first and second back for the cross-country races next month and at The Festival, and revealed that the latter race is likely to be the last for Urgent De Gregaine, who turns 12 at the end of next month.
He said: " I wasn't sure the younger horse would adapt to the racecourse, but he jumped fluently and was brilliant. He should come back in December and then we 'll see about March.
" I hope Urgent De Gregaine will run in March and that's his main objective. He will finish then, and I'd like to retire him after another win here [he is already a Cross Country winner at Cheltenham in January, 2017] and then maybe we will have a statue of him here! "
The French-trained grey Diesel D'Allier lit up a dark afternoon by winning the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase by four and a half lengths from his stablemate at Emmanuel Clayeux's yard, Urgent De Gregaine.
Diesel D'Allier was ridden by Charlie Deutsch, who said: " He was brilliant and gave me a great spin. I rode one for Mr Clayeux here two years ago and he jumped brilliantly. I got a phone call off him last week and I just said'yes! yes! yes!' - I didn't even know what it was. He gave me a great spin and these French horses jump so well.
" I am very grateful for the ride. He has quickened up the hill really well and is a lovely horse. It would be easy to slip up round there and this lad was very clever on his feet, it was just a matter of clinging on. It was tight where the fence was bypassed and I was just trying to get a run through. Luckily, I had plenty of horse under me so you could go for the gaps. I am over the moon.
" It was a great buzz. I probably went a bit overboard, but I was having a good time! You've got to enjoy because you don't know when you'll get a winner round here next, and I had a dream run. The horse travelled everywhere, jumped really well and I was just lucky to be on board, really.
" I was told not to be too far away at the start, and he was a bit slow in some of his races over the first few, but to be fair we've slotted in nicely, taken our time a bit, and then it was just a case of finding our way through, really, and then seeing how much we had left at the end. He had plenty left and his jumping was very fluent. I was jumping past horses all the time, but I was just trying to find a gap to slot into and eventually we got there when they got a bit tired.
" My French is terrible! It's a long time since I went to school. "
Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
£25,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 6f 37y, Class 2
Going: Soft, Heavy in places
1 Diesel D'Allier 6 10-4 Emmanuel Clayeux Charlie Deutsch 13/2
2 4½ Urgent De Gregaine 11 11-12 Emmanuel Clayeux Felix De Giles 5/1
3 2¾ Chic Name 7 10-8 Richard Hobson James Best 11/2
4 2 Rolling Dylan 8 11-5 Philip Hobbs Micheal Nolan 9/1
5 5 Kingswell Theatre 10 11-2 Michael Scudamore Tom Scudamore 9/2F
6 1 Fact Of The Matter 9 11-3 Jamie Snowden Gavin Sheehan 8/1
7 15 Dawson City 10 11-1 Polly Gundry Tom Bellamy 20/1
8 25 Tea For Two 10 11-3 Mrs Jane Williams Chester Williams 7/1
9 6 Rathlin Rose 11 10-10 David Pipe David Noonan 25/1
PU Solstice Star 9 10-4 Martin Keighley Sam Twiston-Davies 8/1