Monsieur Chevalier Swoops Late for Sixth Success
1 (7) Monsieur Chevalier 10/11 (F)
Richard Hannon already has one top-class juvenile in his yard in the form of runaway Coventry Stakes winner Canford Cliffs but, in winning his sixth race of the season, Monsieur Chevalier is guaranteeing that his name is never far the headlines either.
Hannon said of his Betfair Molecomb Stakes winner: “He’s certainly one of the best two-year-olds I’ve ever trained but I don’t think I want to watch that race again.
“There’s no doubt that that’s the way to ride him (coming from off the pace between horses). The only time he’s been beaten this year was when we tried to follow the Yanks at Ascot. He got a terrible bang when he was in the air but he’s redeemed himself big time today.”
Asked whether Monsieur Chevalier would now take on the older horses, he replied: “The Nunthorpe is closed now but he’s in the Gimcrack, the Mill Reef, he’s got plenty of places to go.”
Indicating that the winner is unlikely to take on his stable companion, Hannon added: “Canford Cliffs will probably go a different trip. They’re both very, very good horses.”
Winning jockey Richard Hughes, who received a one-day ban for his careless riding (August 11 - for causing interference to unplaced Soccer) on Monsieur Chevalier, said: “He’s a real superstar but he’s nerve-wracking to ride because he always starts slowly and all of a sudden you realise you’re eight or ten lengths off the leaders. You always end up last but as soon as you put him in between two horses he takes off. He’s totally different to Canford Cliffs. This lad will get six furlongs, there’s no doubt about that. But this is his year. He’s small, he’s compact but he’s tough and does everything you need. With him it’s make hay while the sun shines.
“He’s hardly blowing. You are never going and then all of a sudden, when it matters, he comes good and goes wherever you want him to go. I knew that they would fly but I was drawn a little bit wide so I wanted to go left to get a little more cover but the horse on my left jumped a half-length slow so I had to pull back and I was suddenly eight lengths off the leaders. It wasn’t ideal but I had to make do.
"I went in for a run and had a little luck because I saw one up ahead that wasn’t going well and took another manoeuvre to the right and then had some more luck. It wasn’t ideal but he got the job done. The gap was closing but he was going quicker than the gap."
Former trainer Ken Ivory, a part-owner through Valerie Hubbard, added: “This is some two-year-old and I have never seen one fly like him - I wish that I had trained one like him. It gets tougher for him every time but he keeps on doing it. He’s so relaxed and such a lazy horse but he’s like an engine.
"Richard (Hughes) is such a professional - he knows what is under him and he rides him with so much confidence, it’s unbelievable. This has got to be some special two-year-old. Goodwood is a fantastic track and it’s always in good condition - I think winning here is better than the National, personally. I had a few winners here but nothing like this.
"He’s in the Gimcrack and the Middle Park and I would like to see him run over further but Hughesy says he’s all speed so we will leave it to the professionals. We can’t keep winning, can we?"
NICHOLLS HAS HIGH HOPES FOR MANANNAN
Trainer David Nicholls was delighted with the run of Mister Manannan to finish a length runner-up to Monsieur Chevalier in the Group 3 Betfair Molecomb Stakes.
“We knew what they were going to do with the other horse (Monsieur Chevalier) so we just try to make our own way out there,” said Nicholls. “He ran a blinder but the winner’s a very good horse. Our’s is in the Gimcrack but he’s still a weak, backward horse and we don’t want to run him too much this season.”
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