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French trip planned to put Chorister on song for Gold Cup

French trip planned to put Chorister on song for Gold Cup
French trip planned to put Chorister on song for Gold Cup

David Menuisier is planning to give Caius Chorister one more outing to fine-tune his Sagaro Stakes runner-up ahead of her return to Ascot for the Gold Cup.

The five-year-old produced a career best to win the Group Three Prix Belle de Nuit at the end of last season and showed she was still improving on her first try at two miles – pushing defending champion and last year’s Ascot Gold Cup second Coltrane all the way to be beaten a head.

It was a performance that ignited Royal Ascot dreams for connections, but while owner Clive Washbourn is already clearing space on his mantlepiece for the trophy, Caius Chorister’s handler is taking a more considered view of her place in the staying division.

Menuisier said: “She’s absolutely grand and has taken the race at Ascot really well. I think she will improve for that and has earnt her place in the top staying races

“I think a lot of the stayers have been around for a while now and it’s great if she can be the new blood in the division.

“People may not have realised, but she was carrying a 3lb penalty in the race and it does enhance the performance even more when you consider that.

“We’re remaining grounded – well I am, I’m not sure about the owner – but it is extremely exciting to be a part of her.”

David Menuisier is eyeing the Ascot Gold Cup with Caius Chorister
David Menuisier is eyeing the Ascot Gold Cup with Caius Chorister (Simon Marper/PA)

With Caius Chorister again having to carry a penalty if running at Sandown in the Chasemoor Farm Henry II Stakes on May 23, Menuisier is eyeing a trip to his homeland for an outing in the Group Two Prix Vicomtesse Vigier at ParisLongchamp three days later.

That is a race used in the past by the likes of French staying star Vazirabad when warming up for the Ascot Gold Cup and Menuisier explained: “It will probably not be straight to Ascot, as she gets fresh really quickly and it wouldn’t be ideal to risk being too fresh before a race like the Gold Cup.

“I think I would like to slot in a race in between, with a strong chance she goes to France for the Group Two, the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier. That is probably more likely than the Henry II Stakes for the good reason that she won’t carry a penalty, like she would have to at Sandown.”

Devil’s Point is another Washbourn-owned member of Menuisier’s string heading overseas for his next outing, with the talented colt booking his ticket to Cologne for the German 2000 Guineas when winning at Goodwood on Friday.

Devil’s Point will head for the German 2000 Guineas
Devil’s Point will head for the German 2000 Guineas (Adam Davy/PA)

Runner-up in the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster at the end of last season, his Goodwood success in a conditions race named after the trainer’s former boss John Dunlop was the perfect way to tighten the screw following his comeback third in the Prix Djebel.

Menuisier added: “It was always the plan and I don’t mean to sound cheeky, but we always planned to run him at Goodwood to give him that last blow before the German Guineas – now he has had that run, I don’t need to work him beforehand.

“He’s improved his fitness on the track and I can now give him an easier time before travelling to Cologne.

“It all went according to plan and it was also nice to win in memory of my old boss John Dunlop, so we killed two birds with one stone and it was an amazing day.”

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