Auteuil: Lagunak's win was the perfect tonic for popular Fouin
Lagunak success for popular Fouin
Report: Auteuil, Sunday
Auteuil: Prix La Haye Jousselin (Group 1 Chase) 3m3½f, 5yo
LAGUNAK (Yannick Fouin/Jeremy da Silva) produced the perfect tonic for his popular trainer in running out an impressive winner of France's premier autumn chase.
Fouin, 42, celebrated one of his biggest wins to date when Lagunak won the Group 2 Prix des Drags in June but, just two days later that success, he was rushed into hospital after suffering a brain aneurism.
The seven-year-old Lagunak suffered a more common problem with his build up to the race when falling at the big open ditch in his prep race three weeks ago.
The same obstacle was once again key as Da Silva, who had been content to bide his time at the back of the field, found himself in front as Rubi Ball and Savigny came down.
After another challenger Kotkieglote unseated at the next Lagunak was left to make the best of his way home, finishing 20 lengths in front of favourite Net Lovely on the punishingly heavy ground, with the same distance back to the third Shannon Rock.
A happily-recovered Fouin said: "I thought he had a good chance because everything had gone well in the build-up apart from the glitch in his comeback run. I'm overcome."
The race also provided the biggest success to date in the career of 22-year-old Da Silva, who has more height on his side than could be considered ideal for a jump jockey.
"I always wanted to take my time because it's a long way," said Da Silva. "I'd saved him as much as possible and when I asked him to come up at the second last he was phenomenal."
Britain's only challenger Double Dizzy was struggling from an early stage and was pulled up by Andrew Glassonbury with a circuit still to travel.
Also on Sunday
Auteuil: Prix Maurice Gillois (Group 1 Chase) 2m6f, 4yo
Philip Carberry rode an ice cool race to land the Group 1 Prix Maurice Gillois on Utopie Des Bordes (Francois Cottin), having been last of the 12 runners passing the stands.
"I just wanted to give her a chance, so we went as fast as she was able," said Carberry. "She hated the ground but she has a very big heart."
Both Carberry and Cottin were gaining compensation for the narrow defeat of Le Tranquille in Saturday's Grand Prix d'Automne.
"Philip and I seem to get on better and better as the years go by," said Cottin. "We don't have to say a lot to one another which is the sign of a good partnership."