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Peslier to ride Wonderful Tonight in Arc as Goodwood trophy reaches Menuisier

Wonderful Tonight: winner of the Lillie Langtry
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Trainer David Menuisier has revealed four-time Arc-winning jockey Olivier Peslier will ride Wonderful Tonight in the Longchamp showpiece in October.

Menuisier has had to look elsewhere as William Buick, who has ridden her to two victories this season, is retained to ride for Godolphin, who have Adayar and Hurricane Lane set to line up. Previous rider Tony Piccone is currently in Hong Kong, so Menuisier has called on the experience of Peslier.

The West Sussex-based trainer said: “There’s various factors, firstly the experience as he’s won the race several times and knows Longchamp better than anyone else.

“He’s also won on the filly as a two-year-old and he was meant to keep the ride when she ran in France in July but he was still on the sidelines so we used Tony Piccone. He did well so we kept him on but he’s gone to Hong Kong.

“I’ve known Olivier for about 20 years and I feel comfortable having him on board. Those are the main points. We had a few people keen which was flattering, it wasn’t easy to turn down some big names but you have to go with your gut.”

Wonderful Tonight: won the Hardwicke on her return at Royal Ascot

Wonderful Tonight is an 8-1 chance with Betfair Sportsbook for the Arc and Peslier, whose most recent Arc success came in 2012 with Solemia, is poised to take the ride in prep runs ahead of October 3.

However, where those runs take place has yet to be confirmed, particularly as Chris Wright's daughter of Le Havre thrives on soft ground.

“I don’t write off any options at the moment,” added Menuisier. “We'll look at Deauville this month for the Prix Jean Romanet or Prix de Pomone [August 22] or Longchamp in September where we’ll enter her in the Prix Vermeille and Prix Foy. There’s options in Ireland, just in case.

“She’s straightforward but you’ve got to know her as well. In an ideal world I’d like Olivier to sit on her at least once but preferably twice before the big race.”

On Tuesday, Menuisier received the trophy for Saturday's Lillie Langtry Stakes, won by Wonderful Tonight, which had gone missing from Goodwood after racing. It was accidentally given to Ian Davison, one of the owners of Stewards’ Cup winner Commanche Falls, but Wright is set to receive it on Friday. Davison, meanwhile, is having the Stewards’ Cup couriered to him.

Wright said: “David and I are seeing each other on Friday so we’ll have it then. It’s a wonderful trophy, it’s solid silver and was specially designed by Theo Fennell – who is a very famous jeweller – so I’m really looking forward to being reunited with it. I don’t know where I’ll put it, that’s up to the wife."

Read more . . .

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We had a few people keen which was flattering, it wasn’t easy to turn down some big names but you have to go with your gut
E.W. Terms