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Menuisier aiming to Saunter off with feature on return home

David Menuisier - in familiar territory
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West Sussex-based Frenchman David Menuisier heads back across the Channel to his homeland on Thursday, when progressive handicapper Saunter takes on eight rivals in the Listed Grand Prix du Nord at Le Croise-Laroche.

The course is not that far from the Eurotunnel in the outskirts of the northern French city of Lille, which will cut down on the travel fatigue for Saunter who, like many of his rivals, is stepping up from handicap company in the extended mile-and-a-quarter race.

Saunter won twice over a mile and a quarter in the last turf season, including at Newmarket in September, but was beaten favourite in the valuable Old Rowley Cup on a return to the Rowley Mile the following month.

Menuisier, who has booked Martin Lane for the ride, said: "It's a long time since I've been to Le Croise-Laroche, which is left-handed and a bit like Chester, although the bends aren't as fierce.

"It does favour front-runners, however, especially on soft ground, which it will be and which should suit Saunter. He found the fast ground against him and the mile and a half a bit far at Newmarket last time."

He added: "Like Saunter, all of the opposition are stepping up into Listed company rather than being already proven at that level and I expect our horse to go well. He's a progressive type who should be even better next year."

It's a long time since I've been to Le Croise-Laroche which is left-handed and a bit like Chester although the bends aren't as fierce.
E.W. Terms