Miss De Champdoux crowned final queen of Enghien
French jump racing said farewell to Enghien on Monday with a success for course specialist Miss De Champdoux and Johnny Charron in the Prix Leopold d'Orsetti Grande Course de Haies.
The winner of this race 12 months ago, and of the Enghien version of the Grand Steeple-Chase last month, Miss De Champdoux brought the curtain down on jumping at the track in the north-western suburbs of Paris, which first hosted racing in 1879.
France Galop estimate they will save €1 million in the first year after ceasing their lease arrangement with the Trotting authorities at Enghien, with the bulk of the fixtures being moved north to rural Compiegne, while Auteuil now stands alone as a jumps venue in the capital.
"For me it is dramatic to close a racecourse like this, which serves as a great nursery for young horses – it is not as tough as Auteuil – and also certain horses become specialists around here," said winning trainer Philippe Peltier.
"Miss De Champdoux made all her money here and would have found the ground too deep at Auteuil. There will be no more Enghien so we have to look forward to Compiegne."
The Dan Skelton-trained Shelford was in a challenging positioning off the home turn but could not go through with his effort and came home fifth.
"I was absolutely delighted with him; he had top weight and he’s run really well," said jockey Harry Skelton. "Auteuil is even harder than this, but the ones we bring here, we’ll go to Compiegne with them now."
Earlier, Shelford's stablemate Mont Lachaux failed to fire and was pulled up in the Prix General de Saint-Didier for three-year-old hurdlers, which went the way of recent Auteuil winner Titi De Montmartre.
Winning trainer Robert Collet said: "She has finished off winning two Group races and has backed-up her last success here – the runner-up has also won since – so there's no reason she can’t make a good four-year-old."