Multiple champion Didier Gengoul cleared to ride with 3lb off
A quirk in the system means trainer David Menuisier will be able to call on the services of “the best apprentice in the country” in the shape of a 23-time champion jockey who is, after all, entitled to claim 3lb.
Confusion surrounded the legitimacy of Didier Gengoul’s claim when he prepared to take his first ride in Britain on the Menuisier-trained Rainbow Rising at Lingfield on Saturday night.
Gengoul, 46, is a perennial champion jockey in Martinique and Guadeloupe, but with the French territories having come under the jurisdiction of France Galop only in 2013, Gengoul has officially ridden only 76 winners.
Having been questioned by the clerk of the scale at Lingfield about his background, Gengoul and Menuisier opted not to claim the 3lb, with the responsibility for a jockey’s information being correct ultimately falling on the rider.
However, on Monday Menuisier was contacted by the BHA to inform him that Gengoul is eligible to claim and can do so in future races.
“It’s official – I have the best apprentice in the country!” said Menuisier.
"It’s been a lot of fuss about nothing because I didn’t mind if he didn’t have a claim. But it’s good that he has.
“We were never looking to gain an advantage by it. He works for me now. We didn’t use the claim at Lingfield in case he was disqualified afterwards for any reason.”
Gengoul was beaten three-quarters of a length on 20-1 shot Rainbow Rising at Lingfield, and has a chance to make it second time lucky on the Menuisier-trained Psychotic at Salisbury on Thursday.