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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Week in review: from 1-10 wondermares to champion 'apprentices'

David Menuisier: employs Didier Gengoul, a 23-time champion jockey in Martinique and Guadeloupe who can claim 3lb in Britain
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Best performance of the week

If you look at the bare result of the Warwick Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, in which a 1-10 favourite won by a head, it would not strike you as ‘best performance of the week’ fodder.

However, Winx’s success on her return was nothing short of remarkable.

Gifting her rivals a four-length advantage after a shoddy start, Winx's 17-race unbeaten run looked to be coming to an end as she turned into the straight in last place.

For her fans in Britain that set the alarm for 5.55am, it was well worth the early start as Winx passed her rivals one by one in the final two furlongs, most importantly heading stablemate Foxplay in the final strides to gain a momentous win. Rider Hugh Bowman really was one cool cookie.

Resurgence of the week

Those who didn't fancy having progeny sired by Mattmu may have missed a trick, as Tim Easterby's sprinter proved he hasn't lost any of his considerable ability when winning the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon.

A career at stud failed to ignite, with a lack of interest in the five-year-old prompting a return to the track, and he delivered nearly £47,000 to connections with a three-quarters of a length win.

The Ayr Gold Cup is on the agenda, and were he to land that as well, then the chances of a more fulfilling stallion career should be greatly enhanced.

Sombre stories of the week

The inherent dangers of the sport were highlighted this week with promising juvenile Santry and popular handicapper Jack Dexter sadly suffering fatal injuries.

Brocklesby winner Santry, trained by Declan Carroll, broke a leg on the gallops on Wednesday morning, while Jack Dexter fractured a cannonbone in the Great St Wilfrid consolation race at Ripon on Saturday.

Santry: suffered a fatal injury on the gallops on Wednesday

Thoughts are with those who were closest to the two horses, while condolences are also passed on to the family of Ann Potts following the high-profile owner’s passing this week.

Funniest story of the week

The shrewdest trainers exploit quirks in the system, but David Menuisier probably could not quite believe his luck when it was confirmed Didier Gengoul, a perennial champion jockey in Martinique and Guadeloupe, can claim 3lb in Britain.

Gengoul, 46, has been the leading rider on those islands 23 times and clearly has plenty of experience on his side. It will be interesting to see how he fares.

Menuisier said: “It’s official – I have the best apprentice in the country!”

Picture of the week

Fight to the finish: runners and riders in the opener at Salisbury on Thursday, won by Autumn Leaves (left), approach the closing stages

Quote of the week

"I feel like my older son got beaten by my younger son.”
Bob Baffert on Collected’s victory over stablemate Arrogate in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Sunday morning.

If you were interested in this, you might like:

Waller: Winx has come out of Warwick Stakes better than ever

Watch Arrogate agonisingly fail to reel in stablemate Collected

Multiple champion Gengoul cleared to ride with 3lb off


It’s official – I have the best apprentice in the country!

Key data

Winx Arrogate
E.W. Terms
Sky bet