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Sunway shines brightest in Saint-Cloud

3 minute read

David Menuisier returned to the Group 1 winners list when Sunway powered to victory in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.

Trainer : David Menuisier.
Trainer : David Menuisier. Picture: PA News

The Sussex-based French-born trainer enjoyed a happy return to his homeland when Sunway, always towards the fore under Oisin Murphy, saw off a late challenger from the well-regarded Andre Fabre-trained Alcantor.

Once again, it paid to be positioned towards the stands side rail and Oisin Murphy's Mount found plenty in the closing stages to score by half a length.

Menuisier, who enjoyed success at the top level when Wonderful Tonight landed the Qatar Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp in 2020, said: "Everything went according to plan,"

"We wanted him to be up there in second or third, Oisin was able to give him a breather turning for home and then when he asked him to go, he really kicked on."

The son of Galiway created a big impression when winning on debut at Sandown and proved he was more than capable at Group level when runner-up in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month.

He added: "He's a very good horse, he ran well in the Champagne and Oisin really struggled to pull him up after the line that day, so we knew he would stay on well.

"It's fantastic to have another Group 1 win and I'm also grateful and so happy for his breeder Guy Pariente, who has supported us and given us a real boost.

"One thing at a time, so we'll enjoy this victory, but we can now go into the winter dreaming about what might happen next season."

Winning rider Oisin Murphy told Sky Sports Racing: "He was very relaxed, and he's trained really well into this.

"He won on debut at Sandown, disappointed at Ascot, I don't know what went wrong, nothing came to light, then he freshened up and ran very well at Doncaster over a trip short of his best.

"Today, he was perfect. I was quietly confident and it's great because Guy Pariente bred him, he owned the mare and the stallion, Sheikh Fahad and Qatar Racing bought into the horse and Thomas Lines is also involved.

"And it's also great for David Menuisier, who thought he was very good from early on and today he was brilliant.

"I had a high opinion of him and obviously recommended him plenty and was glad he was able to do that. They have to have the mind to do that, and he most certainly does.

"He has a bright future. The rail helped but I've no doubt I was on the best horse and the runner-up is a good horse as well.

"He'll stay further, he's a brother of (Champion Stakes winner) Sealiway, whose distance was probably 10 furlongs, and I've no doubt this fellow will go a furlong or two more."

Sunway was cut to 14/1 from 40/1 with Paddy Power for next year's Qipco 2000 Guineas and introduced at 33/1 for the Epsom Derby next year.

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