Caius Chorister extended her winning streak to five with a convincing victory in the Oliver Brown Handicap at Goodwood on Friday. The three-year-old filly has continued to progress at an extraordinary rate, baffling the trainer and the British Horseracing Association handicapping team in equal measure.
Trainer, David Menuisier shared his perplexity after the race. “She’s unbelievable, honestly. She keeps on puzzling me. I’ve never really come across one like this. She just keeps on digging deeper and deeper. Honestly, I’m baffled.”
As recently as April, Caius Chorister was trailing in sixth in a field of eight, in a 1m 4f race at Lingfield, off an official rating of just 56. There were few clues at that point of the improvement that was to follow.
Off a lower rating of 53, a month later at Yarmouth, she recorded her first meaningful victory. She beat fellow French horse, Fast Forward, by half-a-length that day and she has gone from strength-to-strength since.
A month later, the improving filly toughed it out over a mile and a half at Salisbury ahead of Wagga Wagga who would go on to win two races in a row in June.
Then, in spectacular fashion, she obliterated an admittedly weak field to win by nineteen lengths at Epsom. Witnessing this run from the press box balcony at Epsom, I commented in my tracking notes that she was never off the bridle and that her rating should be much higher. When she followed up at Epsom a week later, then off a rating of 68, she beat a much better field in similar fashion.
Not even a rise of 17 in the ratings, from 68 to 85, was enough to dent her improvement and she outstayed a decent field in the final race at Goodwood yesterday.
Discussing future plans, Menuisier was unequivocal that the plan was always to run in the Melrose at York, win or lose at Goodwood. “The plan was to go for the Melrose, I mean, winning or losing.” Menuisier went on to say that he felt that there was too long a gap between Epsom and York and that she would need another run.
Jockey, Benoit De La Sayette, believes that Caius Chorister will get the slightly longer trip at York. “She doesn’t pull. She just travels really nicely on the bridle. I don’t see a problem with that.”
“She stays a mile and a half and she gives me the impression that she could stay further, especially at Epsom the other day.”
Whatever David Munuisier decides to do next with this remarkable filly, it will be interesting to see just how much more improvement there is in her. Hers has already been a remarkable training achievement. Take a bow, Mr Menuisier!