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Majestic Mage gives Nicolle first Georges Courtois

26 November 2017

François Nicolle caused something of an upset in Sunday’s G.1 Prix Georges Courtois chase at Auteuil, sending out Roi Mage to beat favourite and recent Prix la Haye Jousselin second, Milord Thomas, in the €240,000 highlight, making good on a 5kg advantage over ground measured as very soft.
Roi Mage, who had not finished worse than second this season, was making his debut over the Auteuil outer course, but demonstrated great professionalism and a good turn of foot to deny Magalen Bryant’s eight year-old. 
Once Milord Thomas’ principal threat, Docteur De Ballon, fell at the standside river, many would have said it was fait accompli for the favourite, but he was soon to make an error which briefly cost him his action. He still held the lead as they turned for home, in the company of Roi Mage, 2013 winner Al Bucq, and Saint Palois. After jumping the last however, it became a two-horse race with Nicolle’s five year-old winning by a comfortable 1½ lengths from Milord Thomas. Capferret, sent out at 45/1, was a surprise third a further 1¼ lengths further back. 
Picture: Roi Mage beating Milord Thomas in Georges Courtois