Montgomery glory for Saint Xavier
21 October 2018
In the care of Pierre Raussin since the beginning of the year, the Papot family’s six year-old, Saint Xavier, confirmed last Saturday the promise he had previously shown on so many occasions, with a dynamic G.3 Prix Montgomery win, securing a first group victory for both trainer Raussin and jockey, Antoine Coupu.
The horse of note in the Prix Violon late last month, Saint Xavier was always in touch with the leaders in the 4700m (2m7½f) event. He disposed of them one by one, notably the favourite Cafertiti who was unable to keep up with him on the flat, and went on to win by a superb 15 lengths.
A well-beaten ninth in the race twelve months ago, he could not have set the record straight any more profoundly and the change of handler has reaped rewards for his owners. Hailing from the showjumping world, Raussin changed tack and set up his training operation at Le Mans where he has twenty horses owned by the Papot’s and just as many in pre-training. Speaking of the weekend’s success, he said, “He’s very special, but not particularly reliable. He’s a tough one to prepare, but today, he paid us back.”
For 19 year-old Coupu, who spent his initial years with Bertrand Lefebvre and Laurent Viel, his first Auteuil victory was a special moment. “It’s not easy to get a group race ride at my age. Winning one is even harder!” His 19th success of the season, Coupu can expect a few more before the year is out.
Picture: Saint Xavier winning the Montgoméry under an ecstatic Antoine Coupu
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