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Matt Chapman talks Champions Day, John Gosden and the Cox Plate in his latest column

, Matt Chapman talks Champions Day, John Gosden and the Cox Plate in his latest column

CHAMPIONS DAY has come and gone and while the big Group 1 Vertem Futurity is at Doncaster on Saturday there’s a feeling it’s time to go jumping now .

Tat said, who or what has made it to my latest Good Bad Ugly column? Let’s find out…

Before I start, this is a Tom Marquand/Hollie Doyle free zone. They must be sick of the same old questions. That said, well done you two. Nice weekend.

I can only imagine you had an absolute romp Saturday night!


Very few support the French, but this Menuisier fellow is a rather good trainer isn’t he? And added to that, annoyingly, he seems a top bloke.

Is he a new breed I ask myself? For those of you wondering what I am talking about, then wonder no more.

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I’m bigging up David Menuisier, the handler of Wonderful Tonight who landed Saturday’s Group 1 Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes.

Wonderful Tonight is just the type of horse that Menuisier will shine with, as he believes in patience and bringing a horse along in its own time. There’s no rushing with Menuisier.

I’m fairly confident the Menuisier stable will be seen in big races more and more over the next few years. Tres bien.

I also want to give a quick shout out to Safid Alam, who I thought spoke brilliantly on ITV after the horse he looks after – Addeybb – landed Saturday’s Champion Stakes at Ascot. His joy was joyous, and the way he praised the William Haggas team was all class.


I don’t think John Gosden has ever made this part of my column, but the last runs of Enable, Stradivarius, Palace Pier and Mishriff were all bad.

It just shows that however good you are, and we all know Gosden is an absolute monster of the sport, things are never as easy as you might think.

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What was surprising were the excuses. Pace, shoes and ground were all put up as reasons why the stars did not perform. Gosden is human after all. It’s official.


On the eve of one of my favourite races – the Cox Plate – Australian racing is about to be hit by a tidal wave of self-inflicted disappointment over its most prestigious prize. This is going to get very very ugly. As ugly as an ugly thing.

This is all about the virtual Cox Plate, which has been organised like we had a virtual Grand National. Now the idea to produce a virtual race that will pay homage to the history of the great event and help celebrate its 100th running is an honourable and decent one. 

But the decision to add in three horses to the virtual mix that never landed a Cox Plate – namely the awesome Frankel, US star Secretariat and Japan’s Deep Impact is set to backfire bigtime and is certain to prove a monster mistaker to maker.

Now I’m not that fussed about Secretariat and Deep Impact to be honest. Everyone knows Secretariat needs dirt so Moonee Valley will be no good for him, and Deep Impact failed to land the Arc when punted off the boards. 

But people. Frankel? I repeat Frankel with a worldy rating of 140! Without any doubt, to the mind of any sane observer (even Australians), the greatest horse ever to have existed – surely it only goes down as madness he is in the field. 

I mean, it’s an own goal isn’t it? You parade all these legends of Australian racing, including Winx, bless her, Kington Town and Phar Lap and, unless there is a computer glitch which I suspect will happen, Frankel will win by a street. Whoops! 

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