Nuits St Georges, a smart staying handicapper on the Flat, has left David Menuisier to pursue a career over jumps with leading Irish trainer Henry de Bromhead.
Connections felt the time was right for the Mount Nelson gelding to try another discipline and chose De Bromhead, whose triumphs in 2021 included the Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National, as the right person for the job.
When asked to nominate a trainer by owners the Boy George Partnership, Menuisier suggested De Bromhead as the County Waterford handler had shown an interest in Nuits St Georges when he was a yearling in Ireland.
“We had a discussion with the owners and they asked how I felt,” said Menuisier.
“Basically, we had the horse for five seasons and he’d done very well and it was debatable how much more he would find. He’s not getting any younger either so, being by Mount Nelson, I think it’s a path worth exploring for him.
“Henry isn’t quite connected with the horse but nearly (is) because he went to see him as a yearling, as I did, and I think he was quite keen to have him in training and obviously the owners sent him to me for a Flat career in the UK rather than leave him in Ireland.
“When the owners asked my advice for a trainer, I thought it was the right call to send him to Henry.”
The seven-year-old, who had a top rating of 96 on the level, won seven of his 28 starts.
Menuisier reports former stable star Wonderful Tonight to be well on the road to recovery after two bouts of surgery.
The dual Group One winner was retired in September after suffering a leg fracture two days before she had been due to run in the Prix Foy at ParisLongchamp as her prep run for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. After a successful procedure she had to be operated on for colic a few weeks later.
“She’s fine, she’s in the paddock. She’s recovered really well from both surgeries – the fracture and colic,” said the Pulborough handler.
“She had lost a lot of weight so it’s going to take time for her to go back to her normal shape, but she improves daily. She’s fine and, most importantly, she’s safe.
“She had the original operation on her near fore fetlock and she developed symptoms of colic after the first surgery. Obviously we were reluctant to operate again because the percentage of making it was getting lower and lower. But we had to because if we hadn’t done the colic surgery, she would probably be dead by now.
“We decided to roll the dice and hope for the best. I have to say the Newmarket Equine Hospital did a fantastic job. For a filly to sustain two major surgeries within a few weeks is a miracle really. It shows you how tough she is.”
Menuisier is optimistic Wonderful Tonight, who is owned by Chris Wright, could be covered in the spring.
“I think it is a matter of monitoring her well-being but we should be able to get covered in the spring,” he said.
“She’s at Chasemore Farm for now and she will go to Chris Wright’s Stratford Place Stud in the next few weeks.
“I have a rough idea (who might cover her). I can’t say but I think it will be one of the top three stallions in Europe.”