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CHEVALIER HOPING BLINKERS CAN DO THE TRICK


THEY say babies bring luck in racing!

So Hawkesbury trainer and new Dad Marc Chevalier is hoping that certainly rings true at his home meeting tomorrow.

He is keen to break a run of minor placings with the consistent Criminal Art (Louise Day) in the XXXX Gold 4YO&Up Maiden Plate (1500m).

Chevalier and his wife Charlotte are the proud parents of their first born, son Owen, who entered the world on October 9.

“Mum and baby are both well,” Chevalier said. “It’s an exciting time, and hopefully we can get a change of luck with Criminal Art.”

He has opted for blinkers on the Artie Schiller mare, who has been placed at her last five starts.

“Louise has been riding Criminal Art and felt she got a bit lost the other day when she hit the front at Moruya, and needs blinkers to keep her focused,” Chevalier explained.

“She wore blinkers when I rode her work last Saturday morning, and she felt stronger on the bit.

“Chris Waller’s horse by Kingman (Seneschal) ran really well when placed on the Kensington track last start, and looks the horse to beat.

“We might have to be content with another placing, but it would be wonderful if our mare can get the job done.”

Chevalier was pleased with stablemate Torrens’ fourth to overseas visitor Land Legend in last Saturday’s $500,000 ATC St Leger Stakes (2600m) at Royal Randwick, and has outlined immediate plans for him.

“Being a seven-year-old stallion, it has taken time to get him fit,” he said.

“He hit the line well in the St Leger, and I’ll back off him now for a while and look ahead to a couple of nice races coming up.

“He will go to The Beauford (2300m) at Newcastle on November 18, and then the Christmas Cup (2400m) at Rosehill a fortnight later.

“Jenny Duggan knows the horse well, and will ride him in those races.”

Chevalier clinched his maiden stakes success when Torrens won the Christmas Cup last year when it was run at Randwick, and the horse’s previous trainer Lauri Parker won the Beauford with him at Newcastle two years ago.

The Beauford is run at The Hunter meeting and carries a $300,000 purse, and the Listed Christmas Cup is worth $200,000.

Premier Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup also has decided on a gear change for Silvakia (Jean Van Overmeire) in the Pioneer Services Conditional Benchmark 68 Handicap (2000m).

The Reliable Man mare will be minus a nose roll, but visors go back on.

“Silvakia raced in blinkers when she won over 1850m at Newcastle earlier in the year when with Mark Newnham (now in Hong Kong),” Widdup said.

“I have taken my time getting her out in distance, but she is ready now for the 2000m and is close to a win.”

Silvakia ran third to rival and topweight Twigman in a similar race over 1900m at Gosford a fortnight back, and has a 2kg weight pull this time.

Kembla Grange trainer Joe Ible has withdrawn The Carpet Bagger from the Benchmark 68, leaving seven to run, and he will instead go to the Richmond Club Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1600m), with Louise Day to ride.

. The rail is out 4m from the 1100m to the 450m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder of the circuit. Course manager Kyle Cassim has posted a “Good 4” rating.

The eight-race program begins at 1.10pm and concludes at 5.30pm.

*Story John Curtis, October 18, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos*

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