Strong and comfortable at the line, Jimmy Choux defeats Icepin. www.raceimages.co.nz
Jimmy Choux (3 B. C. Thorn Park – Cierzo, Centaine) provided locals with plenty to shout about as he stormed through along the rail to record his second group two success, in the $85,000, Group II, New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Hawkes Bay Guineas over 1400-metres at Hastings on Saturday.
Described as a tiger of a racehorse, Jimmy Choux is prepared by Hastings conditioner John Bary, highly successful in only his third season of training, for local owner and breeder Richard and Liz Wood under their banner Chouxmaani Investments Ltd.
Following a smart piece of work on his home course on Tuesday, Jimmy Choux was thought by some astute judges to be capable of providing stern opposition in the competitive three-year-old event, having had a long, slow build up for Spring racing, drawn handily in barrier two and derived improvement following his narrow defeat in the listed Wanganui Guineas when resuming from a spell at his previous start.
Third in the Two-Year-Old Free Handicaps at the end of his juvenile year, he is said to love the heat of battle ever present in the ranks of age group racing, which should continue to standby him as he prepares for the $85,000, Group II, Wellington Guineas (1600m) at Trentham on October 23, followed by the $1m, Group I, 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in Christchurch on November 6.
With regular partner Johnathan Riddell in the saddle, Jimmy Choux pushed up along the rail on a hot pace to cement the advantage of his draw by securing the trail. He continued on the economy of his run when taking a gap on the inside of the leader to quicken through against the fence inside the final furlong, before going on with a strong gallop.
At the line, he had a half-length margin over Icepin (Pins), with three-quarters-of-a-length to Maradona (Mr Nancho), who had set up a solid tempo in front.
As favourite, Jimmy Choux paid $3.60 & $1.40, running the 1400m in 1:21.54.
Following two wins as a two-year-old, he now has an enviable record of three wins, three seconds and two thirds from nine starts and earnings of $124,050.
Bary said, “He’s come up great as a three-year-old and to win a group race on the hometown track is just fantastic. He’s a great horse, with a big heart. Johnathan (Riddell) makes trips from Palmerston North to ride him, and I’m really thrilled for my staff and the owners.”
“From the outset he’s been a real professional.”
Riddled was grateful for the good draw. “The barrier draw made it. Nobody really wanted to take over, but I just kept going forward to hold my spot. Once I got the trail he relaxed and if anything I hit the front a bit soon but he’s a superstar this horse.”
The fighting qualities of Jimmy Choux, combined with a plentiful dosage of ability, are likely to ensure that he remains a genuine force in his upcoming assignments, and for future plans to tackle quality races in Australia.