Migration provides De La Sayette with second Lincoln success

Horse Racing

David Menuisier’s charge carries top-weight to victory at Doncaster.

Benoit De La Sayette produced top-weight Migration with a perfectly-timed challenge to claim his second victory in the Pertemps Network Lincoln at Doncaster.

Previously successful in the traditional feature on the first day of the British Flat season aboard Haqeeqy in 2021, De La Sayette was crowned champion apprentice last term and it is not hard to see why.

Migration, trained by David Menuisier, won valuable handicaps at Goodwood and York in the summer of 2021 but only made it to the track three times last season.

Making his first appearance since finishing fourth in a Listed event at Newmarket in October, the seven-year-old was an 18-1 chance for his Town Moor return and benefited from the coolest of cool rides from his young rider.

Entering the final furlong it looked like proven mud lover Baradar might emerge triumphant after travelling smoothly into contention, with the well supported Awaal also right in the mix.

But having raced at the rear of the field for much of the straight-mile contest, Migration powered home against the stands’ rail and had a length- and-a-quarter in hand over Awaal at the line.

De La Sayette said: “He’s a horse that likes to come from off the pace. He came from off the pace in the Balmoral on Champions Day but I could never find the gaps. He finished off that race really strong, so we thought we’d try the same tactics today.

“The Lincoln is the Lincoln and it is very hard to find the gaps, so I’m very happy I found them at the right time. He really ran on in the last furlong and hit the line strong.

“To carry top-weight in that ground, it was a great performance. I ride a lot for Mr Menuisier, we have a good connection, and he told me to just do the same as at Ascot, as he just loves to come from off the pace. Luckily he was right.

“Last year went so well for me and to win this again, two years after winning on Haqeeqy right at the start of my career, is a fairytale.”

Menuisier said: “Not many top weights who are seven win the Lincoln but he’s so lightly raced, he doesn’t have much mileage.

“He’s been giving us the right signals all the way through so we were actually quite confident. He flies on this ground, anything from good to soft to heavy is absolutely fine.

David Menuisier saddled Migration to win the Lincoln
David Menuisier saddled Migration to win the Lincoln (Simon Cooper/PA)

“We’ll have to go into Pattern races now. He’s won that off 107 with a 3lb claim, he’ll be around 110 now, so I think that’s the end of handicaps and we’ll look at black type races – hopefully he can handle it.

“We’ll be patient anyway, because he’s very good fresh. He’s already made his money for this year and next – it’s a great way to start the season.”

Joint-trainer Simon Crisford said of the runner-up Awaal: “He’s run really well, I’m very happy with him. We’ve got a lovely horse for the rest of the season ahead of us and he likes that ground.

“It’s the name of the game and you’ve got to take it (defeat) on the chin.

“We might step him up in distance.”

Of the third-placed Baradar, trainer George Boughey said: “I’m very happy, he’s run a big race and I think seven furlongs is his ideal trip.

“He bolted up here over seven on this ground. Kevin (Stott) said he just didn’t quite see it out as well as possibly stouter-bred horses.”

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