Menuisier expects Heartache Tonight to go the Oaks distance

Horse Racing

Filly will be having her first British start in Epsom Classic.

David Menuisier is confident a step up in trip can help Heartache Tonight hit the big time when she races in the UK for the first time in the Betfred Oaks on Friday.

A EURO 160,000 purchase as a yearling, she is a half-sister to two-time Group One-winner Wonderful Tonight, Menuisier’s former stable star.

The daughter of Recorder now has the chance to step out of her sibling’s shadow and she heads to Epsom with an encouraging book of form in France to her name, placing in the Prix Cleopatre and beaten less than two lengths when a close-up fourth in the Prix Saint-Alary last time out.

Despite bringing that Group One form to the table, Heartache Tonight is still available for the Oaks at odds as big as 33-1.

But her handler is not fussed by her outsider status, with Cristian Demuro set to continue his association with the filly having ridden her in all three starts so far.

“I don’t mind being overlooked, that is the story of my life, but it won’t stop her from running well,” said Menuisier.

“It was a great effort in the Prix Saint-Alary and she has been craving the step up to a mile and a half. We decided to keep her at one-mile-two to try to gain more experience and more tactical speed and we are delighted so far.

“Cristian Demuro will come and ride. We get on well and he’s our go-to man when we go to France. He absolutely loves the filly and the schedule wasn’t too busy for him, so he’s really delighted to keep the ride on her.”

So far, all of Heartache Tonight’s appearances have come on ground described as soft or slower, but Menuisier is hopeful she might not be as ground dependant as her illustrious mud-loving half-sister ahead of her bid for Classic honours.

“We’re just hoping the ground isn’t too quick, we’re hoping for genuine good ground,” continued Menuisier.

“She seems different to the half-sister – she was really designed for soft ground and had a very high knee action.

Royal Ascot winner Wonderful Tonight was a stable star for David Menuisier
Royal Ascot winner Wonderful Tonight was a stable star for David Menuisier (David Davies/PA)

“Heartache tonight is a bit more elegant, she moves much better, so we like to believe she might not need it as soft. Obviously she will handle soft/heavy conditions later in the year probably better than most, but if she could handle quicker ground then that is a definite plus.”

The handler also feels her performance in the Prix Saint-Alary shows she has the potential to match Wonderful Tonight’s achievements on track.

Menuisier added: “At the moment she is showing the right signs and is a little bit above Wonderful Tonight as she would have been unable to perform good over one-mile-two at Group One level in the spring.

“So whether the finished article will be ahead of the sister, it would be lovely to think so, but she has a serious challenge ahead of her, so we will see.”

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