David Menuisier is unlikely to supplement Wonderful Tonight for Sunday’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe, but he admits that what started as a bit of a joke had very nearly tempted him.
Menuisier tweeted on Monday night that the prospect of testing ground at the weekend had him "seriously giving some thoughts about supplementing" his Group 3 Prix Minerve winner, much to the consternation of those who had already backed Chris Wright’s filly ante-post for Saturday’s longer Prix de Royallieu.
However, by Tuesday morning the notion had more or less been dismissed, although not entirely.
Menuisier said: "It was a bit of fun, but to be fair I was half serious because I do think she would run all right, and then it’s a case of whether we might be in the first five in the Arc or try and win a Group 1 on Saturday.
"I think if she had won the Vermeille, or if she had already been in the Arc, she would run, but I have to weigh up supplementing at a cost of €72,000 and realistically finishing third at the very best against running in the Royallieu with a fairly good chance of winning."
He added: "I don’t want Mr Gosden or Mr O’Brien to lose any sleep, but I did think that if the forecast was right we might be in the first five when I looked at the forfeits, so I had to do my job and contact the owner. I was thinking about the 55kg, and about the possibility of heavy ground which she loves.
"I don't want to make a fool of myself, as I've done that countless times, but how many chances do you get to run in an Arc? If I supplement it has to be by 10.30 on Wednesday morning and it’s a big call, so I suspect we’ll stick with the Group 1 on Saturday.
"But she’s in great form and fifth place would pay €85,000, which would cover the cost of supplementing and of travelling, and maybe a nice meal at the La Tour D’Argent, or at least a nice starter!"
Wonderful Tonight’s path to victory in the Royallieu was eased on Tuesday when ante-post favourite Enbihaar did not appear at Tuesday’s forfeit stage. Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, later confirmed that the five-time Group 2 winner had been retired following a minor injury.
Gold told Sky Sports Racing: "John Gosden rang me a couple of weeks ago and said that they hadn’t been entirely happy with Enbihaar. She was slightly lame behind and when they sensibly took an MRI it revealed a very small fracture, so it was an easy decision.
"She’s been fantastic, winning five Group 2s and doing everything bar win a Group 1. She was a bit special in her action and her attitude.
"She loved the game and she was as tough as they come. She lived next door to Enable all those years and they must have been talking to each other, as their enthusiasm rubbed off on one another.
"She was a joy to have around and gave us some great thrills along the way."