French trainer Hugo Merienne is preparing his stable star Margaret’s Legacy for a tilt at the Grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton Park later this month.
A wide-margin winner of his hurdling debut on the French Riviera at Cagnes-sur-Mer, he followed up on Christmas Day at the same course, readily holding of the challenge of subsequent Listed winner Le Petit Nice.
One of the key trials for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, the last two renewals of the Adonis have fallen to French-bred juveniles and Merienne is hopeful his charge can continue that recent trend.
“Margaret’s Legacy showed considerable promise in winning both starts at Cagnes and I am confident there is further improvement to come. We decided against staying in the south for a Listed (the Grande Course de Haies des 4 ans) and instead gave him a couple of easy weeks back home in Chantilly before building him back up with Kempton in mind.”
“However, with the Cheltenham Trials having been abandoned, the Adonis may end up being a much stronger race this year. If it is a very big field, then we may decide to stay in France and head to Auteuil with him.”
From the first crop of the dual Group 1 winner Prince Gibraltar, who stands at the Haras de Cercy alongside 2011 Derby winner Pour Moi, the chesnut four year old runs in the colours of Brian Dunn, who is no stranger to success on these shores with French-bred stock, with Fox Norton winning the Grade 2 Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster in 2013.
Chantilly-based Merienne is an emerging force in the training ranks in France and has sold several exciting prospects through the ring in recent seasons, notably €300,000 sales-topper Ganzo D’Airy and Hercule Point, who realised €270,000 at the Arqana Arc Sale in October and is now in training with Dan Skelton.