TUESDAY: April 25, 2023: HAWKESBURY trainer Marc Chevalier admitted to a sense of “real relief” after Black Alexandra had upstaged her better fancied rivals at Gosford today.
The $12 outsider of the six-horse Maiden Plate (1100m) field, Black Alexandra broke through at her sixth start, but only her third for her new trainer.
Given a rails-hugging ride by apprentice Julia Presits, Black Alexandra was never troubled once she took the lead in the straight and won comfortably from Jo Jo Sun ($6.50) and Silent Russian ($7).
A $32,500 yearling purchase at the Inglis Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association sale in Sydney two years ago, Denman three-year-old Black Alexandra had not finished closer than fifth in her first five starts.
“I have been telling her owner Dr Ulysses Crosson that she is a nice filly,” Chevalier said before embarking on the return journey home.
“I had a strategy to hopefully turn her form around today, and it worked.
“It was a real relief to see her show the ability I felt she had.
“It was also pleasing to see Julia get back into the winning list, having only recently resumed riding after fracturing a collarbone in a track mishap at Warwick Farm at the end of last year.
“Julia rides well, and afterwards said the hardest part about winning on Black Alexandra was keeping hold of her when she was going so well and keen to race.”
Black Alexandra led when a first-up fifth for Chevalier in a 1200m Midway Maiden at Gosford on March 11 before again making the running before fading to finish ninth in a 1300m Provincial Maiden at home 12 days later.
“We found out afterwards she had held her breath, and that’s why I put a tongue tie on her today,” Chevalier explained.
“She has worked in the tongue tie and been okay with it, and I brought her back to 1100m.
“My plan was to take a sit on another pacy filly She’s A Bad Girl to give her the opportunity to relax, and Julia carried it out perfectly.”
Chevalier clinched his fourth success this season (including a city breakthrough with Torrens in the Listed Christmas Cup, 2400m at Royal Randwick last December), having moved from Melbourne with his wife Charlotte in May, 2021 to take out his licence and begin training at Hawkesbury.
Whilst a first ever double eluded him, Chevalier nonetheless was happy with the performance of Black Alexandra’s stablemate Pitavago ($9.50), who ran third to $3.50 joint favorites Restrictions and Propel Motion in the Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1000m).
The six-year-old mare has not missed a place – and won first-up at Taree in late January – in four starts since the Chevaliers bought her online last year for $4250.
“Pitavago is jumping better in her races, and also settling better,” Chevalier said.
“Her four runs this time in have all been at 1000m, and it might be time now to step her up a bit to 1100m.”