By Glenn Davis
If not for trainer Darryl Hansen’s perseverance, sprint discovery Monsieur Gustave wouldn’t be in contention for a $400,000 Summer Crown bonus this summer.
Monsieur Gustave will need only one more win to claim the bonus if he’s successful in the $150,000 Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Monsieur Gustave won the first leg of the five-race series in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes at Doomben earlier this month.
A $400,000 bonus is up for grabs to connections of any horse who claims three of the five legs of the Summer Crown series which concludes on Magic Millions day at the Gold Coast next month.
Monsieur Gustave emerged as arguably the State’s best sprinter after four successive Stakes wins in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich, Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast, Keith Noud Quality at Ipswich and George Moore Stakes.
But it may never have happened if Hansen had thrown in the towel with Monsieur Gustave when he first entered his stable as a young horse.
“He was lightly framed when I first got him and did nothing special in track work,” Hansen said.
“He was also a box walker and couldn’t keep his condition but when I gave him a jump out over 1000 metres on the cushion track one day, he ran away from them and looked like he might be something special.”
Hansen, a former kangaroo and pig shooter from western Queensland, recalled an old bush remedy his father Roy used to use to help correct box walkers.
“I hobbled his fetlocks and he spent the first nine weeks with me like that until he learnt not to box walk,” he said.
“Dad used to do it a lot with box walkers when he was breaking in horses on stations in western Queensland – it’s an old bush trick.”
Hansen was delighted with Monsieur Gustave’s recovery after winning the George Moore Stakes in a nail biting finish over Sydney raider, Calanda.
“He’s kept his condition well and hasn’t missed a beat,” Hansen said.
“He’s stepping up in distance but that’s to his favour as he’s better over 1400 metres than 1200 metres.
“He goes up in weight to 59.5 kilos and has barrier nine but he’s used to carrying big weights so it’s not a great concern.
“He’ll be there at the finish.”
Apprentice Tiffany Brooker retains the ride on Monsieur Gustave after being aboard in three of his past four Stakes win.
Monsieur Gustave’s grand final over the summer is the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 13.
Racing Queensland webnews December 13