€135,000 Maisons-Laffitte 4yo Hurdle Race (Gr3) : Whymper does it in style

8 October 2023

Maisons Laffitte 23 Whymper

Photo scoopdyga.com


Sunday, 8th October 2023, Auteuil Racecourse (Paris) – After an excellent comeback with a victory in Melanos Handicap Hurle, Whymper (Maxios) put on a show to claim his first Group race over hurdles in the €135,000 Maisons-Laffitte 4yo Hurdle Race (Gr3). He seized the lead on the back stretch, along the outside bushes, to enter the final turn ahead of Angela du Berlais (Great Pretender), who had followed him, and Japon (Vision d'État), previously unbeaten in two starts. The returning favourite, Losange Bleu (Martaline), faded as early as the back stretch.

In the final turn, Japon attempted to challenge the front two but couldn't maintain the pressure up to the last hurdle, where Whymper and Angela du Berlais found themselves in a duel. Right to the finish, the filly tried to overtake, but rider Baptiste Le Clerc managed to hold the advantage without urging his partner. Whymper won by a neck, while five lengths behind, Libeccio (Kamsin) made a strong late run to claim third ahead of Japon.

Whymper began his career with a win over hurdles at Compiègne, followed by a third-place finish at Auteuil behind Losange Bleu. Quickly switched to steeplechasing, he was placed at Clairefontaine and several times at Compiègne before winning the Roger de Minvielle Chase (L) there in November 2022. Third in the same specialty of the Hopper Chase (Gr3) last April, he soon returned to Auteuil to triumph in the Miror Hurdle (L), then finished fourth before taking a summer break.

Bred in Germany by Gestüt Fahrhof, Whymper is owned by the Pilarski family, Palmyr Racing, and Jeannot Andt. He was purchased for €30,000 at the Baden-Baden sales by I.A. Bossert. He is the twelfth foal out of Wurfspiel (Lomitas), also a Listed-placed winner on the flat and the dam of Wake Forest (Sir Percy), a Gr1 winner in the USA, as well as the dam of the talented Wonderment (Camelot), winner of the Critérium de Saint-Cloud (Gr1), and more recently, Whizz Kid (Teofilo), a handicap horse now in Britain. The family also includes Waldgeist and Masked Marvel.

Born in 2020, Wurfgeist (Helmet), Whymper's younger brother, is in training in Germany with Waldemar Hickst and has raced five times in France, yet to secure a win.