Morgex 4yo Chase History: A life after the "Gillois" Chase

26 November 2020

Morgex 4yo Chase History: A life after the "Gillois" Chase


November, Auteuil

Morgex 4yo Chase

Group 2, 4-year-olds, Steeple-Chase, 4,400m/2m4f, €95,000

Created in 1977

Last winner: Grandeur Nature (g4, FRA by Lord du Sud ex Radio Saint-Voir, by Robin des Champs), owned by Haras de Saint-Voir, bred by Haras de Saint-Voir & Bernard-Maurice Gouin, trained by Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé, ridden by Thomas Coutant.

The race is run in 2021 for the 45th time

The 2020 edition

Sunday, November 29, 2020, Auteuil. - A consolation race contested in the wake of the Maurice Gillois 4yo Chase (Gr1), the Morgex 4yo Chase (Gr3) allows the defeated ones to compete against each other for a minor title three weeks later.

Yet a gelding coming off an alternative course dominated this time, that is Grandeur Nature (Lord du Sud), who had won the ​​Roger Saint Chase (L) at Compiègne last time out and had to carry 2 lbs. for this success.

Trained by in-form Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé, ridden by Thomas Coutant, bred by the Haras de Saint-Voir and Mrs Bernard-Maurice Gouin, the winner travelled in the leading group. Despite a mistake at the second last, he took over in the run-in, beating his best challenger, Pacha Senam (Masked Marvel), by six lengths. The front-runner Grace à Vous Enki (Dream Well) bravely stayed on in third at three lengths. Gardons le Sourire (Fame and Glory), who was giving 9 lbs, finished fourth. In contrast, the favourite Magrudy (Doctor Dino) gave in at the final turn, three weeks after running against the champion of this generation, Le Berry, in the Maurice Gillois 4yo Chase (Gr1).

Grandeur Nature is the fifth foal out of Radio Saint-Voir (Robin des Champs), also the dam of C'est le Bouquet (Coastal Path), winner of the Grand Steeple de Craon (L) and the Prix Montgomery Handicap Chase (Gr3) last year under 11st-4lbs.

A winner at Langon over hurdles for her debut, Radio Saint-Voir is out of Miss Noir et Or (Noir et Or), bred by Georges Vuillard, who won eight cross-countries at Pau between 1992 and 1995, and later foaled Sleeping Jack (Sleeping Car ), winner of the 1996 Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris (Gr1).

After Grandeur Nature, Radio Saint-Voir gave the filly Ici Saint-Voir (Free Port Lux), now 2 years old, then the gelding Jean Qui Rit (Karaktar) and the colt Kilometre Illimité (No Risk At All).




Bearing the name of a Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris winner, this race was created in 1977 and was then run in July. It was moved to the late-season from 1983 and serves since then as an alternative to the Maurice Gillois 4yo CHase (Gr1), run three weeks earlier. Due to the overweights imposed, the winner of the Maurice Gillois rarely lines up at the start of the Morgex, so this double is a rare feat. Only three horses have achieved it: Cyborg (1986), Bipbap (1998) and So French (2015).

The race’s distance has changed a few times from its initial 2 miles 1 furlong trip to its actual distance of 2m4f.


This chestnut gelding was sired by Prince Taj and foaled by Ponteba (Un Gaillard) in 1964 at the stables of Julien Décrion, whose silks he represented until the middle of his sixth year, under the care of the trainer André Adèle. During the first part of his long career, Morgex showed himself to be an Auteuil specialist from the age of 4, despite being described as highly stubborn by his trainer.

After having shown a degree of quality on the flat (two places in as many outings as a 2-year-old, plus one place and another decent finish in a tiercé race at Longchamp carrying a heavyweight in the spring of his third year), Morgex enjoyed his first taste of victory on his hurdles debut at Enghien. He was subsequently castrated and spent the majority of the season recuperating before emerging late on at Auteuil to record a second success. Started in steeplechases at 4, he suffered two initial falls before rapidly emerging as an excellent performer, the second-best of the 4-year-old crop behind his training companion, Huron. Winner of the Prix Ferdinand Dufaure, Orcada and Triquerville, he had to content himself with 2nd place behind Huron in the Prix Maurice Gillois. At 5, he prevailed in the Prix Troytown and Héros XII, as well as finishing the year with a fourth place in the Prix La Haye Jousselin. At 6, after a third-place finish in the Prix Murat, a failure carrying 74 kilos in the Prix du Président de la République and a fall in the Prix Millionnaire II, Morgex was sold by a disappointed Julien Décrion. After a fourth place in the Grand Steeple won by Huron and another failure in July, his new owner, Mme Michel Marie, entrusted him to the trainer Jean Sens, who entered him in two autumn races without success. Morgex’s performance graph was displaying a decidedly downward trend, but his 7th year brought with it a change of fortune. Mainly entered in big races, he was victorious in the Prix Ingré and Georges Courtois and was placed seven times, including third in the Grand Steeple behind Pot d'Or and Haroué but ahead of Huron. However, it was at the age of 8 that Morgex finally came good. After a failure in the Prix du Président de la République and a fourth place in the Prix Millionnaire II won by Samour, he prevailed in the Grand Steeple over fifteen opponents, including the top-quality English competitor Gay Trip (1971 Grand National) but without the presence of the formidable Samour (torn muscle). Having finished fourth, third and then first in Auteuil’s flagship event, Morgex’s perseverance finally paid off!

After this heyday, Morgex was still not yet ready for retirement. He raced twice more in the autumn, experiencing one poor showing and a fall in the Prix La Haye Jousselin. As a 9-year-old, three more outings brought a fall in the Grand Steeple and two more poor showings. At 10, he went to post eleven times, picking up three places and losing out once more in his fifth and last Grand Steeple. Finally, at 11, he contested four more races, the last marked by a fall at Auteuil.

The career balance for this somewhat unpredictable Auteuil diehard was as follows: over the hurdles, two wins in five races; and in steeplechases, eight wins, seventeen places and seven falls in fifty-seven outings.



  • Ecurie César (2 wins): Soliburn (1992), Silbertal (1995).


  • Guillaume Macaire (7 wins): Eudipe (1996), Kifill (1997), Bipbap (1998), Golden Flight (2003), Storm of Saintly (2013), So French (2015), Edward’Argent (2017),
  • Jean-Paul Gallorini (6 wins): Dom Savary (1981), Soliburn (1992), Silbertal (1995), Mysoko (2004), Kotkieglote (2011), Princess Kap (2012).
  • Jacques Ortet (4 wins): Frappeuse (1998), Sleeping Night (2000), Escort Boy (2002), Rubi Ball (2009).
  • Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé (4 wins): Mid Dancer (2005), Perfect Impulse (2016), Bébé d´Or (2019), Grandeur Nature (2020).
  • Guy Chérel (3 wins): Ultra Rochelais (1990), Doumaja (2006), Tell No One (2008).
  • François Doumen (2 wins): Vorétin (1991), Bilbao V (1993).


  • Christophe Pieux (5 wins): Sleeping Night (2000), Escort Boy (2002), Mid Dancer (2005), Rubi Ball (2009), Katenko (2010).
  • Didier Mescam (2 wins): Orloph SF (1984) and Collins (1987).
  • Bruno Jollivet (2 wins): Frappeuse (1988) and Tito 1'Effronté (1989).
  • Adam Kondrat (2 wins): Vorétin (1991) and Bilbao V (1993).
  • Philippe Sourzac (2 wins): Eudipe (1996) and Kifill (1997).
  • Benoît Gicquel (2 wins): Bipbap (1998) and Golden Flight (2003).
  • Cyrille Gombeau (2 wins): Banjo (1994), Tell No One (2008)
  • Kevin Nabet (2 wins): Mali Borgia (2014), Edward’Argent (2017).