Lockdown and Covid-19 rules meant that this year Emmanuel Clayeux preferred to remain in France with his horses, but he is very much hoping to make it back to England in time for the Cheltenham Festival.
The French trainer, who rarely misses an opportunity to raid the English Cross-Country Chases said: “Cheltenham is not just about running a horse in a race, it is about the whole package and that includes spectators. I just felt it would be strange to run a horse there with no one to cheer it on.
“The difficulties of sending grooms in these times meant that I didn’t really consider it. However, I am hopeful of bringing over the likes of Diesel d’Allier who always does well there, and Etat d’Espry who hasn’t run there yet.”
Before casting his eyes towards Cheltenham though, the Vaumas-based handler is as always sending some of his horses to Pau, including Diesel d’Allier, Etat d’Espry and also some exciting unraced three-year-olds.
Here, Clayeux chats to Liz Price of attheraces.com about his hopes for Cheltenham and Pau.