Proving to be a very strong galloper Deja took his record to four wins from five starts with the Phoenix Thoroughbreds owned horse landing a comfortable victory at Kempton Park on Wednesday evening.
The four-year-old is now unbeaten in three runs since joining Peter Chapple-Hyam last season and was overcoming a 254-day absence when recording his three and a half-length success. Taking on the mile and a half trip for the first time the son of Youmzain was a little slow form the gates but was allowed to find his rhythm by jockey Andrea Atzeni. Content to let his mount sit in around fifth place, with only a couple behind, throughout Atzeni only started to ask his partner for an effort as the field rounded the turn for home. As is his way Deja just took a few strides to get into top gear but once he had, he eased past his rivals on the run for home to win very smartly.
“I was very pleased with that, very happy with him as he’s been off a while,” said Chapple-Hyam in the aftermath of the race. “The all-weather is not really his best surface, he’s much better on the turf, but I couldn’t be any happier really.
“Andrea gave him a great ride, as he did last year at Pontefract. He knows the horse which helped today as it all went a bit wrong as they came out of the stalls, but he bided his time and picked him up when he wanted to go. He says he’s just a dream to ride although lazy, but when you ask him, he’ll go.”
After overcoming almost a year away to win at Chester last season before a follow-up victory at Pontefract, Chapple-Hyam has always thought highly of his four-year-old and hopes to target some big pots later this season.
“I still think he’ll be fine over a mile and a quarter,” the trainer explained. “But we had to run here as it was the only race suitable. With that in mind, we might go to the John Smiths Cup next as if we had a bit of rain that mile and the quarter trip would be perfect, if not there perhaps the Ebor.
“I think we’ll stick to targeting the big handicaps at the moment while keeping an eye on the Group races. There’s lot’s of big prizes on offer for him now, especially during the Autumn. You never know, should everything go to plan we might have a trip to Melbourne at the end of the year.”