Updated: Oct 10
Winning rides in Group 1 races are often the ones that obtain all of the plaudits. The greater the prize, the greater the pressure. That’s true, but aside from Group 1 success there are a large number of unsung heroes of the weighing room who are equally capable of producing a world class ride, even if fewer people are there to see it. This was the case on Monday afternoons meeting at Amiens, where Laura Grosso caught the eye with a superb winning ride aboard Minnehaha in the Class 4 Handicap.
Minnehaha is an 8-year-old Filly by Poet’s Voice who was having the 106th start of her racing career. To her credit, she had won 8 of those 105 previous starts and has returned over €192,000 in prize money during her 7 year career. This was her second win of the season after she landed a similar contest at Le Touquet back in August, but with an official rating of 17-kilos she is hardly an improver. It perhaps speaks to the strength of this contest that she was sent off at 6.10 on the PMU, but what transpired is not done justice by those odds.
Having broken well, she was settled in behind the early pace by Laura Grosso, close to the inside rail. As the pace began to lift, she was briefly caught off heels and found herself further back than ideal and was caught behind several of the leaders who were already coming off the bridle. As much as 5-lengths behind with a wall of horses in front of her, Grosso could have been forgiven for allowing her mount to make her own way home and wait for another day. However, she did not panic and kept her mount together, waiting for the gaps to appear. Diving to the inside, the gap eventually came as they passed the furlong pole, and she forced Minnehaha through. This unbalanced the Filly briefly, but she was quickly gathered up and driven forwards into the space to quicken and get her head in front in the final strides.
This was a 9th win from 140 rides for Laura Grosso in 2023, who has been quietly making a name for herself in the provinces with victories for trainers like Albert Zimmer and Satoshi Kobayashi this season. Like many of the Jockeys in France who tend to ride away from the Paris tracks, she is underrated as a rider but as you can see from the replay (link below) she is an extremely capable rider when given the chance.