INTERVIEW- FRANÇOIS ROHAUT
Some of the best French trainers were interviewed last month in The French Purebred Arabian. The series concludes here, with interviews from François Rohaut, Frédéric Sanchez with Martial Boisseuil, and Éric Dell'Ova.
François Rohaut has seen his Arabian stable expand with the arrival of new owners, notably His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Royal Stables of Oman, and Al Asayl (for whom he already trained Thoroughbreds). These new silks, in addition to his long-standing owners, including Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, give him even more fire power for 2017!
The French Purebred Arabian. – How would you analyse your 2016 season?
François Rohaut. – The year began very well with Handassa (Madjani), at Meydan. He gave the stable a first success in Dubai when winning the Al Maktoum Challenge Round III (Gr. I PA). He then finished fourth in the Dubai Kahayla Classic (Gr. I PA). He needs further. He always gives his all, but over 2.000 metres it went too quick for him early on, and then he finished strongly. If the Kahayla Classic was run over 2,400m, he could win it…This year, it was bis repetita. He won the prep race, and once again finished fourth in the main event. Amongst the other big wins there was Muraaqib (Munjiz) at Newbury. He had won the Prix de Carthage (Gr. III PA) very easily on his seasonal comeback, and then won well at Newbury in the Shadwell Dubai International Stakes (Gr. I PA), a race that Sheikh Hamdan tries to win every year. He finished easing down as there was no one that could go with him! We made the decision to save him for this year, and not have him take on, at just 4 years old, the best of the older horses at Chantilly. I also had the pleasure of seeing the colours of our new owners on the podium several times. I’m referring to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, whose colours were in the winner’s enclosure thanks to Sha’Hir (Amer), a lovely horse who knows his job. Also Rawah (Amer) and Jumuh (Mared Al Sahra), both of whom also did their jobs well. Karimah (Munjiz), for the Royal Stables of Oman, won a Group II at the end of the year and is unbeaten from two starts.
What is the programme for these flag-bearers?
Handassa has just come back into training. I don’t think that we will go to Turkey these year, due to the situation in the country. We could however go to Newbury, and will run without doubt in the Qatar Arabian World Cup. This will be his last year of competition before he goes to stud. He deserves it, as he a talented and attractive horse. Muraaqib should run in the President of the UAE Cup - Coupe d’Europe des Chevaux Arabes (Gr. I PA), the same day as the French 2,000 Guineas at Deauville [editor's note: 14th May]. He is already there to prepare for the race. Sha’Hir will also run in this race, where he will be stepping up in category. Karimah won’t be ready to make her comeback in the Qatar Prix de l’Élevage [on the 29th April], but she’s not far off making her reappearance. This filly has taken a long time to come to hand, but she is one of the big hopes this year for the stable, and she has a big margin for improvement.
Who are you looking forward to from your 4 year olds?
Probably a horse such as Barnamaj (No Risk Al Maury), whose last run, in an amateur race, does not reflect his ability. Ijram is the full brother to the champion Ebraz (Amer). He has the profile of a horse who will improve with age. He debuted like the others at home, with an easy race, and then ran very well at La Teste. He is a long way from having shown all his ability, and will without doubt be better next year.
What does the younger generation look like?
Dahess d’Arabie (Dahess), in the colours of Nasser Al Romaiti, debuted well at Toulouse. He has a lot of potential. Jaahez (No Risk Al Maury), the brother of Handassa, looks to be fairly precocious and should have his first run soon. Rajeh (Jaafer) is more backward, but he shows plenty in the mornings. Elyaah (Munjiz) is the brother to Sir Bani Yas. He is a good-looking horse, still very immature, but moves well. We have high hopes for him. Saleh (Munjiz) is also an attractive, well-made colt. Miss du Loup (Dahess) works well, and should debut in June.
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