Khataab took, this summer at Deauville, his first Group I PA. He will carry the colours of Al Shaqab Racing in the 2017 edition of the Qatar Arabian World Cup. This colt is a descendant of one of the most illustrious French families, that of Djaranat, which was shaped by two dynasties of breeders in the South West, the Lestortes and the Lafond-Puyos. Following on from Djainka des Forges (Kerbella), there could be a second winner of the Purebred Arabian Arc from this bloodline.

Once upon a time, there were the breeders Lestorte

Around 25 kilometers from Tarbes and from Pau, in the Atlantic Pyrénées, the village of Saint-Vincent hosts beautiful views across the mountain range. Horses have always been bred there, and it was in these exceptional lands that the Lestorte breeding operation began in the 1910’s. Marcelle Lestorte explained: “My grandfather, Philippe Lestorte, was with the hussards where he learned to ride. He bought and prepared yearlings for the militia with my father, Émile Lestorte. They decided to concentrate on racehorses at the time that the army began to become mechanised. » This family structure – the Haras de Saint-Vincent of Ludivine Charles and Thierry Dalla Longa – rapidly became the best Anglo-Arab breeding operation of its time. The influential sire Thalian (Djerba Oua) was born on this land.

Dragon, an underused stallion

Like many Anglo-Arab breeders at the time, the Lestortes also bred Purebred Arabians for racing. The objective was to sell the colts to the Haras nationaux and keep the fillies to create new Anglo-Arab bloodlines. Thus, through the descendants of Djaranat (1923 by Ghalabawi), the Lestortes bred two stallions with pure blood that left their mark on the breed. Dragon (Norniz) and his son Djerba Oua (Dragon). Dragon was a remarkable racehorse. A winner of five races at the age of 3, two of which he won without breaking a sweat. He stood at Pau, until he was 17 years old. Only seven Purebred foals are registered by SIRE, including Keiba (the dam of Kesberoy), Mandarine III (the dam of Mandore), Mandragore (the dam of Manganate) and Fatma III (from who came Flipper).

The family of Djerba Oua

Djerba Oua was a top class racehorse, winner of four races at 3 years old. His dam produced three very smart Anglo-Arabs, Donino II (eleven wins), Duchesse (seventeen wins) and Dominico (twenty-five wins, winner at Auteuil, third in the Grand Cross de Craon). With his strong race record, attractive physique, and the quality of his Anglo-Arab progeny, Djerba Oua was well supported by the breeders in the Pau region. He was top class sire, and he left a strong mark on their stud book. His influence in the Purebreds is less strong, as he only had eight foals registered with SIRE. His bloodline continues through Gosse du Béarn (the sire of Flipper and so the grandsire of Tidjani) and Ba Toustem. His best known daughters are  Deborah IV [see below], Façade (grand-dam of Ichara, Pavot Al Maury and Nashwan Al Khalidiah) and Maderba (grand-dam of Magic de Piboul and Al Sakbe). Jean-Marc de Watrigant knew Djerba Oua during his lifetime. He explained: “He was an attractive, quite compact, horse. He was a tough athlete and he produced well, even though I think that Saint Laurent was superior. Djerba Oua was mostly used as a cross, with mediocre Thoroughbred mares, to produce Anglo-Arabs. Despite this, he managed to have some very good winners, on the flat and over jumps, even though he only had access to a very weak book of mares.

The arrival of the Lafond-Puyo family in the breeding industry

Within a radius of 10 kilometers around Pontacq and Saint-Vincent, racehorse breeders of high quality began to emerge at the end of the war. Other than the Lestorte family, the most well known pedigrees were that of Buzy Cazeux (Nikita III, Nikanor, Nedjanor, Nedjarose, Dunly, Lyflor…) and those of the Lafond-Puyo breeding operation. When discussing the beginning of the Djaranat bloodline in the family bloodstock, Bernard Lafond-Puyo, explained: “During the Second World War, my father and his brothers, who were famers, broke in Émile Lestorte’s horses so that he could sell them on to the army. The last bunch that arrived to be broken in was made up of three fillies. When they came to be sold, the war had ended. My father then asked Émile Lestorte if he could buy one of them. Émile Lestorte knew the quality of their origins and didn’t want to give up the family. After lengthy negotiations, he finally sold him a filly: Damas [editor's note: a grand-daughter of Djaranat]”.

The bloodline almost disappears

A few years later, this family was extinct in the Lestorte breeding operation and there was only a very few Purebred Arabian fillies left with the ability to continue the line. Faced with a lack of demand for Purebreds, the breeders at that time used their mares mostly to cross with Thoroughbred stallions. Bernard Lafond-Puyo remembers: “Damas mostly produced Anglo-Arabs which, at the time, looked to be a more promising outlet than Purebreds. She only foaled one Purebred filly, Deborah IV (Djerba Oua), who was sold to Xavier and Robert de Watrigant. They knew this bloodline very well. Damas died at around this time. To not lose the line, my father proposed to exchange an Anglo-Arab at 50% against Deborah IV. She was the last Purebred filly from this family. After lengthy negotiations, they accepted and proceeded with the exchange”.

Keeping the line bit by bit

Bernard Lafond-Puyo elaborated: “Deborah IV, who had won three races herself, was not a good broodmare. She had a nasty streak and did not produce much milk. She had size, but she wasn’t particularly attractive. None of her six winning offspring were particularly good. Like her dam, she mainly produced Anglo-Arabs. However, as she grew older, my father once again became afraid of losing the pure line. He wanted therefore to cross Deborah IV with an Arabian stallion to produce a filly. At this time, in the early 1970s, there were almost no racing Arabian breeders left in France. Badr Bedur (Comet) came to Pau from Poland. There were very few Purebred Arabian stallions available, and Badr Bedur was without doubt the first choice to breeder winners on the racetrack. He was small, but there were very few alternatives locally. He nonetheless had the advantage of bringing in new bloodlines. This is how Djebella II (Badr Bedur) was conceived. She was not very big, but she was a much better broodmare than her mother. She gave us eight winners… She was often covered by Manganate who gave added size and scope”.

Djelfor, an excellent racehorse...

The Lafond-Puyo family worked closely with Xavier and Bertrand de Watrigant. The former is well known for being the trainer of Dionysos II (Samaritain). This grandson of Damas was a champion amongst Anglo-Arabs. Winner of eight races, he also beat Thoroughbreds on the racetrack. At stud, Dionysos II became a successful stallion, with winning offspring on the flat, over fences, and sport horses. Bertrand de Watrigant trained many good horses from this bloodline, notably the Purebred Arabian Djelfor (Manganate) and the Anglo-Arabs Dearling (Iris Noir) and Dan Music (Crown Music). The three all then went on to be very good sires. Bertrand de Watrigant commented: “Djelfor ran in the colours of Jean Biraben. He was an easy, amiable colt. He did whatever was asked of him. In terms of quality, he was an extraordinary horse. I was not surprised when he went on to become a good stallion. From the same family, I trained Dearling and Dan Music, two very good Anglo-Arabs at 50%. You could even say that Dan Music was a phenomenon. »

… and a very good stallion

Martial Boisseuil bred Akbar, an excellent stallion and a remarkable racehorse, from Djelfor. He explained to us, a few years ago: “I really liked Djelfor who was a very athletic horse, standing at Pompadour. His offspring were very talented, although a bit complicated. Without doubt, he covered far less than he deserved”. Djelfor was notably the sire of Akbar (Emir's Sword), Câlin de Louve (4 year old Horse of the Year in the United States), Newday (Coupe Abu Dhabi at Toulouse), Bar Royal (five wins at 3 years old), Beau Bar (Grand Prix de S.A.R. le Prince Moulay Rachid), Vercors eight wins in Great Britain), Djebbel (eleven victories including the Coupe du Pur-Sang Arabe at Chantilly, Horse of the Year), Kairouan de Jos (eleven wins including the Coupe Al Asayl, Shadwell Stakes, Arabian Mile Stakes, Al Shindaha Stakes…), Monsieur Al Maury (H.H. The President Cup, Gr. I PA)… Djelfor was also the sire of Anatole, a three-time winner of the Grand Cross de Pompadour.

Danzina, the mare who changed the life of Jean-Pierre Totain

At the end of the 1980s, Jean-Pierre Totain trained many descendants of Djebella II, with success. The achievements of these horses had a big impact on the career of the man whilst he was still a young trainer, with very little financial backing. He said: “I took any horse that was offered to me. The day that monsieur Lafond-Puyo offered me a Purebred Arabian to train, I of course said yes. This first Arabian horse was Danzina (Zulus). In August 1989, she gave me my first win in this speciality. The family of Danzina produces horse that try, especially the fillies. It is an excellent bloodline. They are not necessarily precocious or late maturing, there is a little bit of everything”. Jean-Pierre Totain went on to become one the best international trainers of Purebred Arabians. From the offspring of Danzina, the very attractive Danzinon (Nuit St Georges) won the Trophée du Président des UAE (Gr. I PA). Jean-Pierre Totain also bred from this bloodline, and he consigns several members of this family at the Saint-Cloud sale 2017.

Conquering Qatar

The performances of Al Anood (Amer), a sister of Danzina, caused this bloodline to be well known outside of France. She won the National Day Cup, the Malazgirt Trophy, the Zaabeel Stakes on two occasions, and the Hatta International Stakes (Group Is PA). Alban de Mieulle, who was one of her trainers, reflected: “Al Anood was not very big, but she was very brave. Her race record is exceptional. She had plenty of speed, and won the National Day Cup (Gr. I PA) over 1,600m. She was one of Amer’s best early offspring, and she helped to launch him as a stallion”. Amongst the other horses from this family that have been successful for Qatari colours are Dhemis (Daham), winner of the Emir's Sword (Gr. I PA) and Djainka des Forges (Kerbella). This filly, bred by Catherine de Robert Labarthe, won the Qatar Arabian World Cup, the Hatta International Stakes and on two occasions the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Pouliches (Gr. Is PA).

Photo : Djelamer

Khataab, who caught Sheikh Joaan’s eye

Under the training of Jean-Pierre Totain, Djelana (Al Sakbe) won the Prix Nefta (Gr. II PA). She had seven foals, five for her trainer and two for Alban de Mieulle. The two latter are in the news this season. Djelamer (Amer) won the President of The UAE Cup (Gr. III PA) at Ostende. His full brother Khataab (Amer) took two third places at Group I PA level in 2016 before winning the French Arabian Breeders Challenge Classic (Gr. II PA) and the end of the season. In 2017, he won the Prix Carthage - Hannibal - H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (Gr. II PA) followed by the Prix Manganate - Doha Cup (Gr. I PA). Thomas Fourcy, his trainer, explained at the time: “He is a very good horse, but various issues have interrupted his career. We are now able to manage them better (…). For now, Khataab will be aimed to the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend. In October, even if it’s good ground, he should run well as he has the ability”. The day of the win on the Normandy coast, Alban de Mieulle commented: “His Excellency Sheikh Joaan saw Khataab when he was a foal. He liked the colt, and so he joined the Al Shaqab stable. His dam is currently with Jean-Pierre Totain. »


Mains sires and winners of Group I PA races (source Bruno de Watrigant)

Djaranat (1923 by Ghalabawi)

Dragée VI (1935 by Denouste)

Dorée II (1942 by Kris)

Djerba Oua (1946 by Dragon), 4 wins at 3yo

Dragonne (1934 by Denouste)

Dragon (1940 by Norniz), 5 wins at 3yo

Damas (1941 by Norniz)

Dunamis (Samaritain), Omnium des Anglo-Arabes

Dalila IX (Micipsa)

Dionysos II (Samaritain), 8 wins, Prix de l'Élevage

Deborah IV (Djerba Oua)

Djebella II (Badr Bedur)

Dhamas (Manganate)

Diyala (Tornado de Syrah)

Dirama (Dormane)

Lahoob (Amer), H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr. I PA) at Lingfield

Dandoura (Manganate)

Dan Music (Crown Music), Prix de l'Élevage, Prix du Ministère

Danzina (Zulus)

Dhemis (Daham), The Emir's Sword (Gr. I PA)

Danzinon (Nuit St Georges), Trophée du Président des UAE (Gr. I PA)

Al Anood (Amer), National Day Cup, Malazgirt Trophy, The Zaabeel Stakes (twice) & The Hatta International Sakes. (Gr Is PA)

Djala (Manganate)

Djari des Forges (Chéri Bibi), Critérium des Pouliches à Tarbes (Gr. I PA)

Djamour des Forges (Tidjani)

Djainka des Forges (Kerbella), Arabian World Cup, Hatta International Stakes (twice) & Arabian Trophy des Pouliches (Gr Is PA)

Djelfor (Manganate), 5 wins at 3yo

Dearling (Iris Noir), 2e Omnium des Anglo-Arabes

Djema (Manganate)

Djelana (Al Sakbe)

Khataab (Amer), Doha Cup Prix Manganate (Gr. I PA)