Competition

26.10.2018

Competition

Forward by Adrien Cugnasse

In 1983 a trainer who was to assume legendary status was laying down the very first markers of his flourishing career. A well-known presence on the world stage, he said at the time: "The Arabs have been dominated by a past in which the horse has been deemed worthy of the greatest consideration. The knowledge and respect for the horse continues to burn brightly among the Arab aristocracy and more so than any other civilisation." Who was the great horseman in question? We are, of course, referring to the greatest French professional of the last three to four decades: André Fabre. Later on in the same interview, he added: "You can only escape anonymity if you prove yourself in an arena where the rules are different. The standards which I feel the need to prove myself against in absolute terms relates to the professionalism of the English." André Fabre has won all the British classics: the Derby, the Oaks, the 1,000 Guineas, 2,000 Guineas and the St Leger. His Chantilly raids, in line with those of the top European trainers, has also served to boost the ratings of the big British prizes. Consequently, these foreign raids have become the ultimate objective for a trainer with nothing left to prove domestically. France has become the British equivalent of the Purebred Arabian scene. For the first time in 2018 a horse trained in Poland, but a French-bred one at that, won a race which has proved a real term of reference, the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr. I PA). This unexpected 69-1 success left a certain number of observers dumbfounded. However, it was also sent out a clear message to the owners of Purebred Arabians throughout the world, and namely that France is where the real ‘competition’ lies. It also underscored that France is the place where the best Purebred Arabians are bred – as we have already said, Fazza Al Khalediah carries the bred in France label. France is also the country where one can also tap into the necessary bloodlines needed to become competitive. The grandam of Fazza Al Khalediah went through the ring at the Arqana-Afac sale which is proof positive that is possible to escape the cloak of anonymity!