Amyr du Soleil: the latest tour de force of Berthe
Amyr du Soleil: the latest tour de force of Berthe
Using the examples of Bar Royal of Al Zahir, plus those of Raqiyah and Dahor de Brugère, numerous descendants of Berthe have shone at Gr1 PA level since the 1990s. Furthermore, Amyr du Soleil, an impressive winner of the Prix Tidjani (Gr3 PA), is expected to become a leading player in the top autumn prizes.
Photo : Berthe
From Tiaret to Pompadour. Jean-Claude di Francesco is the great expert of Purebred Arabian pedigrees in France. He said: "Whada, the foundation mare, was bought in Syria before transferring to Algeria in the 1880s. When Algeria gained its independence, her descendant
Bassala (Masbout) was part of the Tiaret broodmare band before becoming assimilated to its Pompadour counterpart. It’s in a French context that this line became particularly adept to the demands of flat racing as the sport in Algeria was still in its infancy. Contrary to the Tunisian example, Bassala is best described being an ‘Oriental type’ in terms of looks and there wasn’t much there in terms of physique. The subsequent union with French stallions provided the necessary impetus that this family needed. Booz (Ourour), a son of Bassala, even beat Manganate (Saint Laurent) during his racing career. He died soon after following a tragic accident at Pompadour. Brassicaire (Ourour), out of a daughter of Bassala, won as a three-year-old at Tarbes and was part of a generation which included Manguier (Gosse du Béarn) [editors'note: there were only three races for the breed during the course of the season]. Brassicaire went on to become a Haras National de Saintes stallion but he has no descendants."
Bergeronnette: a question of temperament. It was during her time as part of the Pompadour broodmare band that Bassala laid down the foundations of her dynasty. As her descendants were later to prove themselves in the arenas of PA racing and endurance events. Numerous breeders, both French and Arab ones, successfully ‘tapped in’ to this particular ‘line’, whose development, in the first instance, was overseen by the administrative body. Several bloodlines made their presence felt in the area of PA racing, and it seems pertinent to cite the examples of the Ortie (Abu Alabyad, Damis…) and Bossa Nova (Samira de Carrère, Schamgar Corrézien…) lines. However, we have chosen to home in on the subsequent impact made by three daughters of Berthe: Bergeronnette (Djouran), Bucolique (Besbes) and Ester du Paon (Chéri Bibi). To begin with, the offspring of this particular breeding line were trained in situ by the Haras Nationaux staff. Maxime Dupuy is the ‘memory man’ as regards the ‘Pompadour’ experience. He reminisced: "Berthe and Bergeronnette were ordinary in terms of looks. Bergeronnette proved to be very temperamental and that made her a difficult proposition as a racehorse. For she would either win, refuse to race or whip round and head in the opposite direction after the off. On one occasion she took off and headed straight up a bank at the racecourse." The Pompadour broodmare band, currently based at Chignac, still has two mares in its midst from this line: Bérénice Royale (Dormane) and her daughter Babylonie (Tidjani).
Training takes a professional slant. The decision to upgrade the Pompadour broodmare lines was taken at the beginning of the 1990s, and this entailed their offspring coming under the aegis of licensed ‘public’ trainers. Jean-Pierre Totain, having set up shop at Pau, recalled: "The Pompadour lines had become a bit dormant. I developed a good rapport with Bernard Clos, who worked at the Haras Nationaux and whose company I appreciated. It was via this ‘connection’ that I began training the stock bearing the ‘Pompadour’ label. We enjoyed considerable success with our Purebred Arabians (PA) and Anglo-Arabians. The two PA families which stood out were the Berthe and Ablette (Sumeyr) ones. As a result of the wins, these lines acquired an international reputation. Granted the bonus of a winning habit, the stock of these lines rose thanks to the systematic use of quality stallions, followed by the ability of their trainers to bring out the best in their charges." This partnership began via Bar Royal (Djelfor) and the latter was unbeaten in his four three-year-old French starts in 1993. A six lengths winner on his debut at Dax in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, he went on to enjoy the equivalent of Gr1 PA success by taking the Trophée des Écuries Royales over 1,400m at Toulouse during the month of October. Jean-Pierre Totain said: "This is a family noted for its precocity and its considerable quality. However, they aren’t straight forward types as they can get a bit wound up. The ones under my care had no major health issues. Prince d’Orient (Manganate) was a very good horse. Later to meet with an accident, he only raced three times in France. Underlining his quality, he won the Prix d’Abu Dhabi at Chantilly and the Président des UAE at Deauville (Gr1s PA). Still on the subject of this same line, I also trained Dorwan du Cayrou (Dormane), successful in the Prix du Président des UAE and the Coupe d’Europe. However, there’s no doubt that Bar Royal was the best that I’ve trained from this particular family. He was an attractive bay horse. He is the second best PA horse that I’ve trained after Mushrae (Munjiz). I was strongly against the idea of sending him to Dubai, as he was prone to suffering from colic when it became very hot. However, my opinion was ignored and he died a month after being exported. Out of the same dam, Beau Bar was bay and small in stature. He was Gr2 class in France but was up to winning in Gr1 PA company abroad. He enjoyed notable success in the Grand Prix de Son Altesse Royale le Prince Moulay Rachid."
A SIMPLIFIED VERSION OF THE BERTHE LINE - BERGERONNETTE STRAND OF THE FAMILY
BERTHE (1974, Irmak). Dam of:
BERGERONNETTE (1979, Djouran), Dam of:
BIZNESS CLASS (1985, Nadji), Dam of:
HAMMDIE CLASS (1995, Dormane), Dam of:
ROYAL CLASS (2005, Kesberoy), Jumeirah International Stakes (Gr2 PA)
PETITE CLASS (2003, Barour de Cardonne), Dam of:
AL ZAHIR (2013, Madjani), President Cup (twice) & Emirates Championship (Gr1s PA)
BAVETTE (1988, Dunixi), Dam of:
AMINA DE PEDALIA (1993, Djelfor), Dam of:
PRINCE AMIN (2001, Darike), International Championship (Gr2 PA).
SARAHMINA (1999, Tornado de Syrah), Dam of:
TAMEEMAH (2005, Amer), 3rd in the French Arabian Breeders’ Challenge & the Hatta International Stakes (Gr1s PA)
RAQIYAH (2006, Amer), Doha Cup, Coupe d’Europe des Pur-sang Arabes (twice), Coupe de France des Pur-sang Arabes, Qatar International Trophy & UK Arabian Derby (Gr1s PA)
NEEF (2015, General), Prix Chéri Bibi (Gr3 PA)
PRINCE D’ORIENT (1996, Manganate), Prix d’Abu Dhabi at Chantilly & du Président des UAE at Deauville (Gr1s PA). TOTAIN
BAR ROYAL (1990, Djelfor), Trophée des Écuries Royales
BALLADE FOLLE (1991, Djelfor), Coupe des Nations at Feurs, Dam of:
DORMADORA (1997, Dormane), Dam of:
DAHOR DE BRUGÈRE (2009, Dahess), Al Rayyan Cup & Coupe de France (Gr1s PA)
ZIKREET (2013, Dahess), 2nd in the Arabian Trophy des Poulains at Saint-Cloud and Qatar International Cup (Gr1s PA)
DORMAH DE BRUGÈRE (2000, Dormane), Jumeirah International Stakes & Emirates Arabian International Stakes (Grs2 PA), Dam of :
MAHESS DU SOLEIL (2011, Dahess), UK Arabian Derby (Gr1 PA)
BALDORA DE BRUGÈRE (2003, Dormane), Dam of:
AZIZ AL SHAHANIA (2008, Prince d'Orient), 3rd in the Qatar International Derby & the Emirates Equestrian Federation International Stakes (Grs2 PA)
BALLADORE (2004, Dormane), Dam of:
AMYR DU SOLEIL (2016, Amer), Prix Tidjani (Gr3 PA)
BALAAM (1992, Djelfor), Dam of:
BADAD (2004, Tidjani), Prix Carthage & International Trophy (Gr2 PA)
BACCANTARA (1994, Djelfor), Dam of:
EAU DE ROCHE (1999, Darike), Dam of:
EAUVATION DES CÈDRES (2007, Darweesh), 3rd Prix de l'Élevage (Gr2 PA).
BONNE IDÉE (1996, Nuits St Georges), Dam of:
BRAMA DE POMPADOUR (2013, Dahess), 3rd Coupe de France des Chevaux Arabes (Gr1 PA)
BEAU BAR (2000, Djelfor) Prix Damas (Gr3 PA), 2nd International Championship & French Arabian Breeders’ Cup Mile (Gr1s PA)
A SIMPLIFIED VERSION OF THE BERTHE LINE - BUCOLIQUE & ESTER DU PAON STRANDS
BERTHE (1974, Irmak). Dam of:
BUCOLIQUE (1981, Besbes),
DORWAN DU CAYROU (1991, Dormane), Prix du Président des UAE & Coupe d’Europe
DGINA (1989, Habdur), Dam of:
IDOLE D'AUVERGNE (1996, Djelfor), 2nd Emirates Championship (Gr1 PA),
ESTER DU PAON (1990, Cheri Bibi), Dam of:
JIYUSH (1997, Manganate) Dubai Stakes (Gr1 PA), 2nd Dubai Kahayla Classic (Gr1 PA)
HATHRAH (2002, Makzan), Dam of:
JAMAAYIL (2012, Al Jakbar), French Arabian Breeders’Challenge - Sprint (Gr2 PA)
AWZAAN (2011, Al Saoudi), 3rd Sheikh Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1 PA)
From Raqiyah to Dahor de Brugère. The exceptional Raqiyah (Amer), trained by Alban de Mieulle on behalf of her breeder His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani, accumulated successes at the highest level in France, Qatar and Britain. A winner of thirteen races, she shone in the President of the UAE Cup - Coupe de France des Chevaux Arabes, the Qatar International Trophy, The President of the UAE Cup - Coupe d'Europe des Chevaux Arabes (twice) and The President of the UAE Cup - UK Arabian Derby (Gr1s PA) at Ascot. The world’s highest ranked PA three-year-old of 2012, Dahor de Brugère (Dahess) also hails from this family. Unbeaten in five starts at three, he initiated a prestigious double in the Qatar Coupe de France des Chevaux Arabes (Gr1 PA) over a mile at Chantilly, before following up in the Al Rayyan Cup - Prix Kesberoy (Gr1 PA) (2,000m) at Deauville. Having injured himself as a four-year-old, it was only during the autumn of the following season that the then five-year-old returned to the racecourse when proving successful in the Qatar Cup-Prix Dragon (Gr2 PA). This was the prelude to his final start and sole career defeat after his third in the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr1 PA). The late Jean-François Bernard, the trainer, said following his charge’s retirement to stud: "Dahor de Brugère was quick to show his quality as he was a precocious type blessed with a very powerful stride. He was courage personified and it was this which enabled him to win his first four races when he accounted for
Mushrae three times! After tendon problems and a two year absence, he managed to return to the highest level. A horse with an exceptional physique, he had an excellent temperament which was coupled to a very potent finishing kick." The Al Shaqab Racing stallion has only had two runners in France but both have won. His daughter Meethag (Dahor de Brugère) proved victorious in the Qatar Coupe de France des Chevaux Arabes (Gr2 PA).
A colt going places. Amyr du Soleil (Amer) created a big impression at La Teste in the Prix Tidjani (Gr3 PA). It was by virtue of this same bloodline that his breeders, Lisa and Pierre Deymonaz, generated their first Gr1 PA winner via Mahess du Soleil (Dahess), as the latter proved successful in the UK Arabian Derby (Gr1 PA) at Newmarket. Pierre Deymonaz said: "We had expected him to run well on his debut but he was too green. Thomas Fourcy is very familiar with the progeny of Amer and so he is thinking long term for Amyr du Soleil. Even Al Mourtajez (Dahess) failed to win on his debut! On his second start, Amyr du Soleil was very impressive. An attractive type and of a good size, he hasn’t stopped growing yet, and neither is he a heavy type. He’s the archetypal PA racehorse. He was entrusted to the care of Paul Basquin very early on as regards the breaking-in phase of the pre-training process. He very soon became aware of the horse’s class. Thomas Fourcy had seen him at the Haras du Saubouas and took a shine to him. It’s even more gratifying taking into account that my in-laws bred the dam Balladore (Dormane). The 2019 season is certainly going well for us. Lady Princess (General), whom we acquired from the stud of Monsieur Bellaud, won impressively on her racecourse debut at Toulouse before being sold. A quality filly and a well-bred one, she is held in very high esteem."
Du Soleil Stud and its new concept. Pierre Deymonaz added: "Four of our mares are based at the Haras du Saubouas but they transfer to
the Haras de Thouars, of Monsieur Cessac, for breeding purposes. They comprise Balladore, the dam of Amyr du Soleil, and her full sister Dormalla (Dormane). Balladore has a two-year-old by General (Amer), who is currently based in Britain, a comment which also applies to her yearling by Munjiz (Kesberoy). We also have a very attractive product of Munjiz at Saubouas. Rahab (Amer), the full sister of Al Dahma (Amer) and General, also warrants a mention. We bought her at the Saint-Cloud sales and she has foaled two quality types by Munjiz. Saubouas is also home to Theeba (Amer), the full sister of Ebraz (Amer). She has produced an attractive ‘Munjiz’ colt. Above all we prize quality over quantity which explains why we limit ourselves to keeping four PA mares in France. However, we also own a stud in Britain in tandem with my in-laws. Near Newmarket, it is home to around twenty PA horses. When one of horses appeals as above average ability, we send them to Paul Basquin with a view to preparing them to go into training. Since we have returned from Qatar, both my wife and myself have immersed ourselves totally in the breeding world." Pierre Deymonaz had previously been a long-standing assistant to Julian Smart before successfully branching out as a trainer. Lisa Deymonaz, his wife, also worked for Al Shahania Stud where she oversaw the running of the breeding operation. Her Qatari role invariably placed an emphasis on drawing up mating plans which underpinned the success of the blue and silks of the stable. Her parents, Jim and Jo Kippen, have been successful breeders of Arabian horses for three decades. Pierre Deymonaz added: "There aren’t really any more commercial PA breeding operations in Britain where racing tends to be less professional. The Soleil Stud, together with our British base at Tostock and French operation, benefit from Lisa’s knowledge of pedigrees and breeding, in addition to my ‘training’ experience. Lisa has proved very successful when it comes to devising mating plans for the horses and, it was her that sourced the dam of Mahess du Soleil at Saint-Cloud sales. The Purebred Arabian is our great passion. I’ve no ambitions as regards training in Britain granted the workload involved with running the studs. It’s just as well that Sheikh Hamdan supports the British PA industry granted that it isn’t as strongly embedded as in France, the Gulf States or the Maghreb countries."
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