Eugene Kappushev: "We’re considering running Memoralia in the Qatar Arabian Trophy"
Unbeaten in three starts, and over a trio of different distances, the three-year-old filly Memoralia (Munjiz) has yet to be headed at Pyatigorsk this year. Coming off a win in the Russian Oaks (Gr1 PA local, 2,400m), she was bred at the Haras du Berlais by her owner, Valentin Bukhtoyarov, and Eugène Kappushev. The latter has kindly agreed to answer our questions.
The French Purebred Arabian. – What prompted the decision to breed in France?
Eugene Kappushev – Our thoroughbred breeding operation is overseen by Jean-Pierre Deroubaix (French Bloodstock Agency). He also manages the interests of the Royal Cavalry of Oman and other big stables. We board our English thoroughbred mares at the Haras du Quesnay. In the autumn of 2014, Jean-Pierre Deroubaix gave us the option of privately acquiring two Purebred Arabian mares of considerable quality, Mendra (Sousse) and Mlaika (Dormane), and that is what we did. Following this, Manark (Mahabb), a son of Mendra, asserted in the Dubai Kahayla Classic (Gr1 PA), and Radames (Kerbella), whose dam is Mlaika, did likewise in the Jebel Ali Racecourse Za'abeel International Stakes (Gr1 PA) at Newbury!
Jean-Pierre Deroubaix subsequently mooted that we should board the mares at the Haras du Berlais, which is also home to the broodmare band of the Royal Cavalry of Oman. We are very happy with this choice as it’s a remarkable place. The owners, the husband and wife team of Jean-Marc and Cécile Lucas, have proved to be very likeable professionals. Furthermore, France is the world leader of the Purebred Arabian racing breeding world, and the majority of the top stallions are based there.
The victory of Memoralia in the Russian Oaks (Gr1 PA local) at Pyatigorsk on July 14th 2019. : https://youtu.be/oIOW6kZ__Wc
Do you have any other Purebred Arabians at the Haras du Berlais?
In addition to Mlaika and Mendra we board two other mares, the Russian-bred pair Sablia (Benedick) and Sri Lanka (Dilijans). Both performed very well as juveniles in Russia. The thinking behind this is to try and produce precocious three-year-old types as French PA horses invariably don’t race at two. The colt Saiffedine (Dahess & Sablia) and the filly Sardaigne (Dahess & Sri Lanka) are both two-year-olds. They have been earmarked for the stables of Thomas Fourcy and Charles Gourdain.
How did you become involved in PA racing?
I’m a native of Pyatigorsk which is an important region for breeding PA horses in Russia, and the Tersk Stud is in the vicinity. I rode a lot of Arabian horses for the Tersk Stud both as an
apprentice and amateur jockey. My family has a long-standing affinity with PA racing as my father was a former champion jockey and trainer. My mother was the racing secretary at Pyatigorsk racecourse. In 2010, I was appointed manager to Valentin Bukhtoyarov. It was at this point that we began breeding PA horses. Our bloodstock interests revolve around sixteen PA broodmares and four stallions.
Have any of your PA horses raced in France?
Karmel de Faust (Akbar) was a close sixth in the 2008 edition of the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr1 PA), having got beaten by less than two lengths. We have raced a few since but nothing has proved capable of exciting the pulse in terms of results. Sablia (Benedick) and Sri Lanka (Dilijans) both contested the Qatar Coupe de France des Chevaux Arabes (Gr1 PA) at Chantilly in which they finished out of the numbers.
Memoralia remains unbeaten on sand but will she race on turf?
It’s not natural sand as we know it but fibresand which was installed by a French company called Gregori International. They race on an identical surface at Pau. We’re considering running her in the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Pouliches (Gr1 PA) at Saint-Cloud in October if all goes to plan. She’s still a bit green and takes longer to recover from her races than the PA horses born in Russia.
Do you have any other progeny by Mlaika, the dam of Memoralia?
Mlaika (Dormane) has produced an attracted juvenile colt by Nizam (Amer) which we have christened Menghir. She also gave birth to a good looking foal and, namely a son of Dahess (Amer), who goes by the name of Meridian, this year.
What have been the main success stories of your breeding operation?
I would probably say Pancer Faust (Karmel de Faust) following his success in the Pyatigorsk Derby (Gr1 PA local) for PA horses in 2017. Pankration (Karmel de Faust & Pelaga) followed suit in the same race in 2018, and Kalashnikov (Karmel de Faust) could tread a similar path this year. We have enjoyed considerable success with Al Bakir (Benedick) with this horse winning ten of his sixteen starts, including the Kazan Derby (Gr1 PA local). Kemchug River (Benedick) numbered the Kazan Oaks (Gr1 PA local) among her eight victories in eleven career starts. The dual winning Lizeta (Dilijans) shone in the Prix Kalinin (Gr1 PA local).
Baltik Queen (Karmel de Faust) reached the winner’s enclosure on five occasions and she proved successful in the Krasnodar Oaks (Gr1 PA local). Lissabon (Benedick) was never worse than second in his five starts, and he struck gold in the Prix Kalinin (Gr1 PA local) at Pyatigorsk. Prince Faust (Karmel de Faust) hit the jackpot on six occasions culminating with success in the Prix des Élites (Gr2 PA local) at Krasnodar. Pro E Contra (Karmel de Faust) is a triple Gr3 PA winner at local level and has amassed four wins in five starts. Prima Bella (Karmel de Faust) hit the target in the Krasnodar Oaks (Gr1 PA local) and has won twice. Great Viktor (Mahabb) has won his first three starts – all which carried Gr3 PA local status.
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