One of the discerning features of the French racing industry is the link between high prize money levels, which are by far the best in Europe, coupled with a sizeable dependency on the export sector. On the flat, as over jumps, sales to foreign buyers are the monetary lifeblood which sustains the whole system. Whether it be a yearling going through the ring, or a horse in training, the English Thoroughbreds bred on our soil are almost gleefully exported and the money generated proves vital for the sustainability of the sector. Even then, the difference in prize money levels can be startling. We have used the example of two classic winners in the same Al Shaqab Racing ownership. By winning his maiden at Deauville, Brametot, the future winner of the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Gr. I), banked € 12,500 €. This compares to the € 4,800 purse picked up by the British-trained Galileo Gold after he opened his account. The latter was to prove a future winner of the 2,000 Guineas. In anticipation of an influx of new owners, and it’s one of the mantras of ParisLongchamp, French racing needs foreign investors to keep their acquisitions in training in France. In this respect, Purebred Arabian racing represents without doubt the best sources of growth. The victory of Hajres in the Prix Dormane (Gr. III PA) should act as a huge incentive to owners and breeders from the Mahgreb. As they, too, can win the top prizes if they transfer their horses to France. The superb showing of Hajres, under the guidance of Madame Jean-François Bernard, is the best reward for Emadadein Alhtoushi. This owner has three English Thoroughbreds in training in France. We have come full circle.
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