The colours made famous by Jules Ouaki have embraced PA racing with success

12.04.2022

The colours made famous by Jules Ouaki have embraced PA racing with success

 

The colours made famous by Jules Ouaki have embraced PA racing with success

On October 4th Edalbar became the first PA horse to win in the colours made famous by Jules Ouaki. The Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte charge subsequently followed up in the Prix Ourour (L). The 2022 season promises to be a good for the 4-year-old, and this gives us the opportunity to tell the story behind the illustrious colours which he represents.

 

Almost 40 years after his death, the name of Jules Ouaki continues to resonate strongly in French racing circles. Following his death in 1983, his son Sylvain Ouaki expressed the desire to take over his father’s colours with a view to ensuring the continuation of a stable that was so dear to its founder. Under the management of Martial Boisseuil, the stable currently has several PA horses in training with the talented Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte. One of these is Edalbar (Af Albahar). The story behind these colours – which mirrors that of its creator – is an uncommon one.

 

From Tunis to Paris. The odyssey of Jules Ouaki began in the Sephardic district of La Goulette, Tunis. At the end of the Second World War, he was part of a group of young Jews, who were full of ambition and determined to set the world to rights, but one which also attended race meetings at Ksar Saïd. Several of the youngsters in this group of racegoers understood that there was no future for them in Tunisia, and so they took the risk of migrating to Paris. They included Roger Nataf, the founder of the successful Horse France bloodstock agency, and the father of Robert and Paul Nataf. The latter pair went on to become bloodstock agents, and continue to be active throughout Europe.

This group of young Tunisian Jews also comprised Gérard Samama. He was to enjoy success both in the Parisian business world and as an owner (and notably via the group winning Catcall), and the cardiologist Fernand Krief: the founder of the Clinique des Lilas’ (Lilas clinic).

 

Acquiring a reputation. Jules Ouaki's first years in Paris were very difficult ones. As to feed his family, he acquired textile materials in bulk which he then sold on for the best possible price, and which sometimes entailed some form of street trading. However, this man had business acumen and he came up with an idea that would forever shape his destiny. A pioneer in the market for cut price textile goods and items which we find in bazaars, he created the first self-service discount shop in the Barbès district, which is the gateway to Paris for many North Africans on their arrival in the capital. Jules Ouaki chose the name "Tati", an anagram of Tita, which was the nickname of his mother Esther, for this innovative concept. It was an immediate hit, and the pink gingham logo, complete with the brand name etched in blue, became embedded in the daily sub-conscience of many French people. Jules Ouaki's colours also mirrored those of the Tati brand. In 1976, Jules Ouaki was even awarded the Légion d'honneur for having "cleaned up" the Barbès district by ensuring the disappearance of the brothels within it, and transforming it, more by accident than design, into a tourist attraction in the capital.

Following his death in 1983, he left behind him a company with a global reputation, and which employed no less than 1,200 staff. Jules Ouaki is buried in the cemetery of Coye-la-Forêt. This is only a few kilometres from the famous Chantilly training centre and its classic racecourse.

 

Colours associated with the classics. Given the impetus of his financial success, the racegoer from Ksar Saïd gradually became a successful owner-breeder. The Jules Ouaki stable became associated with the classics thanks to the victory of Bikala (Kalamoun) in the 1981 edition of the Prix du Jockey Club (Gr1). Acquired as a yearling, he proved a remarkable 3-year-old performer, having also finished second in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Gr1), before becoming part of Jean-Luc Lagardère’s stallion draft. Another sales purchase, the filly Relasure (Relaunch), won the Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord (Gr3). She was also second in both the Premio Emilio Turati (Gr1) and the E.P. Taylor Stakes (since upgraded to Gr1 status).

 

Bloodlines which speak to the heart. The Jules Ouaki colours also made their mark over jumps via Rose or No (Rose Laurel), who had a residential building named after him at Lamorlaye. Under trainer Philippe Demercastel, he won the Prix Edmond Blanc (Gr3) on the flat, and he enjoyed success in the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil (Gr1) towards the end of his career. Rose or No was bred by Jules Ouaki, whose Phonidal (Cadoudal), from the same line, won both the Grande Course de Haies de Printemps and the Prix Juigné (Grs3).

Firola (Snob II), the winner of the prestigious Prix Robert Hennessy (L) over fences at Auteuil, proved a serious reference point for Jules Ouaki's breeding operation. As her daughter Faburola (Fabulous Dancer) proved an excellent mare on the flat, winning the Prix Kergorlay (Gr2) and the Long Island Handicap (Gr2). She also twice made it onto the podium in the Gr1 Irish St Leger, and was also placed in the Gr1 Prix Royal-Oak. Faburola is the grandam of two very smart jumpers, Domloula (Dom Pasquini), the winner of the Prix Cambacérès (Gr1), and Bulougun (Pistolet Bleu). The latter won the Prix de Longchamp (Gr3) and was also second in the Prix Alain du Breil (Gr1).

 

A fruitful association. Dwelling on the breeding theme, but in partnership with Gaëtan Gilles this time, the name of Exotic Dancer (Turgeon) comes to mind. As he was runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the King George VI ‘Chase and the Betfair ‘Chase (Grs1), which rank among three of the most prestigious English jump prizes. Or Saint Realise (Saint Preuil), the Prix Jean Stern (Gr2), is another case in point. The Gaëtan Gilles and the Jules Ouaki partnership have also bred some very smart flat horses. Green Noon (Green Tune), the winner of the Prix d'Aumale (Gr3) and second in the Prix Marcel Boussac (Gr1), is one such example. However, Chichicastenango (Smadoun) tops the lot. Successful in both the Prix Lupin and the Grand Prix de Paris (Grs1) (in record time), he also boasts a second in the Prix du Jockey Club (Gr1). At stud, despite being bred to some poor quality mares, he proved capable of upgrading his stock, having sired two French Derby winners, Saônois (Prix du Jockey Club, Gr1) and Vision d'État (Prix du Jockey Club, Prix Ganay, Prince of Wales Stakes & Hong Kong Cup, Grs1). Exported to Japan, Chichicastenango died relatively young (at the age of 14).