King Driver retires

King will leave a void that will be difficult to fill.

So we have come to this day, after all. King Driver (Domedriver and Queenmara out of King Of Clubs) has been officially retired, and the yard has an empty space that is far bigger than King’s box.

King has been our standard-bearer for nearly nine years. He leaves us with six wins and 25 places from 55 starts, and many, many memories, both wonderful and challenging. I didn’t train him, he trained me.

King Driver at the 2010 Osarus yearling sales at La Teste.

He was the first (and still only) yearling an owner trusted me to buy at the sales. He taught me about tapeworms, flat feet, pirouettes, broken bones (and how you could discover them years after the fact), the importance of jockey choice (he just simply refused to move when he disagreed), how to load a horse in the truck (one large German with a huge yell will do the trick), how to spot ghosts (but still, only he could see them), gelding (don’t wait, just do it), but mostly how an incredibly beautiful chestnut with an eight-meter stride length and a heart that no one could match can glide to the finish line first when all the stars align.

We will miss you very much, King.

“It is very emotional coming to the end of the ‘King’ era. Right from the start, finding Gina on-line (she loved horses/was vocally anti-drugs/spoke English – well nearly!) buying the outstanding King by video-streamed auction whist on the phone to Gina at Osiris and following King’s outstanding career whilst sharing a few bottles of champagne and Mojitos. He loved Cagnes-Sur-Mer and the town liked King. We like characters and King was surely that – see my wife Jean’s chewed finger. There can be no better stables in France – friendly, dedicated and successful. Gina, we look forward to your future success and hosting you, Tim & team in Guernsey where you can get your second? international winner. Love and success to you all.”
Steve Butterworth, owner.

King Driver winning the Prix de Juan-les-Pins in Cagnes-sur-Mer, February 14, 2015. (Scoopdyga)

“Thank you Gina, it’s been a great experience and we were blessed that we found you and had all our faith in you finding him when everyone said “ there’s no future in a ‘driver’ “. Your yard and your team are what all owners look for! Much love and luck.”
Steve Camm, owner.

Sales behind, runners ahead

It was busy at the end of last week with the La Teste sales and Birs in Lyon. First Birs: He finished 8th, but ran very, very well despite bad traffic. He was drawn 3, and Flavien had to fight with him to keep him from galloping on top of the other horses. (When you want the outside, you get the inside, and vice-versa, it seems.) Birs is a very, very big horse and wasn’t very happy inside. Once Flavien got him out, he galloped on to close nicely, and was only beaten about three lengths. In any case, the owner wanted him sold, so I made a deal with another trainer and he has now left my yard. He will run in Maisons-Laffitte next week, I hope, and I’ll still get the trainer’s percentage even if I don’t get to race him under my name. There are 80 entries, so we’ll see if he gets a run. He’s a nice horse, though, and one to watch.

As for the sales, the quality of horses on offer from Osarus is better than ever and there were some very nice yearlings through the ring. One of my owners did a bit of bidding and came away with nothing, and it was frustrating not to be able to bring a couple home. I particularly liked Lots 34, 78 and 93 – all very different styles of horses. No. 34 was a Layman colt who looked like he could race tomorrow. Very precocious and compact, he sold for 8,000 euros to Delcher-Sanchez, a trainer in Southern France or Spain – not sure which. No. 78 was a Great Journey filly, whose sister was a Listed-placed filly in Switzerland and France. She was a lovely model and went to Con Marnane for 11,500 euros, which means she is likely to come back to race in France (although I have no idea if she’ll come to me – my guess is probably not). My favorite horse of the sales was No. 93, a Carlotamix colt that went for only 11,000 to Michel Gentile. I figured he would have gone for a lot more, so maybe I missed a problem of some sort. Two of his three siblings are Listed winners and he was a nice horse, if a bit on the light side. The weak spot on the page, like it is for many French-bred horses, is the sire, of course. He did win the Group 1 Criterium International at St. Cloud, but didn’t do much else. He has eight winners from 45 foals of racing age, and he usually doesn’t get very good mares.

France suffers from a lack of decent sires, but it’s a vicious circle because breeders aren’t willing to pay high stud fees. The highest stallions in France stand for 15,000 euros, and that’s peanuts compared with many other places; Carlotamix stands for 2,500 euros.

In any case, it will be interesting to follow my three yearling picks to see what becomes of them.

The organization of the sales was excellent; the Osarus gang is the antithesis of the Arqana snobbery that goes on in Deauville. The Osarus team is very welcoming, and they put on free breakfast and lunch the morning of the sale, plus Champagne during the sales themselves (they’re not stupid – well-oiled buyers tend to drive up prices!). I’ll definitely be back.

In racing this week, George (Email Exit) will go to St. Cloud for a handicap on Thursday. I really need to retire him and find him a new job, but since I haven’t really moved on that yet and he’s here, eating, cantering and seeming well enough, he can race until I decide what to do with him. Tuna (Fortunateencounter) will go to a claimer here in Maisons-Laffitte on Friday. She was entered in a handicap at St. Cloud on Thursday but didn’t make the cut, so we’ll have to take another risk. Rue B. is entered in the same race, but I don’t think we may wait for a better chance for her.

Become an owner

If you are interested in becoming a racehorse owner in France, contact us. We’ll help you get started in the lucrative world of French thoroughbred racing.  And with the summer season soon upon us, you can enjoy the wonderful racing meetings at Vichy in July or Deauville in August.

We are available to discuss your options. Gina will help you choose the right horse for you  whether it be in claiming races or the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sales.

We can also help you and your friends organize a partnership, making ownership more affordable for you.

Gina Rarick, Trainer
grarick@gallopfrance.com
+33 6 1075 4769

Tim Rarick, President Gallop France
tim.rarick@gallopfrance.com
+33 7 8114 5186

 

Come Racing in France!

Discover the fun and excitement of thoroughbred horse racing in France,  where big purses and low training fees combine to make this country one of the most attractive in the world for horse owners.

Explore our site for details, and contact us to discuss ownership opportunities.  Follow Gina Rarick on Facebook and Twitter or visit our blog to keep up with all the latest happenings in the stable.

Why race in France?

Prize money in French racing is among the highest in the world. The winner of a mid-level race will take home between €9,000 and €15,000, compared with £1,000 to £1,500 in the U.K. In addition, French racing offers premiums to French-bred horses that add 60 percent to prize money for two- and  three-year-olds, and 45 percent for four- and five-year-olds and 35 percent for 6-year-olds and older.

Costs are comparatively low. French racing authorities subsidize travel expenses for horses, there are no entry fees for non-pattern races and jockey fees are minimal. Training fees in our yard are €55 a day excluding shoes and racing costs. That means no extra fees for things like rugs or nutritional supplements.

Another factor to consider: France does not allow any medication in a horse’s system on race day. That means lower vet bills for owners and sound, drug-free horses.

Come racing in France –
we’ll have a bottle of Champagne on ice for you!

2018 Winners