Now that we’ve established that European racing has its better qualities, who wants to play? We have a half interest in a French yearling called El Camino Real available. He is by Enrique out of a Green Tune mare, is ready to be backed and looks like he will make a very nice two-year-old. Best of all, he’s eligible for French owners premiums, which means 78 percent added to any purse money as a two-year-old, 68 percent as a three-year-old and 48 percent as a four-year-old or older. Anyone interested can contact me by phone or e-mail. Just a reminder, my fees are 55 euros a day (so a half interest will cost you 27.50), which includes everything except vet fees and racing costs. Vet fees in my yard average about 500 euros a year per horse. (And to my American readers, that’s not a typo – it’s an average per YEAR). I’ve got a 10 percent win rate and 20 percent place rate this year, which is about what it should be for a reasonable yard.
I’m also off to my favorite horses-in-training sale at Newmarket next week, for anyone interested in owning an older horse with more immediate potential. I’ve got six horses in the yard at the moment that came from the Newmarket sales. Four of them have won for us, one has placed and one hasn’t yet run. With one exception, they were all bought for less than 8,000 euros. The exception is Skid Solo, who was bought for about 16,000 euros. He has since won 22,000 euros and I expect him to have a good chance in the Tierce handicap in Deauville on Thursday. There are more than 1,500 horses in the catalog and surely deals to be had; I will be there for all four days.
Last part of the sales pitch: Just a reminder that French prize money is the best in Europe. The average first place purse for a low-level Paris-area claiming race is 8,000 euros. If you win two races, your training bill for the year is nearly paid. So even if your horse doesn’t have the French-bred premiums, you stand a good chance of breaking even. If you DO have a French horse, things get even more interesting. Hard Way, my home-bred, won 17,000 euros so far this year, but the French premium took that total to 25,000. I expect him to add to those winnings before the year is over.
Oh yeah, one more thing: Champagne flows freely whenever your horse runs, no matter where he finishes! (It flows even more freely when they win…)