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Damon in Deauville 21st August

By September 12, 2012Blog

Thank you for all your suggestions about my title – it’s between Duchess Of Deauvilleand D**k Head Of Deauville.  Secondly, thank you for the fan mail – though the only one received has been from my mother. Thanks, Mum.

My long-suffering companion arrived yesterday [Sunday] on the train where they had oversold. LSC (long suffering companion) had to stand up for the two hour journey to Deauville.  It was apparently reminiscent of a train in Mumbai.  Travellers tip: LSC is tight (Scottish heritage) – book premiere class to ensure a guaranteed seat.

A quick costume changed and it was off to the Darley Prix Morny race meeting. A light lunch (not) of lobster salad, medium beef, which comes bleeding, with frites and followed by creme brulee was sure to add another two kilos to the ever expanding waist line. We were seated at the next table to John Magnier and his Coolmore entourage – probably the closest I will get to that much money.

It was a fantastic day racing. The Morny was won by Reckless Abandon, who remained undefeated, but the real highlight in a riveting race was the reappearance after ten months off the scene of the fantastic mare Snow Fairy (another suggestion for my title), who got badly hampered and stuck her little neck out to win. This was much to the excitement of the crowd. Snow Fairy could barely be given away selling for a mere €1,800, showing racing is a great leveller, especially as she defeated the regally bred Galikova – the half sister to Goldikova.

Another interesting race was the reappearance of the Melbourne Cup winner Americain, who is like a boomerang, having recently returned to the care of his original trainer. In the 3000m Prix Kergolay, they walked early on which left Americain sitting much closer than usual in third place and although his run looked disappointing, it was not as bad as it might have seemed. Americain got out sprinted on the turn and I’m sure he will improve. He will arrive on our shores primed for another tilt atAustralia’s greatest race. What is amazing now in the Northern hemisphere is that any horse with any form over staying distances is being targeted by or marked to the Australian’s. It would not surprise me if the entire Melbourne Cup field is made up of imported runners.

After the races, it was straight over to the sales where I settled myself and CC down with a bottle of the Chablis. Trade was lively and it was very hard to get on the score board. Waratah Thoroughbreds (bless you Mr Fudge) purchased Lot 111, a cracking filly by first season sire Aqlaam. I had targeted the last remaining Fastnet Rock filly but so had a few other people and she, Lot162, ended up selling for €380,000 to the all too powerful Coolmore team. The highlight of the night was Lot120, Sea The Stars – Alpine Rose colt, which sold for €1.2 million to Nicolas de Watrigant. Nicolas had spent part of his apprenticeship working in Australia.

The talk of the sale on Sunday night was the announcement of Redoute’s Choice shuttling to the Aga Khan’s French stud. Much debate centered around his service fee, but what a coup for Arrowfield as The Aga Khan has committed to sending between 15 and 20 mares to our champion stallion. Overall the vibe from the French breeders I spoke to was really positive – it just goes to show how small the world is becoming.

After the sale it was time for the annual Aussie dinner. This year we decided to try a new venue and went to the world renewed Drakkar. A table of 12 previously mentioned Aussies was assembled and this is where the rest of the night starts to get a little blurry. Teresa Poon started to fall asleep at the table – in the middle of one of what I thought was one of my more witty and entertaining stories. Obviously not. When she finally came round, she realised it was 2am. Outstanding effort by Teresa, Mr Kobritz and the Nash’s who then departed.

In what seemed like a good idea at the time a roadie – known here as a cleansing ale was ordered and two more bottles of wine arrived. The next thing, its 3.30 and the staff were starting to sweep the restaurant clean of all the rubbish which included us.

Mini bar successfully cleaned out of all Toblerone and sweet items. So readers, now I have remembered, that it where the time went.

My French is coming on so well. Someone even stopped me in the street and asked directions. God only knows where the poor chap ended up!

Tomorrow it’s off to theLoire Valley,Bordeaux and then onto Madrid.

Hot off the press: Huge congratulations must go my ex PA Heidi Keirghan, Roger Lanley and Gary Mudgway, who had a huge result in the third session of selling at Deauville yesterday when Lot 214, a colt by Green Tune sold to Con Marnane for €100,000.The chestnut colt had received a significant pedigree update when his half brother, More Than Sokta, won a Listed race. The trio purchased to colt for €12,000 at last year’s Arqana Deauville December Breeding Stock Sale as a weanling.