Flat: 2017 leaders in France

01 January 2018

Photos scoopdyga.com

Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon's record, a 28th champion trainer title for André Fabre, a fourth as an owner for Khalid Abdullah, followed by Godolphin, Wertheimer & Frère and Gérard Augustin-Normand, the Wertheimer-breds at the top of the French list, and the good performance of the French sires made most of the hadlines in French flat racing in 2017...

In 2017, Khalid Abdullah raced 41 horses who earned more than €3.9m, allowing the light green, white and pink silks to lift a 4th trophy in France. The success of Enable in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe represents nearly two-thirds of the team's winnings this year in France. In the wake of the Saudi owner, Dubai's Godolphin comes in second. With 89 horses having participated in nearly 300 races, and €3.84m in earnings, the Al Maktoum organization is well ahead of 3rd-placed Al Shaqab Racing (€2.83m), and Wertheimer & Frère, the first European stable in the French rankings with €2.71m.

Owners' Premiums included, which value ​​Frenchbred performers, Godolphin takes over with more than €4m in front of Wertheimer & Frère, beaten by less than 40,000 € in this ranking, and Khalid Abdullah, who has virtually no Frenchbred in its ranks.

By number of wins, French owner Gérard Augustin-Normand is at the top with 90 victories with 136 horses and 526 starters. Only Cédric Boutin, a trainer who races his own horses, has a larger string of starters with 673 horses saddled in 2017.

Wertheimer & Frère, 83 times awinner as an owner, is at the top of French breeders, mostly thanks to the many foals born in Great Britain and Ireland that have been assimilated in the French premiums scheme. The 138 representatives of this international breeding, straddling three European countries, earned more than €500,000 in Breeders' Premiums, which amounts to just over 11% of the €4.4m earned as purses and owners' premiums by the Wertheimer-bred runners. The Aga Khan comes next with more than €400,000 in Breeders' Premiums, ahead of Franklin Finance, which represents Gérard Augustin-Normand, with €246,632, and the Écurie des Monceaux (€226,650), one of Arqana's top consignors, and Southern owner Jean-Claude Seroul.

André Fabre is champion trainer for the 28th time. He leads on all fronts in 2017 with 145 wins and €8,687,957. Jean-Claude Rouget is in his wake with 143 victories and just under €6.2m. André Fabre's 192 horses have on average made €38,443 in the last 12 months...

Champion rider Christophe Soumillon has won the Cravache d'or setting a new European record of 306 wins, nearly 100 more than his best rival, Pierre-Charles Boudot, who was champion rider a year before with a previous record of 300 victories. The 965 rides booked to Soumillon in 2017 made over €11.4m, or €200,000 more than his previous record, established in 2008 - the year he rode the great Zarkava, who alone made almost €3.2m alone that year.

As for the champion sires, the top three -Nathaniel, Galileo and Sea the Stars- are based in Ireland or UK but the next two, Siyouni and Rajsaman, are located in Normandy! Better: with the Owners' Premiums included, Siyouni ends up in front of Nathaniel, sire of Enable, and Kendargent, also based in France. In winners, it's the same result with 59 winners for Siyouni and 57 for Kendargent, 2nd best once again, Le Havre arriving 4th with 45 winners, just in front of his neighbor at haras de Montfort et Préaux, Air Chief Marshal, with 44 winners. Kendargent leads in term of wins with a 86 mark, one more than Siyouni's bests.

Only four sires have produced at least ten 2yo winners in 2017, and they are all based in France: Siyouni, Dabirsim (15 each), Kendargent (12) and Air Chief Marshal (10).