Tom George looking to Teillee for successful launch of French venture

Tom George has enjoyed plenty of success in France over the years and hopes the decision to supplement Espoir De Teillee for Sunday’s Prix Leon Rambaud at Auteuil can signal a successful beginning to a new family venture.

George’s son Noel, who has ridden as an amateur jockey in recent seasons, is to set up a base in Chantilly and take out his own licence.

How Espoir De Teillee fares this weekend, in a race which also features Phil Kirby’s Top Ville Ben, will help dictate whether he will remain in France in the future.

“I’ve got a dozen horses over in France and we’ve had a nice bit of success recently,” said George.

Espoir De Teillee has been improving of late
Espoir De Teillee has been improving of late (Simon Cooper/PA)

“He came out of his last race at Newbury, which he won, very well and it looked a nice stepping stone to dip our toe in the water over here and see if he copes with the better French horses.

“We’ll see how he does before deciding whether to leave him out there for the bigger races in June. He’s won his last two and he’s not far off a graded horse in England.

“He’ll be running against some of the best horses in France and maybe he’ll be out of his depth, but I’d say he’s still a progressive horse and we’ve a good guide against some of the others we’ve been running here.”

George also now trains Garde Le Victoire, after the 12-year-old left Philip Hobbs, and he will have his second start in France at Nancy on Saturday having finished third at Compiegne on his stable debut.

“That was the perfect start for him and he fits into this race really well. It’s for horses who haven’t won 12,000 euros in the past year and he picked up eight or nine for coming third last time. There aren’t many runners so he must go with an outstanding chance,” he told Sky Sports Racing.

George admitted limited opportunities at home and the better prize-money in France brought about his new scenario.

“About five years ago we took out a temporary licence in France and enjoyed plenty of success. With the situation we’ve got at home, I think this is the best way forward,” he said.

“If we can run in both countries, as some horses suit France better than England and vice versa, it gives us enormous openings.

Noel George riding Bun Doran at Newbury
Noel George riding Bun Doran at Newbury (Nigel French/PA)

“Another big advantage is my son Noel is based in France now, he wants to start training in Chantilly so we can work it between the two of us.

“France Galop have been incredibly helpful, they’d given us a temporary one (licence) in the understanding we’d go further down the line with it.

“I can’t get a licence, not that I particularly wanted one, I’d like Noel to do it. The first stumbling block is you have to speak the language and pass the exams in France, but thankfully Noel picked it up very quickly.

“Hopefully this will be a really good niche for us.”