We’re quite used to seeing French horses come across to England for our major races, and for British trainers to have runners in the big contests in France. Now, Kent trainer John Best is considering taking that a step further and entering his horses regularly in races in Northern France.
He explained why it made sense, saying, “We are ideally located. To go from home to France is not much more than to go to York. The prize money makes a big difference.” It takes around half an hour from Best’s stables at Hucking on the North Downs to reach the Euro tunnel and then there’s a three-hour drive to Deauville.
Recently Best sent three 2 year olds across to race. Le Deluge and Habeshia were in the same race, finishing second and fifth. On the following day Lewamy came home in fifth place in his first run in a handicap. Between them, the three picked up €12,700 in prize money. That’s around £10,000, and when you consider that the winner of a similar race at Lingfield on the same day picked up only £3,340 you can see why France is an attractive and cost effective option. Add to that, when Best takes French bred horses such as Le Deluge and Habeisha back home to race, they are eligible for 75% more in prize money.
This was not the first time Best has ventured over to France. In July, Lewamy had placed third in a race at Chantilly, and Le Deluge had run at Compiegne. As yet none of the three have run in England. Perhaps they never will, and the current trickle of runners Best has sent across the channel will become Le Deluge.