France manager Jérôme Reynier has a Cheveley Park plan for Wootton City

French trainer Jérôme Reynier isn’t afraid to take his horses on a journey and is considering a bold lean towards some of the best prizes for 2-year-old fillies in Britain with the progressive City of Wootton (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}).

But first Wootton City will line up in the G3 Prix de Cabourg at Deauville on Tuesday before Reynier can afford to dream of races like the G2 Lowther S. at York and the G1 Cheveley Park S. at Newmarket, which were both written in pencil in the filly’s diary.

“Wootton City have done well for us and the plan is to race in the Prix de Cabourg on Tuesday before going for the Lowther S. in York. If she’s good enough, she’s aiming for the G1 Cheveley Park S. and the Lowther would be good prep for that,” Reynier said.

He added: “We will keep the options open with her but she will have to run well against the colts on Tuesday and then we will see how she is. I think she could be even better with a cut in the ground, so hopefully she gets it in York in a few weeks.

Reynier is one of the best coaches in France, which is all the more commendable as he trains far from the major training centers in Marseille. He’s dispatched 65 winners this season and, as well as being on track to record his highest number of winners, he’s set to eclipse his previous best prize money.

“You can very well place a horse here and pick up enough prizes for the horses to pay themselves”, Jérôme Reynier, trainer.

Prize money in France is far more lucrative than in Britain and Ireland, where some trainers have expressed concern over the exodus of equine talent and the paltry pots that horses are running for.

Mark Johnston, one of Britain’s most successful trainers and two-time Classic winner Ger Lyons, spoke to TDN Europe recently about their growing concerns for British and Irish racing.

However, Reynier says the excellent prize money in France means owners have a realistic chance of making the game pay, meaning they don’t need to be as trigger-sensitive to cash in their horses. compared to Great Britain and Ireland.

He explained: “Horses can make money in France from the prizes they win, which is probably the only place in Europe where this can happen. Obviously, many people have different opinions, but let’s say someone like Mr. Séroul [Reynier’s biggest supporter], he has no interest in selling his best horses because he doesn’t need the money and he has a lot of fun with them. There have been big offers for Wootton City but he turned them down because he really wants to keep her as a broodmare for the future.

“Someone like him is not at all interested in private transactions but obviously for others when the money is offered it may make sense for them to cash out and reinvest the money elsewhere.” It’s part of the game and we have to be open to offers. We’re selling a horse in Japan right now, another in Australia and we’re trying to sell another in the US as well, so you have to keep the ball rolling and keep every owner happy.We’re really open-minded.

He added: “The way our horses are fielded, it’s not like England or Ireland – we’re not trying to win the first time. We’re not as aggressive in the mornings and for me, we use the races to build them up and like our horses improving with each race.

“We like to train our athletes the right way, but if you’re a business-minded trainer who wants to sell them, you’re going to start doing a few runs in the morning to make sure you pick the best one to run on the follow and you will want to win the first time to resell them. It’s a short-term perspective.

“When you don’t have the prize money and the opposition is so strong, you don’t have the luxury of waiting too long like you do in France. Yes, France is a really competitive place, but you can pretty much place a horse here and pick up enough prizes for the horses to pay for themselves.

There are countless examples of this, even at lower levels. Reynier, a graduate of the prestigious Darley Flying Start course, has experienced racing around the world but described the prize money at mid and lower levels in France and the incentives involved for owners in his home country as being unique.

“Look at a horse like Merry Harry (En) (Zarak {Fr}),” he explained. “We claimed him in January and he’s had 11 starts for us since then. He’s won once and placed in all his other starts and has raised over €70,000. He’s only rated 33 , which equates to around 70 in Britain or Ireland, so that’s a huge amount of money won in handicap and maiden races for a horse of this level and in the space of just six months. It really shows that if a horse is well managed, you can earn a lot of money in France.

He added: “Not only that, but each horse receives €3,000 a year for its travel costs and, if you are not placed, you do not have to pay any travel costs for your trip. I had three riders in Le Touquet, which is probably the farthest track from my base in Marseille, on Friday and as I was unlucky and none of them made it, the owners got nothing to pay for their trip.

Skelleti (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}), owned by Jean-Claude Séroul, has been Reynier’s main standard-bearer since he took over as a coach. It became the coach’s first Group 1 winner when he claimed the Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp before adding another top-flight triumph to his tally in Munich last season.

While Skelleti encountered a small bump in the road after picking up a minor injury during the G1 Prix Ganay, the 7-year-old driver is reportedly set to return in the fall.

Speaking about Skalleti and the rest of his stable stars, the coach said: “Skalleti has achieved a lot for us, but he is now 7 years old and his best performances are probably behind him.

“He had a small setback after the Prix Ganay but we should see him in the fall on soft ground.”

Reynier added: “We were very lucky to come across a horse like Horse Factor (Ire) (Ribchester {Ire}) while Skelleti was away. He is undefeated in his four starts and won his Listed Race at Chantilly earlier this month. He will be racing a group race at Deauville on August 20, so if he can be competitive in that area that would be amazing.

“We also have Marianachique (Ire) (Authorized {Ire}) who has won his last five races. He’s won two stakes races this year and we’re going to offer him another one.

Comments are closed.