We’ve been looking forward to the visit of our colleagues, the French breeders, for some time and this weekend they arrived under the enthusiastic guidance of Elodie Garamond, who heads up the marketing and public relations at France-Galop. Among the party were eminent breeder Eric Puerari of Haras des Capucines stud, and Xavier and Natalie Bozo, who remarkably, from just twelve mares, have produced two Group One winners in the past year. For flat race followers, the obvious one to jolt the memory is Gorella, a top filly in her native France, who raced in America where her performance there included an unlucky second in the Breeders Cup Mile. The other star was Top of the Sky, a staggeringly good steeple chaser in his own right.

You can understand why these people breed great horses, they love the game with an infectious passion and they do so against the odds. French breeding does not generate the fortunes of cash we find in America, Ireland or the UK. Yet for getting up a little earlier in the morning, the French keep producing good horses year after year.

We have much in common with these guys and good things are bound to come from their visit to South Africa. Thanks to Chad Cooke and driver Jeffrey from Gold Circle, for their hospitable accompaniment for the group - it’s always good to know our foreign visitors are in capable hands.

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