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French Flat Review of '99: Fabre reignssupreme with his 13th title; Stay-at-home policy helps Peslier to recapture jockeys' championship.

IT WAS business as usual on home soil in 1999 for Andre Fabre and Olivier Peslier, French racing's best-known figures in Britain.

Fabre claimed the trainers' title for the 13th successive year, while Peslier recaptured the jockeys' championship from Dominique Boeuf.

But there was a first in the owners' category, with the Wertheimer brothers (Alain and Gerard) topping the domestic list.

By his standards, Fabre would not have seen 1999 as a vintage year, despite his final results being almost identical to those achieved in 1998.

He had exactly the same number of victories (101) and picked up virtually the same amount in winnings (Ff23.66 million - pounds 2,267,040).

Pau-based Jean-Claude Rouget was second to Fabre on earnings with Ff15.39 million (pounds 1,474,950), but was a long way clear in terms of number of winners, with 183.

The cough initially took its toll on Criquette Head's stable, but the yard really began to motor in the autumn and was the third most successful with Ff15.16 million (pounds 1,452,624) from 96 winners.

Although fourth-placed John Hammond relied heavily on his Arc and dual Derby winner Montjeu, the English-born trainer also had a number of other notable successes in Europe and America.

Peslier rode less abroad to pick up his third championship with 147 wins, worth Ff26.8 million (pounds 1,697,444).

Boeuf took second place with 114 wins and then came Gerald Mosse (95), Godolphin France's retained jockey Sylvain Guillot and up-and-coming Davy Bonilla.

The Wertheimer brothers can thank members of the Head family for their owners' title. Criquette Head and her son-in-law Carlos Laffon-Parias made major contributions to their winnings of Ff9.7 million (pounds 929,601) and Freddie Head also chipped in.

The Aga Khan ran out of ammunition at the end of the season, but still managed to finish second. His big money-spinners were leading miler Sendawar, Prix de Diane winner Daryaba and the gelding Tajoun, who took the Prix du Cadran.

Alain de Royer-Dupre trained all three of the Aga's stars and, in all, he won six Group 1 events in France and one each in Italy and Britain - Sendawar's St James's Palace Stakes victory being the trainer's first successful cross-Channel raid.

France-Galop President Jean-Luc Lagardere was the most successful breeder,

according to the statistics based on bonuses won by French- bred horses. The late Sir James Goldsmith, the breeder of Montjeu, took second place.

The colt's sire, Sadler's Wells, came out top of the stallion list, while Exit To Nowhere was the most successful sire of juveniles and Top Ville was the leading broodmare stallion.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Stoneham, Desmond
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 7, 2000
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