If my French racing dates ended for the year at Melnay, my Norman voyaging certainly didn’t. Marion had a horse to deliver to an amazing equi-thalassotherapeutic establishment at Cabourg, and I went along for the ride. So I dipped my toes once more into the sands of the Manche, on Cabourg beach, and had a delightful late-afternoon touristic ride back home via the famous racetrack and beaches at Deauville.
The following evening we waxed wonderfully festive at the home of my ‘favourite’ Oncle Rémy and his wife Marie-Claire and family .. and then it was time to say goodbye to my Les Bauxite friends, and to my horses, and head for Couptrain.
Yes, you read that right. Horses. Plural.
Last year I arrived at Les Baux with no intention of becoming a French racehorse owner, but on day one a soft little nose snuggled into my neck from out a horsebox, and I went home as the ‘propriétaire’ of the promising Rosy de Baux.
This year it happened again. I may (in theory) be in the market for a man, but it wasn’t supposed to be a male horse. But the same thing happened again. I suspect Marion and Bernard train them to do it. The head out of the box, the instant rapport, the valiant struggle with my conscience and my wallet and my desires …
I think the coup de grace was his name: Ténor des Baux. A tenor for an (ex)-basso. So, the struggle lost – or won, depending which way you look at it -- two year-old colt Ténor des Baux joins Rosy des Baux, Elena de Gerolstein, Lucie de Gerolstein, D’Arcy de Gerolstein, Livia de Gerolstein and La Grande-Duchesse in the Gänzl standardbred stable. Did I, a few months ago, speak of slimming my establishment? Baloney.
Ténor is up and doing, so with any luck he may qualify and even have his first race before I leave France … whenever that turns out to be. But, hey! Whenever is whenever…