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Sheikh Moves To Buy French Rothschild Stables

Monday, 25th August 2008

Sheikh Mohammed "is in negotiations to purchase the historic Rothschild Stables in Chantilly from Andre Fabre for an undisclosed sum," reported racingpost.co.uk. The sheikh "plans to increase his French string from around 70 horses to more than 100 next year & the deal is his latest high-profile investment following major purchases in the US & Australia". The property will be leased back to Fabre, who will continue to be Sheikh Mohammed's primary trainer in France. The Sheikh's bloodstock adviser John Ferguson commented: "It will be business as usual for Andre Fabre & his staff. Alex Pantall, who also trains horses for Sheikh Mohammed in France, will continue to be supported in the usual way." Ferguson noted no horses will be moved from Sheikh Mohammed's other training operations to France; the additions "will be yearlings purchased this year" beginning with the 15 Ferguson signed for last week at Arqana's premier yearling sale at Deauville (the first yearlings Ferguson had bought for Sheikh Mohammed at the sale since 2003). Last year Sheikh Mohammed purchased Greentree Stables (then called Stonerside Farm) in Saratoga Springs in New York from Robert & Janice McNair for about US$17.5 million; the stable houses most of Darley's US horses in training. And this year Darley bought Australia' Crown Lodge training facilities in Sydney from the Ingham family as part of the £200 million (A$420m) Woodlands deal, which included an estimated 300-400 racehorses. Ferguson summed up: "The purchase of Rothschild Stables is a similar acquisition & an opportunity to own a special yard."

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