Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I am guessing that this priest was Irish!

Today's Racing Post features an interview with trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, probably the leading female racehorse trainer in the world. I had the pleasure of briefly visiting her yard at Chantilly in October 1994, when I went to the Arc de Triomphe weekend as part of a tour group; a Saturday morning trip to Chantilly was included. Chantilly is about thirty/forty miles north of Paris, and is the main training centre of racehorses in France, the French equivalent of the Curragh or Newmarket.

The interview was by veteran France-based reporter, Desmond Stoneham.

Apparently Criquette had cancer last year, but thankfully she seems to have made a good recovery. For many years, she has been able to speak English fluently; I had heard her quoted as saying that she learnt English by reading The Sporting Life.

But I hadn't known that she went to school in England, and the most interesting part of the piece is as follows:

"As a teenager, I spent three years at school in Guildford and Eastbourne", she says. "I spent many days going racing with the local priest and never missed a meeting at Epsom. I was always reading The Sporting Life.

I don't know what age she is - I would estimate she's about sixty. So she would have been at school in the early sixties or thereabouts.

No comments: