THERE was plenty to be upbeat about over the last few days, most notably a gala in aid of the retraining of racehorses charity ‘Au-Dela Des Pistes’ [‘Beyond The Racecourse’] which raised over €100,000, and a subsequent raceday which featured a parade of former champions such as Cirrus Des Aigles, Marchand d’Or and Solow, demonstrating how much these wonderful old warriors are enjoying their retirement.

However, the General Assembly of the French Breeders Federation included a sobering speech from Cyril Linette, who in April became the new Director General of Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU – the French Tote).