TDN Weekend

February 2017

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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Page 38 of 75

pect, his grandfather Rolande would ap- prove. "I was only three when he died but I feel have 'got to know him' since through my travels round the world," de Chambure says. "And to me he sounds a real entrepreneur, a vi- sionary even, someone not afraid to try something different. He certainly opened new doors in this business. And I want to be just the same, to be open to ideas. Especially in our in- dustry, you know that no theory is going to work all the time. You get something wrong every day. So you just have to be humble, to be able to listen – and not be afraid to take a risk. "When I think back, I suppose buying Wootton Bassett was a bit of a crazy deci- sion. With the budget we had, we should probably have been focused more on mares. But I really liked the horse, and luckily was able to persuade the bank to follow us. I did say we'd pay them back in three months by selling shares. But we didn't sell any, so I had to renegoti- ate. Fair play to them, they gave us three years. And now of course I'm so pleased we didn't sell any shares at the time." F or all the differences of context, both de Chambure and Alex use the same word to describe their stories: and that is "fairytale." Neither is so naïve as to imag- ine that all are thereby bound to live hap- pily ever after. But their optimism seems as warranted as it is infectious. Yes, Le Havre is a son of Noverre – ban- ished to India, where he died in 2012, be- fore his potential to salvage the Blushing Groom line in Europe was properly noticed. But Alex feels aggrieved on Noverre's be- half, noting how that he produced sever- al other smart performers from limited opportunities before exile. "And you also have to remember that Le Havre's fam- ily is very strong," he says. "It offers ev- eryone a bit of fresh air. He's also a very good looking horse, and he's a champion. He won the French Derby in a faster time 39

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