Doumen's star performers in his own words
Jim And Tonic
Owner: John Martin
Biggest wins: 1998 Hong Kong Bowl; 1999 QEII Cup, Hong Kong Cup; 2001 Dubai Duty Free
The first time I knew he was really good was when he was beaten a neck by Seeking The Pearl in the Prix Maurice de Gheest. The course record stood for around 15 years. After that I sent him to Canada to prepare him for Hong Kong. He showed an enormous amount of speed and, although he quickly stepped up to a mile after the Maurice de Gheest, the race I chose for him was the Bowl over 7f, which no longer exists. He went on to win the Cup over a mile and a quarter. There are not many horses who can nearly win a Group 1 over 1,300 metres and then succeed at that level over 2,000. On the Flat that is really exceptional.
Marquesa de Moratalla, JP McManus
Biggest wins: 1998 Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris; 2000 King George VI Chase; 2001/03 Aintree Bowl; 2003 Punchestown Gold Cup.
In 2001 I had all my pieces in place for Cheltenham with him, Baracouda and Bilboa and then foot and mouth came. What a festival I might have had because they all won at Liverpool three weeks later. That said, First Gold gave me the most special of my five wins in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris in 1998.
That was very emotional. He was a five-year-old and Thierry was the youngest rider to win the race at 18.
They had fallen in the Prix de la President de la Republique when well clear. I have to thank Sol de Moratalla. We were having a golden spell together which probably helped in taking risks but, when I called Sol and asked what we should do, she said we had to run in the Grand Steep and she insisted Thierry keep the ride.
Roger Barby/JP McManus
Biggest wins: 2002/3 Stayers’ Hurdle; 2000/01/03/04 Long Walk Hurdle
For me Tony McCoy was a gladiator and I remember one day at Windsor he got to the front too soon on Baracouda and really had to get after him to stay in front. Thierry always dropped him out and ended up miles behind in his Stayers’ Hurdle before coming through. It was voted the best ride of the festival. He was a horse you had to trust because when you let him alone like that, you could never know what you had under you. But most of the time when you asked, he just took off. You had to let him relax.
Comte Henri de Pracomtal
Biggest wins: 2006 Adonis Hurdle; 2008/9 Rendlesham Hurdle; 2011 Prix du Cadran
When he was beaten at Cheltenham it was very strange because he was the banker of the meeting for everyone in Britain. He ran badly and it really bothered me and, once I'd decided he wouldn’t be coming back to England, it fitted in with me giving up the jumps.
It was an unusual thing for a horse to go from running over jumps to the Flat, but sparing him that winter ground really helped prolong his career and helped him achieve great things. And, of course, we bred him at home.