Jean Dubois returns to France in July with perseverance the motivation, not homesickness.
While countryman and predecessor at Woodpark Stud in Mittagong, Louis Baudron eventually yearned for home last year, Dubois will source French talent to strengthen his stable.
Initially a leading reinsman and harness racing trainer, Dubois switched focus to thoroughbred racing since arriving in NSW two years ago and has embraced the challenge from his base south of Sydney.
Dubois obtained his training licence last July and has just his fifth Sydney runner at Warwick Farm on Wednesday when three-year-old Mate Story attempts to back up a winning debut at Kembla Grange last month.
While Mate Story was acquired locally, Dubois still keeps a sharp eye on Deauville, a breeding hub in his native Normandy.
He brought five-year-old gelding Green Sweet, a Listed winner at Saint Cloud (Prix Omnium II), back from Europe last July, a move justified by his victory in the Albury Gold Cup (2000m) on March 24.
The trainer has has eight horses in work and 13 two-year-olds in the development process.
“So far the old one is the best one,” Dubois said.
“We will try and find some other ones in July. You need a Listed horse in Europe I think,” Dubois said.
Green Sweet was scratched from last Friday’s Scone Cup because of muscle cramps and could be destined for the paddock until spring as he is not suited by heavy ground.
My Friend Charlie also has a win and two placings from seven races for Dubois, including two city starts, although the focus is squarely on Mate Story.
“He looks like a good horse but we will know more after tomorrow. Last time was an easy maiden in Kembla,” he said.
Mate Story, who runs in the benchmark 70 handicap (1600m), was held back until late in the season by illness but Dubois said he was now “settled, strong and ready to go”.
Dubois says he is content to stay put for at least another two years.
“Sometimes you have to change. It was a good time for me to change,” he said.