Boutin, a great trainer, finally loses a long fight
Thursday 02 February 1995
The chemotherapy treatment caused his distinctive silver-grey hair to fall out but he continued to go racing when well enough and was back at Churchill Downs last November to oversee the challenge of Hernando and East Of The Moon.
"As I have been so close to dying, I have probably attached myself even more to my horses," he said then. "I can't continue to go racing as regularly as before but I still try to be on the training track in the morning.
A farmer's son from Normandy, Boutin was an accomplished trotting-race driver and amateur rider who also competed in show-jumping and cross-country events.
After three years as assistant to Etienne Pollet, he set out on his own as private trainer to Marcel Boussac and within a few years of going public had clinched his first major success with La Lagune in the 1968 Oaks at Epsom.
His subsequent victories in France included every major prize with just three exceptions: the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, the Prix de l'Abbaye and the most important one of all, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Hernando, his final runner in the great race,was defeated by just a short neck last season.
More than any other French trainer until the recent arrival of Andre Fabre, Boutin attacked Britain's major prizes. His successes included the 2,000 Guineas twice, with Nonoalco in 1974 and Zino in 1982, and the 1,000 Guineas with Miesque in 1987. His great stayer Sagaro completed a hat-trick of victories in the Ascot Gold Cup between 1975 and 1977.
Perhaps his greatest achievements came in the United States. Winning any race on another continent is difficult enough, so Boutin's accomplishment in sending Miesque to win successive Breeders' Cup Miles in 1987 and 1988 is extraordinary.
America provided the location for another triumph when Arazi produced a devastating performance to come from last to first in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile of 1991. Sadly, he never recaptured that brilliance. After surgery to his knees, he won only one morerace and finished eighth in the 1992 Kentucky Derby.
Boutin, who had been a widower, leaves one son, Eric, and two daughters, Patricia and Nathalie, from his first marriage. He was remarried, to Princess Lucy Ruspoli, in 1989.
Obituary, page 18
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Cardiff City launch ‘fraud’ probe into summer transfer spending
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Suarez
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Structural Engineer Job...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + 5 weeks holiday & benefits: Ashdown Group: Head of...