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Francois Mathet's former stud and nursery of Laurens goes on sale

In a case of perfect timing, the Bourgfontaine stud farm in northern France where Sunday's Prix de Diane heroine Laurens was bred has been introduced to the market by estate agents Windsor Clive International.

The spectacular property was originally a Carthusian monastery built in the 14th century and survived the French revolution and dismantling of similar buildings.

In 1962 Bourgfontaine was bought by legendary French trainer Francois Mathet and designated as a tranquil breeding base away from the hubbub of Normandy but in close proximity to Chantilly.

Mathet renovated the property and bred there Prix Morny hero Sakura Reiko and his close relation Prix Royal-Oak winner Top Sunrise, as well as Marie D'Argonne, the dam of champion and influential sire Polar Falcon and granddam of Classic winner and brilliant young sire Le Havre.

Many of Mathet's homebreds carried the prefix Dom or Marie depending on their gender.

After Mathet's death in 1983 his two sons Melchior-Francois and Hubert took over the operation at Bourgfontaine, although six years later the entire breeding stock was dispersed.

Hubert Mathet bought the whole property in 1995 and since than has boarded around 15 mares with their young stock.

Laurens, a Bourgfontaine homebred by Siyouni, has won five of her seven starts for trainer Karl Burke and owner John Dance and put in a typically gutsy performance to land the Prix de Diane on Sunday.

Hubert Mathet embarked on a professional career ten years ago and has now decided to put the stud up for sale.

The property comprises a magnificent abbey house with seven bedrooms, restored for the 21st century but in-keeping with its medieval origins.

There are also stud buildings in three yards totalling 58 stables, as well as staff quarters, a separate guest apartment, a cottage in a 17th century windmill, a farm manager's house and a caretaker's lodge.

The property, with 163 acres of paddocks within 192 acres contained in a walled park, is being offered for sale through Windsor Clive International with a guide price of €3.95 million.

George Windsor Clive said: "There is no doubt that Bourgfontaine must be attractive to the buyer who appreciates privacy, ease of access and class at the same time. It is a truly impressive establishment for a leading owner."