5 jockeys to follow when French racing resumes on Monday

Enable wins the 2018 Prix De L’Arc de Triomphe

Racing in France is set to return on May 11, with the first day set to feature plenty of star names from across the English Channel. We have picked out the five top jockeys to look out for.

Mickael Barzalona

The Godolphin team already have Pinatubo, a two-year-old rated higher than Frankel was at the same time in his career, but they also own the two best juveniles in training in France too. Mickael Barzalona is the man who has ridden them both and must be counting down the days until racing gets going.

Earthlight, for Andre Fabre, won five from five last season including two wins at the top-level while Victor Ludorum is also unbeaten and comes into this year following an impressive win in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, one of Europe’s best two-year-old races. In addition to those stars, he is also the regular rider of Tropbeau, favourite for the French 1,000 Guineas.

Barzalona, meanwhile, comes into this season after a excellent spell in Dubai. He enjoyed a double, worth almost £430,000 in prize-money on Super Saturday and will be looking to continue his great start to the decade when racing returns.

However, the two top Godolphin prospects could be set to clash in the French 2,000 Guineas on June 1, giving the 2011 Derby winning jockey a difficult decision to make.

Maxime Guyon

Maxime Guyon finally won the jockeys’ title after finishing either second or third for the last ten years. He has already started this season well with 33 successes and he is likely to be in strong demand when the Group 1 declarations are made.

The highly regarded Ecrivain and last season’s improver Dream And Do are among his top prospects for the season.

Pierre-Charles Boudot

You may remember Pierre-Charles Boudot as the man who dashed Enable’s dream for a third win in the Arc, and that win on Waldgeist capped off a brilliant season for the French rider. He enjoyed seven wins at Group 1 level, including in the French Guineas and Oaks and at Royal Ascot too.

Apart from the unstoppable Frankie Dettori, Boudot was the best rider in big races in Europe last season and he is sure to capture plenty more big prizes again in 2020. Celestin, a wide-margin winner last time, looks one of his top rides this season.

Christophe Soumillon

Belgian-born rider Christophe Soumillon remains one of the biggest names in French racing and returns after a great stint abroad. He rode two top-level winners in Hong Kong and further riches came on Benbatl in Dubai. Since returning to France that rich vein of form has continued with 35 winners.

He has a number of top young stars to look forward to for the Classics, especially Aga Khan’s outstanding debut winner Simeen.

Vincent Cheminaud

There are very few who can say they have won the French Derby and the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, just one of the standouts on the glittering CV of the talented Vincent Cheminaud.

With 54 winners last season, Cheminaud is proving one of the top riders going under the radar. He is the stable jockey for Khalid Abdullah’s French string so sure to have plenty of ammunition for the season ahead. He also rides regularly for top trainer Andre Fabre, and can pick up plenty of top-class spare rides.

In particular he rode a filly called Episodia to a eyecatching debut win in early March for Henri-Alex Pantall. He could give Cheminaud plenty to look forward to when racing gets going.

Let's talk about Safer Gambling
1st - 7th November 2021
National Gambling HelpLine: Call FREE 0800 020 1009