Top French jockey to ride in SA

Top French jockey to ride in SA

Stephane Pasquier

French jockey Stephane Pasquier will ride at four race meetings in South Africa late this month, including the Sun Met meeting at Kenilworth on 28 January.

Pasquier will arrive in the country on Monday 23 January and will be riding at the Turffontein night meeting on Tuesday, the Vaal on Thursday, Fairview on Friday and Kenilworth on Saturday.

“The Sun Met meeting is very popular in France and having a French jockey riding in the meeting will help us promote the raceday,” explained Dudley Kotzen International Sales Manager for Phumelela.

“We have previously brought out Maxime Guyon, also from France, and Italian Umberto Rispoli who rides regularly in France, as well as a couple of younger French riders. This year we decided to bring a more experienced jockey. Stephane has ridden in Europe and the USA and was very keen to come to South Africa.

“In the past trainers have always supported the visiting jockeys and we’re calling on them to do the same on this occasion,” said Kotzen.

Tellytrack presenter Julie Alexander will be arranging rides for Pasquier in South Africa and any trainer interested in using this talented French jockey should e-mail her at – his riding weight is 55kg.

Pasquier, who turns 39 on 17 January, began as an apprentice for trainer Robert Collet, and rode in his first race on 6 December 1994, on Raspoutine at Saint-Cloud. His first victory was in his second race, riding Floris at Amiens on 9 September 1995.

He is a turbulent and strong character and confesses to have lost his way in 1997, needing guidance from Collet to help him back. Pasquier won his first Listed race in 1999 and his first Group 3 race in May 2001, riding Acceleration in the Prix Corrida.

During the winter of 2001-2002 he rode in Singapore and on returning to France won his first Group 2, the Prix Greffulhe. His first ride in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe followed in October 2002 when he finished eighth on Fair Mix.

After continued successes in Group races throughout 2003, in July 2004 his talent allowed him to join the prestigious Daniel Wildenstein stable as second jockey alongside No 1 choice Olivier Peslier.

On 24 October 2004 he won the Prix Royal-Oak, his first Group 1 race, with Westerner.

The highlight of his career came in 2006 when he won the Arc de Triomphe on outsider Rail Link. He also won the 1000 Guineas in England on Special Duty in 2010 as well as the Group 1 Prince Of Wales Stakes on Manduaro in 2007.

In 2014 he rode Karakontie for Jonathan Pease to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita in the USA.

Pasquier is also a passionate soccer fan and got so caught up in the 2006 World Cup in Germany that a freak accident almost paid to his Arc de Triomphe victory. He got so upset when David Trézéguet’s penalty shot hit the crossbar he broke a glass in his hands, cutting himself badly. He was expected to be out of racing for a while but bounced back quickly.

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