Dubai World Cup: In-form Lemaire hungry for more success

Lemaire was on fire at the Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh on February 26 when booting home four winners for Japanese connections



Stay Foolish during morning trackwork at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday. (Dubai Racing Club)
Stay Foolish during morning trackwork at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday. (Dubai Racing Club)

By Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Fri 25 Mar 2022, 1:51 AM

Last updated: Fri 25 Mar 2022, 1:52 AM

Japan-based French jockey Christophe Lemaire is hoping to continue his red-hot form from Saudi Arabia, with an attractive book of six rides at Saturday’s Dubai World Cup meeting.

Lemaire was on fire at the Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh on February 26 when booting home four winners for Japanese connections, and will be the man to watch at Meydan’s centerpiece.

The 43-year-old rider, a five-time champion jockey in Japan, singles out Authority (Dubai Sheema Classic) and Schnell Meister (Dubai Turf) at his best chances of taking home some silverware.

“I feel very confident two of the horse I won with in Saudi (Authority and Stay Foolish) and are going to run again in Dubai.

“I will have a total of six rides so hopefully I will have a great day. It was quite exceptional in Saudi Arabia, but that’s already past and I am now focused on Saturday’s rides.”

Authority runs in the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic over 2,400 metres, while Schnell Meister lines up in the $5 million Dubai Turf over 1,800 metres.

Commenting on Authority’s chances against some high-class opposition like Shahryar and Yibir, Lemaire said: “This will be his perfect trip. Hopefully, he has stepped up in condition from his last race (G3 Neon Turf Cup). He was runner-up in the Japan Cup and is a Group 1 horse.

“He is improving race by race. He’s got the stamina and is an easy horse to ride. I don’t have any plan at the moment but I will decide once the gates open. It is very versatile and can be ridden from the front or off the pace.”

Lemaire also partners Stay Foolish, winner of the G3 3,000 metre Longines Red Sea handicap at Saudi, in the 3,200 metre Gold Cup.

“It was a bit of a surprise,” said Lemaire. “I knew the horse was excellent but I did not expect such domination against an international field. He’s a good galloper and likes to run at his pace.”

Lemaire, who has enjoyed much of his success on the Japanese flat racing circuit, since 2017 saluted the development that the sport has made in the country which has resulted in them becoming a force to reckon with.

“Japan’s success is down to its breeding which is exceptional and of a very high level,” he said. “The owners and breeders have invested in high-class mare and pedigrees. Japanese horses are suited for the conditions of races in Dubai, America and Saudi Arabia because we have the same conditions back home. This is what makes them very competitive.


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