Another jockey who contacted us to be on JockeysRoom is Christophe Lemaire, one of the young riding sensations emerging these days in France together with Soumillon & Placais.
Born as Christophe-Patrice Lemaire, in Chantilly on May 20th 1979. Christophe's father was one of the leading jump jockeys in the 80's. His career started as an amateur gentleman rider in 1996 at the young age of 16.
This enabled Christophe to finish his studies and pass the "Baccalaureate" with flying colours.
When riding as an amateur, Christophe gained valuable experience exercising horses for André FABRE, Jean-Paul GALLORINI and Jehan BETRAN de BALANDA. He managed to notch up 14 winners.
At the end 1998, André FABRE offered Christophe a full time job. As he initially rode as an amateur, he was not allowed to ride as an apprentice until the year 2000. He rode 52 winners and quickly rode his claim out in November of the same year.
In 2001 Christophe went freelance, his first season as professional jockey, he rode 26 winners. At the end of the season, he was offered to spend the winter in India.
This turned out to be a great success as he rode 33 winners and the weekend of the "Invitation Cup", he rode 7 winners from just 10 rides, including 3 Group 1's.
On his return to France in March 2002, Maurice ZILBER and Christophe came to a gentlemen's agreement. This association quickly produced his first Listed Race winner in FRANCE for Prince KHALID ABDULLA. Soon after, he was aboard Cut Quartz to win the Prix KERGORLAY a Group 2 at Deauville for Richard GIBSON.
At the beginning of 2002, Christophe became the first French based jockey to officially have an agent in France. He was taken on board by Patrick and Helen BARBE, who can be contacted on 00 333 4458 1855 (office) or 00 33 671 048 946 (mobile).
The winter of 2002/2003 was spent riding in Japan for Mr & Mrs Teruya Yoshida. It was a very successful 3 months, from just over a 100 rides Christophe rode 15 winners, including 4 Listed Races.
Chris also took time off in May, 2003, to savour the atmosphere at Newmarket on 2,000 Guineas day. He was interviewed by Channel 4 TV and acquitted himself in English when talking about French racing.
His big race triumph came on French Derby day in June 2003, in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat. Riding Vespone, he made a brave move to the front when realising there was no early pace, and stayed there all the way to the line for a comfortable victory.
Vespone and Christophe repeated the feat when lifting the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in pretty convincing fashion from the front on a sunny afternoon in Paris.
At the Deauville August'03 meeting, Christophe managed to whisk away a well fought out Group 3 Prix de Meautry on Blanche.
At the 2003 Arc weekend, he rode the immacutely bred Denebola (Storm Cat & Coup de Genie) very maturely, biding his time at the back of the pack until bringing her with a storming run to beat Green Noon by a head in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac for the Niarchos family. Perhaps there is a now a substitute to take over Cash Asmussen's old job as their stable jockey?
Prix Jean Prat – Vespone
Grand Prix de Paris – Vespone
Prix Marcel Boussac – Denebola
Prix de la Grotte – Maiden Tower
Prix de Meautry – Blanche
Prix de Force – Vespone
Prix de Conde – Latice