2011 has officially come to an end and the results are in for the French flat and jump championships, which are judged by calendar year instead of by season.
Christophe Soumillon won back the Cravache D’Or (champion jockey title) after his previous successes in 2003, 2005 and 2006. When asked about the year 2011 Soumillon commented; « A jockey would always prefer to win the world famous races such as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe or The Epsom Derby instead of championship titles but being Champion Jockey is still important to me as it proves that I am the best to myself but also to my family and racing fans. I am lucky to have had horses such as Cirrus des Aigles and Sarah Lynx both of whom helped me to finish the year positively. I am looking forward to a winter in Dubai riding for Mike de Kock before coming back in 2012 better than ever. » The Belgian born rider finished the year with 156 wins to his name, eight ahead of runner-up Maxime Guyon, who forfeited any chance of winning the title race when he left France in early December to spend the winter riding in Hong Kong. Ioritz Mendizabal, Champion French Flat Jockey from 2008 to 2010, took third place with a total of 116 wins to his name.
On the jumping side of affairs, Jacques Ricou, who held the Champion Jockey title for four consecutive years, managed to win back his crown from the 2009 and 2010 title-holder David Cottin, with a final 107 wins for the year. Guillaume Macaire’s first jockey led home Francois Cottin’s jockey Jonathan Plouganou, in second place with 82 successes, and Macaire’s second jockey, Bertrand Lestrade, was back in third place with 74 wins. Plouganou has moved up one place once again after finishing fourth in the championship in 2009 with 44 wins, then third in 2010 with 57 wins to his name. Twenty-one year old former champion jockey David Cottin slipped down to fifth place in the rankings.
Andre Fabre was champion trainer in France for 21 consecutive years until beaten into second place in 2008 by Alain de Royer Dupre and finishing third in 2009 behind Jean-Claude Rouget and Royer Dupre. Fabre won back his crown in 2010 and retained it in 2011 for an unprecedented twenty third time. He finished the year on 126 winners and €5,246,850 in prize money with Rouget back in second place with 216 winners and €5,072,175 from third placed Royer Dupre, with only 75 winners yet €4,075,770 thanks to Reliable Man’s Prix du Jockey Club success. Fabre not only retained his champion trainer’s title in 2011 but also produced such stars as Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi and French 1000 Guineas and Prix de Diane winner Golden Lilac.
Guillaume Macaire retained his Champion Jump Trainer title for the third year in a row with an impressive 251 winners, over a hundred more than his nearest rival, and €5,968,535 in prize money. This is the seventh consecutive year that Macaire has saddled over 200 winners but he did not manage to beat the record that he set in 2006 of 258 winners. Second place went to two Maisons-Laffitte based trainers in Jean-Paul Gallorini with 55 wins and €3,295,980 just ahead of Guy Cherel on 57 wins and €2,984,505.
His Highness the Aga Khan was top of the flat owners’ list for the fifth year in a row, thanks in large part to his highest earning stable stars Sarafina, Vadamar and Shareta. He finished the year with 70 successes earning him a total of €3,221,070 in prize money. The Wertheimer brothers have Goldikova and her half-sister Galikova to thank for their second place in 2011 with €2,537,710 for just 47 winners. Gerard Augustin-Normand broke the record for winners, previously held by the Aga Khan, in a year by just one winner when his colours were carried to victory for the 98th time in 2011 on December 30th at Deauville. He took third place in the flat owner’s table with €2,528,894 with his highest earning representative being Miss Lago, who had only one win to her name but a total nine places which acquired over €100,000 in prize money.
Jean-Paul Senechal won back his champion jump owner’s title, which he last held in2008, in2011 with €2,751,815 and 66 winners. Madame Patrick Papot, owner of champion Rubi Ball, took second place with 67 successes and €2,555,447 ahead of Madame Magalen Bryant with €1,727,602 in prize money from 54 winners.