James Reveley: How French jump racing is different to the UK and Ireland

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Jockey James Reveley discussed his life In France, moving to France from the UK, his rides at Auteuil tomorrow as well as a horse who’s running there that he’s ridden before and a horse for next year on the latest episode of our From the Horse’s Mouth podcast.

Moving to France and differences in French racing

I just came over for a summer holiday really and absolutely loved it. That was a while ago now actually, 12 or 13 years ago I think it was.

I came back every summer. Hence, I just used to base myself out of here for four or five months and the rest of the time in the North of England, but then I decided in 2006 to move over here full-time. I was getting on a lot better type of horse over here and I was riding a lot of the nicer ones.

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    I’ll start with the difference in French racing because obviously trying to adapt to a different style of racing and the jumps mainly. The steeplechase jumps as you’ve probably seen on the TV, in Ireland or England every fence is the same and in France you get all sorts of different types of obstacles to jump.

    They took a little bit of getting used to, but obviously you do all that in the training in the mornings.

    You’re working on them in the yard, so you get used to them fairly quickly. The reason for moving over here as I said before, I was riding a lot nicer type of horse. I had a really good season in 2015 – I was only over here for four or five months and I finished fourth in the championship.

    I had a few Group winners and Dad’s stables was cutting down a lot – we didn’t have many horses left,  so I had a good chat with him and we decided it was a good move to go over to Guillaume Macaire’s permanently, while I was getting better horses. It was a good move because in 2016 I managed to win the championship and get the Cravache d’Or.

    How has French racing coped with lockdown?

    To be fair, most of the yards in France that I’m associated with have been able to keep going as normal really.

    All of the staff have been coming in – I’m based with Guillaume Macaire in the south-west of France.

    His horses seem in good form and he’s got quite a few out this weekend, so I’m looking forward to getting on a few of those.

    One for next year

    I ride a nice filly called Garance Forever actually – she won at Auteuil before the lockdown. She’s going to go chasing now. She’d be one to look out for, I think she could be fair good.

    Ebonite– James rode her last year – could she be a Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris contender?

    Also there’s EBONITE, she runs in the in the Murat Prize [13:35 Auteuil] today. She’s a strong stayer and she ideally wants heavy ground, she’s a real mud lark. She showed last time out when she won the first prep race with Felix De Giles that she could handle a bit better ground.

    She’s easier to ride now as well – she used to be very keen before, but last time out he just bounced her out and rode her simple and she won well.

    She could definitely be a contender under a featherweight, but ideally as I say she wants a bit of cut in the ground.


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