With Chris Waller’s incredible training achievement in Australia only hours old, another, almost as remarkable weekend was beginning in Europe.
French jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot has already made a big mark on the sport - he set a European record of 301 for wins in a calendar year in 2016 (since surpassed by Christophe Soumillon with 306), and his steady rise up the TRC Global Rankings has been fueled this year by Classic wins in France by Persian King (Poule d’Essai des Poulains) and Channel (Prix de Diane) and a Royal Ascot win on Watch Me in the G1 Coronation Stakes.
But last weekend he took it to a whole new level.
There were 11 Group races at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend featuring the best horses, best trainers and best jockeys in Europe. Boudot won five of them - including, of course, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe itself when he swooped on Waldgeist to spoil the Enable party.
For the record, he was aboard Skalleti in the G2 Prix Dollar, The Revenant in the G2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein and Technician in G2 Prix Chaudenay on Saturday, and Waldgeist and One Master (G1 Prix de la Foret) on Sunday. And it’s not as if his success has come hand in hand with that of a major stable - Boudot had ten rides in Group races over the two days for nine different trainers, including Andre Fabre, Francis-Henri Graffard, William Haggas, Alan King, Martyn Meade and Aidan O’Brien.
As a result, Boudot - picked out as a TRC Emerging Talent in 2016 - was the highest climber in the rankings worldwide across all four categories, and he’s now up to #17 in the jockeys’ standings, announcing himself as truly one of the world’s elite riders.
The 26-year-old now ranks behind only #13 Mickael Barzalona as the highest-ranked Frenchman in the world, and is the latest significant figure in what has been described as a ‘golden generation’ of French jockeys.
Make that French-born jockeys and the list looks even more impressive, with Japan-based world #3 Christophe Lemaire, and U.S.-based Flavien Prat (#13), Florent Geroux (#28) and Julien Leparoux (#44) added to the mix.