Dubai French jockey Christophe Lemaire believes that a victory in Saturday’s Dubai World Cup (G1) aboard Japanese hope Belshazzar will help show the world that he is still capable of winning big races.
Winner of the 2011 Melbourne Cup with Dunaden, Lemaire made way for Belgian ace Christophe Soumillon as the number jockey to the Aga Khan late last year, after holding the coveted post for four seasons.
“I think winning on Saturday will be great for my career because I had a tough season last year not riding for the Aga Khan,” he said. “If I win the World Cup it will prove to everybody that I am still competitive and hungry to win races.”
So how does he rate his chances aboard last year’s Japan Dirt Cup (G1) winner Belshazzar who will break from favourite number two stall.
“The draw doesn’t increase his chances, but it makes it a bit easier,” he said. “It’s always important to save a bit of energy all the way round, so with an inside draw you don’t have to make an extra effort to get into a good position, which can help in the last 50 metres or so.
“I will try to take advantage of the draw and with a little luck we should have a chance.”
Lemaire also revealed that Belshazzar was a versatile horse who could cope with any tactical strategies during running.
“He’s a big striding horse so he’s comfortable when the pace is strong,” the jockey said. “He has show some speed when he won a Grade 3 race at Tokyo and then in the Japan Dirt Cup he took the lead before the turn and held on to win. He can do both, being rope inside or coming from off the pace.”
Lemaire disclosed that the Dubai World Cup was one of the top three races in the world that he still wanted to win.
“I’s till young and capable of giving one hundred percent. For sure I would like to win a race like the Dubai World Cup, and also the Arc [de Triomphe] and Epsom Derby.”