Lemaire lifts World All-Star jockeys' title as Foley places joint sixth
Leading Japan-based rider Christophe Lemaire lifted the World All-Star jockeys’ title for the first time with a dramatic last-leg success at Sapporo on Sunday.
Lemaire pipped legendary Japanese jockey Yutaka Take to the crown, with Mirco Demuro completing a top-three finish for the Japan Racing Association side, who landed the team prize for a fourth consecutive year.
The French-born Lemaire, whose glittering honour roll includes the Melbourne Cup, 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, Japan Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic, was taking part in the two-day challenge for the fifth time, in which Shane Foley, Joao Moreira and Chad Schofield were among those who featured for the World All-Star team.
Foley, out of luck in a Grade 3 and maiden race on the undercards, finished joint sixth of 14 riders on his first time competing in the event following some small stints in Japan on a short-term licence.
Richard Hughes, Johnny Murtagh and Ryan Moore are among jockeys to have landed the annual challenge in previous years.
US-based Rafael Bejarano fared best of the World All-Star team in fourth, but victory on Smart Elements sealed the top prize for Lemaire, who also rode a winner on the first day.
I was really lucky to have been able to ride good horses this year.”
There was frustration for Take, who topped the standings going into the finale before finishing second for a third consecutive year.
Take, who has filled the runner-up spot seven times since last successful in 1992, said: “I’m glad I was able to win one race in the series, although I was hoping that maybe I could win the title this year.
“I was on top after the third leg so naturally I was a bit disappointed when I saw Lemaire lifting the trophy.”
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