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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Record-breaker Christophe Soumillon eyeing ten more years after Lyon four-timer

Christophe Soumillon: claimed a European record and has no intention of slowing down
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Christophe Soumillon set a record for Flat winners in Europe in a calendar year when guiding Fankairos Ranger to victory as part of a four-timer at Lyon La Soie on Saturday night.

And he has no intention of taking his foot off the gas, expressing his ambition to ride at the top level for at least the next ten years.

Soumillon, whose career highlights include two Arcs and a King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, equalled Pierre-Charles Boudot's record of 301 winners during the evening and drew clear after scoring on Fankairos Ranger.

"When I saw Pierre-Charles make it last year, I really wanted the same," said Soumillon, first jockey to leading owner-breeder the Aga Khan.

"Ask why people try to climb Everest when they know they're going to die, they just do it because they have a feeling they have to do it."

The 36-year-old said he was inspired by Frankie Dettori and Mick Kinane's ability to prolong their careers.

"When you have the chance to ride good horses you keep yourself motivated," he added. "I've never felt as strong as I am and I hope I'll be the same in ten years because I really have that target to go for ten more years."

Christophe Soumillon: no temptation for leading rider to relocate

Born in Belgium, Soumillon has made France his home and does not envisage relocating at this stage of his career.

Among the most charismatic riders of his generation, he added on Luck on Sunday on Racing UK: "I feel much better with my condition and weight than ever, so that's the most important thing. Every day I go to the races with a smile on my face and when I come back home I'm happy too.

"I didn't have that for some periods in the past but today it's so much a pleasure. I'm a dad now with a family and I can explain to my kids what's going on and show what we have to do in life to realise our dreams."

You might also like:

Christophe Soumillon sets new European record on the Flat

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Look back on the best Flat action of the year in the new edition of the Racing Post Annual. Order now at or call 01933 304858

I feel much better with my condition and weight than ever, so that's the most important thing
E.W. Terms
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