Japan: Rising star Mickaelle Michel moves into double figures

Horse Racing Mickaelle Michel
French jockey Mickaelle Michel has developed a big following during her stint in Japan

By Nicholas Godfrey

Japan: France’s record-breaking female jockey Mickaelle Michel moved into double figures for her winter stint in Japan on Tuesday with a memorable double at Urawa.

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Michel, 24, is taking Japan by storm where she has quickly developed a tremendous following during her three-month spell on the National Association of Racing [NAR] circuit, the nation’s second tier racing run by local governments.

Having ridden a winner at Urawa on Monday with a dramatic last-to-first effort on Clos Vougeut, she partnered her tenth winner from 98 rides on Gold Summit in Race 2 on the dirt on Tuesday’s card – and wasted little time following up with victory in Race 5 on Jokey Person.

Michel rode 72 winners in France during 2018 to set a new best in a year by a female jockey and in 2019 tried to broaden her experience by seeking challenges overseas.

In August she competed in Japan’s World All-Star Jockeys championship leaving a favourable impression when gaining her first Japan Racing Association victory to finish joint third in the contest.

She will also participate in the male v female jockey challenge on the eve of the Saudi Cup meeting in Riyadh on the weekend of February 28-29.

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