France: Marie Velon equals Mickaelle Michel’s record mark with 72nd winner

Horse Racing Marie Velon jockey
Marie Velon after equalling the French record at Saint Cloud. Photo: France Galop/ScoopDyga (Valentin Desbriel)

UPDATE: Marie Velon broke the record with her 73rd winner of 2020 on Special Appeal at Lyon la Soie on Thursday [Nov 19]

By Jon Lees

France: Marie Velon has equalled Mickaelle Michel’s record for the most winners ridden by a female jockey in a season with her 72nd success.

After riding a double at Lyon la Soie on Monday, 21-year-old Velon reached the landmark by riding her first Quinte race victory in the feature handicap on Tuesday at Saint-Cloud.

Velon, who sits in seventh place in the French jockeys’ championship, went on to beat the record, set by Michel in 2018, on Special Appeal back at Lyon la Soie on Thursday.

Michel has since gone on this year to ride the most winners by a visiting jockey on Japan’s National Association of Racing circuit on a short-term licence and secure her first victories at Group level.

Jessica Marcialis last month made history when becoming the first female jockey to ride a G1 winner in France on Tiger Tanaka in the Prix Marcel Boussac.

“My agent doesn’t let any great opportunity slip by, and Jean-Pierre Gauvin has never ceased to trust me during these three years,” said Velon, quoted by Le Parisien.

“Each victory is magnificent and for each of them I must remain focused, without making this trophy an obsession. My goal is to continue to make my little winners and stay consistent in my results.”

Velon has been based with Gauvain for two years, riding 50 winners for the stable. She has travelled all over France to get her results and has now ridden a career total of 542 winners.

• Visit the France Galop website

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