Opportunity knocks: top US-based jockey Florent Geroux sets his sights on the Arc

Horse Racing Florent Geroux jockey
Florent Geroux: seven-time Breeders’ Cup winner seeking ride in Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Photo: Keeneland/Coady

By Jon Lees

USA: Florent Geroux, the Frenchman who has become one of the top jockeys in the US, is hoping to realise a “dream come true” by riding in this year’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Geroux has no confirmed ride in France’s signature race but he has made himself available after one of the key obstacles which previously prevented him making the trip was removed.

The Kentucky-based rider usually has commitments in Keeneland on Arc weekend but the track has now announced that its Fall meet will begin on October 8, at the end of the week after the ParisLongchamp showpiece.

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Geroux said: “Looks like I may finally [get] to go back to France for the Arc de Triomphe Oct 3”.

The jockey’s agent Doug Bredar explained: “The Arc has always been a complete conflict of interests as far as dates. We’ve never really been able to go, so I think the tweet was just to say ‘Now I will have the opportunity to go, if something were to come up’.

“I don’t have anything lined up yet,” Bredar went on. “It may end up becoming a plan but at the moment it’s just out there and maybe someone will respond. It would be a dream come true for him. He would love to ride in it. It’ll be my job to try and make it happen.”

Geroux, 34, was born in Argentan, north west France, the son of jockey-turned-trainer Dominique. He came through the apprentice academy and over four seasons rode 105 winners before making a permanent home in the US, which he first visited in 2007. His last rides in France were in 2009.

Geroux has climbed the jockey ranks in the US to establish himself among the elite, riding more than 1,750 winners, seven at Breeders’ Cups including the Classic on 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner and two Distaffs on star racemare Monomoy Girl. 

He also stands to secure a first Kentucky Derby success if this year’s race is awarded to Mandaloun, with first-past-the-post Medina Spirit facing disqualification having tested positive for a prohibited substance.

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