Christophe Lemaire

Christophe Patrice Lemaire (Japanese:クリストフ・ルメール (Kurisutofu Rumeru)) is a French-born jockey. He takes his middle name from his father, who made a name for himself in the world of French handicap racing.

Christophe Lemaire
Born20 May 1979
Gouvieux, France
Career winsongoing
Significant horses
Heart's Cry, Makfi, Pride, Almond Eye

In 1999 he obtained the licence required for a French jockey, and began racing. He has steadily built up a good track record, becoming the seventh leading jockey in 2003, and winning the French Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in the same year.

In 2002 he also began racing in Japanese Central Racing (中央競馬, chūō keiba) races using the short-term licence (短期免許, tanki menkyo) system, taking part mainly at local racecourses such as Chukyo Racecourse (中京競馬場, chūkyō keibajō) and Kokura Racecourse (小倉競馬場, kokura keibajō). He produced impressive results each year. In 2004, as a Grade I jockey, he came second in the Emperor's Cup (天皇賞, Tennōshō) (Autumn) on Dance in the Mood and second in the Japan Cup on Cosmo Bulk, and in the 2005 Daiwa Major he came second in the Mile Championship, but did not win a grade race (重賞, jūshō) in Central Racing.

However, in 2005, riding Heart's Cry in the Arima Kinen, he led the race, on a horse which until then had always been content to play catch-up, and pulled off the feat of putting the first dent in the record of the year's undefeated triple winner, Deep Impact. This was his first Jūshō pattern race win at Grade I, and at the same time a new record of four consecutive wins of the same race by a foreign jockey, beating the record set by Olivier Peslier.

In 2006 he rode Heart's Cry to victory in the Dubai Sheema Classic. He also rode Pride in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, beating the favourite, Hurricane Run.

In 2008 he rode the winner of England's second classic of the year, the 1,000 Guineas, aboard the Pascal Bary trained Natagora.

In September 2009, he was chosen by the Aga Khan as first jockey.[1]

He won the 2011 Melbourne Cup in a photo finish riding Dunaden.[2]

Lemaire was scheduled to resume riding in Japan in March 2015, but was suspended by stewards of the Japan Racing Association (JRA) for 30 days after he used Twitter the night before he was scheduled to participate in races at Hanshin Racecourse. JRA regulations bar any outside contact by jockeys from 9 PM the night before racing until after they have ridden in their final race of the day.[3]

In 2017, he became the first foreigner to win the championship, winning 199 races in the year. In 2018, he won Yushun Himba for the second time, on his 39th birthday.[4] In October 2018, he rode Almond Eye to her victory at the Japan Fillies Triple Crown and won the championship for the second consecutive year, breaking Yutaka Take's long standing record for wins in a year in Japan (215 wins vs 212).[5][6]

Major winsEdit



  Great Britain

  Hong Kong

  Japan (the JRA)

  Japan (the NAR)

  United Arab Emirates

  United States

Year-end charts in the United StatesEdit

Chart (2006–present) Peak
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2006 92


  1. ^ "L'Aga Khan a choisi Christophe Lemaire". Le Journal du Dimanche (in French). Archived from the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  2. ^ Garvey, Andrew (1 November 2011). "The closest of calls". The Age. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Christophe Lemaire suspended for a month for Twitter use". Sydney Morning Herald. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  4. ^ Kieckhefer, Bob (May 20, 2018), Almond Eye Takes Second Leg of Japan's Triple Tiara, Blood Horse, retrieved October 14, 2018
  5. ^ Sherer, Darryl (Dec 28, 2018). "Christophe Lemaire sets record for wins in a year in Japan". racenet.
  6. ^ Hersh, Marcus (October 14, 2018), Almond Eye sweeps Japan's Fillies Triple Crown, DRF, retrieved October 14, 2018