Stockdale ends trip to Paris on a high note
Thomas Stockdale rebounded from the disappointment of a slipped saddle in the Prix Longines Future Racing Stars (1600m) to finish runner-up in the second apprentice-only race contested in Paris overnight.
Riding Mathix for local trainer Cedric Boutin, Stockdale could not chase down French apprentice Jeremie Monteiro on Pour La Famille in the Prix de Belleval Longines (1600m), which brought the French Oaks meeting to a close; but his second-place finish more than compensated for the unlucky incident on Hopalong Cassidy in the opening race of the day at Chantilly.
Stockdale was following in the footsteps of several peers, including Michael Poy (2018), Lachie King (2017), Tahlia Hope (2016) and Beau Mertens (2015), who have all travelled to the French capital in recent years to represent Australia.
With more than 30,000 racegoers in attendance, it was the highest-profile meeting Stockdale had experienced and the 20-year-old thoroughly enjoyed the occasion, both on and off the track.
“I’d like to thank my master Shane Stockdale and Racing Victoria for giving me this amazing opportunity,” he said.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and learned so much through riding trackwork for local trainers, and also competing on such a big stage as French Oaks day.
“My first ride didn’t go to plan, but I was lucky enough to make amends in the last race. We sat out the back off a pretty hot speed, and whilst it was always going to be difficult to catch the leader, we managed to pick off a few in the home straight so I’m delighted with second.
“The whole trip has been great, and I’ll be much the better for it when I get back to Australia.”
The Group 1 Prix de Diane Longines (2100m), worth €1 million (approximately AU$1.57 million), was won by Pierre-Charles Boudot on Channel and the opening Future Stars race was claimed by French apprentice Thomas Trullier, who guided Espionne to victory.
Fourteen jockeys from eight countries – England, South Africa, Australia, South Korea, Ireland, France, Morocco and Turkey – competed in the Future Stars race, which is open to riders younger than 25 who have ridden between 10 and 50 winners at the time of selection.
Trullier was presented with a Longines watch and also earned €5,000 for his apprentice academy.