Pure Arabian /

THE BIG INTERVIEW – THÉO BACHELOT: « I AM LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE RIDING FOR ONE OF THE BEST OWNERS »

  Second in the jockey’s table in Qatar on number of wins, the French native Théo Bachelot has been making a name for himself on the Arabian Peninsula for the Al Shahania stable. The French Purebred Arabian. – How did you end up coming to Doha? Théo Bachelot. – Initially it was Bruno Barbereau, Cristian Demuro’s agent, who had a contact with Al Shahania. Cristian was in Japan for the month of December, and so he introduced me to the management of Al Shahania. My agent then came in and suggested a three-month contract. Is this the first time that you have been to Qatar? Yes, in fact it’s the first time that I have been outside of France. What is your impression of the racing in Qatar? It is very high quality racing, and I have been lucky enough to ride for one of the best Qatari owners, who are also very well-known in France. I have ridden horses who have enormous potential. The tracks are good to ride, and the ground is quick. You have to adapt to a racetrack that is smaller than the Parisian racecourses, but I have found that easy to do, and I am lucky to be riding some of the best Arabian horses in the world. The quality of these horses has provided me with rides in some of the biggest races over here. It’s great experience for me. As I began my career riding at the smaller provincial tracks in France, I haven’t had any trouble adapting to the racecourses here. The track is easily 1,800 meters round, with a 350, or maximum 400 meters straight, when the rail is out. These tracks encourage a lot of rhythm in the race, and you need to be up near the pace. Have you ridden on both the tracks: the dirt and the turf? Yes, but we tend to ride mostly on the turf which is nicer. On the dirt track, the selection is a lot tougher. The average horses cannot stand the pace, and the result is already obvious half way through the final turn. It is quicker than the turf track as it is shorter. You need a good position from the off, without lighting up your horse. It’s very tactical. How is your collaboration with the Al Shahania trainer Julian Smart going? I didn...

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