James Reveley targeting French title hat-trick

James Reveley remains hungry for more continental success after lifting his second French jump jockeys’ championship.

Across the channel the title race runs parallel to the calendar year and the jockey ended 2021 at the top of the table having produced a total of 102 winning rides.

Yorkshire-born Reveley, whose late grandmother and father both trained in the county, moved to France to ply his trade after initially basing himself with Cumbrian trainer Nicky Richards.

Reveley lifted his first championship in 2016 when teaming up with trainer Guillaume Macaire and was keen to regain his title to demonstrate that the success had not been a one-off.

“It was quite important to me to prove that I wasn’t just a one-hit wonder. I won one title back in 2016 and that was mainly thanks to Guillaume Macaire because he put me on a lot of winners that year,” he said.

The victory was made more significant by the fact that Reveley has ridden freelance for the season, working with his agent Giovanni Laplace to secure rides for an incredibly diverse list of trainers.

“Last year I was freelance and I won for a lot of different trainers. I rode for 78 trainers in total during the season which is enormous, and it’s really satisfying to get to 100 winners for the season too,” he said.

“When I heard that figure I thought it was unbelievable, I didn’t even know there were 78 trainers over jumps in France!

“It’s with a lot of help from my agent Giovanni Laplace. I’ve been working with him since the start of last year and he’s been a big help in dealing with trainers and keeping everybody happy.”

Reveley’s successes in the saddle have accumulated just under €4million in prize money, a sum that dwarfs the £1.9m Harry Skelton won during his 2020-21 title campaign and one that was amassed without victory in a Grade One contest.

“That was even without winning a Grade One race, I was second in two Grade Ones,” Reveley explained.

“To rack up that amount of prize money without actually winning a top-class race is unbelievable really, it shows the consistency that we’ve had throughout the season and that I’m riding lots of good horses without finding a real Grade One performer.”

James Reveley began his career in Britain before moving to France
James Reveley began his career in Britain before moving to France (Nigel French/PA)

In time the 32-year-old will ultimately retire in Chantilly to take up training, but there are dreams to be realised in the saddle first and another championship is the principle aim for next season.

“This side of the water I would like to win another French championship and try to win another Grand Steeplechase de Paris or a Prix La Haye Jousselin, which is the other Grade One in the autumn – they’re the targets over here.

“We’re not going to change or do anything new, I’ll keep riding as I did this year and as long as I can stay injury-free and suspension-free. it (a third title) should be a realistic target again.”

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