On Christophe Lemair’s 42nd birthday, we look back at arguably his best performance on British soil in the 2000 Guineas back in 2010.
The French jockey will surely go down as a legend in Japanese horse racing, as he has claimed four consecutive Champion Jockey titles during his time in the country and rode Almond Eye to the Japan Fillies Triple Crown back in 2018.
But it was on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket where he made the headlines in Britain, as he was booked to ride 33/1 shot Makfi in the first British Classic of the season.
The son of Dubawi was unbeaten before his trip to England, claiming success in his first two outings including a Group 3 victory in the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte.
Mikel Delzangles’ colt was held up for most of the contest, but he made his move with two furlongs remaining.
Running down the centre, the three-year-old was gifted an opening as the pack dispersed across the track.
Lemair kicked his mount on and he gamely responded, reeling in the front-running Dick Turpin in the final furlong.
He ran on well in the final stages to defy his large odds and claim success by one and a quarter lengths.
Makfi struggled on his next start at Royal Ascot but he would claim one more Group 1 success, in the form of the Prix Jacques Le Marois before being retired to stud.