NORTH YORKSHIRE jump jockey James Reveley equalled racing history by winning the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris for a third successive year.
His last gasp victory aboard On The Go at Auteuil in the heart of the French capital followed victories in 2016 and 2017 on So French.
The race, worth over £325,000 to the winner, is France’s equivalent of the Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup. Prior to Reveley’s first victory, the last British rider to land this marathon was the late Fred Winter on Mandarin in 1962.
Only one other rider – Jean Daumas – has won three consecutive renewals.
Reveley’s successes, all for France’s champion trainer Guillaume Macaire, more than vindicate the Saltburn-born jockey’s decision to relocate to France on full-time basis. His late grandmother Mary was a successful dual-purpose trainer while his father Keith also trained horses
He was France’s champion jockey in 2016 and has won respect, and admiration, because of his horsemanship and way in which he has embraced the French language and culture.
However, former North Yorkshire trainer Ferdy Murphy, now based in France, is surprised that people in racing are only now recognising the rider’s prowess.
Murphy, who used Reveley during the latter stages of his training career at West Witton, told The Yorkshire Post: “This is unbelievable. It’s like winning the National or Gold Cup three times in a row.
“He’s also done it on two different types of horses. So French oozed class while [Sunday’s] horse is a real stayer. James was beaten on him over a shorter trip last time out, but he said to my son Rhys that he’d turn the form around here.
“Four strides from the line he was a head down, but he kept a little in reserve. The racing suits him.
“In England it’s helter-skelter from the off. Here it’s more tactical and that suits James. I’m gobsmacked he’s not had more recoginiton. There are top trainers who don’t realise he’s been champion jockey here. It’s fantastic to see a Yorkshire rider have this success. If it was AP McCoy or Ruby Walsh, it would be national news and leading every sports bulletin.”