Mathieu Pitart: A Trainer with Big Plans
09 January 2022
While he admits having been incredibly lucky when he started as a trainer in 2017, Mathieu Pitart did not fail to seize the opportunity to build a team that is now close to the Top 10 over jumps in France.
Mathieu Pitart, we can only wish you a year as good as 2021!
The team of people I have is in good shape. We have 10 to 15 people with 4 or 5 apprentices. I take pride with my staff. I try to train them as well as possible to make jockeys out of them. I personally take care of my apprentices. I give them a lot of opportunity, so I expect a way lot from them.
We started the stable with two horses in 2017 and I had incredible luck to be training Wildriver who won both G3 and G1 races. This was the trigger. We have been consistent since. We grew to 15 horses, then 30, and now 60 in the yard. We are now complete. I am working on improving the workforce and the level of operation in my yard.
What is your training method?
I haven't worked for many bosses: I was with Marc Pimbonnet for 15 years and I worked for 2 years for Jacques Ortet. I did a variety of duties, and my asset is riding every morning with my team to help with the preparation. And it works: the apprentice Sacha Bouché had one winner before coming to us. He has won 8 or 9 races since joining us. We work the horses on their ability and find the best races to place until they reach their limits.
What are your ambitions for 2022?
I want to win more races at Auteuil and be in the top 10 trainers. I am a hard worker who wants consistency.
We are at the end of the Cagnes-sur-Mer meeting, it has always been an important meeting for you.
Cagnes, I've been coming here for 20 years, first as a jockey and then as a trainer. I had my first starter and my first winner here with my good horse Wildriver.
This year has seen success. We have already won 9 races among them being two of the top-level handicap events. It is no secret we aim the horses to be at their peak 10 days before the meeting. The horses were in really good shape this year and had no problems with their preparation. Dylan Ubeda, our jockey, is in great form as well. He has a good record in Cagnes. You just need to bring him the right horses and he doesn't waste any opportunity.
Do you have any horses to recommend to us for Auteuil?
For Auteuil, you will have to watch Ilico d’Olivate, I think he’s going to be good. He’s a very good-looking son of Cokoriko. I also think Al Nakhil is worth following and I believe I can make a good horse out of him. He was claimed at Moulins and has already won two races for the team.
You have a lot of owners in your team, how do you attract them at a time when it is said that the sector is lacking?
I live near Lyon. Many of my owners are in the area. There are a lot of breeders who have land and good horses. They entrust their horses to me and refer their clients to me. My stables are in the training center of Chazey-sur-Ain. The tracks are suitable for all weather conditions. We have a straight of 1700m on sand and grass so we can follow the canters in cars. It is pretty amazing. We have hurdles and steeplechase tracks which allow you to prepare to win when starting out at Auteuil!
I am from Salon de Provence. I could have settled in Callas, but I am an adopted Lyonnais and I know the race program by heart. It has brought me luck. Recently, an association of twenty breeders, carriers, pre-trainers created a stable called Burgundy Horse. They wanted to combine their unsold horses. The ones we've had this year have all won prizemoney. It has been a great regional adventure.
Mathieu Pitart's horses for the January 9 meeting in Cagnes-sur-Mer
I Run - Prix Christian de L’Hermite
She will race in the Prix Christian de L’Hermite (4-year-old Grand Steeple). We're going to give it a shot. We plan to run her with a pair of whiskers. She has a lot of stamina but has been disappointing 3 times. We change everything but I think she can be an outsider who could make the podium.
Ingenious Mchine - Prix C. Fornaroli
I'm going to put on Dylan Ubeda despite the 71kg she's going to have to carry. She's a bit tough and Dylan is good at adapting to this type of horse. It’s not the weight that will bother her but if she can take the lead without going too fast, it will be good. She has big potential.
Miss Himalaya - Prix André Masséna
He needs whiskers and we try our luck. He is just below the good horses, but he is tough and regular and will take advantage of even the slightest mistake of the favourites.
Inspace - Prix André Masséna
We have just claimed him. He impressed me. I don't know his overall ability, but it’s an opportunity to be seized.
Cookylayone - Grande Course de Haies
She has had an extraordinary meeting. She won with a good margin and the feature Hurdle Race is an obvious choice.
Falbala le Dun - Romanticism Prize
She won a handicap before reaching her mark but did have the the excuse of not being ridden as I wanted. We're going to put blinders on her, and she'll go into the race. This mare needs a jockey to race carefully to support her throughout the race, but she is really talented.
Hannalisa - Jean Fossati Prize
This is not an aimed race.
Manon des sources - Grand Prix de la Ville de Nice
She's a good mare. We have been patient with her. She won the prep race for this event we believe she is ready and continues to improve with each race. She won in quick succession at Lyon. She won the preparatory race by two lengths and we are aiming for this strong race despite fierce competition with Berjou, Achour, Grand Départ or Hasard de Brion engaged.
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