Lefèbvre’s Grandiose Grand Steeple

24 May 2024

Gran Diose & Clément Lefèbvre after their Grand Steeple success

At his first attempt in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, 28 year-old Clément Lefèbvre wrote himself into the history books with success on the Louisa Carberry-trained Gran Diose last Sunday. A ‘rookie’ winning the Grand Steeple is a rare thing, although the little fella from the Mayenne has already notched up four jockey’s title silver medals [2019 - 2022].

Native of Craon, famous for its hardy racing roots, Clément’s father is a permit-holder so it was no surprise that the jockey route was chosen, debuting as a gentleman-rider at Deauville on 11 January 2014.

At just 21, he won the Grand Cross de Pau on Isabelle Pacault’s Disco d’Authie, his first high-profile victory. He would only wait another year to win his first group race, the G.3 Prix Bournosienne on Floridée at Auteuil in November 2018.

One horse though, would change his life. Trained by Gabriel Leenders for the Haras de Saint VoirGardons Le Sourire would thrust Lefèbvre into the limelight when triumphant in the G.1 Prix Ferdinand Dufaure in 2020, the first year of the pandemic when it was moved to Compiègne.

A heavy fall at Fontainebleau in February 2023 would put him out of action for almost six months with a broken ankle and foot. Shortly after returning, he would partner Grand Diose for the first time [5th at Auteuil October 2020] but would lose the mount to retained rider, James Reveley. Until March this year, that is, when the Englishman was claimed for Il Est Français. Lefèbvre duly received the call. 

With 5th in the Prix Troytown and 3rd in the Prix Murat, Gran Diose arrived back at Auteuil ship-shape, jumped superbly for 6000m, and tenaciously held off Grandeur Nature to claim the biggest prize on the calendar. Grand indeed.

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