Lucie Pontoir, My dream has always been to become a trainer

2 March 2024

Lucie Pontoir (centre) after Jazz Manouche's victory at Auteuil

Following the victory of Jazz Manouche in the G.3 Prix Robert de Clermont-Tonnerre, a race which logically leads to the Prix Murat at the beginning of April, his trainer Lucie Pontoir is firmly back on her professional track. Not only was last weekend’s race Auteuil’s first Graded event of the year, but was also the first recognised prep race for the late-May spring highlight, the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris

Pontoir’s route to training took an atypical path. “I have always ridden, from ponies to voltige, and then I moved towards racing. I started AFASEC (racing school) and at that point only my mother knew I wanted to be a trainer; all the others wanted to be jockeys. Mickael BarzalonaPierre-Charles Boudot, and Damien Mescam (Jazz Manouche’s jockey) came out of that year.” Returning to Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, to whom she was apprenticed, she embarked on her new venture.

Australia called though and Lucie found herself working for Chris Waller, and was fortunate enough to ride morning work on superstar mare, Winx. Once back in France, it was Johann Gourraud who encouraged her to set up shop, which she duly did in Maisons-Laffitte. Success on both the flat and over jumps has come her way. “I have a super team, I’m very demanding. We’ll take our time to grow. Yannick Fouin is always there; there’s a lot of collaboration between trainers in Maisons-Laffitte and I find that fantastic.” Owners of Jazz Manouche, the Berger family, and Jean-Paul Gallorini “have also played an important role in our success.

Sunday sees the return of G.2 Prix Olry-Roederer winner, True Tiger, in the Prix Juigné, a race which could yet lead Pontoir’s charge to the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil.


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