2023, a vintage year for Felix de Giles
10 February 2024
Felix de Giles, set for another successful season
2023 will be a year to remember for Felix de Giles. Not only did he finish on top of the jump jockeys’ table, he also secured his maiden Grade 1, an unforgettable moment in the life of any jockey but, with just nine on the French schedule, it makes it all the sweeter.
After having accumulated close to 250 wins, principally for Nicky Henderson, in his native UK, Felix spent a period of time in 2014 riding for Yannick Fouin in Maisons-Laffitte, during which time he won seven races. The following year, he moved permanently to France, in the service of Emmanuel Clayeux.
The Englishman has seen nothing but growth in his achievements since securing 20 victories in his first season. In 2018 he won 53, 56 the following year, 62 in 2021, and a championship-winning 92 last season. The increase in victories has progressively afforded him the opportunity to ride better horses, but it was not until May 2023 that he partnered Juntos Ganamos to victory in the Grade 1 Prix Ferdinand Dufaure, having previously dominated the 3yo chasing generation.
Like may jump jockeys, he has had his fair share of injuries but has invested heavily in his mental toughness. He met his quota last season and endured over 3 weeks on the sidelines during the autumn. Once back up, he was quickly down again, but showed remarkable resilience and determination to still win the Championship.
There remains a lot for the 35 year-old to achieve in his adopted France, but also at home where he has twice taken part in the Grand National [2012 & 2023]. Big jumps and tough courses seems to be his thing, considering his regular presence on the provincial cross-country scene. But it’s back to Auteuil at the end of March.
Road to Grande Course de Haies gets under way
July Flower and Kevin Nabet at Auteuil