Flying Frenchman records first Aussie winner

Alexandre Lemarie celebrates an easy victory aboard Deshawn in the 1100m Tomingley Picnic Maiden Plate at Narromine Races on Saturday. Photo: Sarsfield Racing Photography.

Saturday was certainly a day to remember for Alexandre Lemarie, who booted home his first winner on Australian soil.

Riding Deshawn, Lemarie got the job done easily to record a 1.65 length victory in the 1100m Tomingley Picnic Maiden Plate at the Narromine’s picnic meeting.

“It was very nice to get my first winner at only my second meeting in Australia,” Lemarie said.

“It was very enjoyable and I only hope it leads to more opportunities.”

What made the win even more special for Lemarie was the fact that it was Barry Wall’s first winner as a trainer, a memory the amateur jockey won’t soon forget.

“It was a special moment, it was my first winner in Australia, it was the horses first winner but most importantly, it was Barry’s first winner, he was so happy” Lemarie said.

The Frenchman isn’t new to picnic racing but admitted riding in Australia was very different compared to anywhere else he had ridden.

“When I was in France, I used to ride at the amateurs races, I had 17 wins but it’s not like here in Australia, the amateurs ride on the main tracks and it might only be one race per meeting,” Lemarie said.

“It’s definitely not like the five or six races in one day that you have here in Australia.”

The 28-year-old offers years of experience riding in the amateurs, boasting wins in other countries and a second placing at in the Amateur Riding World Championships.

“I had my licence at the minimum age of 16 and that was 12 years ago,” Lemarie said.

“In 2013 I was lucky enough to do the World Championships in amateur riding, I travelled all around of the world representing France and at the end of the season, I had finished in second place after riding winners in France, Sweden and America.”

The talented hoop has since settled in Australia and works for Godolphin, originally placed in Victoria before making the move to Sydney and taking up picnic riding once again.

“I am working for Godolphin, I used to work for them at Flemington when I came across to Australian in 2017 but one year ago I move to Sydney,” Lemarie said.

“I have since been sponsored by Godolphin, I have been a resident for six months, which is why I took my amateur licence.”

Lemarie said he will continue to ride at picnic meetings but one day hopes to take up training in Australia.

“I took up my picnic license here for fun, it’s more of a hobby for me, but one day I would like to get my trainer’s licence,” Lemarie said.

“I am lucky enough to work for Godolphin, which has a huge set up and really good horses and I am always learning and I hope one day I can use those skills on my own horses.”

In the mean time, Lemarie is focused on getting the most out of the NSW Picnic Racing Association and isn’t afraid to travel for opportunities.

“It is nice to see Racing NSW supporting the amateurs with picnic racing and even if I take it as a hobby and not professionally, I am not scared to travel and take rides,” Lemarie said.