Pierre-Charles Boudot, who shared the 2015 French jockeys’ championship with Christophe Soumillon, has opened up about the influence of his late father on his career.

Marc Boudot, who trained and bred jumpers at Paray-Le-Monial in central France, died suddenly of a brain tumour while his son, then 16, was studying at the jockey school north of Paris.

Despite that huge loss, and the fact that Boudot stands at 5ft 8in, the Frenchman has established himself as one of Europe’s elite Flat riders, with the assistance of master handler Andre Fabre.

“Death brings a life to an end but not a relationship,” says Boudot. “I’m always thinking about my father, especially after a big race.

“He was the one who first got me on a horse and gave me the love of competition. I don’t feel that his death changed the course of my career, as I always wanted to be a Flat jockey so never intended to ride for him.

“It was down to my father that I initially got the job with Andre Fabre, as he had spent time at Fabre’s yard and asked him to take me on as an apprentice.

“As for Monsieur Fabre, I owe him a lot. He made me complete as a jockey and taught me how to ride a race. I am proud to be part of his team and proud to have his trust.”

Top of Boudot’s wish list for 2016 is a Group 1 victory at Royal Ascot; he has already exhibited his abilities to British racegoers, winning the 2015 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Esoterique.

As for speculation that he and Soumillon ‘agreed’ to share the title, the jockey says: “All I can say is that I had more than 1,000 mounts last year, from the very first day of the season to the very last – that means the only agreement I had was to win as many races as possible and to respect the trainers, owners and punters.”

For the full interview see the April issue of Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder.