Jesus Christ Rouget: 69 years old, 7000 victories, courier of eternity

Former middle distance runner Jean-Claude Rouget clinched his 7,000th win in his formidable coaching career at 69, which started at 25 in Pau, thanks to debutant Aga Khan Rajapour, 2 age, a son of his former resident Almanzor, in the coveted Prix de Crevecoeur. Nicknamed the “tall man”, because he is tall, with a deceiving cold appearance that conceals great sensibilities, this historical supporter remains a completely atypical figure.


For 50 years, Jean-Claude Rouget, the former Brittany champion in the 1500m, has deployed his long strides, clearly suffocating opponents…

What symbols. Very emotional, never discouraged, Jean-Claude Rouget won on this glorious day August 6, 2022, 13 days before his 69th birthday, the 7000th victory of his coaching career. him with Rajapur, under the robe of Prince Aga Khan. the latter is the second vintage shirt to be given to him on a team, after Lebanese Issam Farès, who has trusted him since 1985. Over the past 15 years, Rouget has enjoyed much success with Aga Khan, some are at the highest level like Behkabad in the Grand Prix de Paris (Gr.1) in 2010 or Erveda in the Coronation Stocks (Gr.1) and Moulin de Longchamp (Gr.1) in 2015. But this year, the Aga Khan/Rouget combination has taken it to the next level with the kle champion. Vadenithe winner of the Prix du Jockey-Club followed by the Eclipse Stakes (Gr.1) at Sandown Park in the UK.


Rajapour, Prix de Crevecoeur winner in the saddle by Christophe Soumillon (APRH photo)

And now with the same duo winning the Prix de Crevecoeur, a coveted race for new ponies begins with Rajapour. Without a list of prizes in front of us, we might wonder if Aga Khan ever shined in this race, as this crossbreeding isn’t specifically for summer 2-year-olds (Siyouni is a rule assert exception). However, note that mother Raydara won the Gr.2 in August at the age of 2 at Curragh with Michael Halford.


Jean-Claude Rouget: class!

This 7000th win, in an event dedicated to the coaches of the super-classic ring he was long denied, has a more special knowledge when it happens to the resident’s son his former, Almanzor, 2016 European champion Introduced as an outsider and assigned to Jean-Bernard Eyquem, Jean-Claude Rouget’s former “provincial” accomplice, Almanzor won the Prix du The Jockey-Club then, taken over by Christophe Soumillon, was chained to the category of Irish Champions in Leopardstown. and Ascot Champion Shares.

Three generations of Rouget in the races

His grandfather Raymond Rouget was the director of Haras de Manneville in Normandy. His father, Claude Rouget, led the breeding of the famous Jean Stern when he began his great training career in the West, at the age of 39. Jean-Claude Rouget has mixed blood and history, as well as athleticism as he practiced middle distance racing at a high level in his youth. But at the age of 25, he plunged into the abyss… in Pau. The idea seemed absurd to this tall, striking boy, who had opened all the doors in Chantilly. But the man who bears the initials of Jesus Christ walks on water from his very first steps. And for 44 years, he galloped faster each year.


Jean-Claude Rouget at the time of the premiere, with Pierre Sobry here with the horse rode by Christian Quinette.

2 CV and 2 horses to start at age 25

Pillars of the Southwest region such as John Biraben and Mathieu Daguzan Garros, remember with emotion the loud whistle with a baritone voice, raised by a large curly horseshoe, landing at the Sers training center at the wheel of a modest 2CV and carrying 2 students lame boarding school birth. But the advantage with genies is that they do permanent miracles. Because in his first year he got 14 wins, 6 flat wins, 8 obstacle wins. His first start was a master stroke: Good Alliance, a 4-year-old boy, won Pau on February 8, 1978 in a hurdle race. The following May 18, the stable reopened its record on the apartment in Eauze with Sunflowera stout 2-year-old boy, with the famous Montfleur stallion in the Southwest, ridden by Laurent Pinaud and belongs to Madame Gérard Laboureau. Winning the Grand Prix de Pau in 1982 quite naturally, Jean-Claude Rouget pinned his first winner, called the classic, Jaccoud (to Pierre Sicot). He will re-release in this same Grand Steeple, in 1984 with Lucas (Claude Gour) and in 1987 with Jemirkhan (Jean-Pierre Rios). Now forgotten, it is still a feat to pass 3 Grand Prix de Pau in 6 years with 3 different horses.


The forgettable Millkom gave Jean-Claude Rouget his first 2 Gr.1 wins in 1994.

The first classic flirting was 35 years ago.

In 1988, in Bordeaux and Toulouse, the team had great success winning two Derbies du Sud-Ouest matches for Claude Gour with lucky ship and Port of the century. In 1989, he rode to his first finish line (Cut My Heart) in the apartment of a group of Parisians, Prix Robert Papin (Gr.2) dominated by the track boys, Ozone Friendly, Zinarelle and Mill. Lady. It was on October 19, 1991, that he had his first success in a Group on the apartment, the Prix André Baboin (Gr.3) (Grand Prix des Prov Province) in Bouscat with Flanaghan Cocktail Riding by Philippe Dumortier and wearing the colors of Jean-Michel Lorca, one of its first owners. In 1991, with 180 victories, Jean-Claude Rouget surpassed the record held by François Mathet since 1972, which was 173, and in 1994 he reached a wonderful record with 242 victories, including 2 matches. First Gr.1 with Millkom (by Cyrano de Bergerac) at Longchamp during the Prix Jean Prat, running over 1,850 m. on May 29, then in the Grand Prix de Paris, a month later, crossed 2,000 m., both of which were ridden by young Jean-René Dubosc. Jean-Claude Gour’s student achieved the feat ten times in a row before failing at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe de Carnegie. In 2010, Jean-Claude surpassed the milestone of 5,000 wins.


Jean-Claude Rouget and Jean-Bernard Eyquem after the 2016 Prix du Jockey-Club.

Highs, lows, highs

In 2016, Jean-Claude Rouget enjoyed an incredible year with 173 victories in France alone and a multitude of significant Groups and Lists with champions such as Almanzor, La Cressonnière, Zelzal, Qemah, Taaref, Jamayel, Mekthaal, Al Wathna, Ervedya, Sottevilleetc… He’s twice as special as the Chantilly (Jockey-Club/Diane) classic that has escaped him for so long.

However, the following year was unlucky because an epidemic affected his barn in Pau. But tall people are fighting and philosophizing. He went uphill and became even stronger. He even built a second barn of 80 boxes in Deauville. Long considered the best coach … in the provinces, and unable to become a true “classic”, Jean-Claude has transformed into a machine that wins all races, from the smallest to the biggest, even Arc de Triomphe with Sotsass in 2020, and he accumulated successes in Jockey-Club and Diane after which he ran for a long time until liberation thanks to Le Havre in 2010.

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