/ Racing

Christophe Soumillon and Aga Khan reunite

Updated: Monday, 02 Sep 2013 17:58 | Comments

Christophe Soumillon's split with the Aga Khan came after the Belgian belittled Andre Fabre at a gala dinner in Deauville, telling those in attendance that the legendary trainer was 'so small you can hardly see him'
Christophe Soumillon's split with the Aga Khan came after the Belgian belittled Andre Fabre at a gala dinner in Deauville, telling those in attendance that the legendary trainer was 'so small you can hardly see him'

Christophe Soumillon will regain his position as the Aga Khan's retained jockey in France from the start of next year.

The Belgian-born jockey filled the position as the leading owner's main rider for eight years between 2002 and 2009, but his contract was not renewed for the 2010 season as "human relations" had become difficult.

Christophe Lemaire was quickly named as Soumillon's successor, but with his contract now coming to an end, the Aga Khan has decided to switch back to Soumillon for next season.

The owner's French racing manager, Georges Rimaud said: "From 2014, Christophe Soumillon will become the retained jockey for the Aga Khan's horses in France for two years.

"We have had a good relationship with Christophe Lemaire, who has ridden multiple Group One winners, but his contract was coming to an end and we have made the decision to change."

Soumillon, a multiple champion jockey in France, enjoyed considerable success in the Aga Khan's famous green and red silks during his previous stint as retained rider.

Dalakhani provided the rider with four triumphs at the highest level, while Soumillon was at the helm for each of Zarkava's seven victories.

Alain de Royer-Dupre's unbeaten filly won five Group One races, including the 2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, before she was retired to stud later that year.

Soumillon's reappointment comes just days after the Aga Khan team announced it would not be appointing a retained jockey for their Irish-trained horses, bringing to an end the season-long association with Declan McDonogh.

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