Mickael Barzalona is one of the hottest young riding talents in Europe. Born at Lyon on 3 August 1991, he is the nephew of dual-purpose jockey Armand Barzalona and grandson of Corsican trainer Christian Barzalona. He was more interested in rugby as a child but spent four years at the French jockeys’ school in Gouvieux before joining Andre Fabre’s stable, on the recommendation of Sylvain Guillot, in 2009.
His talents were quickly noticed and he started riding Godolphin’s French runners in September 2009. He had a win on only his second ride in Britain aboard Ocean War in a maiden at Newmarket in April, 2011 and sensationally won the Investec Derby two months later at his first attempt on the Fabre-trained Pour Moi, getting up in the shadows of the post and celebrating by standing up in the saddle.
In 2012, Barzalona became a retained rider to Godolphin and landed the world’s richest race for his new employers when partnering Monterosso to victory in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March. He enjoyed a dream first ride in the Ladbrokes St Leger, partnering Encke to success at Doncaster on 15 September 2012.
It all went wrong for him in 2013/2014, however, with Charlie Appleby, who succeeded Mahmood Al Zarooni as the second Godolphin trainer, giving Barzalona less and less rides. He did ride a Group 1 winner for Richard Hannon in 2013, getting Havana Gold home in front in the Prix Jean Prat in France, but he has ridden only 11 winners in 2014 (as of early June) and will now move back to France where he will continue to ride Godolphin horses, trained by Andre Fabre.
Barzalona almost reopened his British Champions Series account with Godolphin’s Territories in the 2015 QIPCO 2000 Guineas but he could only manage second aboard the Andre Fabre-trained colt behind impressive winner Gleneagles.
QIPCO British Champions Series Victories
BCS Career statistics
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