It is one of the unmissable events of the Pau meeting. The Grand Cross, scheduled for Sunday (4 p.m.), will have ten starters who will have to cover 6,300 m, and face 30 obstacles. Among them : Uniketat (n ° 1), ridden by Félix de Giles. Between boxing and beekeeping, his two other passions, the 31-year-old jockey has been shining in French pelotons since 2016, especially in cross country.
“It’s a very special and very spectacular specialty,” he says. Horses are very skilled, and crossing natural obstacles is a change from traditional races. For the jockeys, this also allows us to put forward our tactical sense because opting for a particular trajectory in a bend, for example, can make the difference. “
The Pau cross country as if you were there with Félix de Giles on January 17th
“Pau is really one of the most beautiful cross country courses”
Already winner of the Grand Cross de Craon and the Anjou-Loire Challenge, the two other highlights in this specialty, Félix de Gilles has never yet won the Pau one: “I hope it’s for this year, because Uniketat is a good horse. I’m glad to find him. I won with him last year on this track. And Pau is really one of the most beautiful cross country courses I have ever seen. “
The Englishman knows what he is talking about, he who has furnished his weapons during court hunts in the British forests or even in “point-to-point” races for amateurs very popular in his country. As their name suggests, their goal is to connect two villages on horseback as quickly as possible while avoiding all the obstacles that nature may have put in the way. It will be “almost the same” at 4 pm when it comes time to set off for 6,300m.
An English “point-to-point” race
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr