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Inside the Jockeys Room with Prat & Wilson

Flavien Prat and Emma-Jayne WilsonJockeys Flavien Prat and Emma-Jayne Wilson take America's Best Racing’s readers inside the jockeys’ room in 2016. Prat rides on the Southern California circuit after launching his career in his native France, where he was named champion apprentice in 2009 and won a Group 1 race in 2013. He also won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes in 2015 in his first full year of riding in the U.S. Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson rides at Woodbine in Toronto after being named champion apprentice jockey in both the U.S. and Canada. She earned her first Grade 1 win aboard Interpol in the Northern Dancer Stakes in 2015.

Throughout the series Prat and Wilson share insight into all kinds of questions including how they became jockeys, what goes on between races, whom they admire and what type of movies and fashion style they prefer.

Did you have to go to a special school or take training to become a jockey?  Who taught you how to become a successful jockey?

PRAT: I went to the jockey school in Chantilly, France called AFASEC. My father, Frederic Prat, taught me. 

WILSON: No “special school” to learn to be a jockey, but I did attend the University of Guelph and earned a diploma in Equine Studies. My agent played a big role, and I modeled the style of top jocks I admired.

Do you have any kind of rituals or superstitions before you race?

PRAT: No, I don’t have any superstitions.

WILSON: I would call my routine when I get to the jocks’ room a “ritual” — nothing superstitious.

What are your top three favorite racetracks?

PRAT: Santa Anita [Park], Longchamp, Del Mar

WILSON: Woodbine, Ascot, Saratoga [Race Course]

Ideal playlist on my iTunes would have these 5 songs:

PRAT: “Ave Cesaria,” by Stromae, “Clint Eastwood,” by Gorillaz, “Alors On Danse,” by Stromae, “Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor, “I Can,” by NAS

WILSON: “Ghosts N Stuff,” by Deadmau5, “Uptown Funk,” by Bruno Mars, “Levels,” by Avicii, “The Hand That Feeds,” by Nine Inch Nails, “Work Bitch,” by Britney Spears

Where do you prefer to shop for clothes?

PRAT: In Paris at Gallery Lafayette

WILSON: Yorkdale - a great mall in Toronto

If you could breed any two horses and be guaranteed to ride the progeny, which two horses would you play matchmaker for and why?

PRAT: Frankel and Beholder

WILSON: Frankel and Black Caviar — combines versatility and speed on turf.

What are your five all-time favorite movies?

PRAT: “Django Unchained,” “Le dîner de cons,” “Training Day,” “Captain Phillips,” “The Great Gatsby”

WILSON: “The Imitation Game,” “Usual Suspects,” “Snatch,” “Star Wars,” “The Princess Bride”

No. 2 Bucket-List Item:

PRAT: Drive a Ferrari

WILSON: Scuba dive

First celebrity crush?

PRAT: Margot Robbie

WILSON: Jordan Knight!

What is your greatest regret?

PRAT: I don’t live with regrets.


WILSON: I feel strongly that regret is a waste of time. I don’t regret a thing.

What is your dream vacation?

PRAT: Maldives

WILSON: I’d love to do a month-long African safari.

Top three fashion brands you prefer to wear:

PRAT: Dior, Sandro

WILSON: North Face, Diesel, Abercrombie & Fitch

My favorite place to hang out by myself is?

PRAT: Walking by myself in the mountains

WILSON: Running or at the gym

The country would be better off if …

PRAT: … there was no poverty.

WILSON: … there was acceptance and respect instead of intolerance and hate.

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