Home » Sports » Horse racing: “If I want to win a Cornulier, it’s the year or never”, says Antoine Wiels 22 January 2022
For the ninth time in his career, Antoine Wiels, 33, will be at the start of the Prix de Cornulier, this Sunday January 23. Eleven years in the service of Jean-Paul Marmion, the driver is a safe bet in the pelotons. It has also crossed the 100 mark for the sixth consecutive year. Associated in this group I with Flame of Goutier, with which he finished second last year, talks about his chances, his future and his relationship with Jean-Paul Marmion.
How do you rate the preparation of? Flame of Goutier ?
ANTOINE WHEELS. His last race is excellent. If she evolves without her irons, she’s much better. I feel it gaining momentum for D-Day. Freeman de Houelle and Plains Gladys will make the race very selective. It will be an advantage for Flame who is a real tracker.
You haven’t ridden it all winter. Is it a conscious choice?
When we won the Prix de Normandie (in September 2020), we were in the same situation. I have ridden it five times in total (three wins and two honors), so i know her well. It is easy to assemble. It is evolving without restraint and the adjustments were already made last year.
You are again one of the favorites in the race this year. Is it extra busy?
I’m more worried about how the race is going than feeling the pressure to be the favourite. On the other hand, if I want to win a Cornulier, it’s the year or never.
I had given myself up to my 35th for my career in the trot. It’s harder to lose weight after 30 (laughs). And then lowering the weight to 65 kg is difficult for me. I’m going to hurt myself to gain weight on D-Day, it’s a lot of restrictions. I know I can lose 1.6 kg if I walk with a big jacket in the morning or the day before the race.
You have been employed by Jean-Paul Marmion for eleven years, what are your relations?
Jean-Paul makes sure I win about 80 races a year. I was employed by him for four and a half years while I was previously a service provider. I needed more security with my family life. We trust each other. When I had the chance to drive Flame of Goutier, he told me to go for it. The day Jean-Paul (he is 71 years old) will stop working, I don’t plan to work elsewhere and don’t want to establish myself as a coach for the time being. I quit training and become a catch rider.