I shocked the world with my 'disgraceful' act and was sacked from my big job – now I'm back making a fortune | The Sun

SIX months ago, many in racing were calling for Christophe Soumillon to be permanently banned after he elbowed Rossa Ryan out of the saddle.

After serving a widely-condemned 60-day ban by France Galop, Soumillon returned, and he's earning a mini-fortune this year.

One of the best talents riding in France for many years, Soumillon enjoyed one of his best years in 2022, winning three Group 1 races, including two in Britain.

Perfect Power helped him secure a Royal Ascot victory and he also raided the Coral-Eclipse with Jean-Claude Rouget's Vadeni.

Those wins pocketed the Belgian nearly £1.5million in prize money, but things came crashing down several weeks before Europe's biggest race, when he elbowed Rossa Ryan out of the saddle at Saint-Cloud.

His actions stunned the racing community, with Group 1-winning jockey Kieran Shoemark telling ITV he was 'in complete disbelief'.

Matt Chapman also weighed in on ITV and said: "These could have been very different charges if Rossa Ryan had suffered an injury or indeed have been killed".

Soumillon later reimbursed the connections of Captain Weirzba, who Ryan was riding, costing him over £6,000.

France's racing body handed down a 60-day ban and he lost his contract with the Aga Khan, one of racing's biggest owners and supporters.

The French 'gaming police' also stepped in, asking for his ban to be extended to six months, though this never ultimately occurred.

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Despite this, Soumillon took his place aboard Vadeni in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe, with his ban not beginning until October 14th.

He came within half a length of the £2.4 million first prize, scooping £960,504 for his near miss.

His ban came into effect 12 days after the Arc and after serving his time on the sidelines, Soumillon has returned his lavish life of riding Group winners.

In 2023 alone, Soumillon has ridden a Grade 1 winner in South Africa and won a further seven Listed or Group races back in France, with his earnings standing at £835,108.

He continues to ride for some of France's best trainers and even rode for Aidan O'Brien last week at Longchamp.

Despite his moment of madness that nearly ended Ryan's career, trainers clearly don't have qualms in using Soumillon.

The same success has not been felt by one of Britain's up-and-coming stars Ryan, who lost his job with football super agent Kia Joorabchian's Amo Racing outfit several weeks before his clash with Soumillon in France.

Despite riding 120 winners in 2021 and 116 in 2022, Ryan has been unable to secure a job with any of Britain's leading trainers, though he frequently rides for many top outfits.

Ryan's earnings of £576,922 pale in comparison to Soumillon's, though the British season is only just kicking off in earnest.

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Few in racing would have predicted that Soumillon would slot back into the sphere in almost the exact same position.

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