04/26/2006 11:00PM

Alain Lequeux dead at 59


Alain Lequeux, one of France's leading jockeys in the 1970's and 80's, died Wednesday at the age of 59 in Senlis, France of a cerebral hemorrage.

Among his 33 Group or Grade 1 victories, four came in the United States, those aboard Providential in 1981 in the D.C. International and the Hollywood Turf Cup for Charlie Whittingham. He also won the 1980 Yellow Ribbon Invitational aboard Kilijaro and the 1985 Turf Classic on Noble Fighter. Lequeux had served his apprenticeship and his early years as a journeyman under the tutelage of the legendary Francois Mathet. The son of top French jockey Guy Lequeux, he won more than 2000 races in France during a career that stretched from 1963 to 1992.

Among his big race victories were two European classics, the 1974 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas, aboard the 30-1 Dumka, and the 1978 Doncaster St. Leger on Son of Love. He also rode Al Nasr, Argument, Behera, Dahar, Procida, Sanedtki, The Wonder and Waki River to Group 1 triumphs in France, but the best horse he ever rode may have been Triptych, whom he guided to victory in the 1984 Prix Marcel Boussac. His final Group 1 score came aboard Priolo in the 1990 Prix Jacques le Marois. In 1987 he had added to his international reputation with a Japan Cup victory aboard Le Glorieux.

A noted gourmet and raconteur, Lequeux had been since his retirement from the saddle the owner of the Cafe Lequeux in Chantilly, a restaurant much frequented by French horsemen.