12/05/2001 12:00AM

Boeuf tops among French riders

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Dominique Boeuf has snatched the French riding title from the two-time defending champion Olivier Peslier (who has been riding in Japan since early November) with a pair of wins at Marseille-Borely on Wednesday.

Boeuf's victories, aboard Paradour and My Little Willie, give him 149 for the 2001 season, one ahead of Peslier, who had a seemingly insurmountable 23-win lead when he left for Japan last month.

This is the third French championship for Boeuf. He had previously earned the Cravache d'Or, or "Golden Whip," in 1991 and 1998. The French flat season ends at Toulouse on Sunday.

Kieren Fallon and Pat Smullen have already won the riding titles in Britain and Ireland, respectively.