It hasn’t taken Ryan Curatolo too long to settle in at Seoul. The well-traveled jockey notched his first Korean winner on Sunday, guiding Stride Up (Limitless Bid) for trainer Seo Bum-seok in the colours of owner Cheng Ting Kong in race 2 at Seoul on 26th May 2019.
Stride Up was Curatolo’s tenth ride in Korea and started at odds of 9/1. The only horse he has ridden so far to start at shorter was 5/1 Cheongdam Tiger a week earlier, who finished 2nd.
Congratulations to Ryan Curatolo on riding his 1st Korean winner. Stride Up (Limitless Bid) for trainer Seo Bum-seok in the colours of owner Cheng Ting Kong in race 2 at Seoul pic.twitter.com/h4TZpvSAIp— KRA Official (@KRAOfficial) May 26, 2019
Frenchman Ryan Curatolo is the latest edition to the international jockeys in the Korea Racing Authority’s riding ranks. Curatolo, who was born and raised in Marseille found an affinity with horse racing from a young age. The now twenty-seven-year-old had no previous ties to horse racing but knew that he wanted to be a jockey whilst still in school.
“My father and I would go to the races when I was young back in Marseille and I started to fall in love with the game when I was around ten years of age” Curatolo said. “We were more on the other side spectating and not involved with the horses, nobody in my family were involved with racehorses. I was following jockeys at the time and became very passionate”. Curatolo pursued the career of becoming an apprentice from a young age with his father’s encouragement.
“When I was 14 my Dad sent me to a school in the north of France to jockey school in Paris, I spent four years there” Curatolo said. At the age of eighteen Curatolo made the decision to move to America to further his career, starting off in Miami based at Gulfstream Park. After six months Curatolo headed north when signing a contract with the New York Racing Association. Determination and a strong work ethic resulted in Curatolo winning the Champion Apprentice title in 2011. “That was a huge achievement that year, I won about 115 races. It was a lot of work as I was riding seven days a week” Curatolo explains. “A typical start to the week would be Delaware on Monday, Tuesday in Philadelphia and then back in New York on the Wednesday. It was a lot of travelling chasing my goals”.
In 2015 Curatolo had the opportunity to take up a contract in Macau riding for top trainer Gary Moore. Curatolo accepted the contract but admits he stayed in Macau longer than he first anticipated. “An opportunity came to go to Macau for Gary Moore at the time, he contacted me and I ended up in Macau for the Winter” Curatolo said. “I was supposed to go there for three months and I end up spending about three and a half years there”. During his time in Macau, Curatolo paid the favour back to Moore and won his biggest race to date in his career when taking out the Group 1 2014 Macau Guineas aboard Hostwin Donatello.
Several years later Curatolo had further feature race success when taking out the Listed 2017 Macau Gold Cup on the MC Tam trained Bobo So Cute. In late 2017 Curatolo had the opportunity to ride in Singapore when a typhoon hit Macau.