Yves Saint-Martin was without any doubt one of the greatest jockeys of all times, taking part in more than 15,000 races and winning 3,313, including four victories in The Arch of Triumph, in 1970, 1974, 1982 and 1984, he triumphed in the USA and in the United Kingdom, and he ran under the colors of the most prestigious owners of all the world, Wildestein, Rothschild and of the Aga Khan, among others.
He was exceptional, an intelligent jockey, valiant, out of the ordinary, lover of his job, steel nerves and above all, he could understand the animal which he rode in a race, though he had ridden never him before, and the combination of all that made him a number one in the horse racing, not only in France but also at world level.
He was a small person, who hardly measured one meter and fifty five centimeters, and he rode 50 kilos of weight with certain ease, a fact that was known from his birthday, since that day his weight was one kilo.
When he was 20 years old he rode in the USA, in Washington, in the year 1962, and he won four Arcs but without doubt, and according to his own words, his most extraordinary victory would be achieved in 1984 ridding for the Aga Khan in the Breeders' Cup Turf to Lashkari in Hollywood Park, California, in which he said "Simply it has been incredible."
Another of the great horses that Yves Saint-Martin remembers with special affection was Allez France, winning The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1974 and, moreover, he achieved other important victories, and whom he understood perfectly, due to the fact that Allez-France was very nervous and irritable, but at the same time, incredibly generous in effort.
He retired as a jockey at 46 years old, though his idea was to retire at 50 years old, approximately, but he preferred to retire when he was a number one, and that the public remembered him as what he was.
He was also a little tired, because Yves Saint-Martin had many accidents in his race life provoking twenty one fractures of bones.The life as a jockey gave him very many joys, much happiness and great recompense, but he also had to put up with a lot concentration, strict diet, weight control, energies, and many sacrifices, whereby he decided to retire on 25 October of 1987 in Longchamp, Paris.