By Racing UK
There may be little in the way of academic qualifications on the CV of jockey Jason Watson – but there could soon be a significant title on it.
In a campaign which has seen him go from virtual unknown to one of the rising stars of the weighing room, the 18-year-old from Brighton stands on the brink of crowning his remarkable rise by taking the Stobart Apprentice Jockeys Championship.
While those in behind are playing catch up to the 3lb pound claimer, who landed the Stewards’ Cup aboard the Hugo Palmer-trained Gifted Master at Glorious Goodwood, he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and not taking anything for granted.
He continues in red-hot form, in fact, enjoying a winner for Godolphin at Sandown on Saturday.
“It’s going well and I’m riding a few winners, so I’m hanging on in there. There are still two months to go and there is plenty of time for things to change, but I’m still gunning for the title,” Watson said.
“It could open up loads of opportunities if I do win it and it looks good on the CV. David Egan was champion apprentice last year and he rode a Group Two winner at Glorious Goodwood this year, so who knows what it can lead to?
“I don’t really look at the board, I just ride every day as it comes. At the end of the day, it is not going to make me think any different, as I’ve got to go out there and do my job.”
Watson was widely praised for his ride on Gifted Master, a day he will “never forget”.
He said: “To win the Stewards’ Cup was amazing and a day I will never forget. A massive ‘thank you’ goes to Mr Palmer and my agent, Tony Hind, as it was such a big opportunity to ride a horse that is a dual Group Three and Listed winner.
“He is a such a tough horse and he proved it.”
While to many his name has only been thrust upon them since the turn of the year, for those closest to the teenager it was clear from an early age that working with horses in some aspect was always going to form a major part of his life, even though his family had no connection to the sport.