Rising star Jason Watson is Newbury Racecourse's 2019 ambassador for the Flat season & young racegoers
Newbury Racecourse is working with Jason Watson - one of Britain’s leading young jockeys - as their new ambassador for the 2019 Flat season and for their Club 24.
Jason Watson’s career went from strength to strength last year. He had over 100 winners in his first full campaign - including success in the Stewards’ Cup on Gifted Master for trainer Hugo Palmer at Goodwood, and his first Group 1 win aboard the Luca Cumani trained God Given in Italy.
Jason finished a tremendous year being crowned Champion Apprentice Jockey of 2018. He won the title by a large margin (71 wins) over weighing room rival Rossa Ryan (51).
His success caught the attention of Classic winning trainer Roger Charlton and Jason is now riding his first season as first jockey for Charlton’s Beckhampton Stables near Marlborough.
Marlboroughequestrian.news met Jason Watson in between lots at Beckhampton on a chilly but bright morning (May 1). We asked why he had chosen to be part of Newbury's season: "It's one of the best racecourses in the country - with quality racing throughout the year. They've done a lot of work of the last couple of years transforming the course - it's amazing."
And the Club 24 connection? "It's good to help get young people involved in racing. It helps that I'm young and know what they want - so to get my generation into racing." [See below for details of Club 24.] Jason is writing a blog for Newbury Racecourse to mark major races and meetings - future issues will be published on marlboroughequestrian.news.
He added another reason for working as the Racecourse ambassador: "And Newbury's close to home!" He has a house in a nearby village. Jason, who is eighteen, had a busy day ahead of him.
Jason had been at the stables since 6.30am and would soon be leaving for Ascot to ride the Charlton trained Fashion's Star in the 2.50 race. A three year-old filly by Sea the Stars bought for £400,000 as a yearling. She won her first race at Newbury in September last year.
Then he dashes to Brighton for the 16.35 race aboard All Back to Mine for Joseph Tuite - with three more rides follow. Getting home by about 10pm. That's a long day - but he is young!
The day before he had had a good win at Brighton on the eight year-old Shamshon trained by Stuart Williams - winning by a neck over George Baker's seven year-old Harry Hurricane under Joe Fanning. "Brighton", he says smiling, "has always been kind to me."
Indeed, Brighton was Jason's home town. He began riding at a young age under the guidance of ex-jump jockey Ray Goldstein - who he names one of the main inspirations for wanting to become a jockey.
He rode his first winner for Gary Moore in May 2017, before moving to Andrew Balding’s Kingsclere yard - near to Newbury Racecourse. The Balding team have produced many apprentice champions who have become top jockeys - such as Oisin Murphy and William Buick.
Jason will be hoping for further success in the season ahead and has even set his sights on a potential challenge for the senior jockeys’ title this year.
Club 24 is open to anyone aged between 18 and 24. At just £10 a month (and available on a direct debit or as a yearly payment), this membership is the most affordable way to enjoy all the great days out that Newbury Racecourse have to offer.
In 2019, Club 24 membership offers Premier Enclosure access all Newbury fixtures, including: Party in the Paddocks, Tom Jones and Madness, Gin Thursdays, the Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day and the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival. This works out as less than £5 per raceday throughout the whole year.
Other benefits for members include: exclusive use of our private members’ facility, specific members parking in the centre of the course and a large number of reciprocal days with other sports venues. And with its own station, Newbury Racecourse is within easy reach from many major cities including London, Bristol, Oxford and Southampton.
To book tickets for the Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day, Saturday, 18 May 2019, visit newburyracecourse.co.uk or call 01635 40015.