Tomorrow night, Wednesday 21st July 2021 will see Christian Howarth jump on one of our horses in the 18.00 at Sandown, wearing the Gold and Green Stripes. Nothing particularly fascinating about that; young jockey rides in Sandown Handicap for a growing Racing Club, but when you look at the story of Christian and where he came from it does become interesting.
The Gold and Green Crowd has a clear mind-set of looking for support young jockeys or smaller trainers wherever practical and we have successfully linked up with a whole range of jockeys from David Parkes who won on Born To Finish to Ray Dawson who got Militry Decoration home first for us. William Cox, Laura Pearson, Lewis Stones and Harry Reed have all ridden for us and there will be more, but we felt it was time to give a young jockey a real chance and a run of rides (when an apprentice is a good option) and try and help boost his profile while doing it. After asking about, the name that was suggested was Christian and he has done nothing but impress with his attitude, willingness to work with us and his hunger.
There is no doubt that Christian Howarth will be a brand new name to your everyday horse racing fan, so we asked him to answer a few questions and tell us more about what makes him tick.
What is your greatest fear in racing ?
My greatest fear in racing is not finishing what I’ve started on my journey to trying to be a jockey , I am very determined and proud to be doing this job
What is your earliest horse racing memory ?
I went to school in Dubai and got to go to the World Cup at a young age and see some of the best horses in the world from both Europe and America .
Which jockey do you most admire and why ?
I’ve grown up knowing Frankie Dettori , William Buick and James Doyle to name a few , as they worked for my dad for the last 20 years so these are just some I admire as they have been at the top of their game for a very long time .
What is the trait you most dislike in your self?
Being impatient I want to ride winners yesterday, today tomorrow and I’m not enjoying waiting .
What would your super power be?
Freezing time in the last half furlong ( but obviously not for me)
Online abuse is rife just now, have you experienced it yet?
Yes I have a couple of times , obviously it’s something that can get you down and lower your confidence but tomorrow is a new day and I know it’s such a common feature of sports people today
Do you have a guilty pleasure in your diet ?
Yes 100% would have to be Harribo I love sweets
If you could only invite people from the racing world to dinner who would it be ?
My dad who has worked in racing all my life at the top level , and points me in the right direction , Charlie Appleby as he has given me a Gododlphin winner and I could try and get him to give me a few more and Saeed bin Suroor who makes me laugh and I have known him all my life .
Apprentices still have to get their hands dirty , what is the worse job you have done in the yard?
Something that I do in the yard is breaking most of the yearlings in on a dark wet cold January , this pretty tough and probably as bad as it gets , but great to see them go on and win !
How old are you ,what is your ideal weight and what is your star sign? I’m 19 years old I am happy with my weight which is around 8 stone 4lb every day I am Aries.
How long have you been riding ?
I sat on my first horse 2 years and 10 months ago exactly. More on this at the bottom of the page!
Did you have any success at an early age ?
No nothing as I never rode a horse in my life until I was 16.
Do I have any siblings that ride ?
Yes, my younger sister just rides a pony for fun
What was it that gave me the desire to become a jockey?
It was very late after realising I wasn’t going to make the grade in football I then decided to try and instantly I knew this was the direction I would take for the rest of my life .
Who or what inspires you to do the best you can ? What is your ambition in racing.
My parents are a big part of this and they inspire me to do the best as I can as along with my friends out of racing , my ambition is to ride out my claim and become as successful as possible in what I know is a very tough sport .
It Is very early days but what would be the best horse you have sat on in work and in a race
Felix would be the best horse I have rode in work for my boss Marco (Botti) and the best horse I have rode in a race would be Echo Point for Charlie Appleby when I came second.
Who would be my closest friend in racing and do I have a rival I am chasing ? My closest friend in racing would be Stefano Cherichi. And actually he is claiming 5 and ridden about 50 winners so wouldn’t mind catching him up !
Outside of family who do I turn to for advice or a shoulder to moan on ? This would be my best friend George O’shea you might know the name O’shea as his father is one of the main starters in the county at the race
What is the main element of your riding you feel needs the most work? My judgement of pace as this is very important to be able to ride a race from any position .
If you could live in any part of history when would it be ?
To go back 15 years knowing my future would be horses and could of got a head start riding in pony races which would of put me on a level with some of the young riders riding today .
There will be many more to come but what is the most important lesson life has taught you so far
There is no rush and lots of patience is needed, positivity and learning from mistakes .
If there was one horse you could ride that is now in training which would it be? Other than Military Decoration this would have to be Love of Aidan O’Brien, super consistent and has been at the top of her game for the last couple of seasons and she is favourite for the King George on Saturday.
Looking back at the questions where we learnt that Christian Howarth didn’t even sit on a horse until he was 16, despite his family being ingrained in horse racing at the very top level! He was hoping to become a professional footballer and had been on the books of Cambridge United, doing very well until he decided he wanted to make a change. The Racing Post ran an interesting piece on him, and if you have a subscription for the RP, you will be able to find it.