ROBERT WINSTON is back riding after retiring over two years ago and was up at Harper Lodge Farm yesterday riding out.
Granted his license last week by the BHA, he has been riding out for much of this year at Charlie Appleby’s Moulton Paddocks stable in Newmarket. He had his first ride back when second in the Legends’ race at Doncaster a month ago, beaten a short head on Shining Aitch, a race in which Robert said, “I should have won.”
Champion Apprentice in 1999, he has ridden over 1600 winners for 149 different trainers during a 23-year career, was fifth in the jockey’s title race in 2005 and 2006 and rode two Group Ones including Librisa Breeze for the yard in 2007 in the Champions Sprint. In 2000 he was leading the jockeys’ championship but had a bad fall which left him on the sidelines and put paid to any chance of winning the title.
Librisa Breeze played a big part in Robert delaying his decision to retire a few years ago and in 2016 he won a Lester for Flat Ride of the Year in the totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot, when coming from near last to first. Robert has enjoyed great success with other sprinters such as Tropics and Caspian Prince and indeed has won more races for the yard, 105, than for any other stable.
Yesterday, Robert had the leg up on Solario Racing’s 2yo, Sharp Distinction and Michael and Heather Yarrow’s 3yo homebred filly, Hot Chesnut. Both went nicely and Robert was pleased with both chestnuts.
Robert, 41, has missed the buzz of race riding and admitted in a recent interview that he had retired too early. He was in good form yesterday, looking and sounding relaxed as he chatted with owners.
His first rides back were last Thursday on a couple of outsiders for trainer Tony Carroll at Chelmsford. His first ride for the yard will be on Tuesday at Kempton on Sharp Distinction for Solario Racing (Berkhamsted).
Welcome back Robert Winston!