Thu, 02 May 2019
NEW Newbury Racecourse ambassador and current jockey Jason Watson is hoping to encourage the younger generation to attend racedays.
Watson, who turns 19 later this month will step into the role for the 2019 flat season – with the Starlight Charity Raceday on Friday, May 17 and the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes taking place Saturday, May 18.
He enjoyed a number of winners at Newbury last year and is excited to have to opportunity to work at the course.
“I had a few winners at the course last year and I was crowned top apprentice there,” said Watson. “I also used to live within 15 minutes of the course and although I have recently moved, I still live 30 minutes away.”
“It is one of the top tracks in the country and there is a lot of great racing, so it’s good to be part of it.”
And one of the goals the jockey has set himself is to increase the number of younger people who attend the racedays.
He said: “Hopefully I can encourage young people to come racing and enjoy the day out because it is great fun.
“It’s not all about the racing. You can go to the bar, have a drink and socialise with your friends because it’s a lovely day out.
“There are quite a few races coming up at Newbury and it’s very important that people come along and see the racing.
“You get a lot of talented horses out and I know from when I was younger that you see these animals and when they impress you, it can draw you in and make you addicted to it all.”
Watson’s career went from strength-to-strength last year as he secured a total of 111 winners in his first full campaign.
He said: “I wasn’t quite sure that I was going to do as well as I did. I couldn’t have wished it to go any better.”
From a young age, Watson was determined to become a jockey and is currently working with Beckhampton trainer Roger Charlton.
He said: “He is a lovely man, an absolute gentlemen and he has some lovely high-class owners and talented horses about, so hopefully we can produce a few winners at Newbury.”
The apprentice champion did spend time with Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding, where he experienced his first ride.
Watson said: “Andrew has helped me out massively because when I first started there, I had never ridden in a race before.
“I picked up a lot of experience and he was very helpful in pointing me in the right direction as he gave me the rides I needed.
“It gave me the experience of being in a high-class yard, which can really bring you on as a person and not just a jockey.
Jason Watson is the new flat and Club 24 ambassador at Newbury Racecourse for 2019.
To book tickets for the Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day, Saturday, May 18, visit newburyracecourse.co.uk or call (01635) 40015.