Jockey Profile: Willie Carson


A thoroughbread horse racing jockey of some repute, Willie Carson was born in Stirling, Scotland. He was known for an energetic personality and an incredibly long career that seen him take to the course until he was the age of 54, retiring in 1996. An apprentice to Captain Gerald Armstrong, he became the British Champion Jockey an impressive five times between 1972 and 1983, and won an outstanding 17 British Classics. With 100 winners per season for 23 years, he totalled way over 3,800 wins by the end.

Career Summary

A career that seen Carson become the fourth-most successful winner in GB racing history is one well worth remembering. His best season arguably came in 1990, when he won close to 190 winners across the season. Indeed, he is one of just a mere four jockeys who managed to ride an impressive six winners in one sitting.

Sadly, he came 2nd in the year when he done so to Pat Eddery, who won with an unbelievable 209 winners. The majority of his main successes as a rider came under the tutelage and partnership with Dick Hern, who helped him train his horses. He rode his three Derby winners at this point in his career.

A career after racing seen him enter into everything from the Ampney Crucis Minister House Stud program to being a part of A Question of Sport, right through to co-hosting BBC horse racing with Clare Balding until 2012.He was also a pundit for the BBC, correctly tipping Camelot to win the Epsom Derby. For more free horse racing tips take a look here!

Achievements & Highlights

With trophy wins in 5 major nations, Carson has one of the most impressive trophy hauls in the history of the sport. With 5 Championships, 17 Classics, 23 Centuries and 3,838 winners in total, it’s safe to say that Carson has earned his reputation as a true legend of his sport.

Major Wins – 1,000 Guineas (1990, 1991), 2,000 Guineas (1972, 1980, 1987, 1989), Derby (1979, 1980, 1989, 1994), Oaks (1977, 1980, 1983, 1990), St. Leger (1977, 1983, 1988)

Associations – Cpt. Gerald Armstrong, Sam Armstrong, Bernard van Custem, Clive Brittain, Dick Hern. Bireme, Dunfermline, Sun Princess, Minster Son, Nashwan, Don’t Forget Me, Known Fact, High Top.

4.10 Lingfield, Friday, April 14

William Haggas’ progressive colt Second Thought has accounted for Sutter County twice already this season and there appears no reason why he can’t do so again in the 3-Year-Old Championship Stakes (4.10) at Lingfield on Friday and, in so doing, maintain Robert Winston’s 100% record for the Newmarket trainer on the all-weather. Like his sire, Kodiac, Second Thought appears versatile with regard to distance and remains open to further improvement aft just four career starts. William Haggas has a 30% strike rate with his 3-year-olds on the Polytrack at Lingfield in recent seasons and clearly has his string in good shape with three winners from five runners in the last fortnight.

Selection: Second Thought to win (6/4 with Sky Bet)

Jockey Profile: Lester Piggot

It’s been all too long since I added a jockey profile to the site and so I decided to add another one to mix it up a bit. Horse racing of course has no shortage of history to it and there are so many figures within the sport that have more than made their mark. One high on the list has to be none other than Lester Piggott.

Born in the relatively small market town of Wantage, Oxfordshire Lester Piggott went on to achieve greatness within the sport, in no small part down to amassing a staggering 4,493 wins over the course of his illustrious career.

Dubbed “The Long Fellow” by his contemporaries and great many fans, the champion jockey is known for his trademark competitive personality and connections toward the horses he rode. Nijinsky was one that stood out for him as the horse with the most natural ability of any he rode. For good reason too, as Nijinsky won some of the most noteworthy races over his career (Epsom Derby, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth Stakes etc). He had other favourites, regarding Sir Ivor as a horse that he felt very attuned to.

Those 4,493 wins of course included a great many highlights and records, one of which was winning the Epsom Derby a staggering 9 times. His stellar career, which started in his teens, spanned over decades. All in all, he was crowned Champion Jockey a record eleven times, which goes to show the standard he was able to keep up over the years. When people think of successful flat racing jockeys, Lester Piggott is often one of the first names to come to mind.

Lester Piggott’s success in racing wasn’t a total surprise to everyone, as to put it lightly the man certainly has pedigree. His Grandfather Ernie Piggott rode three Grand National winners and three-times British jump racing Champion Jockey. he went on to become a trainer, and in fact trained Ayala, who went on to win the Grand National in 1963. Ernie was, it seems, a grand national winning machine in multiple capacities. I can’t even win the race as a punter, let alone on the back of a horse, But still, I hope out hope so let’s hope I have a bit more luck when betting on Grand National 2017 at William Hill UK. Fingers crossed for me.

Piggott retired in 1985 but his passion for the sport never once dwindled, as he followed family the family tradition of becoming a trainer, amassing 30+ winners from a stable of almost 100 horses. Unfortunately, he fell foul of the tax man for a brief time in the early 90’s, but was soon back in business shortly after, as you’d expect from someone as determined and single minded as this man.

In fact he’s still going strong now at the ripe old age of 81. Surprised at his own longjevity, Piggott hasn’t lost his trademark sense of humour:

““What can you do? It’s a fact, isn’t it? A lot of people know I’m going to turn 80 – but I wish they didn’t.”

Betway Lincoln, Saturday, April 1

Morando didn’t see a racecourse until around this time last year, but quickly made up into a useful last season, completing a hat-trick before meeting trouble in running on his final start in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot in October. On the latter occasion, he was denied a clear run in the closing stages and, although running on well in the last half a furlong or so, could only finish seventh, beaten 2½ lengths, behind Yuften. The winner is set to reoppose on identical terms but, granted an uninterrupted passage, Roger Varian’s 4-year-old may be capable of reversing the form, especially with slower underfoot conditions seemingly in his favour.

The going on Town Moor is currently good to soft, soft in places so, with an unsettled outlook for the rest of the week, some degree of cut in the ground on Saturday is a virtual certainty. Morando recorded his best form to date when winning a 0-105 contest over a mile at Ayr last September, on good to soft going, and, like many of the progeny of Kendargent, can reasonably be expected to have improved over the winter, especially granted his inexperience. The early booking of jockey Andrea Atzeni adds to confidence in his cause.

Selection: Doncaster 3.35 Morando to win (11/2 with bet365)

2.10 Cheltenham, Thursday, March 16

Tobefair has improved out of all recognition since joining Carmarthenshire trainer Debra Hamer two seasons ago, winning all seven starts and rising an astonishing 62lb in the handicap. The Central Park gelding faces far and away his toughest task to date, stepping up to Listed level for the first time off a 9lb higher mark than when beating Morello Royale by 1½ lengths in a 0-145 contest, over 3 miles, at Newbury last month. However, the fourth horse, Bryden Boy – who was beaten 15½ lengths – has since won a similar race at Doncaster, so the form looks strong, even in the context of this race. Tobefair has won on good, good to firm and soft going, so should run his race whatever the weather at Prestbury Park and it would take a brave man to state, categorically, that he can’t extend his winning sequence to eight.

Selection: Cheltenham 2.10 Tobefair to win (17/2 with Betfair Sportsbook)

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