Graham Lee has proven himself at the highest level over jumps and on the Flat. He has the distinction of having ridden a Grand National winner plus a Gold Cup victor at Royal Ascot.
Having ridden in pony races and left school aged 15, Lee became a jump jockey.
He broke a leg in a fall at Sedgefield in February 1996 and, having lost a lot of weight, decided to try his luck riding on the Flat. At the time, he didn’t enjoy riding on the level and went on a high-protein diet to put on weight in order to ride over jumps again.
He enjoyed his finest hour when partnering the Ginger McCain-trained Amberleigh House to a memorable victory in the 2004 Grand National. He also rode five winners at the Cheltenham Festival.
But Lee continued to have problems putting on weight and ahead of the 2012 Flat turf season he announced that he would switch to riding on the Flat.
He cannot have had many regrets as he’s since had more than 800 winners on the Flat. In 2014, he had 159 victories.
In 2015 he rode a first QIPCO British Champions Series winner courtesy of the Ed Dunlop-trained Trip To Paris, who quickened up smartly in the closing stages to win the Gold Cup.
Three years later he grabbed his second Champions Series victory aboard 40/1 chance Alpha Delphini, who pipped Mabs Cross by a nose in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.