Jason Watson only had his first ride in February 2017, aged 16, but has since made rapid strides.
He was champion apprentice the following year when his victories included the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood on Gifted Master for Hugo Palmer. At the end of an amazing year, when he rode 111 winners in what was his first full season, he also landed his first Group 1 win aboard God Given for Luca Cumani in Italy.
The following year Watson became stable jockey for Roger Charlton.
However, Watson spent more almost three months on the sidelines after fracturing four vertebrae, three in his neck and one in his spine after a fall at Kempton in January.
He returned from that serious injury to win two Group 1 races for Charlton. Aspetar struck for him in France and then he and Quadrilateral snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.
“It’s still a big fairytale for me. I can’t believe it really. I’m only 19 and I’ve not experienced a lot yet and I’ve not ridden in many Group One races in England,” he said after his big win at Headquarters.
“Group Ones in this country are amazing and to win one in my first year for the guv’nor is unbelievable. It’s still not hit me yet what has happened today. I’m sure I will wake up tomorrow and feel different.”
Despite missing a third of the year, he still ended with another 97 winners to his name.
In a truncated 2020, Watson was placed on Quadrilateral in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Stratum in the Doncaster Cup. He also landed the Cesarewitch for the second successive year on a Willie Mullins-trained raider.