Robert Winston has had a roller-coaster career, emerging from humble origins in Ireland to be robbed of the British jockeys’ championship by injury and then suffering a huge blow to his career when banned from riding for an entire year for passing on inside information.
He hails from Finglas, a tough suburb of Dublin in Ireland, and was a daredevil bareback rider until he first started using a saddle at the age of 13.
A graduate of the Irish Jockeys’ School, he emigrated to England in late 1995 to join trainer Richard Fahey. Four years later he became champion apprentice and in September 2004 he registered his first (and, as yet, only) Group 1 victory when landing the Cheveley Park Stakes aboard Magical Romance.
He was on course to land the jockeys’ title in 2005 when a fall at Ayr in early August shattered his jaw and left him on the sidelines for four months.
He registered a new personal best annual tally of 136 the following year but missed almost the whole of 2007 because of that inside information ban and his career has never recaptured the heights of 2005-6, though he did manage 120 winners in 2009.
He even tried moving to France in early 2011, but employment law red tape caused him to return after just a fortnight.
In recent seasons he has been well served by his link with Dean Ivory and the combination hit the jackpot in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot in 2017 with Librisa Breeze.
Afterwards,Winston, 37, said: “This horse has more or less kept my career going, I was packing in last year, I gave my notice to Dean and it was going to be my last year riding. This horse came along and owner Tony Bloom and things have sort of blossomed since then. It’s kept the dream alive, kept me in game.”
QIPCO British Champions Series Victories
BCS Career statistics
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