There was no bigger fairytale win at Royal Ascot in 2018 than that of Accidental Agent – the horse nobody wanted to buy at the sales who provided his trainer, Eve Johnson Houghton, and Charlie Bishop, his jockey, with their first wins at Royal Ascot and also at Group 1 level.
Bishop’s previous 250 wins in Britain had been more of the bread-and-butter variety – only two of them at Listed or Group class.
The then 24-year-old, attached to the Johnson Houghton yard, timed things to perfection at the Royal meeting to win by half a length and a neck from Lord Glitters and Lightning Spear.
Charlie Bishop, born and raised in Herefordshire near the town of Ledbury, said: “I’m glad I’m getting the opportunities and am good enough to deliver – to get a Group One winner, let alone a Royal Ascot winner, is incredible.”
Of Accidental Agent’s victory he said: “It’s been a great team effort by everyone at Eve’s – it’s unbelievable. Eve has done a fantastic job with him and she was the one who wanted to come here. It was a brave shout but it has paid off. I thought at the furlong pole he might finish in the frame, which was what we dreamt of, and then he quickened up again.”
A year later, Accidental Agent refused to budge from the stalls when defending his crown. In 2020, he and Bishop combined to finish a creditable fifth.