Archie Watson has spent his whole life around thoroughbreds. He grew up near Lambourn, the Valley of the Racehorse, and started riding out at the yard of Charlie Morlock as soon as he was old enough. After holiday stints with Alan King and Paul Webber and a summer with Graham Motion in the USA, his heart was already set on training racehorses.
On leaving school in 2007, he spent time working first at Shadwell Stud in Norfolk before completing a stud season at historic Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand. He spent bloodstock sale seasons working for leading consultancy Blandford Bloodstock and then travelled to South Africa. There he successfully managed a satellite yard for two seasons based in Summerveld, Kwa-Zulu Natal for leading trainer Alec Laird, handler of South African racing legend London News.
After a six-month spell in California shadowing trainer Simon Callaghan, who was at the time overseeing top-class Grade 1 winner Belle Royale, Watson could not resist the lure of returning to the UK in 2012 when he was offered the opportunity to become assistant to William Haggas.
Watson was able to complete his equine education at Somerville Lodge in Newmarket by learning from Haggas and his wife Maureen. Working with a large string of horses containing plenty of quality firepower was a dream come true for Watson, who was there to witness, among others, Mukhadram winning the Group 1 Coral Eclipse for Haggas in July 2014.
After four years in Newmarket, the chance arose for Watson to move back to Berkshire, where he took out a licence to train at historic Saxon Gate in Upper Lambourn.
His greatest success as a trainer came at the tenth renewal of QIPCO British Champions Day in 2020 when Glen Shiel provided him with Group 1 success in the Sprint under Hollie Doyle.