Newmarket jockey Christian Howarth reflects on 50th win of his career after partnering Saeed bin Suroor’s Summer Of Love to victory at Kempton
In an industry as competitive as horse racing, riding your 50th winner at the age of just 21 is no mean feat.
Newmarket’s Christian Howarth – a former academy footballer with Cambridge United who did not sit on a horse until he turned 16 – reached his half century at Kempton on Monday evening.
And it was all the more special given that the landmark victory came on-board Summer Of Love, trained in the town by Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor, for whom Howarth’s father Tony is the assistant.
Christian said: “It’s very special. She’s one of the nicest horses I’ve ridden and to be honest she ran it all for me. She’s very classy.
“That’s my fourth winner from 12 for Saeed and he’s been fantastic with me. I’m grateful for the opportunities I get.
“And to do it with his horse – one that my dad knows so well – that makes it even more special. I wouldn’t have wanted to ride my 50th winner for anyone else.
“My dad helps me massively. I listen to all the advice he gives and it’s working.”
However, it was not the smoothest of passages to 50. The former Bottisham Village College pupil racked up his 49th victory on September 4 and after that he endured eight second-placed finishes before piloting Summer Of Love to glory.
But while it was a ‘frustrating’ period, Howarth remained philosophical given how far he has come in such a short period of time.
He added: “The past couple of months there was some knock backs.
“I went six weeks without a winner and that was tough, but there’s always ups and downs in this sport.
“It can be frustrating but you’ve got to stay strong minded. The way I look at it, I didn’t sit on a horse until I was 16 so I cannot have too many complaints.”
With a firm eye on the upcoming All Weather campaign, Howarth intends to stay at home this winter.
He has formed a strong connection with trainer Alice Haynes at her Cadland Cottage Stables on Moulton Road, and the hope is that he can continue to build on the ‘momentum’ he has generated in recent months.
“I’ll be staying here this winter instead of going away,” he said. “Alice does well on the All Weather and hopefully I can pick up some good rides for her.
“My agent has done very well this year getting me plenty of rides and I just want to keep the momentum going. I’m down to a 3lb claim now and that makes it a little bit tougher, but at the same time I’m still only 21 and I want to make sure I do it the right way.
“Hopefully I can have a positive winter and that will take me into next year in good form.”