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Andrew Thornton

File:Andrew Thornton.jpg
Andrew Thornton on The Listener, March 13, 2005

Andrew Thornton is a National Hunt jockey. He was born on October 28, 1972 in Cleveland and schooled at Barnard Castle School in County Durham. He rides for Caroline Bailey,Seamus Mullins,Keith Reveley and Henritta Knight among others. He is not related to another of England's greatest jockeys, Robert Thornton. Thornton is one of the very few National Hunt jockeys who wears contact lenses while riding and it is for this reason that he has acquired the nicknames "Lensio" and "Blindman" [1]. He is married to Claire.

Despite having to endure many setbacks and injuries throughout his career, Thornton is now widely regarded[by whom?] as one of the best jumps jockeys around. He is also very highly respected among his weighing room colleagues. His opinion on horse racing is also well sought after by members of the Racing Post, Racing UK and At The Races.

Many[who?] criticise Thornton's riding style. However, it is quite effective in most experts' opinions. Because he is taller than the average jump jockey, he is forced to ride very low in the stirrups. It is not always attractive to look at but it rarely fails to get the job done.[citation needed] Its benefits are also highlighted by the record Thornton has in staying Handicap Chases and staying Handicap Hurdles. Along with Tony McCoy, he is probably the strongest jump jockey in a finish.[citation needed] He can push along from a mile out and galvanise the horse. His strength has been seen in many exciting finishes when he looked beaten turning for home.

Thornton has ridden many great horses including Cool Dawn, Gingembre and See More Business to victory in many a big race. However the best he has ridden and his favourite has to be 8-time winner French Holly.[citation needed] He won two Grade 1s and only just failed to win the Champion Hurdle in 1999 having encountered one of the greatest horses ever, Istabraq. His death in a schooling accident in the Winter of 1999 was a major disappointment to Thornton. He has plenty to look forward to, riding such horses as Caroline Bailey's stable star Doctor David and I am sure he will get the chance to ride one of Henrietta Knight's top horses he was booked to ride Calgary Bay in the Skybet Chase at Doncaster in January but unfortunately the frost and cold weather prevailed. He has recently found a good partnership with the Horses Wherrimon and Ballymorn two young handicap chasers trained by Caroline Bailey and Henrietta Knight who he has one win on Ballymorn and two on Wherrimon so far this season and I am sure he will have some more victories on them in the near future.


Achievements and Awards

  • 1996 Lester Award for special recognition
  • 1997 Lester Award for special recognition
  • 2003 Lester Award for jump ride of the year aboard Kingscliff
  • 2007 Lester Award for jump ride of the year aboard Miko De beauchene

He has ridden major winners for Robert Alner, Seamus Mullins, Evan Williams, Ian Williams, Jamie Poulton, Paul Nicholls, Mary Reveley, John Spearing, Lavina Taylor, Ferdy Murphy and TA Forster.

Cheltenham Festival winners

Grade 1 winners

Other notable winners

See also



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