CRAIG'S RECENT TRACKER WINNERS: MEHNAH 15/2, MASHKOORAH 16/1, ROYAL CHAMPION 9/2, ACT OF WISDOM 5/1, ALBA ROSE 11/8, DECISIVE EDGE 4/1, AROUSING 4/1,READY TO VENTURE 4/6, FABILIS 3/1, LATEST GENERATION 3/1, OPERATIC 5/1, LIPIZZANER 6/4, LOVE IS GOLD 9/1, PATIENT DREAM 1/1, HICKORY (ADV) 20/1, ROYAL MUSKETEER 15/2, ROMAN ENCOUNTER 14/1, ROUND SIX 20/1, BEHELD 11/4, MEGALLAN 7/2, LUCID DREAMER 7/1, CALCUTTA CUP 4/1, THRONE HALL 5/1, SURPRISE EXHIBIT 3/1, FRANKENSTELLA 3/1, VENTURA DIAMOND 5/2, ALKUMAIT 5/4, TOP CLASS ANGEL 9/2, ICE SPRITE 1/1, DHAHABI 15/8, DARVEL 11/8, COSMIC PRINCESS 6/1, BEECHWOOD DONNA 15/2, YOUTH SPIRIT 9/2, INTERNATIONAL GIRL 12/1, VENTURA TORMENTA 4/6, FINAL VOYAGE 9/1, IMPERIAL YELLOW 11/8, BOMB PROOF 6/4, TOP CLASSANGEL 18/1 3RD, ALWIGHWAR 11/8, MUTAZAWWED 1/1, TACTICAL 7/2, ALTHIQUA 2/1, LORD CAMPARI 100/30, MAN OF PROMISE 6/4, ON GUARD 11/2, MAGICAL MORNING 9/4, INHALER 10/3, FIESTA DE VEGA 5/1, CREATIVE FORCE 7/2, RENAISSANCE QUEEN 3/1, AWEEMAWEH 28/1 (FB), SHELDON 50/1 EW (PLACED), GEROLAMO CARDANO 13/2, FANTASTIC MS FOX 13/2 (FB), SHIMMERING 7/4, ARRIVISTE 3/1, DULAS 6/1, DELTA'S ROYALTY 4/6, PRINCE KAYF 40/1 (FB PAGE), ELEON 15/2, CELESTRAN 9/4, ORIENTAL MYSTIQUE 4/1, BYE BYE LADY 3/1, KING LEONIDA 13/8, DONNYBROOK 4/11, AL RUFAA 11/2, ALL YOU WISH 33/1, ANASTARSIA 3/1, CONVICT 6/4, GRAVITY FORCE 8/1, THEOTHERSIDE 33/1, NIGHT COLOURS 7/1, PLYMOUTH ROCK 11/4, POCKET SQUARE 9/4, PANIC ROOM 5/2, BAND PRACTICE 11/4, CAPE PALACE 4/11, PALACE PIER 11/8, IT'S GOOD TO LAUGH 8/13, ROMAN VISION 5/4, HURAIZ 2/1, ROYAL CRUSADE 5/6, VALKAN STAR 1/3, FESTIVE START 7/2, IMPRESSOR 13/8, SURF DANCER 4/7, MASTER MCGRATH 13/8, ESHAASY 13/8, PERSUASION 16/1, PASSION FOR FASHION 3/1, ANGEL OF DELIGHT 12/1, LAZULI 11/10, TAMMANI 9/2, COBRA EYE 15/8, MORISCO 6/1, ETHIC 4/6, ABSTEMIOUS 11/8, BOOMER 3/1, SEIZE THE TIME 2/1, TREBLE TREBLE 9/2, NASAIYM 6/4, DARK LADY 11/10, FLEETING PRINCE 11/10, WELL OF WISDOM 3/1, DR SIMPSOM 4/5, HOT TOUCH 7/2, MAN OF THE NIGHT 4/6, SO SHARP 11/10, IFFRAAZ 7/4, BILL NEIGH 13/8, DRAMATIC SANDS 6/4, DRAGON COMMAND 5/1, MIA DIVA 8/1, RAAHY 5/6, LINCOLN BLUE 7/2, HOMESPIN 6/4, FRED 10/1, PINATUBO 3/1, KING'S COMMAND 2/1, ETON COLLEGE 11/2, SHAMMAH 2/1, BIG CITY 5/1, THREAT 14/1, GOOD VIBES 11/1, MISTY GREY 14/1, ROSE OF KILDARE 6/5, RAYONG 7/2, LORD OF THE LODGE 8/1, WAR STORM 7/2, IFFRAAZ 4/1, OCASIO CORTEZ 7/4...

Monday, 16 December 2019

Robert Choc Thornton: Former NH Jockey and Apple Tree Stud


A big thank you to former NH jockey and now manager at Apple Tree Stud Robert Choc Thornton for answering questions for my blog.

Choc, have you always been involved in horse racing? 

No, I started at David Nicholson’s when I was 14, so probably about 27 years. 

At what age did you become a jockey? 

I was 16 when I received my first license. 

You have won so many big races including the Champion Hurdle, the Arkle Challenge Trophy and the Kim Muir to name just a few, which race sticks out in your mind? 

They are all important and very difficult to single one out. Champion chase was special and my 2 Arkles. I can tell you a race that I’m disappointed not to win and that is the National. A dream was unfulfilled. 

Did you have a favourite horse that was close to your heart? 

Again very difficult to pick. But if I had to I’d say My Way De Solzen. 

If you weren't a jockey what would you have done? 

Homeless! 

The day you retired due to injuries was a sad day for all involved in the racing game, did you have an idea what you would do next? 

Yes, I was fortunate to have direction Paul Dunkley and I had been planning the stud for quite some time. Although I was fortunate enough for the position to fall in my lap as when the initial injury struck I had no idea what the future held. 

You were dubbed the unluckiest jockey in racing after suffering countless injuries, now am a runner and injuries are the most depressing things ever, how did you come back each time?  

I hate that headline. It was the Daily Mail trying to sensationalise. I was very lucky and suffered no more than any other jockey that pursues what the loved. Sounds sadistic but I used to love pushing through pain barrier showing Doctors I could do what they said was not possible. I was told 12 months for a knee injury I got back in 5. So whatever I was told I’d half. 

Did you ever think about becoming a trainer am sure you would have been brilliant? 

No, I know I’m not sharp enough to be a trainer, I wouldn’t be good enough at the PR and as a jockey, I’d only seen the good side of training. All I had to do was get on and see how fast they could go.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Anything with my 2 boys William and Wolfie. Love taking them to Rugby. I love snowboarding, Whistler (Canada) is my fav destination. Also, I like to watch any sport played to a decent level.



You had a special relationship with the great Voy Por Ustedes, what was he like? 

He was actually a bit mad, but the best always are. At the time it felt like he was mine. 


Now you're a stud manager at Apple Tree Stud, what is a typical day? 

It depends on the time of year. Generally, I rise about 6am have an hour with my boys then go to work which is on my doorstep. I do all the office work and admin and spend a lot of time just watching the horses. You learn something new every day. I do all the tractor work, topping, hedge cutting, hay, etc and go racing if we have a runner. I spend plenty of time sifting through sales catalogues and attending sales both buying and selling, looking at pedigrees and allocating the right stallion to the broodmares we have. 

Can you give my readers a few horses to follow for the future? 

Yes, we have an unnamed colt at Archie Watsons Showcasing x Astonishing 17. He will hopefully be running over 6/7f in May June time. Gold Maze who was bred by AppleTree is entered in the Irish Derby you can get big prices for an each-way ante-post bet. 

Thanks again and good luck for the future.



Twitter: @Choc_Thornton

Apple Tree Stud

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