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Robert Thornton is one of the highest rated English jockeys competing in national hunt racing. Nicknamed ‘Choc’ by friends, Robert Thornton has made a name for himself by putting in a series of excellent performances at the Cheltenham Festival.
Robert Thornton races for the stable of English national hunt trainer Alan King. Thornton began competing full time in national hunt racing in the 1996/1997 season, riding 71 winners during his first season in the sport.
Since making his professional debut, Thornton’s performance has been consistent, if unspectacular, and he has consistently featured in the top 10 of the British Jumps Jockey Championship. Thornton’s most successful season to date was the 2007/2008-season, during which he broke the 100-winner barrier for the first time, by winning 105 of his 597 races.
Robert Thornton’s greatest achievements are all linked to the Cheltenham Festival, at which the English jockey has shown a knack for riding winners in major hurdles races. Thornton won his first Cheltenham Festival feature race in 2006, when he rode My Way de Solzen to victory in the World Hurdle.
Thornton has since won the Champion Hurdle, Triumph Hurdle and taken a second World Hurdle title. He has also achieved good results in some of the Cheltenham Festival’s most prestigious chases, winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Voy Por Ustedes in 2007, and the Arkle Challenge Trophy in the same year. Thornton won the Top Jockey title at the Cheltenham Festival in 2007, by riding 4 winners during the meeting.
Robert Thornton comes from a racing family, and is the youngest brother of jumps jockey, Andrew Thornton. Unlike several other successful jockeys in national hunt races, Robert Thornton shies away from the spotlight. He is reportedly engaged at present. He describes the worst moment of his career as being on board Strong Promise, during his fatal run at the 2000 Martell Cup in Liverpool.