JOCKEY Steve Drowne ended his 27-year riding career on a high with victory at Lingfield on his final ride.
Drowne, 45, won the July Cup in 2007 on Met By Moonlight‘s sire Sakhee’s Secret and the filly is trained by Ron Hodges, who helped the jockey on the road to a successful career in the saddle.
The multiple Group 1-winning jockey had to come wide on the 6-1 shot, but quickened in good style to win emphatically by two and three-quarter lengths from the 11-8 favourite Shackled N Drawn.
Drowne said: “That was nice. Thanks to Ron as well. He said a fortnight ago it would be my last and it’s worked out great.
“I started with Chuck Spares and then was with Ron Holder briefly. When I moved to Ron’s that’s when I really got going.
“He had a few good sprinters – Hard To Figure and the like. It’s lovely to finish where we started.”
Reflecting on his career that yielded more than 1,400 winners, Drowne told At The Races: “It’s been a long time – 27 years – and that’s it today.
Matt Chapman’s TV tips
1.25 Cheltenham – Willoughby Court: ‘He’s a class act who jumps well and will take all the beating’ (add to your betslip)
1.40 Musselburgh – Indian Temple: ‘Consistent without winning recently but should be involved’ (add to your betslip)
2.00 Cheltenham – Quite By Chance: ‘Tough handicap mark but this trip and track is ideal for him’ (add to your betslip)
2.15 Musselburgh – Sir Chauvelin: ‘Fit from the Flat and could take all the beating’ (add to your betslip)
2.35 Cheltenham – Red Rising: ‘Improving horse and his stamina will come in handy here’ (add to your betslip)
3.10 Cheltenham – Wholestone: ‘Every chance of bouncing back to his best here on his day’ (add to your betslip)
“I’ve been doing it so long and you know this is the last time you are going to drive to the races to ride. It’s strange, but everything has to come to an end.
“I’ve no regrets I’ve called it a day. I’m happy with how it’s gone and that I’m finishing in one piece.
“The highlights have to be my Group 1s. Sakhee’s Secret was quite a big one. It was a big sprint race and he was well fancied. I’ve had some big winners.”
Drowne rode for many top trainers including Mick Channon, Hughie Morrison, Roger Charlton, John Gosden and the late Geoff Wragg.
His first Group One success was Queen’s Logic for the Channon stable in the Cheveley Park Stakes in October 2001 and his last came on Jwala in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August 2013 for Robert Cowell.
He won the Prix de l’Abbaye on the Charlton-trained pair of Patavellian in 2003 and Avonbridge two years later.