Andrew Thornton

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Andrew Thornton on The Listener, March 13, 2005

Andrew Thornton is a National Hunt jockey.

Early life[edit]

He was born on October 28, 1972 in Cleveland and schooled at Barnard Castle School in County Durham. He is not related to another English jockey, Robert Thornton.

Riding career[edit]

He rides mainly for Caroline Bailey and Seamus Mullins, he was stable jockey for Robert Alner for many years as well as riding for plenty of other trainers over the years. 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]. Thornton rode his 1000th winner on Kentford Myth at Wincanton on 26 December 2016.[1]

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.

Notable horses[edit]

Thornton has ridden many horses including Cool Dawn, Gingembre and See More Business to victory in many a big race as well as 8-time winner French Holly who won two Grade 1s and only just failed to win the Champion Hurdle in 1999 when beaten by Istabraq. His death in a schooling accident in the Winter of 1999 was a major disappointment to Thornton.

Achievements and Awards[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Grade 1 winners[edit]

Other notable winners[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ King, Andrew. "Thornton knees up after riding 1,000th winner". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 January 2017.