From the Borders to the racetracks of Suffolk and Yorkshire, Jason Hart has given every indication in his first season as a full-time professional flat racing jockey that he’s a champion in the making, writes Alexander McLeman.
Following a successful amateur career with Yorkshire-based trainer, Declan Carroll, where he was named apprentice jockey of the year in 2013, Hawick-raised Hart has begun his first professional season in surprisingly fine form.
He has ridden 16 winners, 14 second and eight third-place finishes from 139 runs in his first two months, earning himself a win percentage of 11:51.
It’s an achievement he is thrilled with, but he has his sights set higher.
Hart told us: “I’ve had 16 winners, about a 12% win-rate, which is great given it’s my first full professional season.
“After a bit of a slow start I have started to race more, win and perform. I’ve been getting noticed a lot more.
“Big names like Michael Bell and some of the Newmarket trainers are taking notice, which is great, and will hopefully translate into more rides and winners.”
With six months of the flat racing season remaining, Hart admitted there is still a long way to go, but he is confident that if he can maintain his early form he will be in prime position to make it a remarkable maiden season on the circuit.
He said: “I am still only 20, so my career is only just starting, but to have achieved what I have already is great.
“There has been a learning curve coming from the amateur ranks, but I feel I am going along well. It is about maintaining confidence, building contacts and working hard, and I feel that what I have managed to do so far will set me up for a good remainder of the year.
“At the beginning of the season I set a goal of 50 winners from about 500 rides. I believe that target is achievable and hopefully if I can maintain my form from now until the end of the year I’ll get there.”