Chris Catlin was last in action at Chelmsford in February
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By David Milnes 7:49AM 13 JUL 2016
FORMER champion apprentice Chris Catlin has joined the growing list of jockeys to have retired this year after handing in his licence to join Godolphin as a work-rider.
The 34-year-old, who rode 1,218 winners in Britain and many others overseas, has linked up with Saeed Bin Suroor’s Newmarket operation after falling out of love with race-riding.
Catlin, who registered 71 winners when winning the apprentice crown in 2001, enjoyed plenty of success with Mick Channon in the early part of his career, not long after leaving the British Racing School in 1998. He was later champion jockey on the all-weather in successive seasons, 2007-08 and 2008-09, when he experienced many tussles with Jamie Spencer.
His biggest win came on the Channon-trained Royal Power in the German 2,000 Guineas in 2006, while he enjoyed his best year in 2008 when notching 138 winners.
‘Fallen out of love with race-riding’
Barnet-born Catlin had his last ride at Chelmsford in February for Rae Guest, who has been one of his biggest supporters in recent years.
Catlin said: “I don’t have a licence at the moment as I’m taking some time out from race-riding, which I’ve rather fallen out of love with in recent years. The lifestyle that goes with it involving all the travelling was getting a bit much and the opportunity came along to join Godolphin, so I took it.
“Saeed and the team are really nice to work with and I’m riding some nice horses so I’m enjoying life again.”
Godolphin welcome Catlin
Reflecting on his career, he added: “I think I’ve ridden approaching 1,300 winners in total, having first started out with Ken Ivory before joining Mick Channon. My biggest win was in the German 2,000 Guineas but I won a number of Group 3s, including on Mick’s old horse Imperial Dancer.”
Catlin joins a team of ex-jockeys riding work for Godolphin who include Oscar Urbina, Ashley Hamblett, Willie Ryan and Daragh O’Donoghue.
Bin Suroor said: “Chris is a great addition to Godolphin and helps us a lot in the mornings with the feedback he gives after he has ridden work. He’s a very good jockey, a very good work-rider and it’s great to have him on the team.”