First Win for Knott

All jockeys, whether professional or amateur, win at least a few races during their careers in the horse racing industry. They place a number of times and accept defeat when it comes their way. But for forty-four year old Anthony Knott, defeat is all he has experienced during his career as a jockey, until Thursday, 20 November 2008, when he won his very first horse racing event. Even though Knott might not have enjoyed glory and countless victories, his determination and love for the sport has finally paid off and brought him to his long awaited victory.

After twenty-eight years of being an amateur jockey, one might have expected Anthony Knott to have raked in at least a few victories, but throughout his career he has had to settle for last place and finished in fifth position twice. Many times he has felt despondent and wanted to retire, but his great dreams of winning a race kept him going, turning to the story of Seabiscuit for inspiration and hope to carry on racing.

Knott bought a racehorse from trainer Colin Tizzard at a reduced price, as the six year old had been lame for a year. He patiently nursed Wise Men Say back to health, and entered him into the Novice’s Handicap Hurdle, which was hosted by the Wincanton Racecourse in Somerset. When he heard the crowd screaming in excitement to him as he led the field for the first time, Knott almost forgot that he had not completed the race, and got up to wave to the crowd. He realized, just in time, that he was being chased down by a fellow competitor and quickly got back into the saddle to finish the race. Fortunately, Wise Men Say was able to hold onto the lead, and carried Anthony Knott over the finish line in first position for the first time.

And now with the elusive victory finally in the bag, Knott has decided to retire, saying that all he ever wanted was a win. He will now let Tizzard’s son ride Wise Men Say in upcoming events. He also commented to the media after the race: "I'm over the moon - 28 years is a long time to wait for a victory. I just wanted to win one race and I've done it now so I think I'll leave it at that."

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