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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Like father, like son: Freddie Mitchell sets sights on amateur championship

Freddie Mitchell returned at Ascot after a two-year spell as a jump jockey in France
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Globetrotting jockey Freddie Mitchell has taken out an amateur licence on his return to Britain as he bids to emulate his father’s success.

The 24-year-old has spent the last two years as a jump jockey in France with Guy Cherel and Hector De Laganeste but, after struggling with injuries, he has returned to the Flat.

Mitchell won the World Fegrentri Championship in 2013 at the age of 19, after riding winners in Doha and St Moritz among other international tracks, and then spent two seasons with Nicky Henderson.

His father Philip was regarded as the best amateur of his generation and is a tough act to follow back on the Flat, as he won the amateur riders’ Derby four times between 1967 and 1974, as well as being crowned champion amateur five times, and his son is relishing the challenge.

“I’d like to win the amateur Derby or the amateur championship so dad will stop telling me how he’s won them so many times,” he said. “He's been very supportive and so has my mum Patricia, who got me into horses when I wasn’t particularly keen!"

He added: “I spent a lot of time injured in France and just got to a point where I couldn’t see a future riding over jumps in ten or 15 years' time.”

Philip Mitchell: won the amateur riders' Derby at Epsom four times from 1967 to 1974

Mitchell needed a plate in his collarbone after a serious fall in October 2016, which was shattered the following February when a horse kicked him in the shoulder blade, and he came back to Britain for treatment due to a lack of rehabilitation facilities in France.

He returned to action at Ascot on Friday, his first ride since March, and finished second on Manton Grange for George Baker, a long-time supporter of the jockey.

“Over the winter I felt myself going racing and it felt like more of a job than a career,” said Mitchell “I’d just get it done and go home, but with Ascot I was really looking forward to it.”

Mitchell, who currently works with Ben de Haan, will ride for a number of trainers, fitting it in around his job in Lambourn and desire to work in television, having had his first gig with Racing UK last Tuesday.


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I’d like to win the amateur Derby or the amateur championship so dad will stop telling me how he’s won them so many times
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