A TEENAGER has realised his dream of becoming a successful jockey.

Jason Watson left school at 13 to be home-schooled by his parents, allowing him to concentrate on his horse riding “obsession”.

The 18-year-old won the prestigious Goodwood Steward’s Cup atop 20-1 shot Gifted Master on Saturday, pipping Justanotherbottle to first place in a photo finish.

Describing how he got into the sport, the former Priory School pupil said: “My parents got me into it initially, they took me down to a stables near where I live when I was about five years old.”

“I’m very fortunate to have been surrounded by all the right people, and to have been in the right places at the right time.

“My parents and my trainers have given me such massive support, there’s no chance I’d be where I am today without their help.

His mum Jenny said: “We are absolutely over the moon, we are so proud of him.

She added: “He was five years old when he first sat on a horse.

“The trainer said to him, ‘you know, you could really have something’ and to be honest I don’t think he’s looked back from there.

“He’s done really well because he’s not from a typical racing background, not a privileged background at all, but he’s worked his way up from working in the stables and now he’s winning things, it’s special to see.

“He’s worked really hard, but he has a lot of people to thank too.”

She mentioned Ray Goldstein of Hamsey Riding School in Lewes, Jerry Enwright and Suzie Smith of Lewes Racing Club, Paddy Butler and Michelle Bryant, and Gary and Hayley Moore as influential figures who had all had a hand in her son’s development.

Jason hopes to maintain his lead in the apprentice jockey standings to become champion apprentice at the end of the season. He said: “To win that race is a great feeling, it was close and I thought maybe we’d lost it, but we held on. You want to win the big races and this is certainly one of them.

Jason was back in the winners’ enclosure on Wednesday when he won the Ann Ryan 50th Birthday Celebration Selling Handicap as well as the Download The Marathonbet App Nursery race, riding Bright Saffron and Tinto respectively.