Invaluable experience riding abroad – Chris Douglas
Over the years, jockeys have migrated from Caymanas Park to ply their trade on North American racetracks. Some have found the going tough, while others are very upbeat about the experience garnered and the opportunity to showcase their talent with successful stints.
Christopher Douglas is one of those riders who sought better opportunities on the international racing circuit. On Saturday, March 25, 2023, Douglas returned to competitive riding at Caymanas Park for the first time in nine years following riding stints at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada, and Fort Erie Racetrack in Ontario, Canada.
“The last time I rode here, I think it was in 2014. You know, we jockeys migrated for greener grass. It is always good to come back here from time to time and ride, as this is our home ground, and so it is a wonderful feeling to be back,” Douglas told The Supreme Racing Guide.
“While I am happy to be back, I won’t be here for too long. I am here for business purposes, and maybe I will be here for about two months or so. But I am happy to be here, and I am always grateful,” said Douglas, who had two mounts last Saturday in Storm A Come and Legal Bomb, both trained by Patrick Lynch.
Douglas, who started riding in Canada in 2009, rode a total of three winners, three second-placed finishes, and three third-placed finishes from 102 mounts with earnings of CAN$104,790.
All of Douglas’s winners came at the Fort Erie racetrack in 2019. He won his first race aboard Makemineamanhattan on August 13, before riding a double on October 6 aboard Sophias Dream and Lenches Gimme.
“I didn’t win any races at Woodbine, but I ran a couple of seconds there. Despite having only three winners to name on the international scene, the experience garnered over the years is invaluable. I mean, I have learned a lot and I have become a better rider over the years.
“I do wish I had more winners, but I am grateful for the three that I won. The experience is wonderful, and I still give thanks for everything and the support,” Douglas said.
“I was born into racing. My mother was an owner, my father was a groom, and I had an uncle who was a groom and another uncle who was a jockey. So you could see the bloodline. I got my licence in 1996,” he explained.
“My first winner was aboard Purple Rain, and I couldn’t sleep that night as I was so excited about the win. The best horse that I have ridden was Crucial Appeal as he ran the track record at that time over the straight the first time of running.
“I have won over 100 races and rode for trainers such as Wayne DaCosta, Billy Williams, Kenneth Mattis, Anthony Nunes, Morris Powell, and Willoughby Simpson, just to name a few, and so I have no regrets about coming into racing, the 47-year-old Douglas said.