A stellar career and a spell in prison: what you need to know about jockey Charlie Deutsch

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  • Charlie Deutsch is a talented young jockey rising through the professional National Hunt ranks, but 2018 was a rollercoaster year for the rider after he found himself, regretfully, on the wrong side of the law and convicted of dangerous driving. Following a spell in prison, Charlie has his life — and career — back on track and has some notable victories to his name.

    A top job

    The 25-year-old lives in Gloucestershire with his girlfriend Meg Jones and rides predominantly for National Hunt trainer Venetia Williams, who is based in Kings Caple, Herefordshire.

    His spell in prison

    His route through the professional jockey ranks has so far been rather unorthodox following a spell in prison in 2018.

    In May 2018, Charlie pleaded guilty to dangerous driving while over the drink-drive limit and escaping police custody, something he “deeply regrets”.

    He served two-and-a-half months of a 10-month sentence in Bristol prison, during which he had time to “think about things”.

    While inside, Charlie landed a job within the prison gym, which helped him maintain a good level of fitness. He was also allowed a copy of Racing Post each Saturday.

    Childhood dreams

    Charlie spent his childhood hunting with the Heythrop and was also a keen member of the Pony Club. Growing up he dreamed of being either a jockey or a huntsman.

    Keeping faith

    The young jockey left school aged 16 and worked for trainer Charlie Longsdon, before starting under the tutelage of Venetia Williams. Despite falling in his first ride, Venetia maintained faith in Charlie’s ability in the saddle and continued to put him up on her horses, boosting him up the ranks, and the pair have enjoyed plenty of success since.

    Success in the saddle

    Some of Charlie’s biggest successes in the saddle have come aboard Venetia Williams-trained horses, including the Listed Lanzarote Hurdle on Yala Enki in 2016, with whom he also won the 2018 Grand National Trial Chase, and the Ladbrokes Handicap Chase at Newbury also in 2018 on Aso. But his biggest career victory to-date came in February 2022 when he landed his first Grade One in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown riding L’Homme Presse. This seven-year-old, who is another to be trained by Venetia Williams is one of the favourites to win the Turners’ Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

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