Bargoed-born David Probert, a graduate of the British Racing School in Newmarket, had his first ride in public on Tiny Tim, trained by Andrew Balding, in a lowly banded stakes race at Lingfield on December 13, 2006. He rode his first winner, Mountain Pass, trained by Bernard Llewellyn, in an equally woeful selling stakes race at Wolverhampton nearly a year later. However, from such humble beginnings, under the mentorship of former champion trainer Ian Balding, he made rapid progress, such that in 2008 he shared the apprentice jockeys’ championship with fellow Kingsclere apprentice William Buick.
Thereafter, it would be fair to say that Probert has enjoyed a successful career without hitting the heights that, at one point, seemed likely. In recent seasons, Andrew Balding has tended to entrust his ‘big guns’ to three-time champion jockey Oisin Murphy, such that, more often than not, Probert has found himself playing second fiddle to his younger rival. Of course, Murphy is currently banned until February, 2023, so that dynamic may well change but, for now, Probert is still without a Group 1 winner to his name.
Nevertheless, Probert celebrated 1,000 winners on British soil when riding Tronada, trained by Alan King, to victory at Lingfield on June 8, 2020. In 2021, he enjoyed far and away the most successful season of his career so far, with 169 winners, including a 257/1 five-timer at his home course, Ffos Las, on August 11, and over £2 million in prize money for the first time. Between May 1 and October 16, he rode 93 winners, thereby finishing fourth in the Flat Jockeys’ Championship. Probert continued in excellent form over the winter and was crowned champion all-weather jockey at Newcastle on Good Friday, 2022.