Sam Thomas was born in 1984 in Abergavenny, Wales and as he didn’t come from a racing background had to work hard to convince his parents to allow him to attend the British Racing School.
One of his first racing jobs was for trainer Venetia Williams at the age of 16. Thomas later joined the stable of top national hunt trainer Paul Nicholls, a move that presented him with a great opportunity to race on some of the most talented racehorses in the sport.
And the major race wins came in thick and fast starting in 2007 when he won the Betfair Chase on Kauto Star. Fast forward a year and Thomas won another of the major chases, by taking the Tingle Creek Chase with Twist Magic.
But the biggest achievement of Sam Thomas’ career to date was his win in the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup when he paired up with Denman. Running a perfect race he beat out stable mate Kauto Star to claim the most prestigious Grade 1 chase in National Hunt racing.
In that time he also ran in three Grand Nationals – 2006 on Silver Birch but fell at the 15th, in 2008 on Mr Pointment but pulled up just two fences from the finish and again in 2009 on Eurotrek before pulling up at the 17th.
In 2009 Thomas was appointed stable jockey to Gloucestershire trainer Tom George but there were no further Grand National rides from 2010 to 2012, so in 2013 it was comeback time for jockey Sam Thomas as he renewed his partnership with the Paul Nicholls yard when he partnered What A Friend on April 6th 2013.
Success was not on the cards in 2013 however and Thomas had to pull-up at fence 19, the open ditch.