VETERAN jockey from Saltcoats Robert 'Rab' Havlin has told of the "humbling" response he has received following his first Group One victory.

The 49-year-old ended a 31-year wait for a Group One success when he rode to victory on board Commissioning in the bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket on Friday, October 7.

It came less than a week after he came agonisingly close to achieving the feat in the Royal Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at the same venue, being pipped in the final stages.

Though Havlin remained humble himself, putting part of his succes down to legendary jockey Frankie Dettori's 14-day ban, as the local man would usually ride second to him.

He told the Herald: “It was a relief to get it, as you can imagine, riding second to Frankie Dettori, he doesn’t really leave many stones unturned when it comes to group ones.

“So it was handy that he got a 14 day ban then another five day ban on top of that which took in a couple of the group ones.

“We were second in one then ended up winning the next one, so that was good, Frankie is one of my best pals so he was absolutely delighted for me.”

Dettori cheered on Havlin to victory, as he served the final day of his racing ban, and told ITV racing of his delight at the result.

He said: "He's been a massive part of Clarehaven for over 20 years.

"He's 49 years old and has never won a Group One, so I could not miss this, to watch one of my best friends win a Group One.

"Rab is a key part of our team, most of my success is down to Rab as he's prepared most of my best horses all my life. He's a personal best friend and I'm delighted for him - finally, he's done it!"

Though as Havlin explained himself, there have been plenty of well wishers following his success, and he told the Herald how hectic the last week has been.

He commented: “The messages were unreal, I think I replied to about 300 odd messages that night.

“I didn’t really think it was that big a deal, obviously it was my own personal little goal, but the well wishes from around Europe and everywhere else that I’ve had is really good, really surprising, it’s quite humbling.”

However, not content with just one Group One victory, Havlin will lo to double his tally tomorrow, October 14, in the Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot, though this time he will have to get the better of Dettori once more.

He added: “Hopefully I can go on and win more, the week before I was second in the Sun Chariot, so that was soul destroying because I only hit the front a furlong out and got done.

“I’ve got another chance tomorrow (October 15) on Mimiku, I think she’s got a big chance in the Phillis and Mares at Champions Day in Ascot, so fingers crossed – that Frankie’s picked the wrong one.”