Woke up this morning still revisiting the question I had posed myself the last few days, and it has led me to some interesting findings regarding Champion Jockeys vs winning classics…. Since 1993 there have been 45 different jockeys who have won an English Classic. Not one “Northern based” jockey has won a Classic during that time. Paul Hanagan won the Epsom Oaks on Taghrooda in 2014 for John Gosden but not whilst based in north primarily.
Top jockeys yet to win a Classic are Silvestre de Sousa, Oisin Murphy, Jim Crowley, James Doyle and Daniel Tudhope. The top five in last years PJA Championships are still Classic Virgins, to coin a phrase.
I expect Oisin Murphy and James Doyle to ride a Classic winner in the near future based on their profile . De Sousa is still very underrated in my book despite his jockey championships but he seems to be often overlooked for some of the Marquee rides.
Personally it is a bit like when Sir Tony McCoy had gone years without ever winning the Grand National, Anthony actually went to Aintree that year , and that was the sole logic, probably the best jump jockey ever, to not win this race, surely cannot retire without hitting the bulls eye, sure enough “Don’t push it obliged at 16-1 that day”. De Sousa is the stand out jockey over past five years who has the temperament to succeed at the highest level. A phrase I came across the other day was “Prolific beats perfect” and I guess it rings true, stylistically SDS isn’t the best jockey to watch , Moore/Doyle/Tudhope/Murphy and arguably the young Jason Watson is a more slick pilot, but SDS is Prolific in every sense, gets where water cant to ride a winner and does it in volume, huge credit that surely puts him in the box seat to retain his crown, who knows maybe the classic comes this year too.
Danny Tudhope is a superb jockey that if based in the south would surely be picking up more live Classic rides. The fact he isn’t is a really limiting factor at this top level. Crowley is a consummate professional who deserves success at this level but perhaps this is now unlikely.
The one caveat I would throw into the mix is the emergence of twice Derby winning jockey Joseph O Brien as a challenger for the Classics. His armoury is mighty and it would not surprise me if he brings home the top Epsom prize before too long. His success is likely to see Irish jockeys getting their share of the spoils ahead of their English counterparts particularly in Derby and 2000gns.
The Cheltenham Festival has been, gone and the flat season is well and truly in the crosshair, all of those fresh 2yr olds in the starting gates rattling to get on with it will be upon us soon enough. It was good to see vintage performances from Altior and Tiger Roll but for me Bryony Frost showcasing her expertise on the amazingly gutsy Frodon (how many times have we heard this) was the memory to take away, so gutsy. The farcical ban of the jockey who rode his horse out for third place beggars belief, talk about stewarding from an ivory tower, your horse, your betting slip, your connections you want the best place at Cheltenham, end of.
We enter Rolo (Lukoutoldmakezebak) in the NE1Racing Club colours at Newcastle next Friday evening 29thMarch. He ran a strong race last time out and thanks to Robbie Walsh who rode a steady race on him to finish second behind a tasty looking Jim Goldie visitor who has franked that form in a better race since. Eagle eyed watchers would note that we flagged up the very quick time recorded by Jai Hanuman in beating us on our first run a couple of weeks ago. He has won twice since the last time carring 13lb more than when he beat us, the handicapper will be seething. Rolo is knocking on the door for sure and it must be a matter of time for him, all things being equal. Hopefully Jamie Gormley will be able to renew his acquaintance with him.
Our exciting 2yo filly has gone on her spring holidays to be broken in now, she is with the reliable Chris Dennis in Darlington so she is in very safe hands. Hopefully she will take to things well and begin her work on her return delivering the club with exciting times, as we predict. Club members are going to be introduced to her soon, and that’s when the buzz in the club will start to roll , brighter weather, turf season on the doorstep, this is what we love about our sport.
Again, we are the most welcoming racing club and we would love to engage new members if you feel this is something you want to get involved in. we are all about the inclusive feel, togetherness of a club where each member is valued on and off the course.
One of our latest members Trevor, has just finished the “Dark Skies” Marathon at Kielder , tough course and ran in a strong time so big well done from everyone at NE1 ,that takes some seriously mental toughness and the fitness needed goes without saying, Well done Trevor!
The NE1 racing team
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