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The Flat Jockeys’ Championship – Who Are The Leading Contenders?

A different name is guaranteed to lift this season’s Flat Jockeys’ Championship compared to last. We have analysed five of the top contenders to win the 2022 title below.

William Buick

Runner-up last season, WILLIAM BUICK only failed by two victories to reel in Oisin Murphy last term.

With Godolphin rising to become one of the most powerful operations in Britain once again last year, Buick was aboard a number of champions in 2021. He was still in with an outside chance of overhauling Murphy on the final day, but is now odds-on favourite to make amends this season.

With the likes of Adayar and Hurricane Lane set to return for their four-year-old seasons and Native Trail one of many potential Classic contenders, Buick is set to be prominent in many of the biggest meetings this season. However, as demonstrated recently, he is warming up for the season in prolific form.

He has a truly exceptional 39% strike rate in the last two weeks with 16 winners from 41 rides. Seven of those came at Newmarket’s Craven meeting and such is his and Charlie Appleby’s dominance, there may be no curtailing that percentage any time soon.

Tom Marquand

Perhaps Buick’s nearest challenger will be TOM MARQUAND, third in the race last season. He was the only jockey outside of the top two to notch over 100 winners last term.

Unlike his main rival, Marquand is not officially retained by any yard or owner. As such, he rides freelance, with his talents picked up most frequently by William Haggas. Ed Walker is another who regularly picks Marquand for rides.

Alenquer could be a key horse ahead of the 2022 season. Very useful last term, he earned an excellent win in the Winter Derby from Lord North, who went on to win a Group 1 next time out. If Alenquer continues his progress, he could be a flagbearer for Marquand’s talents.

Known for his trips to Australia in the off-season, there are few jockeys who work harder in the pursuit of winners than Tom Marquand. If Buick is ever occupied with his jet-setting role with Godolphin, expect him to take advantage.

Silvestre De Sousa

The only man previewed here with a jockeys’ title already under his belt. Indeed, SILVESTRE DE SOUSA has won it on three occasions in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

The Brazilian endured lengthy spells on the sidelines last season and as such, the 2021 season passed him by from a championship perspective. However, he is very much back for this season and though his primary backing has come from Andrew Balding in recent years, things may be different this term.

He will continue as King Power’s number one, but his 67 rides so far in 2022 have come courtesy of 26 different trainers. He is a man for every occasion.

That said, being in such demand is a blessing and a curse. He will not fail to pick up the spare rides he may require, but he is perhaps going to need to graft to be in with a shout of the jockeys’ championship.

Silvestre De Sousa will be hoping for an injury free 2022 in order to challenge for the jockeys’ title.

David Probert

Another name looking for his first title will be David Probert, fourth in the championship last season. His 93 winners came from a total of 639 rides.

In the absence of De Sousa for much of 2021, Probert took advantage by picking up the majority of the rides for Andrew Balding, which he has continued to do so far this term. He has operated at a 25% strike rate in conjunction with Balding and can utilise that new status for more rides and more winners.

The now three-year-old Sandrine may be one of his better chances for Group race success, as she won three from five as a juvenile. The yard will be hoping for similar success with the youngest age group this season too.

If able to pick up rides elsewhere, Probert is likely to be much busier in 2022. That could keep him in the hunt for this title.

Hollie Doyle

It would be quite something if newly-weds Tom Marquand and HOLLIE DOYLE were to remain in the battle for the jockeys’ championship for much of 2022.

Doyle herself was fifth in the championship with 87 winners in 2021. 46 of those came for Archie Watson, coming at a 21% strike rate. The continued backing and confidence of that yard will only aid her in a challenge for the top riders’ prize.

However, it is Alan King’s Trueshan with whom she struck up such a winning partnership last season. The pair plundered two Group 1s last season and have already got off to a successful start this year.

She was also entrusted with odd rides for Aidan O’Brien as well as a winning one on Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Saffron Beach. She is well-placed for similar bonuses to come her way this year too.