The 2016 Flat Jockeys’ Championship has developed into a head-to-head between current champion Silvestre de Sousa and Jim Crowley, who has emerged as a major challenger to de Sousa’s crown in recent weeks.
A sensational 245-1 four-timer at Epsom on Bank Holiday Monday has catapulted de Sousa back into the lead on 81 winners, two more than Crowley, who had hit the front after registering a treble at Windsor on Saturday evening.
With six weeks of the title race still to run, bookmakers can hardly split the pair, with SDS best odds 2.0, and Crowley best odds 2.1, and there looks sure to be plenty more toing and froing as the pair slug it out. De Sousa heads back to Epsom for three rides on Tuesday, while Crowley travels to Goodwood where he also has three booked rides. The pair are due to go head-to-head at Lingfield on Wednesday.
Godolphin rider James Doyle (best odds 34.0) is currently in third place on 65 winners, 16 behind de Sousa, a gap that is surely too big to bridge, especially given Doyle’s retainer commitments. Three-time champion Ryan Moore (best odds 51.0) has ruled himself out of contention as he focuses on riding in the top races.