The race is on for the 2020 Flat Jockeys Championship

Most of us have our preferences when it comes to horse racing, and with more betting markets available than ever before, we’re often spoilt for choice. Some of us focus on the winning form of horses, others carefully scrutinize overall race performances and statistics, looking for every edge we can find before laying down our wagers. However, often overlooked by many punters is the quality of jockeys riding these magnificent thoroughbreds. In the midst of what is an exciting British flat racing season, the race for the 2020 Flat Jockeys Championship could go right down to the wire.

Typically decided over 24 weeks of the campaign, since 2015 the traditional start of the annual flat racing campaign is the Guineas Meeting at Newmarket, which features Group 1 British Classics including the 1000 Guineas and 2000 Guineas.

The exciting conclusion of the flat racing campaign takes place during the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse, which remains the richest event in terms of prize money up for grabs. There are six headline races at this meeting: British Champions Long Distance Cup, British Champions Sprint Stakes, British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Champions Stakes, and the Balmoral Handicap. By the time the next Champions Day meeting is held in November, the battle for the Flat Jockeys Championship this year could already be decided. Nevertheless, until then the competition remains fierce and amongst the leading jockeys, quite literally one of several candidates could earn themselves the prestigious title.

According to the latest horse racing betting odds, reigning 2019 champion and current leader Oisin Murphy is 1.36 favorite to win the 2020 Flat Jockeys Championship. By August 5th, Irishman had achieved 64 wins from 375 rides this season. That said, Tom Marquand at 4.50 is also enjoying a strong campaign, having ridden 55 winners from 359 races by the same date.

Either way, with so many races yet to come before November, both jockeys will undoubtedly be looking over their shoulders and two other potential challengers. William Buick at 5.50 has a strike rate of 24% listed by the Professional Jockeys Association, thanks to having ridden 52 winners from 219 races. Meanwhile, Ben Curtis remains an interesting outsider at 11.00 and has also surpassed the fifty-winners benchmark, thanks to 51 victories from 333 races by August 5th.

Winning the Flat Jockeys Championship remains a highly sought after achievement amongst the best riders, placing them amongst a pantheon of true greats. Past winners over the last fifty years include legends of the sport such as Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery, Frankie Dettori and Kieren Fallon. Over the last several years, the most successful jockeys have been Richard Hughes of Ireland and Silvestre de Sousa of Brazil, each with three championships apiece. Given his age, a second consecutive championship for Oisin Murphy would be an exceptional achievement for the 24-year-old, who genuinely has the potential to dominate the flat racing scene for years to come. However, given there are so many talented jockeys around at the moment, that’s what makes betting on jockeys all the more exciting for keen-eyed punters.

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