THE flat jockeys’ championship is dominating those valuable newspaper column inches. And rightly so. Jim Crowley vs Silvestre De Sousa has become more than a sideshow and is reminiscent of the titanic Nicholls v Mullins scrap to be top trainer at the end of the jumps season in April. The race to be top flat trainer, however, has been somewhat overshadowed, partly because it is based on total prize money for the calendar year. I reckon there’s scope for the authorities to revamp this competition to generate a little more interest among the betting public. But if being crowned champion trainer was down to the number of winners, then we would be witnessing a humungous tete-a-tete between two Yorkshire behemoths.
Mark Johnston has trained 156 winners and is currently two ahead of Malton master Richard Fahey. Richard Hannon has had 138 winners. All three have accrued prize money of more than £2million, which is no mean feat, but they have no chance of catching Aidan O Brien who has clocked up an amazing £5.8million despite just training 22 winners.
Fahey could actually overtake Johnston today as he saddles 13 runners, incredible for what is a workaday Tuesday on the racing front. His filly FREE AT LAST should win the 2.30 at Thirsk. She caught the eye on her debut when she failed to get a clear run after missing the break. This looks a weak race. She is around the 2/1 mark.
The other one I like today is ARDAMIR (5.10 Chepstow), who I thought had a great chance in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival but disappointed. He has shown plenty of ability in three runs on the flat and has been given a mark of 80 for his handicap debut. He is best priced 5/1 with Stan James. Meanwhile, you should check out the Monster Bet site if you want to learn about the form of horses before you put your money on.
(All prices correct at the time of writing)