As the career of Eventmasters horse racing hospitality packages ambassador AP McCoy comes to a conclusion, the contenders for his champion jockey crown are gearing up for the most open season for 20 years. We take a look at who could become the first man to become champion after McCoy retires from the saddle.
Johnson is probably the unluckiest man in the history of the sport. He has ridden nearly 2800 winners and has finished second to McCoy in the jockeys title for 15 of the past 20 seasons. In any other era he would probably be considered one of the greatest jockeys of all-time. He is one of the most popular riders anywhere in the world and nobody would begrudge Johnson the title. But with the likes of Tom Scudamore and Sam Twiston-Davies to compete with he may once again play second fiddle.
Twiston-Davies has the advantage of riding for the most powerful stable in the country. As number one jockey for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and he will surely have plenty of good ammunition for the season ahead. Enjoyed a fine Cheltenham Festival guiding Dodging Bullets to victory in the Champion Chase. His association with Nicholls and his father Nigel Twiston-Davies probably makes him favourite for the title.
Tom Scudamore, the son of eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore, is enjoying his best season in the saddle with 149 winners in the bag. He is on-track to finish second in the jockeys title standings and looks primed to make a big push for the title next season with the powerful David Pipe stable behind him. Has shown his temperament for the big occasion in the last couple of years, particularly when riding Dynaste to victory in the 2014 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The two-time champion jockey of Ireland has been touted as McCoy’s replacement and will be a major contender for the title. Geraghty is the stable jockey for Nicky Henderson and could have a lot of top rides next season. Has shown over the years that he can handle the pressure of big races and festivals, but can he do what McCoy has done day in and day out?
Gavin Sheehan has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks in the last couple of years, from champion conditional jockey to Cheltenham Festival winner aboard Cole Harden. Riding for the emerging Warren Greatrex yard has given Sheehan great experience, and he has caught the eye of McCoy’s current boss JP McManus. While the title in 2015/16 may be slightly out of his reach he will certainly will be in the reckoning before too long.
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