Sussex jockey Jim Crowley moved closer to clinching the champion jockey title with a double at Goodwood.
Crowley begna the day 14 clear of nearest rival Silvestre De Sousa - and ended it 15 clear. With only six days to go until the contest is over, Crowley looks uncatchable.
This has been a fantastic year and the racing has really stepped up a grade. There has been high quality racing across the entire year and the Season Finale has been further evidence of that.Alex Eade
And while he prepares to celebrate one title, a Goodwood crown went to Richard Hannon, despite the trainer having no success at the track’s season finale on Sunday afternoon.
His nearest rivals for the Dick Hern Trophy - awarded to the trainer with the most wins at the course over the season - were Mark Johnston and Mick Channon and although they managed a win each, it was not enough to catch Hannon with nine Goodwood wins this year.
Alex Eade, general manager of Goodwood Racecourse, said it had been a hugely memorable season.
He said: “This has been a fantastic year and the racing has really stepped up a grade. There has been high quality racing across the entire year and the Season Finale has been further evidence of that.”
The meeting opened with the annual chance for jump jockeys to test themselves on Goodwood’s undulating track and the Eve Trakway Alderbrook Stakes went to Arthur McBride (7/1), ridden by Dave Crosse for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies - who just a week earlier was enjoying success up the road at Fontwell.
Channon, who began the afternoon still with an outside chance of winning the Dick Hern Trophy, was celebrating his seventh Goodwood winner of 2016 when De Sousa guided home Gold Award in theEve Trakway Maiden Auction Stakes.
Channon described the horse as a ‘big baby’ and hoped this win meant the penny had dropped to signal a promising three-year-old campaign next season.
De Sousa is Crowley’s only rival - and even then he is a fairly-distant one - for the title of champion flat jockey of 2016 and 35 minutes after De Sousa’s win, Crowley restored his 14-strong lead in the championship with a battling win on Colonel Frank (10/3) for trainer Ed Walker in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery Stakes.
Crowley completed a brisk double on 14/1 shot Lady Macapa, trained by Angmering-based William Knight, in the Happy Birthday Tony Pannett Stakes.
Monarchs Glen, a son of Frankel, trained by John Gosden, was 1/3 favourite to land the Hildon Water Irish EBF Maiden Stakes and didn’t disappoint under Frankie Dettori after hitting the front early, holding off the challenge of stablemate Pealer.
A 12/1 win for Soldier In Action in the Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group Stakes under Joe Fanning came too late to allow trainer Johnston to catch Hannon in the Dick Hern Trophy standings.
Goodwood’s last race of the season, the Season Finale Stakes, was won by Richard Fahey’s Dark Devil (6/1), ridden by David Nolan.
See a report and picture from the season finale in the Observer on Thursday.
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