Three Top Jockeys Nominated For December Stobart Jockey of the Month
Aidan Coleman, Harry Cobden and Nico de Boinville have all been nominated for December’s Stobart Jockey of the Month competition.
Coleman produced a superb ride to secure his first Grade 1 win on board Paisley Park in the JLT Hurdle at Ascot on 22 December 2018, while Cobden guided Clan des Obeaux to victory in the 32Red King George VI Chase with Clan des Obeaux at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Nico completes the trio following his enthralling win on board Altior in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on 8 December.
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There will not have been many better months in racing for Coleman, as he recorded the first Grade 1 win of his career with victory in the JLT Hurdle at Ascot, which also gave trainer Emma Lavelle her first taste of Grade 1 success.
It was an expertly judged ride from Coleman as Paisley Park stayed on well from the last to defeat the Colin Tizzard-trained West Approach.
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) December 22, 2018
The Cheltenham-based jockey, 30, revealed he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders as he crossed the line and that winning the Stobart Jockey of the Month award would cap off a memorable month.
“It’s something arguably I should have done a long time ago, winning a Grade 1. I’m in my 13th year of being a jockey and I’ve ridden nearly a 1,000 winners. Basically everyone said to me they were shocked that I hadn’t won a Grade 1 before,” Coleman said.
“It was a long time coming so the main emotion as I crossed the line was relief, but it wasn’t just about me. You have to enjoy winning the race, a big one at Ascot and for the horse itself.
“It was a fantastic day from many different angles, my angle of winning my first Grade 1 was only a small part of it. It was also Emma’s (Lavelle) first Grade 1. From a personal point of view it was just an incredible feeling to finally do it.
“It would be fantastic to win Jockey of the Month. The clue is in the name, there’s so many jockeys riding over flat and jumps. I take great pride in being nominated and I would be absolutely over the moon to win it.”
It was a stellar month for Cobden as he won the prestigious 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton to incredibly hand trainer Paul Nicholls his tenth win in the race.
— Kempton Park (@kemptonparkrace) December 26, 2018
Cobden, 20, won another Grade 1 in December with Dynamite Dollars in the randoxhealth.com Henry VII Novices’ Chase at Sandown on 8 December.
He also had the joint most wins in the Stobart Jump Jockeys’ Championship in the month of December (alongside Brian Hughes) with 20 wins from 72 rides at a strike rate of 28%, seeing him climb up to seventh place in the table.
Nicholls’s number one jockey had a decision to make between horses Politologue and Clan des Obeaux ahead of the 32Red King George VI Chase and he was delighted to back Clan des Obeaux, who delivered ‘the biggest win of his career’.
“Paul (Nicholls) gave me a choice six weeks before the race between Politologue or Clan des Obeaux. I rode Clan des Obeaux in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November and I thought he was in good form. I knew what the horse was capable of and wanted to stick with him,” Cobden said.
“Thistlecrack was travelling well and I noticed that early on. I couldn’t get to the front too soon on my horse so I wanted to play it as late as possible without leaving it too late. I felt I got there at the right time and after he pinged the last fence we were away to win nicely.
“I’d say it’s probably the biggest win of my career so far. It meant a massive amount to me, it’s great to even get a ride in a race like that, let alone win it.
“December was a great month for me, I had lots of rides on the big days. Dynamite Dollars is an amazing horse, to win a Grade 1 and a Grade 2 in the space of three weeks was a huge achievement. I couldn’t be happier and long may it continue.”
Nico de Boinville
December was another impressive month for de Boinville, with his highest calibre victory coming in the Betfair Tingle Creek at Sandown where Altior saw off the challenge from a resurgent Un De Sceaux.
Nico, 29, went on to record his 16th Grade 1 win in December with Verdana Blue in the Unibet Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day, while he also won four other Grade 2 races during the month, including another victory with Altior in the Unibet Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton on 27 December.
— Nico de Boinville (@NdeBoinville) December 27, 2018
Nicky Henderson’s retained jockey highlighted Altior’s versatility in different conditions as the most impressive feature of the horse and was pleased with the way he performed on a personal level in December.
“When the weather turned as we headed down to the start line for the Tingle Creek that certainly changed things massively, because it opened up the ground and made it a bit more of a slog. At that stage I thought the conditions would really play into Un De Sceaux’s hands. It was a case of keeping tabs on him and being aware of the two younger horses in the race,” de Boinville said.
“Altior just seems to find another gear from somewhere, whatever the conditions are, he’s just so versatile. On the softer ground he’s maybe not as flamboyant as what we saw at Kempton on 27 December in the Unibet Desert Orchid Chase. However in the soft conditions he can still get the job done and he always finds an extra couple of gears to pull away from the field after the last.
“I was very happy with the month of December. With the job I’m in it’s half expected, but it’s fantastic that the horses are running well out of our stable and performing at the very top level.”