Flat Jockeys Championship Update

Features | 11th June 2024

Three-time champ Oisin Murphy currently tops the table, but there is a long way to go before the glittering finale at Ascot on Qipco Champions Day.

Here’s a look at how the main players have started the season.

Oisin Murphy

The 28-year-old has raced into the lead after a stunning start to the campaign.

Trebles at Lingfield and Windsor, as well as a fantastic four-timer on Newcastle’s all-weather track early in May, have helped him put distance between himself and his rivals.

He’s been operating at a very healthy strike-rate of around 23 per cent as he attempts to add to his Flat Jockeys’ Championship wins in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Long-time ally Andrew Balding has again been his main supporter but he has already ridden winners for 18 different trainers.

There’s still more than four months to go but Oisin will not be easy to overhaul.

Rossa Ryan

Last season, Rossa confirmed his place among Flat racing’s top riders.

His third position behind William Buick and Oisin Murphy in the title race was always unlikely to have been a flash in the pan.

After a slow start to this term – mirroring the form of his main supporter Ralph Beckett – he has hit top gear in recent weeks.

A couple of winners at Epsom on Derby day got June off to a superb start and the 23-year-old followed it up with doubles at both Windsor and Chelmsford later in the week.

He’s been getting rave reviews for his talents over the last few years and he is clearly going to be a live contender for the Champion Jockey’s crown this season.

William Buick

The defence of his Champion Jockey’s title could not have got off to a better start for William.

On the opening day of the season he partnered Notable Speech to victory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas.

It was his first win in the Newmarket Classic and an early sign that it wouldn’t be easy to wrestle the title from his grasp.

He rattled up six winners in the space of four days in mid-May but, with his Godolphin boss Charlie Appleby yet to click into top gear, he hasn’t been as prolific as he might have hoped.

His foreign travels could also have an impact. He jetted across to Hong Kong to land a Sha Tin Group 1 at the end of the month and he’s likely to have other overseas assignments on his agenda.

Tom Marquand

Now firmly established among the country’s top Flat jockeys, Tom has made a decent start to the season.

He kicked off with three winners across the two days of Newmarket’s Qipco Guineas meeting and has continued to notch up the victories ever since.

Economic’s impressive Dante Stakes success was the highlight of a York treble and he added another trophy to his big-race haul when guiding Tiber Flow to victory in Haydock’s John Of Gaunt Stakes.

William Haggas will offer plenty of firepower and he is sure to be in demand from a whole host of other trainers.

Danny Tudhope

A solid start to the season has seen top northern rider Danny again put himself in the frame to be Champion Jockey.

Yorkshire-based trainers David O’Meara and Karl Burke have both helped keep the 38-year-old in touch with pacesetting Oisin Murphy in the title race.

He has been one of the most reliable riders for a number of years and mostly operating away from his main rivals could give him an edge.

Connor Beasley

It was only nine years ago that serious injury put Connor Beasley’s career under threat.

A 10-hour operation was needed to repair a cracked skull and fractured spine he suffered in a horrific fall at Wolverhampton.

He has bounced back to become one of the north’s leading jockeys and he has made an excellent start to the new season.

Trebles at Thirsk and Catterick have helped him to be quick out of the blocks, with the good form of his main backer Michael Dods being partly responsible.

If the 29-year-old can keep it up, he could surprise the sport’s bigger names.