An Early Look At The National Hunt Jockeys Championship

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AN EARLY LOOK AT THE NATIONAL HUNT JOCKEYS CHAMPIONSHIP

Despite the fact the new jumps season is just kicking into second gear, the Jump Jockeys Championship powered up a long, long time ago.

The Official Stobart Jump Jockeys Championship began on the 5th of May 2018, and will conclude on the last day of the official jumps season; the 27th April 2019. Whilst all the focus has been on the flats over the summer, plenty of jumps jockeys have been secretly climbing their way up the table ladder.

Richard Johnson, current Champion Jockey from the last three years, is leading the way on 127 winners from 550 rides, operating at a strike rate of 23%. Although many expect him to go on and win the title yet again, he will have more challengers than ever for the top accolade over jumps.

He is currently being closely stalked by Harry Skelton, where most of his 104 winners have come from brother - Dan Skelton's yard. He is riding at a better strike rate than Johnson, with a 27% conversion rate. Brian Hughes, Sam Twiston-Davies, and young Sean Bowen complete the top five, and are all still in with a realistic chance, but will need to act sooner rather than later.

This is because Dicky Johnson is in, arguably the form of his life, and with Philip Hobbs returning to the scene in the same light, the opportunities just keep arriving for the 41-year-old to go further clear at the top.

Harry Skelton will do all he can however to push the current champ, including taking up the one-off rides away from his brothers yard. Having picked up a spare ride at Carlisle yesterday, he turned that into a winning one - just the second away from brother Dan's all season.

There is still a long way to go in the season, and who knows, we may see someone bolt up the table in the coming weeks.

Keep an eye out on Bryony Frost, who rode out her claim at Kempton yesterday, and will look to charge to the summit. It's certainly on her bucket list!

CURRENT TABLE

1. Richard Johnson:

Wins: 127 Rides: 550

2. Harry Skelton

Wins: 104 Rides: 389

3. Brian Hughes

Wins: 79 Rides: 454

4. Sam Twiston-Davies

Wins: 55 Rides: 304

5. Sean Bowen

Wins: 51 Rides: 268

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