Okay, we still don’t really know when the new 2020 British Flat Turf season will kick-off – it was meant to start on the 28th March - but let’s just hope it’s sooner, rather than later.
However, whenever that might be, it will still be the same rules for all pilots that will be hunting the jockeys’ title. Yes, the season might be cut short or even extended, but some of the bookies are still pricing the market up – so, let’s take a look!
Who Is The Favourite For The 2020 Flat Jockeys’ Title?
The clear favourite is the current champion – OISIN MURPHY – who landed the jockeys’ title with 168 wins in 2019.
With Murphy attached to the powerful Qatar Racing team as their first jockey, Murphy has the pick of their best horses, but is also always in high demand across many other big yards, including Andrew Balding.
Oisin Murphy currently heads the top jockeys’ market at around 4/6 in the betting for the 2020 Flat Jockeys’ Championship, but is as short at 1/2 to successfully defend his title and bag his second flat jockeys’ title – he’ll be a tough nut to crack, but if you are backing him at just 4/6 then you’ll need nerves of steal as the season goes on with injuries and suspensions always playing their part in these sort of markets.
Who Are The Biggest Challengers To Murphy?
Next best in the 2020 Flat Jockeys’ Betting market is the hard-working Silvestre De Sousa, who can be backed around 13/2 - but is also as short at 9/2 in places. If siding with ‘SDS’ his backers will know that he’ll travel up and down the country in search of winners and will have big yards – like Mark Johnston – in his corner.
SDS also knows how to get the job done, having won the jockeys’ title in 2015, 2017 and 2018, so will be keen to get another one on his CV. If you fancy a bit of value over the short-priced Murphy, then surely Silvestre De Sousa would one of those on the shortlist.
Next best in the betting is the rapidly-improving Daniel Tudhope. He ran Murphy close in the flat jockeys’ race in 2019 and with that experience under his belt can be expected to give it another solid crack. He’s starting to get more and more rides at the big festivals and also for the bigger yards. Plus, will still also have the pick of the big David O’Meara horses – which, if he is to grab the 2020 flat jockeys’ title, will surely make up the bulk of his bread and butter winners. Tudhope can be backed around 7/1.
Tom Marquand is another that falls into the ‘up-and-coming’ brigade will have his supporters too at around 16/1 (as low as 7/1), but you just feel the lack of one of the top stables behind him will not be enough.
Ben Curtis is 25/1, and even though he’s on the up too, the same thing applies to him as not really having a top stable in his corner.
The 2016 champion flat jockey – Jim Crowley – is around 25/1, but despite still being the number one jockey to top owner Hamdan-al-Maktoum, you feel that he’s a bit more ‘quality over quantity’ these days and will be looking for big winners at the main festivals, rather than riding everyday up- and-down the country – we’ll see.
The same applies to the popular pocket Italian - Frankie Dettori - who has three jockeys’ titles under his belt, plus the 2006, 2008 and 2009 champion – Ryan Moore – who, of course, rides mainly in Ireland these days for the super-powerful Coolmore operation. This is reflected in Moore and Dettori’s odds – both are around 100/1.
The final two worthy of a mention are James Doyle and William Buick – they are both around 33/1 in the betting to be top flat jockey 2020. They are the main riders for Godolphin, while Buick can often be seen riding for Gosden too, and Doyle for the likes of Roger Charlton. However, they will also be more targeted at the big prizes, rather than riding in all the races the flat calendar throws out.
Overall, Oisin Murphy looks a worthy favourite to defend his jockeys’ title, but the 4/6 on offer looks skinny – especially as we don’t really know when the season will start, or if it might even be extended with the current COVID-19 situation.
(Click here to see the latest betting on the 2020 Flat Jockeys' Title *odds may be subject to change)
Add in the added danger of injuries and possible suspensions, then do you really want to be lumping on at 4/6 on a bet that will take months to settle and also comes with a lot of uncertainties at the moment?
Therefore, the safer option – if you do want to have an interest in this market – would be to have a small wager on the up-and-coming Danny Tudhope and also the three-time past champion - Silvestre De Sousa – who are both around 7/1 in the betting. We can expect the pair to give it a good crack and also be prepared to travel around the country for rides. Tudhope will be keen to further his rise up the ranks and in the process bag one of the super-big jobs, while SDS – being a three-time past champion – will have the experience edge over both Tudhope and Murphy when it comes to pacing himself during the really busy periods.
Silvestre de Sousa @13/2
Danny Tudhope @7/1