THE Flat Jockeys’ title may have eluded him this year, but there is no doubt that Danny Tudhope has been one of the stars of the 2019 season.
And he is the favourite to secure the Living North-sponsored riding crown at York with the course set to stage its final two-day meeting of the year, this Friday and Saturday (October 11-12).
The Thirsk-based Scot has notched eight winners on the Knavesmire so far – the same number as Frankie Dettori.
But Tudhope has the edge on the Italian pilot, based on the fact he has ridden three more second-place horses.
Another factor in Tudhope’s favour is that Dettori is likely to be in action elsewhere on both days of York’s finale fixture.
On the Friday, at least, Tudhope will be riding close to home. And he has a decent book of rides as he aims to add to his 2017 top-jockey-at-York title.
Tudhope said: “I’ve done it before, so it would be nice to do it again. It’s a good achievement but I need to probably bag another winner because I don’t think I’m going to be there on Saturday. Hopefully I can ride another winner on Friday to secure it. From what I know I’ve got a couple of good rides there.”
Tudhope has ridden almost 150 winners since January 1, smashing his previous best tally (122, set in 2017) for a calendar year.
It has not just been about quantity of victories, either. The 33-year-old enjoyed four winners at Royal Ascot, including one aboard Lord Glitters in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, a horse he has also partnered to Ebor Festival pattern race success in the past.
Tudhope said: “It is my best year by far. Everything has gone great to be honest I’ve got that many memories of this year. It has been very good.”
Tudhope and Upper Helmsley-based trainer, David O’Meara, have become a formidable partnership over the last eight years, while the jockey is retained by Leeds business, Clipper Logistics.
Indeed, it was in the familiar grey silks of Steve Parkin, the founder of Clipper Logistics, that Tudhope booted home the Karl Burke-trained Living In The Past, in the Group 2 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival 2019.
With all his successes at York over recent years it’s no wonder Tudhope is a fan of the racecourse.
He said: “It’s one of the best tracks – one of my favourites, obviously. A local track – I’m not far away from there. David likes to target a lot of his horses at York, so obviously I have a number of rides there.
“There’s a good atmosphere and it’s always busy. More importantly it’s a great track to ride around. It’s a very fair track – you can ride your horse to its own strengths. I think most jockeys enjoy riding around there.”
His growing number of admirers will be able to follow all the action from York on Racing TV as Friday’s seven-race card is scheduled to start at 2pm. The curtain comes down on another season on the Knavesmire after Saturday’s seven-race fixture, which gets underway at 2.05pm.