sponsorship of Flat jockeys championship 2016: Stobart Group will extend its support of the Flat Jockeys’ Championship for 2016 following the inaugural sponsorship of last year’s Championship and the 2015/16 Stobart Jump Jockeys’ Championship.
The official Championship for Flat jockeys begins at Newmarket’s QIPCO Guineas Festival (Saturday 30th April–Sunday 1st May 2016), concluding at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day (Saturday 15th October 2016).
Andrew Tinkler, Chief Executive of Stobart Group said: “It’s with pleasure that we continue our support of the Flat Jockeys’ Championship for a second season and we’re looking forward to another exciting year. We had a great winner in Silvestre De Sousa last year at Ascot along with all the Stobart Jockeys of the Month who were recognised for their outstanding achievements. We hope our sponsorship can help to promote the courageous work that jockeys do and raise the profile of the sport up and down the country whilst promoting the Stobart brand in the process.”
Last year, Silvestre De Sousa was the runaway victor of the title race finishing on 132 winners for the season, more than 30 clear of his nearest rivals – William Buick and Paul Hanagan in joint second. De Sousa was joined by his friends and family, many of whom made the journey over from Brazil to see him crowned on QIPCO British Champions Day.
Silvestre De Sousa said: “Winning my first Jockeys’ Championship last year was a career highlight, and to be crowned at Ascot in front of my weighing room colleagues, friends and family, is something I’ll never forget. I will be giving it my all to try and win a second title this year, but I know the lads in the weighing room won’t make it easy for me.”
James Doyle commented: “The Championship looks really competitive this year and the other guys won’t be giving me an inch, but I ride for Godolphin and that gives me a certain advantage with the quality of horse I am lucky enough to ride and means I have a chance.”
There will be plenty of jockeys holding viable claims to the title including Ryan Moore, widely regarded as the best jockey in the world, whilst the depth of horses available to the likes of Paul Hanagan, William Buick, James Doyle and Andrea Atzeni means they will be competitive throughout the season.
Michael Shinners, Horse Racing PR Manager for Sky Bet, said: “As the betting suggests, Silvestre De Sousa and Ryan Moore look the two who will fight it out for the Stobart Flat Jockeys’ Championship. De Sousa was a comfortable winner last season, although, granted a clear run without injuries, Ryan Moore could well chase him all the way. Paul Hanagan might also be in with a shout, early evidence suggests Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum has a strong team for 2016 and Paul will continue to pick up rides for Richard Fahey as well.”
Rod Street Chief Executive of Great British Racing, said: “We were treated to a fantastic champion in Silvestre De Sousa last year and witnessed a fierce battle for the Champion Apprentice title which eventually was won by Tom Marquand. This year looks ultra-competitive and we are very grateful to Stobart Group for their continued support for a second year. Their sponsorship has allowed us to generate greater interest in the Championships and the jockeys themselves, and we are looking forward to another thrilling contest.”
The Champion Jockey will collect £25,000, whilst the runner-up will take home £10,000 and the Leading Apprentice Jockey £5,000. Further cash prizes will be awarded to the jockey who rides the most winners in Britain during the full calendar year (£15,000) and for the leading jockey during the All-Weather Championships (£10,000). Additionally, there will also be monthly cash prizes worth a total £2,000 up-for-grabs for the Stobart Jockey of Month award – which is designed to acknowledge a variety of jockeys throughout the Weighing Room – as well as £25,000 for a PJA special welfare project which will benefit all PJA members.