By Simon Jackson.
Legendary jockey Lester Piggott is to present the trophy to this year’s champion flat jockey on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 17.
This year’s flat jockeys’ championship started at Newmarket on May 2 and concludes on Champions Day next month and for the first time this year the championship carries total prizemoney of £100,000.
Piggott was champion rider 11 times in a superb career that included nine wins in the Epsom Derby and will make the presentation alongside reigning champion Richard Hughes who retired earlier this year.
“Being champion jockey is the ultimate accolade for any rider,” Piggott said.
“There are of course the flagship races throughout the season which you dream of winning, but being champion jockey proves you are the best and requires a huge amount of consistency and commitment.
“It will be a great honour for me to make the presentation to this year’s champion.
“I am pleased to see that there is now a financial reward for the champion jockey and the runner up. Fighting to be champion is not cheap, it drains you rushing from meeting to meeting and jockeys spend a lot of time away from their families – so it’s right to have these prizes as recognition of their efforts.”
Hughes, the winner of the past three championships, said he is looking forward to presenting the trophy to the winner of this year’s competition that is led by Silvestre De Sousa who at the time of writing had bagged 102 winners, 29 more than his closest rival.
“I’m thrilled to be presenting the champion jockey trophy to this year’s winner, but to be presenting it next to one of my heroes – Lester Piggott – is a real honour,” Hughes said.
“I will be sad to see the trophy go, it’s been with me since 2012 and I set out this season with the full intention of winning it back for another year. But I am very happy to be embarking on a training career and wish all the lads in the weighing room the very best of luck for the final weeks of the championships.”
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.