Conditional Cobden goes clear

Harry Cobden has surged 12 clear in his pursuit of the Stobart Conditional Jockeys' Championship title.

Harry Cobden riding Boa Island

The 18-year-old has registered 38 victories this season, eight more than his total for last campaign, with David Noonan his nearest pursuer on 26. Jamie Bargary is in third with 25.

A fantastic October, and a first Grade One win in November, when he steered Irving to victory in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle, has seen Cobden emerge as the leading jockey of the current crop of conditionals.

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Cobden said of his season so far: "At one stage, near the start of the season, I think I was nine winners behind David Noonan, so to be 12 ahead at New Year is unbelievable. My target at the start of the season was to ride 40 winners, I'm two away, so touch wood it would be nice to get to there and then push for 50.

"I've been riding some really nice horses and thankfully some of them have got their heads in front. My win on Irving was massive. I was obviously delighted to get the opportunity to ride him, it was a brilliant day that I will never forget – a career highlight."

No one will be more pleased to see Cobden progress than his boss, 10-times Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls, who has provided the youngster with more career rides (97) and winners (25) than any other trainer. This season alone the Ditcheat-based trainer has supplied him with 17 winners, with the pair operating at a remarkable 37% strike rate.

Nicholls said of Cobden's progress: "Harry has done incredibly well this season. He's only a youngster, but he's grown up since last year and learning how to deal with people – and that's helping him improve.

"He's ridden a lot of winners for me – a lot of good winners – and he is building his experience and maturity the whole time."

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