Crowley: Championship a dream win

Jim Crowley was officially crowned Stobart Champion Flat Jockey in a presentation ceremony before racing at Ascot.

A guard of honour for Stobart Champion Flat Jockey Jim Crowley at Ascot

The former National Hunt rider clinched the title earlier this week once it become numerically impossible for reigning champion Silvestre de Sousa to bridge the gap.

Crowley has enjoyed a fantastic recent run of form which included breaking the record for the number of winners in a calendar month after securing 46 victories in September.

That is by no means an anomaly on his record, though, as he had 38 winners in August and is on course for something similar in October.

The 38-year-old was presented with his champion jockey trophy by show jumping great and Rio 2016 gold medallist Nick Skelton.

Crowley – afforded a guard of honour by his weighing-room colleagues – said: "It feels amazing and it is beyond my wildest dreams. To come from jumping and do this is just madness.

"A lot of people have helped me along the way. It is not just me, it is a team effort. I could not have done it without my agent Tony Hind, and Hugo Palmer has been a massive help as well.

"Big and small trainers have all helped along the way. I've spent more time with my driver Guy Stevens this year than my family.

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"It's been a lot of hard work and it is just a dream come true. Every jockey dreams of being a champion at one point in their career and to have done it in a more unorthodox way makes it more special."

Looking to the future, he added: "I think obviously I want to try get on better horses, but it's a great feeling being champion jockey and I would not rule me out being here for another crack next year."

De Sousa did not relinquish his title without a good tussle and paid tribute to his conqueror in typical fighting spirit.

"Jim will be crowned champion jockey and I want to congratulate him again," the Brazilian told Betway.

"He has ridden so well this season and deserves all the credit he is getting.

"I look forward to both shaking his hand and renewing our rivalry again next season."

Josephine Gordon claimed the apprentice title, ending the season on 48 winners, four clear of last year's champion Tom Marquand.

Gordon said: "I didn't expect it to go this well. It's just amazing really and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I think it has made it more exciting that Tom and me have been so tight throughout.

"This time last year I was probably having my 10th winner or something like that. I never expected this at all. It is a dream come true and I didn't expect it to happen.

"Everybody says it gets harder, but I'm just going to have to work harder than ever. I made a lot of contacts over the last winter ready for this turf season and if I keep going this winter hopefully I can make more connections.

"My agent Phil Shea got my name out there. I think if you keep riding winners you are looked at more. I'm going to keep going through the winter and make more contacts.

"I'm riding for the likes of Hugo Palmer and Sir Michael Stoute. Is there any bigger than that?"

She added: "The aim is to ride as many winners as I can. I'd like to be in the top 10 jockeys and ride 100 winners in the year. That's the aim. I think you have got to set yourself goals and push yourself."

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