Winning Habit Remains, Despite Costello’s Switch
There were no shortage of raised eyebrows, when top jump-jockey Dougie Costello announced he was going to concentrate solely on flat racing from the start of this season. The decision was not an impulsive one. Costello had been pondering the move for a few years.
As we approach the end of the current flat campaign, it’s clear that the gamble has paid-off. Costello already has 32 winners under his belt and a brace of those are Group 1’s.
“I was riding out for Karl Burke last August when he approached me and asked if I would be interested in riding the majority of his yard,” he said.
“I am acting as stable jockey but it’s literally just being part of the team, because there is a lot of horses I wouldn’t be able to do the weight on and he has a lot of good young lads who he likes to give chances to.
“I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down because I don’t think I would have got that opportunity again and I thought if it didn’t work out I could always go back jumping.”
22 of Costello’s winners have come on Burke’s inmates and the jockey has made it clear that he would not have switched to flat racing if Burke hadn’t specifically offered him the job.
Quiet Reflection’s victory in the G1 Commonwealth Cup was by far his most impressive achievement in 2016, but Costello will be hoping that it was just a taste of what is to come.
Gordon Grinds On
3 more victories for Josephine Gordon last week kept her on top of this season’s Apprentice Jockeys Championship, which still looks like going right down to the wire.
She hit the ground running, on Monday, with a smart win on-board Fine Resolve (Bath, 4:10). Her 2nd success arrived 2 days later. Pettochside showed plenty of courage under fire, beating-off a strong challenge from Lightning Charlie and prevailing by a neck.
Most-impressive of all was a perfectly-timed run on William Haggas’ Symposium, who beat stablemate Ornate by a head. The fact that Ornate was being ridden by Ryan Moore indicates just how far Gordon has progressed.
She has one more win than Tom Marquand (43 versus 42) and is now an odds-on favourite to take the title.
Jim Beams, As Wins Put Rival’s Challenge On The Rocks
Jim Crowley virtually sewed-up this year’s senior Flat Jockey Championship last week, winning an incredible 11 races.
Victories aboard Zlatan, Spring Jig, Equal Point, Banish, Iballistic, Onehelluvatouch, Bazzat, Castleacre, City Of Joy, Dougan and John T Chance effectively put an end to Silvestre de Sousa’s challenge.
Crowley became one of very few riders to have ridden 45 winners in a single calendar month, joining both Fred Archer and Sir Gordon Richards.
It looks all over, bar the shouting, but de Sousa has not yet conceded victory and flew 250 miles to honour appointments at Newcastle, after riding at Ascot earlier in the day.