Crowley effectively secures title with Brighton winner

Crowley and De Sousa have been involved in an engaging battle for title

  PICTURE: Getty images  

 By Alex Wiltshire 1:43PM 13 OCT 2016 

JIM CROWLEY effectively secured his first Stobart Jockeys’ Championship after a win in the opening race at Brighton gave him a lead of 19 over rival Silvestre de Sousa, who in the immediate aftermath was declared on 18 rides between then and Saturday, the final day of the season.

While De Sousa could pick up spare rides between now and then, as it stands the deficit is unassailable.

Win number 147 for the season arrived courtesy of 6-5 favourite Gmaash, in a year where the pair have been engaged in a relentless battle for the title.

Crowley was 33-1 to dethrone De Sousa in June, however a sensational run which included scoring 46 winners in September, a record for the number of winners in a single month, saw him draw away from a defiant De Sousa.

Crowley said: “I am going to ride for another month. I am feeling as fresh as paint but it has been a hard year.”

Asked if he was targeting riding 200 winners in the calendar year, Crowley added: “I haven’t thought about that as a target but I won’t be riding any differently and will ride for a couple of weeks on the all-weather after the last two weeks on the grass with some maidens to run.”

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