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Who Will Come Out As Top Jockey At The 2023 Cheltenham Races?

The time has finally arrived for the 2023 Cheltenham festival to commence. Another week of racing drama kicks off on Tuesday 14th March with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at 1:30pm. Some of horse racing’s biggest jockey names will be competing, including the likes of Paul Townsend and Rachael Blackmore, the two most recent winners of the ‘top jockey’ title at Cheltenham, winning in 2022 and 2021 respectively.

The ‘top jockey’ title is awarded to whichever jockey wins the most races throughout the week, with the record being held by legendary Irish jockey, Ruby Walsh, who won seven races in 2009 and 2016, during his dominant period at Cheltenham in which he was top jockey nine times in 10 events.

Since Walsh’s retirement in 2019, the top jockey title has become a much more open playing field. So, who are the likely candidates to win it in the 2023 races?

Paul Townsend

Paul Townsend is far and away the favourite to be top jockey this year, looking to retain the top jockey title after a successful 2022 Cheltenham races, where he earned five wins. Townsend is a product of the yard of trainer Willie Mullins, who had been the leading trainer at Cheltenham for four years on the trot. Townsend is likely to be the rider for Gold Cup favourite, Galopin Des Champs, which could seal the title. Townsend is currently backed at 2/5 with Paddy Power.

Nico de Boinville

For the past three Cheltenham festivals, an Irish jockey has won the top jockey title, in the form of two for Townsend and one for Blackmore. In fact, the last British jockey to win was Nico de Boinville. The Brit has won more Grade One races than any other current British jockey, as well as winning Cheltenham’s most prestige race in 2015, the Gold Cup. De Boinville gets underway at Cheltenham with the opening day Champion Hurdle event at 3:30pm, riding heavy favourite, Constitution Hill. De Boinville is currently on odds of 5/1 to win.

Rachael Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore made history at the 2021 Cheltenham festival, becoming the first female to win top jockey (six wins), and the first female to win the Gold Cup. Despite being an outsider shout this year, Blackmore still possesses the quality to not be ruled out. The Irish jockey competes in her first race in the 4.30pm on Honeysuckle, who will be competing in it’s last race as a horse, hoping for a fairy-tale ending. Blackmore is currently backed at 20/1.

Whoever comes out on top this year, we are certainly in for another week of great action, surprises and money! Remember to always gamble safely and good luck!

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