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9/1 Silvestre De Sousa the value in Flat Jockey’s Championship

Richard Hughes’ performance in winning last season’s Flat Jockey’s Championship was notable, but not exceptional, with his total of 172 winners surpassed seven times in the last decade and the strike rate of 21 per cent at which those victories were achieved equalled or surpassed on three occasions during the same period.

This does nothing to detract from the achievements of a brilliant jockey, nor should it unduly sway punters away from backing the Irishman, 4/6 favourite in the Champion Flat Jockey 2013 betting with Coral, especially when it’s considered that the 50-day ban he incurred whilst racing in Mumbai bit off such a sizeable chunk of his campaign.

Hughes will have the whole season and a never ending supply of rides – only two pilots had more last term – to help him in his championship defence, but developments at Godolphin towers should mean that he’ll be given a far greater run for his money this term.

Silvestre De Sousa has taken the silver medal in the last two rider’s championships, most recently in his first season for Godolphin in 2012, when he trailed home 41 winners behind Hughes. However the ending of Frankie Dettori’s 19-year association with the operation this term should mean that he’ll get the leg-up on many more of the stable’s leading chances in the bigger races.

De Sousa – a 9/1 shot in the Flat Jockeys’ Championship 2013 betting – will need to make hay without delay upon his return from a winter of keeping himself race-sharp in Dubai. Ryan Moore and Richard Hughes are among four jockeys already to have posted 10 winners or more.

Luke Morris and 40/1 shot Joe Fanning round out that quartet, but the pair tend to reap most of their success on the all weather, making them unlikely to get enough quality turf rides to compete for the prize long term.

None of his rivals are in better form than three-time Champion Jockey Ryan Moore, who has booted in 16 winners at a blistering 37 per cent win rate since the campaign begun. 5/2 second favourite Moore has associations with numerous top yards including Sir Michael Stoute, Richard Hannon and  Aidan O’Brien, but with the latter two handlers having alternative stable number-ones who will likely pick up many of their best chances he may struggle for winners when big race season comes around.

An ideal combination of a bucketful of guaranteed rides and greater opportunities at the highest level than in the past makes 9/1 Silvestre De Sousa the value in Coral’s Flat Jockeys’ Championship 2013 betting.