HARRY COBDEN’s bid to win a first jump jockeys’ crown will also be his last.
Paul Nicholls’ No1 jockey has given himself ‘one shot’ at the title — and his Ditcheat gaffer agrees it is now or never for Cobden.
PACobden says this will be his one and only attempt at winning top jumps jockey title[/caption]
The jockey has finally clawed back the 31-winner deficit he trailed by at the time rival Sean Bowen got injured in December.
Cobden drew level with Bowen on Sunday and the two riders are locked on 122 winners for the season.
Neither have won the coveted crown – made famous by AP McCoy’s march to 20 titles in a row – before.
Yet Cobden is a 2-7 favourite with Star Sports while Bowen is now out to 9-4.
Those odds are due to the firepower Cobden has at his disposal as stable jockey to 14-time champion trainer Nicholls.
And also due to the fire in Cobden’s belly as he is only prepared to give it this season to get the coveted championship on his CV.
Cobden, 25, will bid to give Nicholls yet another Grade 1 success on Pic D’Orhy in Saturday’s Ascot Chase.
And he is determined not to let his title challenge get in the way of his main focus to win the biggest races for Ditcheat.
The top rider said: “I didn’t think I would be in the position to go for a title this year but now I am I will be working hard to make it happen.
“I’m looking at it as this is my one shot at the title.
“To win it would be fantastic but it is not the be-all and end-all of my goals. Yes, it’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve but it is not my only focus.
“If you said to me, though, would you rather win the title or the Gold Cup, I would say the Gold Cup!”
Planet Sport Bet ambassador Cobden added: “I’m my own man. I like doing my own thing. I don’t want to ride every day of the week.
“I prefer to be more chilled and to pick and choose when I ride as there are other things I want to do as well.”
Nicholls said: “We’ll do all we can to help Harry win the title. I think we are both treating it as one-off, really.
“It’s difficult for Harry. His main aim is to ride the good horses in the best races at the big meetings.
“But the days that will help him are the smaller meetings when we can run some of our nicer horses and stack up some winners for him.
“Harry has got the bit between his teeth now.
“We’ll help him but we won’t run horses for the sake of winning his championship.
“However, if we are in the last knockings of the and he needs that to happen, then we will be doing that.”
Nicholls also has more than one eye on a 15th trainers’ title which would equal Martin Pipe’s tally.
The jockeys’ title is decided on the number of winners but the trainer championship is won or lost on prize money.
Nicholls said: “For me, to equal Pipe’s record would be phenomenal because he was a brilliant trainer and that record looked like it would never be beaten.
“If I won the championship, that would be fantastic but I would get as much pleasure, if not more, if Harry was to be champion jockey.”
PABowen is locked in a gripping title race with Cobden[/caption]
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