Jim Crowley: in the driving seat in the race for the jockeys' titlePICTURE: Getty Images
Crowley out on his own after 46th win of month
HE LEFT it late but title-pacesetter Jim Crowley gained win number 46 for September at Newcastle on Friday night, a tally thought to be the most victories by a jockey in a month in Britain.
The previous evening, the 38-year-old rode his 45th winner of the month at Chelmsford to match the figures post by riding greats Fred Archer, in June 1884, and Sir Gordon Richards, in August 1949.
On his second to last ride of the night - and the month - Crowley eclipsed those heavyweights when steering the well-backed Castleacre to a successful debut in the 6f fillies' maiden.
After the race Crowley admitted he was not totally sure whether he had broken a record as Racing Post historian John Randall has pointed out most winners in a month by a jockey or trainer in Britain is not something anyone has ever researched.
What is clear is that Crowley is in the driving seat when it comes to his epic duel with Silvestre de Sousa in the Stobart Flat jockeys' championship.
Victory on the Hugo Palmer-trained 6-4 favourite took his lead back to nine (128-119) after last year's champion had struck in the preceding race aboard Mandarin.
De Sousa 'not giving up'
De Sousa has conceded he faces an uphill task to catch Crowley with the clock ticking down to the final day on October 15.
"I have to admit that it’s going to be very hard to catch Jim [Crowley] now," he said in his Betway blog. "He's going full swing, has had an amazing few weeks and we've only got a fortnight left.
"I'm not going to give up and will continue to ride anywhere and everywhere. It takes a huge amount of work to become champion jockey and even if I don't catch Jim, I've still had a great season.
"To finish the season injury free is what you want, still going strong right to the end."