Danny Tudhope up for title challenge but admits Murphy will be tough to beat
Danny Tudhope got closest to Oisin Murphy in the title race last season but admits the reigning champion will again be hard to beat.
Murphy sealed the title with 168 winners, becoming the youngest champion since Ryan Moore won in 2006, and Tudhope was his nearest pursuer on 133, with Jim Crowley in third on 99.
"Given the way he rode last season I think Oisin could be champion jockey for many years to come," said Tudhope. "He's very hungry and will be tough for any of us to beat, but I'll do my best."
The top two jockeys in last year's championship were also the busiest, with Murphy taking 860 rides to his rival's 636. It is a hard season, but Tudhope has not ruled out another title bid.
"I'll have to wait and see," he said. "I'll probably know by June whether I'm in with a chance, and if I am I'll go for it again.
"It's a long, gruelling season and I'm heavier than some of the other jockeys so find myself running around a lot of tracks before racing to make weight. If I can have a season like the last I'll be happy."
Tudhope enjoyed his best ever campaign in 2019, with 159 winners on the turf and all-weather combined, at a strike-rate of 20 per cent, a substantial improvement on his previous best of 116 achieved the previous year.
He was quick to praise his association with David O'Meara, who supported him early on in his career and saddled 56 of the jockey's winners last season, including Group 1 winner Lord Glitters.
The seven-year-old provided Tudhope with the first of four winners at Royal Ascot when landing the Queen Anne, and the jockey added: "I'm really looking forward to him. It will be great to get him back on the track and hopefully he can win another Group 1."
Tudhope has been in Dubai this winter and won a valuable handicap with the O'Meara-trained Suedois at Meydan this month.
Ladbrokes: 4-7 Oisin Murphy, 5 Silvestre de Sousa, Danny Tudhope, 14 William Buick, 16 Tom Marquand, 20 bar
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