Tudhope is crowned Cock O’ The North jockey for second time

Danny Tudhope, the top northern jockey for the second year running.
Danny Tudhope, the top northern jockey for the second year running.

As a captivating Flat season draws to a close, Yorkshire-based jockey Danny Tudhope will be awarded the traditional ‘Cock O’ The North’ prize for the second consecutive year at Doncaster on Saturday.

The Cock O’ The North is contested at northern-based racecourses from the Lincoln meeting, also at Doncaster, in March to the November Handicap fixture this weekend.

Tudhope has surged clear of the field with 99 winners, which have included a four-from-four qaudruple at Newcastle last night, and he sits 21 wins ahead of Joe Fanning in second and 26 in front of Ben Curtis in third place.

The 32-year-old has enjoyed another terrific season at northern tracks, with all of his top performing courses this year based in Yorkshire. He has reached double figures at Doncaster, Beverley, Pontefract and Thirsk.

On Saturday, Tudhope will be formally presented with the Cock O’ The North winners’ cap and will subsequently receive £2,500 in prize money.

He told Great British Racing: “It’s great to be named Cock O’ The North for the second time. Last year, it was a bit of a shock, to be honest, but it was a fantastic achievement for me. To have retained the cap, I’m delighted.

“To hear that the likes of Kevin Darley won it ten times, it does make you realise how prestigious it is. It’s something that, when I retire, I will look back on with great pride.

“I’d like to thank all those who support me throughout the season, particularly my agent, Laura Way, who has been fantastic. I’ve had more rides than ever before, and the more rides you get, the more opportunities you have to ride winners.”

Discussing his success at racecourses in Yorkshire, Tudhope said: “It helps when you ride more often at the Yorkshire tracks. I’ve gained experience from racing year after year at them, and northern jockeys do have an advantage over the southern jockeys who come up to Yorkshire to race.

“My winners in Yorkshire are a crucial part of my success, and I hope they continue for years to come.”

Tudhope’s biggest wins in the north this year include Soldier’s Call in the Wainwrights Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting and Dolphin Vista in the William Hill Doonside Cup Stakes at Ayr in September.

During the year, he has also enjoyed two Group One wins aboard mighty mare Laurens, in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown in September and in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket last month.

The Cock O’ The North title is thought to have originated with Alexander Gordon, the 4th Duke of Gordon (1743-1827), who was known by that name. It is the traditional epithet attached to the head of the Gordon clan.

It is not known when the title entered racing parlance, but it has been used for many decades now. Edward Hide won it no fewer than 16 times before he retired in 1986, and Mark Birch seven times in the 1980s and 1990s.