Jim Crowley has capped off a year to remember by winning the Stobart Leading Jockey 2016 in emphatic style.
The award is based on the number of winners ridden during a calendar year and the Sussex-based jockey has eclipsed his rivals with 189 victories from 1015 rides at a strike rate of 19%.
Crowley, who was presented with a commemorative picture frame and £15,000 in prize money, sits 25 winners clear of his nearest rival Silvestre De Sousa and 30 clear of last year’s winner, Luke Morris in third.
Jim Crowley, who was also crowned Stobart Champion Flat Jockey for the first time in October, said: “I am delighted to have won the Stobart-backed award for most wins by a Flat jockey in 2016. It’s been a memorable year for me, and I am so pleased the faith all the owners and trainers have shown me has paid off – without them I wouldn’t have had the horses to ride. I should also thank my agent Tony Hind who has been integral to my success this year. I have an exciting new job to look forward to and I hope to continue the momentum I have built up and have an equally successful 2017.”
Tony Hind, Jim Crowley’s agent, said: “What Jim has achieved this year is enormous, and it shouldn’t be forgotten how much hard graft he put in behind the scenes to perform at such a high level for so long. He is a pleasure to deal with and is a grounded individual – I couldn’t be more proud of what he has accomplished in 2016.”
Hugo Palmer, who provided Crowley with more runners (82) and winners (20) than any other trainer in 2016, said: “There’s lots of factors that make a good jockey, but I think Jim’s strengths which have helped him get to where has this year have been, not only how hard he has worked but how consistent he is as well. I find him incredibly reliable and a pleasure to work with.”
A former Jump Jockey before switching codes in 2006, Crowley has regularly ridden over 100 winners in a calendar year but his efforts in 2016 have comfortably surpassed his previous best year-round total of 148 which he set in 2012. He has amassed over £1.9 million in prize money in 2016, which is also a career-best.
He was recently appointed retained rider to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and will head to Dubai in the New Year to start his new role. Bookmakers reacted by lengthening his odds of retaining his Stobart Flat Jockeys’ Championship but Crowley responded by saying “I’m not going out there with the attitude that I can’t be champion, Sheikh Hamdan has a hell of a lot of horses, but when I’m not riding for him I’d hope to be picking up other good rides.”