Danny Tudhope - How I'm aiming to mount late challenge to retain York title

The curtain comes down on York's 2018 season this afternoon and I am still in with a shout of defending my leading jockey crown.

Richard Fahey: Has already claimed the top trainer award.
Richard Fahey: Has already claimed the top trainer award.

Mind, I’ll need to have a great day in the saddle because I require at least two winners.

In the Living North-sponsored contest, Juddmonte International winning rider Oisin Murphy sits tied with Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup victor Frankie Dettori on seven winners apiece.

As we go to press, former champion Paul Hanagan is one adrift, while yours truly is on five winners, so there is still a chance for each of us if we can muster a late charge. Paul has seven rides; I have six.

Jockey Daniel Tudhope. Picture: Craig Watson/PA.

Congratulations to Richard Fahey, for whom I take two rides today, as he has already won the Charles Clinkard Top Trainer award.

He had sent out 16 winners from his Musley Bank base before yesterday’s card.

That’s a record ninth York title for him so the fabulous Skeaping bronze heads to a familiar mantelpiece.

My two mounts for Richard are both owned by Leeds-based Clipper Logistics, who are not only my own sponsor but also great supporters of racing at York.

Space Traveller ran really well for me in France last month when he was runner-up in a Group Three.

In all honesty, the Group One Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes recently was a big ask for him.

It’s Listed company this afternoon in the coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes. He must have a chance, but it’s a tough race.

Defence Treaty is a youngster who I’m really looking forward to riding.

He was third on his racecourse debut, having started the race at Hamilton Park a little green.

He will undoubtedly benefit from that experience before the coral.co.uk EBFStallions.com Novice Stakes at 4.25pm.

I get under way today with My Lord And Master, a horse from the yard of Skipton-born William Haggas, who was leading trainer at York 12 months ago.

I was in the saddle for the colt’s first win at Nottingham last autumn.

He’s been operating at Listed and Group level at home and abroad this season.

But it’s back into handicap company in the opening contest. However, all York handicaps are tough to win and there’s a big field.

However, I think Knavesmire will suit him.

Al Qahwa was most recently second in the Ayr Silver Cup, so he goes into today’s feature race in decent form.

He heads to the post in the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy – the 23rd race to offer a six-figure purse on Knavesmire this term.

If he gets a good start, and doesn’t hold back, then he will have a chance.

With 19 of the field of 20 trained in Yorkshire, then it is odds on for a home win.

All the York and indeed Newmarket (the Dubai Future Champions Festival) races today are being screened live on Racing UK.

I have had a great year and, of course, there’s still a few weeks to go before the Flat season on the turf draws to a close in Britain.

I could still top my best year – which was 2017 – when I had 122 winners.

It’s been enjoyable, but tiring, so I am looking forward to a little rest over the winter after one last go at retaining my own Skeaping Bronze at York.

Coral Sprint Trophy Day at York today starts at 2.05pm. Find out more at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk