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Not an anachronism.

IN ORDER to be champion jockey, one rides the most winners from the beginning of the Flat turf season to the end. As the all-weather is a relatively new development it seems perfectly sensible it should have its own title and it has worked thus far.

What defies belief is Great British Racing's indignity that it should be challenged on this. Claiming the natural rhythms of the season, from the Lincoln to the Craven and culminating at Doncaster in November, are an anachronism is profoundly insulting to those of us who love racing - not the bottom line of a balance sheet.

The Lincoln, Craven and Nell Gwyn, Sandown Mile and Classic Trial winners must not be ignored. The record books will always remember the true champion - the champion being the jockey who rides the most winners in the season. The season - not just the parts the marketing people are interested in.

In 1987, as a first-year undergraduate, I was the lone racing fan among my friends. But the magnificent duel between Steve Cauthen and Pat Eddery captivated those I knew who had never followed the sport. Daily, I would be asked: "Who's ahead, Steve or Pat?" Many who did the asking remain keen followers to this day and the notion that, after the indignities heaped upon the Flat by those obsessed with change, the captivating race to be champion at Doncaster in November will be taken from us, is a shocking mistake too far.

Matthew Byrne Stevenage, Hertfordshire

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 1, 2015
Words:248
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