Charlie Deutsch won the Ariat-sponsored award for the leading jockey at Cheltenham’s The November Meeting.
He and 14 other jockeys rode a winner apiece – Deutsch’s was Diesel D’Allier for French trainer Emmanuel Clayeux in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase – but Deutsch rode more placed horses than the runner-up for the Ariat title, Barry Geraghty.
Deutsch (pictured above) rode two seconds – Eminent Poet in the Spinal Injuries Association Big Buck’s Handicap Hurdle and Achille in the BetVictor Smartcards Handicap Chase – and a fourth, Belami Des Pictons in the BetVictor Gold Cup – from his four rides at Cheltenham this weekend.
He said: “I’m really pleased – all the horses have run well. I was a bit frustrated yesterday as we were so close to winning and we didn’t win.
“Venetia [Williams, Deutsch’s principal employer]’s horses are running really well and I couldn’t be happier. I wasn’t really expecting this, so I’m delighted.”
After the deluge that hit Cheltenham in the middle of the week which left parts of the course under three feet of water and forced the near inevitable abandonment of Friday’s first day of The November Meeting, The Jockey Club’s Regional Director Ian Renton could scarcely believe how well the two extended days of the weekend had gone.
Renton, Regional Director for Cheltenham & The South West, said: “It’s been a really good two days following the disappointment of losing Friday, and we couldn’t have asked for better racing.
“Simon Claisse and the groundstaff did an amazing job getting the track ready for racing after all that rain, and it rode really well in the circumstances, because despite the ground we’ve seen some fantastic finishes and some cracking racing.”
He added: “It’s been two of the best days’ racing I can recall at the November meeting and we had 33500 here yesterday and over 16500 Sunday, so the crowds have held up well.”