THE race for the jockeys’ championship had effectively come to an end when Anton Marcus went into last Sunday’s final meeting of the season nine wins clear of rival Anthony Delpech, writes JACK MILNER. He captured Race 3 at Greyville and went 10 winners clear with just nine races left in the season.
It is Marcus’ second successive championship title.
The intense competition towards the end even affected the trainers – as Alec Laird pointed out after his “good thing” on the day, Pocket Filler, won Race 4, the opening leg of the Pick 6. “You know you’ve got the right horse in the race when the telephone starts ringing and Anton’s calling for the ride; and then Ray Curling calls on behalf of Anthony Delpech.
“It’s very hard to decide who to give it to. I’m happy for both guys and I don’t want to be in the middle and choose who to give it to.”
In the end Curling suggested they toss a coin. That is what they did and the ride went to Marcus. He gave punters the ideal start to the Pick 6 and Marcus said the Manshood gelding “was still a big baby”.
He also mentioned how tough these final weeks have been as he has battled with a bout of flu for quite a while. “I’ve had problems with my respiratory system so it hasn’t been easy. We all know what a tough competitor Anthony can be.”
Delpech was philosophical about the outcome. “You know, all the attention has been on Anton and me, but if you look back on my season it has been outstanding. I have set a record for stakes earned in a season and have won more Group races, especially Group 1s, than before in my career. So I have achieved a lot.
“I also want to thank all the people who have supported me. It’s in times like these that you find out who your friends are.”