How many winners did Harry Skelton ride in 2020/21?
On Saturday, April 24, 2021, Harry Skelton was crowned champion jump jockey for the first time, with 152 winners. His achievement was made all the more remarkable by the fact that he rode almost exclusivey for his elder brother, Dan, who provided him with 136 winners during the 2020/21 campaign. In fact, aside from his brother, Harry Skelton had ten or more rides for just one other trainer, Paul Nicholls, although the 12-time champion trainer did provide him with three winners.
Skelton did, however make the most of his opportunities for other yards, racking up 16 winners from 68 ‘outside’ rides, at a strike rate of 22%. He also finished the campaign very strongly indeed, riding 23 winners in February, 31 in March and 23 in April, which allowed him to overhaul reigning champion Brian Hughes – who had led 126-120 with four weeks of the season remaining – in the race for the jockeys’ title.
Interviewed early in the 2021/22 National Hunt season, Harry Skelton was keen to point out that he is ‘more than just the jockey’ at Lodge Hill Stables and, consequently, acknowledged that it would be ‘very difficult’ to defend the jockeys’ title. However, he did not entirely rule out the possibility of doing so, saying, ‘Of course, I’d love to win it again, but I have to look at the big picture. I want the whole business to thrive.’