In which year was Harry Cobden champion conditional jockey?
Born on Guy Fawkes Day, 1998 and educated at Sexey’s School in Bruton, Somerset, Harry Cobden reportedly forewent his GCSE English examination in favour of riding his first winner, El Mindo, trained by Rachael Green, in the Thrusters Hunters’ at Leicester on March 6, 2015. Indeed, he made a flying start to his career, riding two winners, including one for Paul Nicholls, from just three starts towards the end of the 2014/15 National Hunt season.
In his first full season as conditional jockey at Nicholls’ Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, in 2015/16, Cobden rode 30 winners from 138 rides at a strike rate of 22%. The following season, 2016/17, he increased his seasonal tally to 63 winners, riding out his claim in early February and winning the conditional jockeys’ title, 24 winners ahead of his nearest rival, former champion amateur David Noonan. Cobden rode his first Grade 1 winner, Irving, trained by Nicholls, in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November, 2016.
Cobden made a seamless transition to the professional ranks, riding 76 winners in 2017/18 and, in May, 2018, still only 19, succeeded Sam Twiston-Davies as Nicholls’ stable jockey. Fast forward to the 2021/22 season and Cobden reached the career landmark of 500 winners of British soil when riding Vision Des Flos, trained by Colin Tizzard, to victory at Uttoxeter on September 21, 2021. He currently lies eleventh in the 2021 jumps jockeys’ championship with 25 winners, but has achieved that total from just 79 rides, at a strike rate of 32%.