New South Wales’ leading jockey by way of winners, Blaike McDougall hasn’t given up on the national title with four weeks to go before the 2020/21 season draws to a close.
The 27-year-old has continued on his winning way this season having already booted home 169 winners, including two at Nowra on Friday, to be 10 winners clear of Tommy Berry in the race for the NSW premiership.
Provided McDougall can hold onto his premiership lead it will provide the Southern Districts based rider with sweet satisfaction.
Last season he had the title stripped from his grasp due to a six week suspension injury late in June which saw him forgo a 13 win lead when overhauled by Andrew Gibbons, losing the title by just 1-1/2 wins.
“I just have to keep my head down and bum up and keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past 11 months but if I can get there it will be sweet,” McDougall said.
“A lot of work and effort goes into riding winner after winner all season, there’s also a lot of travel involved so it isn’t an achievement I wouldn’t take lightly.
“I’m not there just yet so I’m not getting ahead of myself.”
Blaike McDougall after riding a winner at Sandown in May. Photo: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
While the NSW title appears McDougall’s to lose, he hasn’t given up hope of gunning down leading West Australian jockey Chris Parnham who is currently Australia’s most successful jockey in 2020/21.
Parnham sits on 188 winners for the season, eight clear of McDougall’s national haul of 180, 41 more winners than he rode last season.
If McDougall can overhaul Parnham, he’d become the first New South Wales-based rider since Blake Shinn in 2014/15 to win the Australian jockeys’ premiership – ending a five year domination by William Pike.
“The latest Covid lockdown hasn’t come at the ideal time, but I can only do what I can do and I’m going to give it my best shot,” he said.
“To win a national title would mean the world to me and I’m close.
“Other than winning a Sydney or Melbourne premiership, I think it would be as big an achievement as I could as I can aspire to so I’m going to leave no stone unturned.
“I’m even heading up to Grafton this week to ride at the Cup carnival for the first time.”
Originally published asBlaike McDougall still chasing national title
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