THERE is an exciting duel developing in the race for the 2016 UK Champion Jockeys’ Title between reigning champ Silvestre De Sousa and Jim Crowley, pretender to the throne.

Crowley has the support of leading agent Tony Hind, who predicted this week that his man will be the one lifting the trophy when the British flat season ends of 15 October.

“Given the right material he can do it. Given the right material he will do it,” said Hind, who worked with Richard Hughes and Ryan Moore to secure six of the last ten championship crowns.

A double on a rare visit to Yarmouth on Tuesday leaves Crowley only four winners behind De Sousa in the Stobart-sponsored competition.

Having been as big as 50-1 before the title campaign began, Crowley is now a general 3-1 shot behind 1-4 market leader De Sousa.

Hind told Racing Post: “At this moment I would have Silvestre at 1-2 and Jim at 7-4. I think people backing Jim at 3-1 are getting good odds because he has every chance. If we don’t win it won’t be through want of trying and if he finishes runner-up I’ll still be very proud of him.

“When Jim first contacted me he said he had never finished in the top five and wanted to achieve that. I told him he was no good for me unless he wanted to win the title. I knew he could win it. He’s a fantastic jockey and so professional.”

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