Joseph O’Brien has been cut in the betting for the Irish Flat jockeys’ championship following the news that changes to the minimum weight carried by horses will come into effect at the Curragh on Sunday.
The changes follow a medical submission received by Horse Racing Ireland from Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical officer of the Turf Club.
O’Brien is now only 4-1 with Stan James to be crowned champion jockey behind even-money favourite Johnny Murtagh and 11-8 chance Pat Smullen.
Joseph Burke, spokesman for Stan James Ireland, said: “The rise in the minimum weights for Irish Flat races, coupled with the fact that Ballydoyle have not announced a replacement stable jockey and appear to be using Joseph O’Brien as their number one, means he has an excellent chance of adding a senior Flat jockeys’ championship to his apprentice title.
“Consequently he is the 4-1 third choice in the betting behind the hardy perennials and former champions Johnny Murtagh and Pat Smullen.”
Speaking on The Irish Field, Andrew Coonan of the Jockeys’ Association said: “The weight review came about as a result of Dr Adrian McGoldrick’s in-depth knowledge and on-going work in the area of racing weights and jockeys’ health.
“He has worked very closely with all parties including a cross section of jockeys and trainers, together with the Turf Club and HRI.
“The changes will go a a long way to easing the constant struggle that jockeys have with weight management on a daily basis and will set a standard that will hopefully be followed by other European racing authorities.”