Cobden reaches his century

Exeter victory is rising star’s 100th of the season

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Harry Cobden reached 100 winners in a season for the first time on Saintemilion at Exeter.

In his first campaign as Paul Nicholls’ stable jockey, Cobden posted his maiden century of winners as he and the 10-time champion trainer’s Saintemilion got the better of a protracted duel with 2-1 favourite Diable De Sivola in the GG Fast Results Chase.

Cobden’s hard-earned victory took him to his 100 in a season so far headlined by memorable Grade One successes for Nicholls aboard Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname, in the King George VI Chase and the Ascot Chase respectively.

He needed to be at his best too on 4-1 shot Saintemilion, leading until being overhauled by Diable De Sivola on the run to the last but battling back and producing an especially good final leap to seal the two-mile-three-furlong contest.

Cobden responded with relief at his latest, landmark win – and delight over his “phenomenal season”.

“We probably looked a little bit beat going to the last, but he pinged it, landed running and won nicely in the end,” he told Racing TV.

The 20-year-old reflected on a campaign which began with a serious injury after a fall at Market Rasen last summer – soon after being confirmed as Nicholls’ new number one – but has turned out to be golden.

“I’m delighted with it, delighted it’s happened,” he added.

“It was a target at the start of the season – and then I broke my neck and had four months off!

“But I’ve had plenty of good horses to ride over the winter, and the winners have just kept coming.”

Nicholls’ powerhouse stable is, of course, a huge help.

“The quality is there as well as the quantity, so I’m just a very lucky boy to be in this position,” said Cobden.

“It’s been a phenomenal season. Since the start of October, I think it’s been 91 winners – fairly non-stop.”

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