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Jockey Daniel Muscutt hoping to enjoy some ‘high profile winners’ during 2024 Flat season

On the face of it, 2023 was another positive year for Daniel Muscutt.

He rode a total of 120 winners – just seven short of his return from the previous 12 months – at a healthy strike rate of 14 per cent.

But such are the standards that the Newmarket-based jockey sets for himself, he wanted even more.

Newmarket-based Muscutt was the leading All-Weather jockey in 2023
Newmarket-based Muscutt was the leading All-Weather jockey in 2023

“Good without being exceptional” is how the 28-year-old reflects on his results.

While he enjoyed Listed success onboard the James Ferguson-trained Canberra Legend in the Fielden Stakes at the Rowley Mile and was crowned the All-Weather Champion Jockey, there was no Group race glory.

“It was nice to get to 100 winners again and it was really fulfilling to win the All-Weather title for the first time,” said Muscutt.

“But I was hoping to have a few more high profile winners during the summer. At the start of the year I felt like I had at least a couple of horses that would get to that level but they fell short and that’s just the way it goes.

“There was still some nice wins and I’d say it was good without being exceptional.”

So what are the chances of Muscutt hitting the target with some ‘high profile’ victories in 2024?

He has certainly started in positive fashion, piloting Snaith Racing’s Double Superlative to victory during January’s Grade 1 World Sports Betting Cape Town Met out in South Africa.

And he is hopeful that his strong connection with HQ trainers James Fanshawe, James Ferguson, Kevin Philippart De Foy and George Scott will lead to some good days closer to home this summer.

“I always like to work towards something numbers-wise but I don’t try to set too lofty ambitions,” he added.

“It’s something I review as the year goes on. First it’s about getting to 50 winners, then 100 – hopefully they’ll be some decent Saturday winners in there.

“I’ve worked hard to establish contacts and I feel like I’m in a nice position with decent stables based around Newmarket.

“There’s some very good horses in those yards with a good band of owners as well.

“There are plenty of young, exciting horses coming through all the time as well.

“They are great people to be working with and I hope we’ll have some good afternoons over the coming months.”

And if just one of Muscutt’s tally is achieved at Royal Ascot in June, that will certainly have ticked a box.

He said: “Royal Ascot is high on my list. I went close a couple of times two years ago when I finished second.

“It’s a big thing to have on your CV – it’s our Olympics after all.”

Muscutt will also have a new supporter in his corner this season.

His daughter Florence was born last summer and he has adapted well to life as a parent.

“Becoming a dad was by far the biggest and most important thing that happened to me last year,” he said.

“I’ve really enjoyed being a dad.

“It took a while to adapt to racing and all of the demands it has – finding that balance between the two.

“But my wife has been a superstar. She’s been a fantastic support and has made it easy for me to do what I have to do racing wise.”