To be totally
honest with you, when I do my assessments of the chances in a race I never take
into account the jockey factor. I figure that the
horse's form has already taken that into account. If Joe Smith rode the horse
and the horse has the right form then if Joe Smith or a similar rider has the
mount today we can expect the form to work out. Well, as well as form does anyway.
If Joe Smith
is replaced by Darren Beadman, it might be realistic to give the horse an even
better chance. Certainly, we can get a boost when a top class well known rider
is to ride our selection. The offset to that is that the price will be affected.
A top jockey will get us a good ride but the price will be reduced. That is
why I don't take jockeys into account.
What is a
top jockey? I can tell you that he isn't necessarily in the Top twenty riders
in your State. There are many jockeys who make the top twenty
simply by getting the most rides. No, a top jockey is one who consistently rides
one winner in six or more. Greg Ryan is a top country jockey. He rides roughly
one winner in five. Darren Beadman also rides one winner in five. B. Shinn is
a very well known rider but he is one of the jockeys
who makes the list by sheer weight of rides. His strike rate is just 13%, still
good but not enough to rate him among the very best.
the top 20% ride roughly 18% of all runners but get 25% of the winners. Jockeys
who are just average, get 50% of all rides but win only 8% of the winners. The
statistics speak for themselves. The problem is that a top rider will drive
the price down to an average of less than $4.00.
Some of my
best winners have been when a rider like Victoria's T. Barry or Simon Miller,
who both ride roughly one winner in ten, is on one of my top rated horses. I
have won many thousands of dollars backing horses with riders like these. There
are many examples of horse and jockey combinations that do well. You may even
find that while they do well with a particular horse, they may do poorly with
others. Look for these, as you will often get a good price.
you should watch when assessing a jockey is that jockey's connections. There
are many good jockeys out there who, because they
have no manager or because they are not the sort of people to promote themselves,
always get the worst of rides. A rider who is getting a strike rate of only
8% may be doing so because all his mounts are $10 and over. Watch these riders
and see how they perform on better horses.
Racing organisation only uses a jockeys rides on horses less than $10 when assessing
their jockey ratings and this makes sense. What you want is a jockey who gives
you the best possible outcome when yur money is on.
look out for jockey "upgrades" as this can tell you when the trainer
thinks the horse is ready. Back up on your selections when a rider
with a strike rate of at least one in six is riding. Try to keep an eye out
for improving young jockeys, most imprentices who have lost some of their
allowance in the first few months of riding can be good value.