How important is the jockey in your selection process?

TeddyT
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How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby TeddyT » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:23 am

I noticed a piece in the Racing Post recently where one of the feature writers was talking about what effect the jockey has on his selection process.

It made we wonder what our OLBG members feel about how significant jockey bookings are? I’m sure we’ve done something like this before but it’s always good to take a fresh look at this type of issue.

What we are looking for here is detailed reasoning regarding your views on a jockey’s strengths and weaknesses. Is Richard Johnson better over fences or hurdles? Does William Buick ride the round course at Ascot particularly well? Is Ruby Walsh’s record of falls at the last fence/hurdle really cause for concern? Does Jamie Spencer hold up too many horses?

What we don’t want is anything libellous about x jockey being “a crook” etc. We all have jockeys who have been unlucky for us and looking at the reasons why that might be are fine but please make the criticism constructive.

For me personally the jockey is probably one of the factors I give least amount of weight to and I don’t think the booking of any professional jockey would change my mind from a horse I want to back to one I don’t. Nor would the booking of a jockey I like make me back a horse I didn’t otherwise fancy but perhaps I am in the minority here?

Let us know the jockeys you rate and the jockeys you don’t and why.
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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby The Market Man » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:25 pm

The jockey is almost vital in my selection process for my National Hunt selections, less important but still well considered for the flat. Under each code, rarely will I select a horse ridden by a jockey who has a poor record at the course in question. ( 0 wins from 5 rides isn't poor but 1 from 28 will most likely see a line put through it )

Geraghty is the best over fences, in my opinion. His record in the big races from 2 miles to Nationals is the best in the business and whilst AP McCoy's ride on Wichita Lineman is often mentioned as a Cheltenham Festival great ride, Geraghty on Riverside Theatre is even better.

Richard Johnson has improved over fences in recent years. Always excellent in bumpers ( not often beaten in a finish in those races ) and over hurdles, I thought he lacked the tactical versatility of Walsh, Geraghty and Russell over fences. Geraghty rarely falls or unseats, whereas Johnson would hit the deck on decent horses.

I like it when Johnson or Moore retain the ride for an outside yard as i assume they believe it has more to offer and weren't just booked for the one " plot ". Also, a change in distance or the application of visual or breathing aids after they've ridden a horse is also a positive in my book.

Every season I look for a conditional whose claim could prove invaluable in the certain races. A decent 7lb claimer in a hurdle handicap can be worth his weight in gold. A strong connection with the yard involved is preferable.

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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby mantistoboggan » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:27 pm

I would agree with The Market Man about factoring it in more for National Hunt, purely because I think going over hurdles/fences will require a bit more nous from the jockey to get the horse home in front. On the flat I wouldn't quite factor it in so much because I think it's more to do with whether the horse is on it or not. However saying that obviously what would be considered the top jockeys will on more occasions get the better rides.

I had an account with a site last year that had an incredible amount of filters that could be applied (it costs and I won't name it just in case doing so is against the rules) but I haven't had it since purely because I wouldn't be betting near as much on horses these days. But one thing that stood out to me and I mentioned it on another post recently was how some jockeys have clear biases. In terms of the distance of the race, the type of track (level, undulating etc), what direction the track was going. If I remember correctly Ryan Moore for example had a clear preference for long distance races. That's not to say his record in sprints was poor but it did suggest that he's maybe better at getting the horse in front when it's a long drawn out affair and he has more time and room for manoeuvre.


I'd say some probably know the site I'm talking about and I'd guess a fair few from here are signed up to it, I may join back to it for the AW season.

Edit: Just went on to the site and you can apply filters for free, just can't see the horses that it would've applied to. But here's an example.

Ryan Moore / Long Distance Race / Not a handicap / Flat surface / Track located in Midlands ... has only had 20 races but has won 11 of those.
Last edited by mantistoboggan on Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby ians6290 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:52 pm

I tend to use the jockey selection as just another part of the puzzle when looking at races. Although I do and have always thought the main part of the puzzle is the horse itself. Touching on the biases that jockeys tend to have which mantistoboggan mentioned, I am in definite agreement with that as certain jockeys will also prefer certain tracks. I don't have stats at hand to back me up on this one but I've seen it stated on here before that Daryl Jacob is worth an extra few lengths when riding at Haydock. When I am looking at a race from a jockey angle it's that sort of thing I try and remember.

I've also started looking into whether jockeys do well during certain months. A bit of a copy of Scratville's trainer blog but using jockey's instead (Scratville's blog is well worth a follow by the way). Nothing much has come of it yet but I'm still doing a trial of it.

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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby thegambler3700 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:56 pm

It should also be considered are trainers important in your selection of a horse. Has the trainer a good record at the track or is he in form etc i just think its the same with jockeys do they ride certain styles of courses well (ie some might ride epsom/goodwwood/brighton better than others). I just basically have a quick glance at the stats and thats all i give it

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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby Robmull » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:13 pm

Great idea for a discussion thread TeddyT and hopefully it will generate plenty of discussion posts.

Whilst I fully appreciate the opinions of The Market Man and mantisoboggan, I rarely consider jockeys nowadays and have excluded them completely from the VALUE CALCULATOR analysis.

That said, I think that jockeyship is important in all races, but found that the booking of an eye catching jockey often resulted in the betting market over reacting, which meant that the runner was often over bet and therefore was not a value selection.

Perhaps jockey bookings are more important in lower class races and event restricted to apprentice/conditional or amateur jockeys, but as I rarely bet in races below class 3 level, I tend to assume that connections of the horse are keen to give their runner the best chance of winning and therefore have confidence in the jockey that has been engaged to ride their pride and joy.

There have been a few exceptions over the years, such as Andrea Atzeni at Doncaster, Frankie Dettori a few years ago if he was booked to ride on a Monday, Mr Sam Whaley-Cohen in chases at Aintree over the Grand National fence, certain apprentice/conditional jockeys that have shown promise early in their career and before too many punters have latched on to their prowess, etc.

I also intend in the not too distant future to work on a new idea for a betting strategy based on top course jockeys, with additional filters including deployment of the VALUE CALCULATOR, which I hope will weed out the potential selection that offer no value, as I already have a similar strategy for top course trainers.

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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby PompeyJim » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:43 pm

I am probably guilty too of giving not too much consideration as to who is in the saddle and letting that effect my selection process.

I do follow a couple of trainer and jockey combo's when teaming up but that aside I have always taken the view (rightly or wrongly) that if a horse is genuine and the best in the race it will win most of the time regardless of who is doing the steering.

The Ruby Walsh 'last fence/hurdle' tumbles is interesting and tends to linger, think another at Listowel last week but not sure (have not crunched any numbers) this happens to Ruby more than any other jockey, his are probably more high profile than others and a lot of the time is on the best horse in the race and clear of the field or at least look like winning before the untimely exit.

As good as he and AP rank in the National Hunt all time jockeys pecking order I do feel neither were as good as John Francome in regards to seeing a stride on a horse approaching a fence, perhaps the show jumping helped in that regard.

As for current jockeys, none massively stand head and shoulders above the rest for me, I feel most of the time it's having the powerful stable/s backing you up with the best chances.

One I do particularly like is Silvestre De Sousa especially on front runners, I think he is a great judge of pace and setting the right fractions, similar to Steve Cauthen in the 80's. He did get nailed on one in the last few strides at Yarmouth today having led but generally I am quite happy to see him go off in front on one that I may have backed. He rode a great race earlier in the season on Eclipse day at Sandown for David Elsworth on 'Tisbutadream' kept finding every time the horse was challenged, admittedly he had a willing partner under him but was a well judged ride from the front.
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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby jaydubs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:58 pm

're Walsh falling more than others.. yes he does.. MOB shared an article on FB last week stating this..

Most jocks ride for a stable so if the stable is flying so does the jock... what I look for are trainers who don't often put a top jock on board... McCoy was a classic and can still be found in trainer stats for when you wonder why someone is booked.. one recently was Howard in Ireland... put Smullen on board it's winning or trying very hard..
I have a few I keep a close eye on....

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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby Jim Brown » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:04 pm

I've mentioned before that I don't bet nowadays since moving to the US, but before I moved I was a huge racing fan and punter. In all that time, the jockey booking had no influence whatsoever in making a selection. My picks were purely on form and usually on Saturdays/top meetings, so the jockey booking was one more variable in the equation that I didn't need. Now I won't say, having studied for and make a selection, that seeing a decent jockey on board wasn't pleasing to see, but - and this is just me of course - the horse was the most important thing to me, and if it hypothetically got to the stage where a jockey was the difference between making it a selection or not for me then that meant the horse selection was probably borderline anyway. I think a good horse can be won on by any number of jockeys. Most jockeys know their thing - they know how to ride. Yes sometimes a mistake is made but a really "bad" jockey will not ever last long in racing. But like I said, that's just the way I did it, and I fully respect that to others a jockey is a major factor. Whatever works! :win:
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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby Shrews » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:44 pm

I've pointed out before on the forum that when doing my research a few years ago it was somewhat surprising to me that the biggest single factor was the 'jockey' (versus considerations of other factors such as class, going, distance etc). The more 'weighting' I gave the jockey factor the better the results got.

However, the betting also told the same story and even though the strike rate improved, the LSP didn't, and I concluded there were a number of reasons for this:

- When the horse is ready, the best jockey gets booked.
- When the horse is at the right course, the best jockey gets booked.
- When the best jockey gets booked and loses, but then rides again next time out (even if way behind last time) the horse has a good chance. Typically, the jockey will tell the trainer what he felt suited and what he didn't. If an apprentice tells the trainer the horse will probably benefit from an increase in distance, the bends of Chester, running on soft etc, this is probably worth less than if Ryan Moore gives the trainer the same advice.

The yard, the connections, the pro's, will know this information and affect the betting market before us amateurs have even made our bedtime Horlicks.

So yes, I believe the jockey booking is the most important factor, unfortunately it's also one of the most obvious ones.

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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby redboy » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:40 am

The much maligned Spencer is one I definitely avoid - he clearly has talent , but for whatever reason manages to enrage punters up and down the country - mainly in your day to day average races. The most criticism he receives (and rightly so imo) is holding horses up too long and surging too late. Is that poor jockeyship on his behalf as it seems to happen too regularly to be coincidence ? My main gripe with Spencers mounts are the vitriolic comments posted after he loses - punters know what he's like - do what I do and simply avoid him.
Simon Pearce was one I thought would kick on a few years back. He went out to the USA for a year or two to "fine tune" his ability but hasnt really kicked on since he returned.

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Re: How important is the jockey in your selection process?

Postby Crofty11 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:54 am

One jockey that i look for is Nina Carberry in Bumpers , over the last 5 seasons the has had 385 runs, 71 winners 18% 69 2nds and 58 3rds, so over 50% of rides are placed ( 51 were 4th), so she seems to get decent horses and can ride this type of race. coincidently she is on one in the last at Ballinrobe today, i think her first ride back after going birth. Her record in Chases is also very good but she has had only 44 rides in 5 years.

I like many others am not a big Spencer fan, but i do look to see if he is on a horse that has a tendency to run keenly, he can get them settled and can get a good run out of them. I also would never back him on a front runner.

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