The Jockey Factor

Wizard Daily Report and Research Saturday, 16 December 2023.

The Jockey Factor

Although I regard the trainer as the key individual responsible for any race success, there is no doubt that the jockey also plays a part in that success, sometimes a vital part.

Wizard recognizes the important role the jockey can play and features in its (pdf) printed form, and in Wizard Plus online screen and printable reports, extensive information on the jockey.

In the Wizard printable formguide you can find:

  • Jockey record on the horse (wins-places-starts)
  • Jockey record in this location (metro, provincial, country) for last 12 months
  • Jockey record overall for last 12 months
  • Jockey/trainer combination stats
  • List of winning jockeys on the horse with their number of wins

In Wizard Plus you can find:

  • Jockey Challenge ratings for the meeting
  • Jockey and jockey/trainer overall stats for previous 12 months (<=10/1)
  • Jockey and jockey/trainer overall stats for previous 12 months (all odds)
  • Jockey and jockey/trainer location stats for previous 12 months (<=10/1)
  • Jockey and jockey/trainer market stats overall for 12 months  (<=10/1)
  • Jockey and jockey/trainer market stats overall for 12 months  (all odds)
  • Jockey and jockey/trainer market stats in location for 12 months  (<=10/1)
  • Jockey and jockey/trainer market stats at track for previous 12 months  (<=10/1)
  • Stats and Facts overall record, record at <=10/1, on favourites
  • Stats and Facts colour coded record of last 50 rides
  • Stats and Facts record at track, in distance range, on dry and wet tracks
  • Stats and Facts Group race record in last 12 months
  • Stats and Facts record with trainer, with the horse, in location, in Group 1 races

Basically, the Wizard aims to help answer the important questions the race analyst might have about the jockey when working through the form for the coming meeting.

There are many aspects about the jockey/trainer relationship and jockey/horse combination that can be discussed. One of them involves a change of jockeys.

The Jockey Switch

A jockey switch can be a significant factor in determining whether a horse is near race winning condition or is likely to win in the right type of race.

There are a number of jockey switches that deserve our attention:

  • A switch from an lower profile rider to a top (premiership) jockey.

(Note: Purely for ease of reading I use he, rather than he/she etc, below. There is no doubt that male and female jockeys are equally capable, and I am perfectly happy when a female jockey is engaged.)

This is especially significant if the top rider has previously won on the horse or finished close to the winner (or if he passes up a good ride from the stable for which he usually rides). Often the less fashionable rider has merely been the pilot for the conditioning runs.

It is understandable that when the clear intention is to win most connections naturally seek out the best available rider. When this situation occurs it usually means one of two things:

The horse has been set for the race and the intention is to win; or

  • The horse will be given a thorough test in public by the top rider before the money is finally committed.
  • Your own pre-race analysis can tell you whether the horse might need another run before winning. It also pays to watch the betting market.

Also deserving of our attention:

  • A switch to a "specialist rider".

Here the recent rider/s are replaced by a specialist. The horse in question might be a natural front-runner. By engaging a jockey who is a specialist on front-runners the connections can be confident that their horse will be ridden in a manner that will give it every possible chance to win.

  • Switch to a previously successful rider.

This switch can even be from a top rider to a less fashionable hoop. There may be a genuine understanding between this galloper and the lower profile rider.

The Wizard past results provide the names of previously successful riders. It is important to check the names of these riders when judging the suitability of any particular riding engagement.

Special attention should be paid to the situation where there is a double switch, both of which are likely to be favourable to the horses winning chances.

For example:

  • A simultaneous switch in distance and rider.
  • A simultaneous switch in class of race and rider.

Such double switches are often significant and should be treated as such.


Warren - Wiz-Ed

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