The Best Australian Jockeys
While the horses are, of course, our main focus when we look at all races, they cannot reach the finishing post without a quality jockey guiding them to victory. A jockey controls how a horse runs in a race - the tactics of the ride and the positioning on the course are pivotal in deciding the winner of a race.
The top jockeys are those who consistently bring the best out of top-quality thoroughbreds, and the best jockeys usually are lucky enough to end up with the best rides when it comes to the biggest Group 1 events.
Seeing a name like Bowman or Oliver on board your fancied horse for a race should only increase your confidence in a selection, and understanding who the most successful and promising jockeys are can only help you to make an informed decision when it comes to betting on the horses.
So who are the best jockeys in Australian horse racing?
Having the pleasure of riding a horse with the star quality of Winx certainly helps when it comes to notching the biggest monetary prizes and Group 1 honours, but Hugh Bowman has more strings to his bow than simply riding the outstanding mare in the world of horse racing.
Bowman has an incredible strike rate in terms of finishing in the places at the very least and is one of the most prolific Group 1 winners both at home and abroad - one of the top-rated jockeys worldwide.
Bowman will look to continue his outstanding partnership with Winx in the coming years as the pair aim to break Black Caviar’s record of consecutive victories.
Oliver might not be quite so prolific these days as he enters his late forties, but his achievements in the sport have him as one of the best of all time.
Oliver has won over 100 Group 1 races, including three Melbourne Cups and four Caulfield Cups, and there is hardly a race in Australia that Oliver hasn’t won. What really sets Oliver apart is the number of different horses he has guided to wins in the biggest races across such a long period of time, and unlike Bowman, Oliver hasn’t relied on a single horse to elevate him to the top of the jockey premierships.
There’s little that Oliver hasn’t done - he’s completed the Grand Slam of Australian horse racing, and has even had a biopic made of his life!
While forever known for his victory in the 2000 Melbourne Cup aboard Brew, McEvoy has now developed into one of the most consistent winners in thoroughbred racing with an outstanding recent record on tracks across Australia. McEvoy won his second Melbourne Cup with Almandin in 2016 and added the Everest to his impressive resume in 2017 with Redzel.
His combination with Redzel should see more Group 1 victories ahead for McEvoy. His record abroad makes him one of the global stars of Australian horse racing, while victories abroad, such as in the St Ledger at Doncaster, make him one of the more international faces of Australian thoroughbred racing. With 60 Group 1 wins to his name already, McEvoy is well established at the top of the horse racing world.
If you’re looking for a prolific winner, then look no further than William Pike.
He may not have amassed the same prize money as the likes of Bowman, but he has been the most successful jockey in Australia over the last couple of years purely in terms of race wins. His strike rates in the biggest Group races isn’t too bad, and with his success in the last couple of years, expect Pike to be given more opportunities and to make them count.
Pike has been close to 200 victories in each of the last two seasons, and with a strike rate approaching 25% in that time, Pike is a name normally associated with the winner’s enclosure.
Another prolific winner, Avdulla is a jockey on the up, with over 150 winners in 2017-18. Unlike Pike, Avdulla also added huge swathes of prize money to those victories and is now considered one of the best jockeys in Australia.
Perhaps still most famous for his amazing 100-1 win at the Oaks aboard Lasqueti Spirit, Avdulla looks likely to get more opportunities to turn his prolific strike rate into more chances and wins in the biggest Group 1 races.
The Best Horse Racing Jockeys
There are scores of great jockeys competing in races from the minor races to group races, and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the best and most prolific jockeys will stand you in good stead for your horse racing betting. The top jockeys tend to get the best rides in the top races, so seeing them aboard one of your fancies is generally a good thing, but it is worth remembering that no matter how good a jockey is, the most important factor in any race is the ability of the horse themselves.
The top jockeys draw plenty of attention from the punters and the bookies as well, so often you won’t get huge prices on the top jockeys, and therefore blindly backing the top jockeys isn’t generally a great recipe for success.