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The Racing Horse is using the current downtime to further explain our approach to betting. It is our belief there are four main components of a bet that should not be compromised and remain the building blocks of the professional bettor. Today we take this opportunity to talk about the fourth most important factor of finding a winner!


Jockey bookings are not only the conduit from horse to the trainer but to the weeks or months of schooling and preparation. Jockeys are one of the most important yet underestimated factors in racing and despite a jockeys notoriety or lack of it, this aspect is not given the appropriate weighting to betting decisions and we take this opportunity to elaborate.

Everything in racing is an estimate and nothing is absolute, and jockey bookings are the same. It is impossible to measure but every jockey booking has a negative or positive mathematical number and this allegorical number varies from day to day and course to course. This help or hinder estimate must be factored-in when profiling a race. As part of our composite, which accompanies each and every PACAFI, we look at jockey competence and mark them accordingly. The mark reflects skill and proficiency and is math based and though open to conjecture hope to clarify below.

Within this scenario or bandwidth we recognise jockeys perform differently, better or worse on the different All Weather courses (Polytrack, Tapeta and Fibresand) and again much differently on All Weather to Turf.

It is probably best to give a couple of obvious examples so nominate a couple of jockeys well known to the current racing scene, though there are dozens who carry certain characteristics, inclinations and weaknesses described below.

Clifford Lee (24) is a progressive young jockey who is proficient at Southwell (Fibresand surface) and scores 18-89 for 20% (+12.38) over the past five seasons, but would you back his ride on a 11/10 favourite for Karl Burke (10%) on the Polytrack at Kempton? Lee's record at this course shows 1-52 for 2% (-47.00). Whilst we are not qualified to judge his competence literally on the AW at Kempton the mathematics (fact) suggests at this moment in time avoid wagering on his rides at this course.

If there are different levels of competence/skill on the AW then this is accentuated from AW to Turf. Sir Mark Prescott is nobody's fool yet persists with Luke Morris (32) post Seb Sanders and George Duffield who were far superior jockeys. But, Morris rides very light (close to 8st) and one of the hardest workers on the racing scene and his work ethic counts for plenty. Importantly, he fits into the trainers modus operandi of running up sequences with progressive 3yo staying types, so clearly a decent jockey - but is he more than that? He has ridden 1704 winners in total with 1182 (69%+) of them on the AW surfaces. We set aside his unsightly agricultural style and look at him from a betting perspective on Turf excluding his rides for Prescott.

Last year, Luke Morris rode for 105 trainers in 2019 proving his popularity but for 93 of them he never rode a winner spanning 189 rides. His total score on Turf showed just 12 winners from 297 rides for 4% and a massive level stake loss of -213.93. On the AW surfaces he averages at 11% and a huge differential. His ultra low weight makes rides available to him and not others, and one imagines his experience and insight giving good feedback to owners and trainers thus securing his standing in racing. His 6,019 rides in the past five years is testament to his durability but not to his profitability!

Conclusions from the above are obvious once you have witnessed the mathematics of these two jockeys. Knowing Morris has a national average strike rate of 11% (including Turf & AW) would the reader back a ride for trainer Michael Appleby on Turf at any price? Excluding the Prescott horses we know he is just 4% on Turf so 7% below his median and in 2019 showed 0-11 for 0% for Appleby (just one third place recorded). Despite his 1704 winners he is lay material on Turf!

The jockey is not just the conduit from trainer to horse, the moment he/she mounts the horse in the paddock until he/she returns, every movement and thought process is transmitted then received into the animal's brain and they will remember the experience. This acquaintance or association not only offers an optimum finishing position but one able to teach and communicate with the horse going forward.

But that's not all. After the race a certain number of jockeys are able to pass on to the trainer and owners the most valuable and critical information not readily available to the betting public that would otherwise be missed, lost or not deemed useful. Each jockey is not equal in this regard, in fact there is a gulf between the best and the worst.

Clearly jockeys are one of the most important yet underestimated factors in racing so backing a moderate or inexperienced jockey irrespective of the price on offer is not conducive to our style of betting. It is at odds with our demand for high strike rates and low to no risk betting so suffice it to say if you want to maximise your success as a punter you must seriously consider jockey competence in your form analysis and especially bet decision making.


Today's Pacafi: click here

Our information and betting advice is for educational purposes only. Please exercise caution when acting upon our advice and remember that gambling carries risk. No liability is taken by the site or product owner following any of the information given or sold to you. Betting always involves a level of risk and you should never bet more than you can afford to lose.

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