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The Horserace Jockey – What You Need To Know?

A  horserace jockey is a rare breed. The boy that rides any given horse can be a great asset, or occasionally, a distinct liability. Talent does matter.

The physical requirements to be a horserace jockey are extremely demanding. They must be strong enough to control an animal weighing 10 to 15 times their own weight.

At the same time they must be able to guide, urge and most importantly, rate these huge animals.  On top of these requirements they must have the ability to maintain the low weights demanded by the scale of weights.

Probably the greatest demand on these multi talented athletes is maintaining a temperament that is supported by nerves of steel,  competitive courage, and still have the ability to remain cool and alert

Danger should be the middle name of a horserace jockey. It is their constant companion.  It would not be surprising if statistics showed it to be one of the most dangerous occupations.  Each year jockeys are killed in tragic falls.  Others in high numbers become paraplegics.

The Horserace Jockey   What You Need To Know?

Sitting in the stands and watching a jockey split horses in the stretch, or making a quick move on the rail, or the defensive moves of taking a horse up after clipping heels or avoiding a blocking move by another animal seem almost automatic.  They are not.  Those type of moves are dangerous performances by extremely talented athletes.

It is amazing that there is not a shortage of  jockeys that are forced to ride older, frail, and often lame animals.  The dangers are compounded.  Even the condition of racing surfaces are more conducive to horses breaking down under racing pressure.

Many would say that the lure of the tremendous earnings of a top racehorse jockey is the reason, but when you check the ages of jockeys, you see that many are at over the hill ages, and talents, but are riding. It must be either the love of horses, or an addiction to the thrill of the home-stretch. Their talents are extremely important in horserace handicapping.

When rating the jockey, in the handicapping process, there are a few indicators that should attract your attention.  Most important, is that the jockey ranks among the leaders at the meet, usually about 20% or better. Secondarily, is the jockey highly effective in today’s race type, such as talent on the turf,  good at getting horses out of the gate with two year olds, or does the trainer have a history of successfully using the jockey?

Final thought is to give the jockey the benefit of doubt.  That is not true with trainers.