Luke Murrell’s current NSW jockey ratings

Luke Murrell’s current NSW jockey ratings

Kerrin McEvoy is rated the best jockey currently by Luke Murrell. Photo courtesy Daryl Duckworth.

Kerrin McEvoy is rated the best jockey currently by Luke Murrell. Photo courtesy Daryl Duckworth.

It’s a fact of Australian Racing that the best horse doesn’t always win the race but rather the horse who finds the “right lane” up the straight and the horse given the best opportunity by his pilot- plays a huge part of any race result. Over winter this is even more relevant and it’s important to stick with the jockeys in form

Through my work of video analysis and watching for these bias situations I thought I could help steer the readership group into some of the jockeys that are in form and perhaps help you avoid those that wouldn’t win a one horse race at present.

To determine a good from a bad jockey is simple not just a matter of picking the jockey who rides the most winners but almost the opposite – picking jockeys who make the least amount of mistakes. If you can pick these guys and girls then you are going to get every chance. Unfortunately even Joao Moreira and Ryan Moore put in bad rides – but they will do it less often than others and the very good jockeys can actually ride a race to win – when ordinarily the horse shouldn’t be capable of winning. They are a rare breed but they are out there.

Like all sportsman they have good patches and bad patches and the best example of that is a Champion Jockey Hugh Bowman. I’ve perhaps never seen his form dip the way it did over the Sydney Carnival- making many uncharacteristic mistakes but ever since the Hollindale meeting where he rode some magnificent races he has not made a mistake the past 2 weeks.

I maintain a database of almost every rider and to judge their ability and form we focus more on tactical errors and also the ability to ride a race and win or make something happen to outperform. So, since January 1 this year we have the following rankings. These are the guys who should be given extra ticks at present are.

Best City Class Riders:

K McEvoy: for the past 12 months, he has been a machine and whilst he can still bugger them up- he is our premier jockey in Australia (over the last 5 months) at present in terms of making the least amount of mistakes and also having the ability to win on things that shouldn’t win.

Second is Brenton Avdulla- he had an ordinary 6-8 weeks a while ago for him but pound for pound this bloke generally is the most error free rider you will find- he is just starting to hit his straps again off the ordinary run and both him and Kerrin are streets ahead at present over the last 12 months. Brenton over the last 12 months is the most consistent, most error free and most ability to win or ride a race to outperform.

Third is : Hugh Bowman: Hugh gets all the best rides normally and is a world class rider but on recent form ( last 4 weeks) and the last 12 months is still behind the top 2 boys

Last 4 weeks: Of particular mention recently Tye Angland and Tom Berry are white hot. Tommy Berry especially hasn’t ridden this good previously. A few who don’t get the best chances but generally give you a great run for your money are Rory Hutchings and Rachel King (apprentice)

Out Of Form

Guys in town that are out of form are Christian Reith, Josh Parr, Andrew Atkins (apprentice so still learning), Jay Ford, M Bell. Not to say they won’t ride winners- but in recent time these guys are making way too many mistakes and if the jockeys room was like the English Premier League these guys would be in the relegation room

Provincial and Country

Obviously whenever you see Avdulla, McEvoy, Bowman at the provincials they are in a different league but of the regulars there is really only 2 guys to focus on:

1.       Andrew Gibbons. If you want a bloke to give your mount every chance Gibbo makes the least amount of mistakes of any rider in the bush for the last 24 months. He puts them in the right spot and actually thinks about what he is doing and if the bloke was given more opportunities in the city he would do the same. Amazingly consistent you can punt on him with confidence not to stuff it up

2.       Jeff Penza: now getting all the plumb Godolphin rides and whilst he still buggers them up and is not as consistent as Gibbons he is not far behind. Has lengths on most of the others.

Left field: Josh Adams- was going to be a superstar as an apprentice and then went off the rails. Back riding now and has more talent than most and will try something to win the race- can struggle tactically but getting better.

Johan Victoire – was crucified for his ride on Fabrizio but probably is the most talented on the provincial circuit and is pushing the top 2 blokes for consistency. His a highly talented rider and riding them great at present.

Yusuke Ichikwawa: Ichi I’m amazed doesn’t get more rides- rarely mucks them up and very much in the Andrew Gibbons mode- can be relied upon to ride them well.

Three apprentice’s worth following are Jean Van Overmeire, Louise Day and Aaron Williams- the next 12 months should seem them in demand as they develop their skills.

R Thompson: the caveat here is it needs to be 1600m race or longer. He has just got too much class and quality and constantly gives them A1 rides over the longer distances. The shorter ones I’m happy to take him on but staying races especially they are all given their chance

Out of Form

Paul King- Rides them like he is late for his own wedding and just mucking up too many times.

Grant Buckley: 12 months ago he was up with the top 2 guys for consistency- but the last 12 months his opportunities have dried up.

Keagan Latham: rides winners but for consistency and polish – he is a pen job- way too inconsistent.

Adrian Layt: If he draws inside he is fine- but on back markers or wide draws – not for me.

In summary, what these guys do just to be able to ride is amazing and something I could never do but from a punting point of view there are some guys you can rely on and others are like a box of chocolates. If you stick to the guys who give you every chance – you can make less mistakes yourself in your punting which should lead to more profit.