Tom Segal - Racing Post 2020 - The Secrets Of Pricewise

'...a factor I have been banging the drum on for about 30 years now - and still I'm amazed to hear punters say they don't consider it an important factor - is jockeys. It's as if many punters think horseracing is like motor racing in that if you put any reasonably competent driver in a Mercedes or a Ferrari they would be at the front.

But horseracing is a totally different kettle of fish, where it's extremely difficult to get any horse from A to B in the quickest possible way. Paul Townend won both the 2020 Gold Cup and Ryanair as much as his mounts did, and any serious punter should go back and watch all the Cheltenham races and see where Russell and Geraghty had their horses positioned throughout the race. Of course they make mistakes too but the vast majority of the time their mounts are in the right place, they don't go for home too soon, and they very rarely find trouble in running.'

TOP FESTIVAL JOCKEYS - 2016 to 2020 - R Walsh 15 wins (rtd), Townend 11, Russell 10, Geraghty 10 (rtd), de Boinville 9, Codd 6, Kennedy 5 (inj), Cooper 4, M Walsh 4, Skelton 4. The Townend GC Day Treble pushes Paul up towards Ruby. With Jack Kennedy injured, the Elliott machine backed Davy, top jockey in 2018 with four wins. Retains virtual second place +1 over the 5 yr average. Even with Jack injured, last year's top rolling average seven leaders remain the same, if in slightly different order. Bryan hanging on. Tom Scu, R Johnson, Robbie and STD slip off the list. Let's hope that Jack recovers from that serious leg injury suffered at the DRF. Bryan, only five unplaced rides over 2018 and 2019, had five rides in 2020. Fine G1 seconds on Latest Exhibition and Ronald Pump.

By winners, Barry Geraghty until retirement on the 12th July, was the senior jockey. Both Davy Russell and he are 40 yrs old, Davy three months older. Barry was injured in 2017 and must be delighted with his double in both 2018 and 2019, then the big five JP winners in 2020. Thar made him along with Ruby in 2009, they are now the only two to have won a race on all 4 days. Won top jockey in 2012. Apart from 2017 he has ridden at least one winner at every Cheltenham Festival since 2001. 5 winners from 11 rides in 2020 and Saint Roi was his last ever Festival ride. Out on a winner. Impressive. Richard Johnson is now the only one currently riding who have won all four championship races.

Level stakes £1 per Festival ride over the last five years - P Townend +£43, J Kennedy +£40, JJ Codd +£26, R Blackmore £23 N de Boinville +£18, M Walsh +£5, B Geraghty -£5 D Russell -£5. Even after Concertista brought him in from the cold D Jacob still -£45 over the past five years. David Mullins -£47, Sam Twiston-Davies, -£33 Aidan Coleman, -£34, Mr PW Mullins -£29. JJ Codd continues to have the best 5 year Festival strike rate in the top ten with six winners from his last 23 rides. That's not bad. Percentages wins to rides over the 5 yrs - Ruby finished on 25%, Jamie is on 25%, Barry 17%, Bryony 17%, Nico 15%, Jack 15%, Paul 14%, Davy 13%, Ruby finished as top jockey 11 times. Since 2015 Ruby/W Mullins had a 25% strike rate. Over the past five years Jamie/G Elliott is 4 from 14, Bryony 2 from 9 for Paul Nicholls, Jack/G Elliott 16% wins to rides, Rachel/Henry 3 from 27..

Check currently best all course meetings strike rate over the 5 yrs would be Nico on circa 20%. Gavin Sheehan rode three winners on course January 2020.

All Time Jockeys Festival Wins - Walsh 59, Geraghty 43, McCoy 32, Taaffe 25, Russell 25, Johnson 23, Dunwoody 18, Swan 17, Winter 17. The only change is that Davy Russell with his three in 2020 overtakes Richard Johnson. Davy's run of a winner in 13 successive Festivals came to a stop in 2019. Envoi Allen broke his 23 long losing run going back to The Storyteller in the 2018 Mildmay. Decent record. Paul Townend has 15. Barry says he has no intention of retiring yet, even though he admits to being 'on the back nine.'

Jockeys Festival Rides Cold List - Aidan Coleman, when coming of the list with Paisley Park in 2019 said. 'Didn't think it was such a big deal, until it happened.' Sure, Aidan. This sometimes mirrors stable form. For want of a better word then the current 'leaders' in this category are P Brennan 73 (2010 Grand Annual), Sam Twiston-Davies 58 (2016 Bumper), David Mullins 47 (never), T O'Brien 42 (never), R Power 40 (2017 G Annual), T Scudamore 38 (2017 Ultima), Jonathan Burke 37 (never). Current other leading jockeys on a bit of a trot are Danny Mullins 29, Harry Cobden 26, Mr Sam Waley-Cohen 24, Richard Johnson 22, Mr PW Mullins 23. Sean Bowen 20. IMHO Sam Twiston-Davies remains a streak jockey. If and when he rides a Festival winner, don't be surprised if he immediately rides another. Darryl Jacob steered Concertista to success in the 2020 Mares Novice, his first ever success when 'in green.' Some have said, there is no better steererer of a horse. But, by God, if he couldn't win on that... Bet you Danny Mullins a bit sick having been beat on the line in 2019 on the same beast at 66/1. Danny also chinned in the 2018 Bumper on Carefully Selected by Katie on Relegate. Patrick Mullins was on a losing run of 21 before Rathvinden, 23 non winners since. Has ridden 6 seconds since Rathvinden.

Those having difficulty include David Mullins who has never had any sort of Cheltenham winner from 56 rides and the aforementioned Danny Mullins 0 from 29 over five Festivals. He has three course wins to his name. Mind you David has nearly won two Grand Nationals and both of them have each collected over £260k in prize money from races at Cheltenham.

CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS - The record of Conditional Jockeys is addressed in each individual race

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