Who’s the best bet to win – the jockey, the horse or the trainer? Let’s look at the jockey option.
So you want to put a bet on the Grand National but trying to decide who is the best jockey? Here we take a look at how jockeys have performed in past Grand Nationals to see if the jockey offers a good indicator that your hard-earned cash isn’t being thrown into the wind.
Placing a bet on your favourite jockey no matter which horse they are riding is a popular choice for thousands of race followers and, because the Grand National is such a major race all the top jockeys that can be riding will be. So let’s take a look at the top names we can expect to see in 2013.
Quite possibly the greatest jockey at the jumps is top Irish jockey Ruby Walsh. A double time Grand National Winner, he has also been placed 4 times in the last ten years and has a truly remarkable record for the Grand National of finishing around 90% of his entries over the last dozen years. This level of performance makes it very likely that Ruby will be entering on one of the most fancied horses as well, meaning the odds aren’t likely to be very long. However, he is probably the closest anyone can get to a “banker” in the Grand National where there is never a guarantee of clearing the first fence, let alone winning.
Another Irish jockey, Tony McCoy has been the British Champion jockey 13 times, ridden a record-breaking 3000 winners and was seen as the best jockey never to win a Grand National until 2010 when Tony finally got his due reward and took the Grand National aboard Don’t Push It, contributing to his Sports Personality Of the Year award that year. He has taken a place in 3 other Grand Nationals and has to be another highly rated choice if you want to go with the jockey.
Irishman, Barry Geraghty won the 2003 Grand National on Monty’s Pass and has been placed 4 times in the last 10 years too. Another Irish jockey with an excellent record of finishes he is undoubtedly another strong choice of jockey for the Grand National. If he isn’t on one of the top favourites he could be a good choice for a jockey based bet.
Timmy Murphy has won once on Comply Or Die and been placed twice which is all the more impressive for those coming from just 5 finishes over the last 10 years. If Timmy gets to finish he’s certainly capable of bringing home a good place. Another one to watch for a good return.
A mention must also go here to Nina Carberry the top Irish female jockey as many feel it is only a matter of time before a woman wins the Grand National. Nina has a record of 3 finishes out of 4 races but was rather eclipsed following her fall last year by Katie Walsh on Seabass who took a well-deserved third place.
An interesting option could be Richard Johnson. Richard is one of the elite top jockeys having ridden over 2000 winners in the UK, but he has a very unlucky record in the Grand National, only finishing 3 times in the last 10 years. If he doesn’t win in 2013 he will equal the unenviable record of 15 unsuccessful rides in the National without ever winning. That record is currently held by Jeff King while racing between 1964 and 1980. If determination and motivation count for much then Richard Johnson could well be your choice.
- License: Image author owned
- Comply or Die: Wikipedia
Neil Maycock writes articles on the grand national runners and results.
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