Jockey Of The Month

Jockey Of The Month

Elite Jockeys Of The Month

Some weeks certain Australian jockeys catch the eye and so we've introduced this Jockey Of The Month page to profile jockeys we consider worth keeping an eye on.

Jockey Of The Month: April 2018 Kerrin McEvoy

He has not won the most races during the 2017 – 2018 Australian thoroughbred racing season, he has not outworked the other jockeys, his current win total of 52 trails Brenton Avdulla by 14, but we have picked Kerrin McEvoy as the betsfree.com.au Jockey of the Month of April 2018 for one simple reason.

$12,134,910 reasons, actually, as that figure represents the prize money he has taken in to this point, as of late April. It is doubtful that any of the other top hoops can catch or pass McEvoy for the prizemoney crown of the NSW jockeys. As the vast bulk of the big money races are done for the season.

McEvoy enjoys approximately a 50 percent edge in that category over his nearest competitors, Tye Angland, Blake Shinn and Avdulla. It is not as though McEvoy has had a banner April that prompted us to select him.

With the exception of his wins on Luvaluva in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick on April 7, and the Group 3 James Carr Stakes on Moss Trip at Randwick on April 21, McEvoy has won only benchmark races and a maiden for the month. It would actually appear as though McEvoy, by his standards and those of the racing business, has had a bad month. Rather, we noticed that we had overlooked McEvoy as the betsfree.com.au Jockey of the Month for all too long, so he was simply due as a matter of respect.

McEvoy is still riding like an apprentice, by which we mean he is showing up for work on a regular basis. Born in Streaky Bay, South Australia, he is already enshrined in the South Australian Racing Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2017.

He is just 37 years of age, so he could be around for a long time, as it is not uncommon for jockeys of his calibre to compete well into their 40s or longer. So, how did McEvoy open the huge margin he has on the three above him in the Sydney premiership standings?

The two-time Melbourne Cup winner (2000 and 2016), one-time Caulfield Cup winner (2008) and one time Golden Slipper Stakes winner (2011), pulled off the win of the season in October of 2017 when he guided Redzel to the victory in The Everest, a race that is worth $10 million total prizemoney and for which McEvoy was credited with close to half his total for the season to date.

By guiding the Peter and Paul Snowden trained sprinter to the win in The Everest, McEvoy opened a margin on his rivals that looks out of reach, as the prizemoney in Sydney for the last remaining months of the current season would not seem adequate for Avdulla, Shinn and Angland to close the gap.

Congratulations to the betsfree.com.au Jockey of the Month for April 2018, Kerrin McEvoy.

Jockey Of The Month: March 2018 Hugh Bowman

The March 2018 betsfree.com.au Jockey of the Month is Hugh Bowman.

March was quite the month for Bowman. We almost give him Jockey of the Month for the sheer courage he displayed when he got back on Performer to run in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill after that same horse had unceremoniously dumped him to the turf in the Group 2 Todman Stakes at Royal Randwick on March 10.

The old adage about getting right back on the horse after a fall may contain a kernel of wisdom, but no one ever said it had to be the same horse.

Hugh Bowman Jockey Of The Month

Our next reason, well reasons, for choosing Bowman is the two Group 1 wins he grabbed at the March 24 meeting at Rosehill.

Riding Winx to the win in the George Ryder Stakes was a foregone conclusion, although Happy Clapper was not told anything of the sort and Winx actually had to work to win a race for a change.

Bowman won the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas on the same day and he rode place getters in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes and the Listed Darby Munro.

As for the rest of the month, Bowman started out on a high note when he rode Winx for the win in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes and he had four other wins, including one on Mick Price’s Seabrook in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes.

In the New South Wales jockey premiership standings for the season, Bowman occupies the seventh spot, but ridden only about half as many races as the top NSW rider, Brenton Avdulla. Of the top-20 riders, Bowman’s 20.70 percent strike rate is four percent better than that of Blake Shinn.

Bowman is a working jockey who does not shun the country tracks in order to ride in the big metro races only. He has made over 3500 starts at smaller venues and for punters at those venues who see his name on the form, Bowman is close to an even money proposition with a 46 percent place strike rated and an 18 percent winning strike rate.

His winning strike rate at the metro tracks in NSW is 15 percent; remarkable in that he has made well over 7,000 starts at the big NSW tracks.

Just 37 years of age as of early 2018, Bowman has made almost 12,000 starts since he took up the trade in 1999. He is closing in on 2,000 career wins and could well make that number by the end of 2018.

He has 75 Group 1 wins to this point and he could pose a threat to the record of 119 held by George Moore before he calls time.

He has taken in almost $150 million in prize-money since the year 2000.

Congratulations to the betsfree.com.au Jockey of the Month for March 2018, Hugh Bowman.

Jockey Of The Month: February 2018 Craig Williams

It has been a bit beyond three years since we last nominated Craig Williams as the BetsFree Jockey of the Month, but a look at what he did in February of 2018 makes it obvious that he deserves selection for this month’s accolade.

His most recent win was the Group 3 Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield, where he crossed on Silent Sedition, carrying top weight and beating favourites Flippant and Samovare. Williams and Silent Sedition had an easy time of it, coming across with a better than two-length lead.

No sooner had Williams caught his breath that he climbed aboard Brave Smash to win the Group 1 italktravel Futurity Stakes. Williams was on the $4.80 favourite, but the field was full of proven horses, including second place runner Tosen Stardom, Showtime, Humidor and Mighty Boss.

Craig Williams Jockey Of The Month

Williams concluded the day with a third place ride on Hartnell in the Group 2 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes.

The day prior, Williams brought home two winners at Moonee Valley, riding Demerara for James Cummings and Demonstrate for Allan and Jason Watson.

Two days’ riding right there is almost enough for us to give the nod to Williams, but earlier in the month, he rode Super Cash for the win at Caulfield in the Group 2 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes. In the race immediately following, Williams nearly got Nick Price’s Holy Snow to the line, finishing second despite jumping on a horse that jumped at $16.

Later in the meeting, he managed to steer veteran campaigner Hartnell to the win in the Group 1 Ladbrokes C F Orr Stakes.

Cap those wins from above with two at Bendigo on February 9 and it is not hard to see that Williams was the class of the field for the month.

As of late February 2018, Craig Williams is atop the premiership standings for the metro tracks of Victoria, his 39 wins five wins clear of Damian lane and seven better than Mark Zahra. The thing that jumps out regarding that statistic is that Williams has been showing up for work on a regular basis, having made almost 30 more starts than his closest pursuer.

Williams does the majority of his riding in Victoria, by a huge margin. He has made over 11,000 starts with the metro and country tracks combined. He has also done a little international riding.

At 40 years of age, it could be said that Williams is in that perfect sweet spot between age and experience and he considers having won two Caulfield Cups, two Cox Plates and one Golden Slipper Stakes as his greatest accomplishments.

He obviously would like to add the Melbourne Cup to his trophy case, but many of the finest jockeys Australia has produced have had banner careers, and yet failed to win the Cup, so Williams has some keen company and he still has some time to win the big one.

Congratulations to the BetsFree Jockey of the Month, Craig Williams.

Previous Jockeys Of The Month