The Jockeys to Trust Your Cash With

When it comes to betting on horseracing, punters need to ask the question:

Do you bet on the horse, the trainer or the jockey?

In the end, sensible bettors know that you don’t rely on any single one of the above. In previous Race Advisor articles, we looked at the top jockeys and determined that ‘betting blind’ was a recipe for disaster. No matter how talented a jockey is, he/she is very unlikely to win on an outclassed horse.

In reality, you need factor in all three of the above elements and in this article; I will look at the jockeys you can rely on over Jumps with an emphasis on the 2016/17 season so far.

With A.P McCoy no longer in the picture, the British Jump Jockeys Championship is up for grabs although Richard Johnson is the clear favourite to retain his crown and is well ahead already this season. Johnson was covered in the Runners or Riders piece we did and you can check out profitable bets on the current top National Hunt jockey in that article.

As a result, I will be focusing on two other high quality Jump jockeys and show you ways in which you can make a profit from their hard work! Finally, I will quickly look at several other jockeys to see if they are worth following during the rest of the 2016/17 National Hunt season.

Sam Twiston-Davies

Twiston-Davies is the ‘go-to’ jockey for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and is typically heavily involved in major National Hunt meetings such as Cheltenham and Aintree. What is immediately apparent from looking at his record since the start of the calendar year 2016 is the stark contrast between his performance in Chase and Hurdle events.

Race Type Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
Chase 202 21 10.4% -42.39%
Hurdle 267 70 26.22% 7.02%

Now let’s look at how he has performed in the 2016/17 season so far:

Race Type Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
Chase 80 9 11.25% -71.96%
Hurdle 132 41 31.06% 23.49%

He is having a storming season over Hurdles and you would also be in profit over that particular type of race since the beginning of 2016. Therefore, it is immediately apparent that you should focus on Hurdle events when it comes to Sam Twiston-Davies. Or is it? Things look a lot different when you analysis his performance since 2012.

Race Type Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
Chase 1375 226 16.44% -16.82%
Hurdle 1691 275 16.26% -27.54%

It appears as if Twiston-Davies is merely having an above average season because punters would suffer significant losses if they followed him blindly over Hurdle races since 2012.

I’ve taken the liberty of choosing 3 courses where Twiston-Davies has had a lot of mounts since 2012.

Course Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
Cheltenham 284 30 10.56% -21.8%
Ffos Llas 160 35 21.88% 22.91%
Newton Abbot 153 31 20.26% -41.42%

His Cheltenham record overall is no big surprise given the level of competition faced. What’s interesting is that his records at Ffos Llas and Newton Abbot are similar yet he does very well for punters at the former course. This is obviously a sign that he rides some big priced winners at Ffos Llas.

What about Trainers?

Three trainers make up the bulk of his rides: Paul Nicholls, Nigel Twiston-Davies and Dr. Richard Newland. Punters would suffer significant overall losses if they backed his mounts blindly for any of the trio.

With Paul Nicholls for example, you would experience an overall ROI loss of 13.18% since 2012. There is also little difference between backing him with Nicholls in Hurdle or Chase events. Even during this season where he’s enjoying excellent success over Hurdles, you barely make a profit if you focus on Nicholls horses. He does much better when pairing with his father Nigel as he has won 30% of his Hurdle races this season for an ROI of over 53%!

Aidan Coleman

Coleman is another highly rated jockey but if you backed all his National Hunt rides since 2012, you would make losses whether you backed Hurdle or Chase events.

Race Type Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
Chase 1223 203 16.53% -17.88%
Hurdle 1592 242 15.2% -21.85%

As is the case with Twiston-Davies, Coleman is enjoying a terrific 2016/17 season in Hurdle races (as you’ll see) but this is obviously just a hot streak.

In the calendar year 2016, backing Coleman horses blindly over hurdles would give you a 41 unit loss and an ROI loss of 15.76%.

Yet the official 2016/17 National Hunt ‘season’ begins on 24 April and since that date, Coleman has been good news for punters over Hurdles.

Race Type Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
Chase 102 23 22.55% 0.53%
Hurdle 121 22 18.18% 27.22%

He actually wins more Chase races but clearly his Hurdle winners were at longer odds. You can’t argue with a 27% ROI even though the strike rate is still pretty low.

Now let’s look at 3 of his favoured courses since 2012.

Course Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
Ascot 92 15 16.3% 27.99%
Newton Abbot 90 19 21.11% 62.57%
Stratford 137 34 24.82% 39.59%

It so happens that backing Coleman mounts at Newton Abbot and Stratford in 2016/17 is also a profitable exercise.

What about Trainers?

Venetia Williams trains a significant number of Coleman’s mounts with over 1,200 since the start of 2012. Predictably, blind backing of this combo’s horses would lead to an ROI loss of over 17%. However, Coleman has teamed up with Jonjo O’Neill this season. Despite only winning 23% of their races together, backing the Coleman/O’Neill partnership would yield a profit of over 11% in 2016/17 if you had bet on all their horses.

Other National Hunt Jockeys to Watch

Here are a few more jockeys enjoying an excellent 2016/17 season (from the punter’s POV).

Jockey Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
Paddy Brennan 129 26 20.16% 14.96%
Henry Brooke 138 22 15.94% 17.6%
Daryl Jacob 88 19 21.59% 19.83%
Alain Cawley 58 10 17.24% 92.03%
Harry Cobden 70 11 15.71% 24.36%

In actual fact, my research has shown that Harry Cobden could be classified as the ‘punter’s friend’ at first glance as his record since the beginning of the 2012/13 season makes very interesting reading.

Bets Wins Strike Rate ROI
211 43 20.38% 26.4%

He isn’t the most prolific jockey (Twiston Davies has more rides at Cheltenham alone since 2012 than Cobden overall) but he does appear to land his share of decent priced winners. This is the only conclusion we can draw from the fact he wins a shade over 20% of his races yet punters enjoy a fantastic ROI of over 26% from his mounts.

The problem with this is the issue of finding these winners! Newton Abbot is his most frequent location with 29 rides but he only has 5 winners. For what it’s worth, Wincanton appears to be one of the best places to back Cobden as he has managed 7 winners from 12 rides since 2012.

In Summary

In some cases, you need to analyse trends going back several years in order to find winners. In other instances, it may behove you to focus on the ‘hottest’ jockeys or jockey/trainer combos in any given season. While I am loathe to recommend following ‘flavour of the month’ type bets, the data above suggests that certain jockeys are having above average 2016/17 seasons in National Hunt races.

For instance, the Sam and Nigel Twiston-Davies partnership is working well over Hurdles while Alain Cawley appears to have a few large priced winners under his belt. Aidan Coleman and Jonjo O’Neill is also a potentially lucrative duo while you should be looking at Coleman’s mounts at Newton Abbot and Stratford. Finally, Harry Cobden’s mounts may be worth as second look as he offers punters potential profit in the long run; you’ll need patience as he doesn’t ride as often as other jockeys however!

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.
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