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Cheltenham Festival: Most Profitable Jockeys 2003-2012
Mon, Mar 11th, 2013

A cursory glance at the Cheltenham Leading Jockeys table shows that jumps racings best known pilots Ruby Walsh and Tony McCoy lead the way with 34 and 27 Cheltenham Festival winners respectively. Does this mean that these two legends of the game are the men to follow at the Festival ?

As the standard investment warning says past performance is no guide to future performance but a review of the top ten winning most jockeys ( we had to look at 13 as 4 are tied on 4 wins !) shows that if anything the opposite is true:

Jockey

Wins

Win %

£1 levels

Profit %

 Chase 

Hurdle/Flat

 Non H'cap 

H'cap

Barry Geraghty

24

15.09%

£41

22%

12

12

18

6

Andrew Lynch

4

14.81%

£32

119%

3

1

3

1

Davy Russell

9

9.57%

£27

29%

5

4

4

5

Richard Johnson

13

9.92%

£11

8%

6

7

9

4

Miss N Carberry

4

13.79%

£5

17%

3

1

0

4

Paddy Brennan

6

5.88%

-£4

-4%

3

3

3

3

Jason Maguire

4

6.56%

-£4

-7%

0

4

3

1

Robert Thornton

14

11.11%

-£5

-4%

7

7

10

4

Paul Carberry

7

5.74%

-£10

-8%

2

5

3

4

Timmy Murphy

6

4.72%

-£24

-19%

4

2

2

4

Ruby Walsh

32

16.93%

-£29

-15%

12

20

25

7

Tony McCoy

14

8.24%

-£66

-39%

8

6

11

3

 

What the table shows is that during the period 2003-2012 only five of the top thirteen showed a profit if you placed a £1 bet on every runner they had at the festival. If you backed all of Barry Geraghty's 189 runners you would have made a £41 profit or 22% on your £189 investment. By way of contrast £1 placed on all 170 of AP McCoy's rides would have resulted in a loss of £66 (39%) on your £170 investment. Even though Ruby Walsh had the best win strike rateat just below 17% backing every Ruby Walsh horse blind would have seen you lose 15% on your investment. The implication of the data is that McCoy and Walsh's horses are overbet. This is perhaps not entirely surprising given each jockey's fan base and a suspected tendency of the occasional punter to lean towards the familar.

So how to use the data to make a profit ?

Returning to our earlier warning that past performance is no guide to future performance we would be inclined to think that Barry Geraghty's Cheltenham excellence might be less under the radar than in previous seasons as the links with Nicky Henderson and AtTheRaces have increased his profile. Geraghty's Cheltenham horses will still be among the first we look at but we will also be taking a second glance at the mounts of Andrew Lynch, Davy Russell, Richard Johnson and Nina Carberry. The mounts of Johnson and Carberry will be clearer nearer the meeting but lets look at the first two.

Andrew Lynch has been the most profitable jockey to fall on a per ride basis at the festival during the last ten years. £1 placed on his 27 rides would have returned £32 for your £27 a whopping return of 119%. His riding has been tested on fewer occasions than others in the table but it appears the Meath man has a strong book of rides for 2013 including the likes of Flemenstar, Sizing Europe and Aupcharlie.

While Lynch can call on the backing of Alan Pott's horses Russell has the pick of the powerful Gigginstown House stable. This year options include  Un Atout who has been all the rage for the Supreme Novice Hurdle. Sir Des Champs has twice won at the Festival before and heads for either the Gold Cup or the Ryanair Chase with solid claims. First Lieutenant is another who has show a liking for Prestury Park and has similar  targets. Tofino Bay, Rule The World, Road To Riches, Bog Warrior, Sword Of Destiny, Don Cossack, Un Beau Matin, Carlito Brigante and Si C'Etait Vrai are other festival possibles for the Gigginstown team. 

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