It may be simple and straightforward when you find yourself picking 7 horses for today and hoping to scoop the jackpot; you look at the course, the horse and recent performance. However, you may well be wondering how jockeys choose what horses to ride. The relationship between jockey and horse is a special and important one, and there are several things that need to be taken into consideration as the important decision is made. There are generally three parties involved (four if you count the horse!): the jockey’s agent, the jockey and the trainer.
The agent is the person who does the leg work when it comes to choosing the horse that a jockey will ride. The agent, like all parties involved in the decision, is looking for a horse that is most likely to register wins for the jockey. The agent will be the one to visit stables, attend training sessions and get to know the owners and trainers. They are the person who sets up the deals and gets the signatures on the papers.
The trainer―often working on behalf of the owner, and sometimes the owner themselves ―has the same objective as the agent and jockey: to win. Trainers take great time and care with the horses that they raise and train. Trainers know who their horses are likely to perform and which horses will fit the riding style of the jockeys who are interested in them. Once the jockey and agent have taken a look at upcoming races, they will contact the trainer and try to get ‘mounts’ on the horses they think are likely to win them the races. Trainers often favour certain jockeys for certain horses and for certain distances. The trainer holds a lot of the cards in the relationship, especially when it comes to dealing with new or lesser known jockeys. Every trainer wants the best jockey for each horse in order to maximise the chances of a win.
Of course, the person actually riding the horse on race day needs to be involved in the selection process. The relationship between a jockey and horse needs to be a strong one because the jockey needs to understand and predict how the horse will react in a race situation. He needs to be able to adapt to the horse as he rides it in each race. An intelligent, athletic and well trained jockey can be the difference when it comes to registering the all important wins that bettors are looking for. The pairing is not a coincidental one, but a decision over which much consideration has been taken.
So, the next time that you are taking a look through the tips and searching for your next winner, take a look at the jockey and the horse and consider how long-standing their relationship is, how connected to the stable and trainer the jockey is and how well known the jockey agent is. These lesser-known and lesser considered details could give you the edge and bring you the wins that you are looking for.