How much do jockeys earn?

Notwithstanding the handful of elite jockeys who are paid a ‘retainer’ to ride for individual owners or trainers, the majority of jockeys are self-employed. Retainers are rarely, if ever, in the public domain; the most successful jockey in the history of National Hunt racing, A.P. McCoy, for example, reputedly received up to £1 million a year from Irish billionaire J.P. McManus, but the exact amount was never revealed.

Self-employed jockeys are paid riding fees on a ride-by-ride basis, at a fixed rate of £120.66, or £164.74, per ride, depending on whether they compete under Flat or National Hunt rules. Jockeys also receive a percentage of any prize-money their mounts earn – 3.5% of placed prize-money and 7-9% of winning prize-money – plus income from any approved sponsorship agreements. On the other hand, jockeys must also pay a host of deductions, to their agent, to their valet and to the Professional Jockeys’ Association (PJA), among others. Collectively, these deductions amount to roughly 25% of riding fees and 10% of prize-money.

In summary, at the top end of the profession, jockeys can earn hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of pounds a year. However, beyond the top echelon, annual earnings are likely to be much more modest; the average jockey can expect to earn in the region of £30,000 per annum, after tax and expenses, while an apprentice or conditional jockey could easily earn less than half that amount.

How many winners has Frankie Dettori ridden at Royal Ascot?

The name of Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori became synonymous with that of Ascot Racecourse when, on September 28, 1996, the Italian jockey completed his so-called ‘Magnificent Seven’ by winning all seven races on the Festival of British Racing card. Dettori, 49, rode his first Royal Ascot winner, Markofdistinction, in the Queen Anne Stakes, in 1990 and 30 years later, in 2020, hit the headlines once again at the Royal Meeting.

Quoted at 20/1 to win the Royal Ascot Leading Jockey Award before the start of the fifth and final day, Dettori completed a 150/1 treble, courtesy of Campanelle in the Queen Mary Stakes, Alpine Star in the Coronation Stakes and Palace Pier in the St. James’s Palace Stakes. In so doing, he took his winning tally to six for the week, edging out Jim Crowley on placings, to win his second consecutive title and his seventh in all. Furthermore, Dettori took his career total at Royal Ascot to 73 winners, making him the joint-second most successful jockey at the prestigious meeting, alongside the late Pat Eddery and behind only the legendary Lester Piggott; Piggott retired from race riding in 1995, long before the Royal Meeting was extended to five days in 2002, but still rode an astonishing 116 winners.

How tall are jockeys, on average?

In Britain, the minimum riding weight is 8st 0lb for Flat jockeys and 10st 0lb for National Hunt jockeys, although apprentice or conditional jockeys can claim a 7lb allowance, which reduces the minimum riding weight to 7st 7lb and 9st 7lb, respectively. Consequently, while there are no rules or regulations regarding height, most male jockeys riding on the Flat in Britain are significantly shorter than average height – that is, 5’10” – simply because taller riders struggle to meet the weight requirements.

According to reigning champion trainer John Gosden, Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori, who stands 5’3” tall and can ride at 8st 6lb, or 8st 7lb, is ‘perfectly proportioned’ for a jockey. Indeed, Dettori is just an inch taller than the average Flat jockey and, although 5lb or 6lb heavier than average – after all, he is 48 years old and entering the twilight years of his career – Gosden was keen to point out the importance of a suitable physique and strength-to-weight ratio in any jockey. Generally speaking, Flat jockeys typically stand between 4’10” and 5’6” tall and weigh in between 7st 10lb and 8st 6lb – or, in other words, 5’2” and 8st 1lb, respectively, on average – but also need to be extremely fit, with an abundance of core, leg and shoulder strength.

How many Group One winners has Dane O’Neill ridden?

Born in Dublin, Ireland on August 1, 1975, Dane O’Neill graduated from the field of pony racing and, at the age of 17, moved to Britain, where he became apprenticed to Wiltshire trainer Richard Hannon Snr.. He rode his first winner, Port Sunlight, trained by Hannon Snr., in an apprentices’ handicap at Sandown on July 15, 1993, but did not reach double figures for a season until 1995, when he rode 33 winners. The following season, O’Neill rode a total of 80 winners, including Arethusa I in the Listed Sirenia Stakes at Kempton, and became Champion Apprentice.

O’Neill rode his first Group race winner, Lots Of Magic, in the Group Three Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 16, 1999 and his second, Bold Edge, in the Group Two Cork and Orrery Stakes – subsequently upgraded to Group One status and known, nowadays, as the Diamond Jubilee Stakes – the very next day; both horses were trained by Richard Hannon Snr.. In fact, the following August, Bold Edge provided O’Neill with his first Group One winner when making all to win the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

In 2002, following the retirement of Chris Rutter, O’Neill was recruited as stable jockey to Oxfordshire trainer Henry Candy. He continued to enjoy plenty of success, but would not ride his second Group One winner until 2015, by which time he had been appointed second jockey to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, having replaced Tadhg O’Shea in October, 2012. The victory came courtesy of Muhaarar, trained by Charles Hills, who was reverting to sprinting following an unplaced effort in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Longchamp, but stromed clear to win the newly introduced Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

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