Who is Connor Beasley?
At the time of writing, Durham-born Connor Beasley lies eighth in the Flat Jockeys’ Championship, having ridden seven winners from 23 rides at a strike rate of 30%. A graduate from pony racing, Beasley joined Spennymoor trainer Tracy Waggott straight from school and, at the start of 2012, joined Denton trainer Michael Dods, who has been his principle employer ever since. He rode his first winner, Osetopathic Remedy, trained by Dods, at Ayr on September 21, 2012.
Beasley added just one more winner to his tally in his debut season but, in 2013, increased his seasonal tally to 34 winners and was dubbed ‘the brightest young jockey in the country’ by TV pundit Mick Fitzgerald. The following season he rode 61 winners, thereby riding out his claim, but in his first full season as a professional jockey, in 2015, suffered a horrific fall at Wolverhampton.
On July 7 that year, his mount, Cumbrianna, clipped the heels of the horse in front, suffering a fatal leg injury in the process, and throwing him under the hooves of the pursuing pack. Beasley suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, fractured vertebrae and a brain haemorrhage, requiring extensive surgery and lengthy rehabilitation. Remarkably, despite being partially immobilised by a full neck and back brace for several months, he recovered sufficiently to resume race riding in 2016.
Fast forward to 2021 and Beasley enjoyed his most successful season so far, with 72 winners, including Commanche Falls in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood, and over £823,000 in prize money. In the last few years, he has formed a fruitful association with Dakota Gold, aboard whom he recently equalled the modern day record, set by Copper Knight, for six wins at York. His six victories, achieved from 11 starts on the Knavesmire, include the Listed Garrowsby Stakes in 2019 and the Group 3 Bengough Stakes in 2020.