What makes a good jockey or one jockey better than another ?. If it is down to aesthetic impression then we may be justified in saying that Lester Piggot was better than Willie Carson but if we are assessing as punters then we could not care less if our jockey is a Keiran Fallon or a Cash Asmussen. What we want is a jockey that consistently gets the best out of a horse in terms of winning chance. One of the main contributors to this complex chance equation is how the horse distributes his energy, how efficient the horse runs. When you see a front runner challenged early for the lead and a jockey too scared of disobeying instructions to take a pull deciding instead to contest that lead, you know more than likely your chance of winning is sunk.

Total Performance Data provide data on sectional times and ATR under the guidance of Simon Rowlands are producing assessments of race efficiency for each horse. This allows us to take a look at how various jockeys perform with regard to their efficiency scores. There are numerous problems with this approach but one major confounder is that better jockeys may have better more controlable rides. In order to dampen this down I split the data into Jockey strike rates so that we are comparing jockeys from similar strike rate brackets.

Taking the average efficiency score (lower is better) for each jockey over the last 2 years we have the following results.

Jockey strike rate 21.7% down to 15%

W Buick 51.78
S De Sousa 53.57
Jim Crowley 54.16
B A Curtis 55.58
Oisin Murphy 55.76
A Kirby 58.79
Jack Mitchell 60.19
Dane O’Neill 60.40
R Havlin 61.96
R L Moore 66.33
D Tudhope 69.83
James Doyle 70.11
J Fanning 72.40
Andrea Atzeni 76.62

Jockey strike rate 15% down to 12%

S M Levey 49.120
William Carver 49.672
R Kingscote 50.033
M Harley 51.964
C Lee 52.325
Joshua Bryan 52.814
Hollie Doyle 53.468
Ben Curtis 54.215
P McDonald 54.618
Callum Rodriguez 54.909
F Norton 54.975
Jason Watson 55.636
Jason Hart 55.889
Kevin Stott 57.717
Cieren Fallon 57.833
P Cosgrave 59.139
Harry Bentley 62.918
P J McDonald 63.615
N Mackay 65.232
Megan Nicholls 67.551
P Hanagan 69.040
Edward Greatrex 74.516
J P Spencer 82.389

Jockey strike rate 12% down to 10%

Sebastian Woods 43.76
Connor Beasley 47.39
D Nolan 50.11
P Makin 50.18
Georgia Dobie 50.41
D Allan 50.46
Finley Marsh 51.79
Cameron Noble 52.15
Rossa Ryan 52.69
Alistair Rawlinson 53.55
David Probert 53.59
Tom Marquand 54.41
George Rooke 54.91
Barry McHugh 55.3
Harrison Shaw 55.51
Hayley Turner 57.76
Hector Crouch 59.69
Adam J McNamara 60.45
David Egan 60.86
Poppy Bridgwater 61.49
Seamus Cronin 62.03
Jamie Gormley 64.44
P J Dobbs 64.72
Kieran Shoemark 66.65
R Winston 68.09
P Mulrennan 70.31
G Mosse 72.17
Charles Bishop 75.05
Ben Sanderson 77.14
Thomas Greatrex 90.79
L Morris 391.80

It is interesting that the average efficiency scores are higher (worse) for higher strike rate jockeys than the other two categories if we leave out the final outlier in category 3. Perhaps the fact that better jcokeys are on more fancied horse could play a part but if I look at only horse going off at less than 11.0 on Betfair SP we have the following average efficiency scores

top Jocks 62.37
Middle jocks 54.94
Lower jocks 52.7

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