Epsom Derby Jockey

Epsom Derby Jockey Facts and Figures

2017: Here are some fun facts and figures about jockeys at the Epsom Derby Festival:

1 The oldest winner of the Derby held annually at Epsom racecourse was jockey John Forth aged at least 60, on Frederick in 1829. He also had the distinction of having trained the winner as well as the runner-up, The Exquisite, with both colts returned at 40/1. Australian Scobie Breasley, who died at the age of 92 in 2006, was 52 when successful on Charlottown in 1966. Mick Kinane was 49 when partnering Sea The Stars to victory in 2009 as was Sir Gordon Richards when victorious on Pinza in 1953.

2 The youngest winning jockey was John Parsons, who was believed to be 16 when successful on Caractacus in 1862. Lester Piggott was 18 when he won on Never Say Die in 1954, with Walter Swinburn a year older when he triumphed on Shergar in 1981. Mickael Barzalona (2011 – Pour Moi) and Joseph O’Brien (pictured, 2012 – Camelot) were also both 19 at the time of their triumphs.

3 Joseph O’Brien became the first son of a trainer, who sent out the winner, to be the successful jockey in 2012. He partnered Camelot, trained by his father Aidan. The family duo then repeated this success in 2014 with Australia as the winning horse. Joseph retired from race riding, with an overall record of two Investec Derby wins from five rides in the Classic, because of increased weight and started training in 2016. He made entries in the 2017 Investec Derby.

4 Ryan Moore partnered both the Derby winner Workforce and the Oaks scorer Snow Fairy in 2010, the first jockey to achieve this double since Kieren Fallon in 2004.

5 Lester Piggott, who announced his retirement from the saddle in 1995, rode in the Derby 36 times and partnered an unequalled nine winners (1954, 1957, 1960, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1977 & 1983) of the premier Classic.

6 He participated in the Classic in five different decades, having his final ride when aged 58 in 1994. Piggott’s association with the Derby continued as Shaamit, the 1996 winner, was trained by William Haggas, his son-in-law. Both Steve Donoghue (1915,1917, 1921, 1922, 1923 & 1925) and Jem Robinson (1817, 1824, 1825, 1827, 1828 & 1836) partnered six Derby winners

7 Among current riders, the best score is three by Kieren Fallon (1999, 2003 & 2004). Ryan Moore (2010 & 2013), Joseph O’Brien (2012 & 2014) and Frankie Dettori (2007 & 2015) are the only other current jockeys with more than one victory.

8 Steve Cauthen became the first victorious American-born jockey for 65 years when winning the 1985 Derby on Slip Anchor. Cauthen, who won the Derby again in 1987 on Reference Point, was also the first jockey to ride the winner of both the Kentucky Derby and the Derby. Cauthen had won the American Triple Crown, of which the first leg is the Kentucky Derby, on Affirmed in 1978 when just 18. 

9 It took Frankie Dettori 15 attempts to win the Derby for the first time, which he did on Authorized in 2007. Famously, Sir Gordon Richards had to wait even longer. The 1953 winner Pinza was his 28th (and last; injury forced his retirement before the next running) mount at the age of 49. 

10 Alex Greaves was the first woman to ride in the Derby, finishing last on 500/1 shot Portuguese Lil, trained by her husband Dandy Nicholls, in 1996. In 2012, Hayley Turner became the second woman have a mount in the premier Classic, finishing last on 25/1 chance Cavaleiro in 2012. 

11 Harry Barker recorded the unusual feat of finishing second in both the Derby and the Grand National in 1893. He rode Ravensbury at Epsom Downs and Aesop at Aintree.

12 Steve Donoghue is the only jockey to have ridden three consecutive Derby winners – Humorist (1921), Captain Cuttle (1922) and Papyrus (1923).    

13 Walter Swinburn, who died aged 55 in an accident at his home in December, 2016, won the Derby three times – on Shergar in 1981, Shahrastani in 1986 and Lammtarra in 1995. He established a record winning distance on Shergar, scoring by 10 lengths.


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