Top 5 Australian Jockeys 2016
Horse racing in Australia is becoming more and more focused on inclusivity with international racers, but our home-grown favourites still deserve spotlight and at the mid-way point of the year, here are the top five Australian jockeys of 2016.
5th: Hugh Bowman
Bowman is a three time Victorian Derby winner and is known as one of the most consistently performing jockeys in the country. The 35-year-old has placed in 46 per cent of races he’s competed in within Victoria this year and is the third ranked jockey in Australia in the Premiership Standings. Bowman is coming off two years as Australia’s most successful group one rider and has taken that form into 2016, winning a number of races including the Fireball Stakes and the Wintergarden Stakes.
4th: William Pike
The Group One Kingston Town Stakes winner has had an amazing 2016, culminating in the 30-year-old being the favourite to win the Australian Jockeys Premiership. He’s produced more winners than almost any jockey out there and has really risen into stardom in recent years. The Western Australian rider also broke his state’s metropolitan riding record that had stood for the entire millennium. Pike has clearly had a 2016 to remember.
3rd: Brenton Avdulla
Avdulla is younger than a lot of top echelon jockeys at 25 years old, but has ridden 135 winners so far this season. He began his career in 2007 and has risen quickly up the rankings to become of the premiere jockeys in the country. Avdulla recently picked up a big win at Royal Randwick over the likes of Hugh Bowman and Matthew McGillivray. He was born in Melbourne, but trained under Gai Waterhouse in Sydney and now sits fourth in the Premiership Standings in Australia.
2nd: Craig Williams
Craig Williams is simply one of the most talented jockeys on the planet, regardless of the horse. He has competed all over the world and is currently one of the most in-form riders on the planet. He’s approaching 40-years-old, but that has simply allowed him to obtain nearly every accolade in the book. The Melbourne Cup remains elusive, however. Williams rode five winners recently at Flemington and has taken that confidence further, soaring up the Premiership Standings. Williams finished runner up in the Standings last year and will look to do one better this season.
1st James McDonald
Unfortunately for Williams, James McDonald stands in his way. Currently ranked number two in the country, McDonald has an incredible strike rate of one win from every five races this season. McDonald was born in New Zealand, but has become one of the quickest rising stars in the country. He’s had a few issues this season outside of his control, but has still outperformed most and has a deserved spot on top of this list. At 23 years old, many have labelled him as the next big thing in Australian horse racing and horse racing betting.
Of course, with half the year left, who knows what can happen and the top five come the end of the year may be completely different with plenty of exciting races still to come.
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Writer at the Australian Betting Organization
Nic studied at Monash University and is currently working as a sports journalist. You'll often find Nic at the pub enjoying time with friends while watching UFC and WWE.
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