Is your favourite on our list? There may be no shortage of extraordinary riders out there, but these four have topped our list – and with good reason
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most exciting races on the calendar for rookies and racing fanatics alike. This festival is a particularly big hit among punters who enjoy so many online horse betting opportunities during the week. With incredible horses and riders aplenty at Cheltenham, it’s the perfect time to check out the best of the best with our four favourite jockeys…
- Laffit Pincay
Laffit Pincay’s father was also a jockey and served as an inspiration for his son. Laffit started his career in his native Panama and soon received a big boost when Jockey Club member Fred W Hooper sponsored him to come to the USA to ride.
The prominent horseman was immediately proved right in his decision as Laffit went on to win eight of his first 11 races. The great jockey continued his success over the years, winning almost every major race in the US. He claimed three consecutive victories in the Belmont Stakes while also winning nine times in the Hollywood Gold Cup. He remained associated with horseracing for an incredible 40 years and retired from the profession in 2003.
With his career wins at 9,530, Laffit is undoubtedly one of the greatest jockeys of all time. His name was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1975.
- Lester Piggott
No other jockey seemed to love horseracing as much as Lester Piggott, who didn’t retire from the sport until he was almost 60. This is true of all great athletes who always want to remain associated with their beloved profession. Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers of all time and recipient of four Premier League player of the month, is currently 36 years old, but still earning rave reviews for his performances in Italy.
Lester started racing when he was only 10 and took just two years to register his first victory. On reaching 18, he landed the Epsom Derby, which was the race he later went on to win eight more times. He also has the distinction of winning the 2000 Guineas five times and the Epsom Oaks six.
- Bill Shoemaker
Bill Shoemaker recorded an incredible 8,833 career wins, which included some of the most prestigious races in the USA. He has the distinction of winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic.
- Sir Tony McCoy
Sir Tony McCoy carved out a big name for himself in UK horseracing. The Northern Irish rider won the Champion Jockey an incredible 20 times. He also claimed the distinction of winning some of the biggest races on the racing calendar, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Queen Mother Champion Chase and King George VI Chase. However, the Grand National eluded him for a long time, despite many attempts. His perseverance ultimately paid off when he managed to win the famous steeplechase in 2010 with Don’t Push It.