Australian jockey profiles – jockey challenge betting, Melbourne Cup jockeys, quick guide to the best jockeys riding in Australia. Jockey Challenge betting is selecting the jockey you think will gain the most points at today’s meeting. Points are accumulated 3 for win, 2 for second, 1 for third. Jockey Challenge betting is available here from Sportsbet. Open your account here for a $250 free bonus bet. Australian female jockey profiles, find out more about the best male and female jockeys in Australia. Feature race betting, final fields including barriers, jockeys & odds for all major racing in Australia including the Melbourne Cup.
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Australian Jockey Profiles
LUKE NOLEN – Riding his first Group One winner in 2006 in the Caulfield Guineas and the winning rider of the 2007 Cox Plate on El Segundo, Luke suffered severe injuries in a fall at Doomben in 2008 and it took a full year to return to racing in May 2009. Currently the main stable rider for one of Victoria’s top trainers in Peter Moody, his high conversion rate of winners means he is amongst Australia's leading jockeys. Luke earned a permanent place in racing history as the main rider of Australia's star sprinter Black Caviar. He rode her for 22 or her 25 straight wins, including the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot, and will always be strongly identified with the successful career of an Australian racing icon.
Australian Racing Report's independent guide to some of the top jockeys currently riding in Australia.
DAMIEN OLIVER -Damien's father Ray was a successful jockey in Western Australia, following in his footsteps led Damien to be the leading apprentice in Perth in the 88/89 season. In Melbourne, he established himself with the powerful Freedman stable early in his career. Now riding independently, he has won 6 Victorian Jockey Premierships and numerous Group 1s. In 2002, Damien became a part of Melbourne Cup history winning on the Dermot Weld trained Media Puzzle just days after his older brother Jason was tragically killed in a race fall. Maintaining a very high winning strike rate, he is one of Australia's most talented jockeys and often a favourite with the punters in the Jockey Challenge. He was sidelined with a suspension in November 2012 but returned in Spring 2013 to ride the winner of the Melbourne Cup for a third time on Fiorente.
CRAIG WILLIAMS - 16yr. old Craig began his apprenticeship with his father Alan, a former jockey turned trainer, in 1993 and rode his first winner, Pride of Demus, at Ballarat the same year. Gained his full licence in ’97 and won his first Group 1 at Morphettville in 2000. Moved to the U.K. riding for many top stables until going to Hong Kong to ride for David Hayes for 3 years. When Hayes returned to Flemington, Craig moved with him, securing 3 Jockey Premierships (2005-2007) and also the World Super Jockey Series in 2007. In 2011 he won the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate and after a suspension was not able to take his ride on Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup. Dunaden won ridden by Christophe Lemaire, robbing Craig of a unique treble that few have the opportunity to complete. He is consistently in the top 5 in the Victorian Jockey Championship and rides in all states and internationally.
NASH RAWILLER – Nash comes from a racing family, his father was a jockey, his brother Brad is a highly respected senior rider and little sister Stacy is also building a promising riding career. Nash is one of the tallest jockeys in Australia, in the early days health problems relating to maintaining a low weight almost ended his career and although his lowest riding weight is 55kg this has been little impediment as he is in the top echelon of senior Australian jockeys. Based in Sydney with a long association with the Waterhouse stable, he has one of the highest strike rates in the country and is always a popular pick with the punters in the Jockey Challenge
MICHAEL RODD - Born in Manly, he started his apprenticeship at age 16 as a carpenter. Finding the job hard for someone of his stature and noting the helpful suggestions from co-workers that as a carpenter he would make a good jockey, he went to a racing stable for a look and decided to give it a shot. Won his first race at Grafton in 2000 and was champion apprentice in NSW four years straight. As a top senior jockey, he was set to ride favourite Maldivian in the 2007 Caulfield Cup when the horse was a shock late scratching after becoming injured in the stalls before the race. He went on to win the Melbourne Cup that year on Efficient and rode Maldivian the following year to win the 2008 Cox Plate. One of his greatest partnerships was as the regular rider for star mare Atlantic Jewel.
COREY BROWN - Corey has had a roller coaster career. Early in his apprenticeship he was faced with a horse breaking down in front of him and, unable to avoid it, became part of the accident. A jockey died and Corey was affected to the point of almost giving up.
KERRIN MCEVOY - born and raised in Streaky Bay S.A. in a racing family, began his apprenticeship with his grandfather Bill Holland. After obtaining his full licence he went freelance and won the 2000 Melbourne Cup win on Brew. His impressive winning record including Victorian Jockey Premiership 2002/03 led to his joining the powerful worldwide Godolphin/Darley Racing Organisation, first in Dubai and then in the U.K. Appointed top rider for Darley in Australia, a serious race fall in 2010 meant an extended break from racing but he recovered to resume riding in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival 2013.
GLEN BOSS - After an apprenticeship in country Queensland, Glen moved to the Gold Coast until 1994. After early success, he moved to Sydney and quickly established himself as safe pair of hands with the local trainers. He has a reputation for being a Group One Jockey, making trips to most states for the Carnivals and famously winning consecutive Melbourne Cups sitting on the back of the only racehorse to ever to win 3 in a row - Makybe Diva in 2003/04/05. Now based in Melbourne, he won the 2009 Cox Plate on So You Think for Bart Cummings and he continues to excel on major race days.
HUGH BOWMAN - now in the top echelon of the Sydney jockeys winning the jockey premiership more than once, however his path to success has not been entirely smooth. He was suspended for six months 2002 at the busiest time of the racing year for illegal substances. Coming out of that dark time he has steadily built his career back to stand on the top of the heap in N.S.W. With nothing left to prove locally, Hugh took the opportunity of a riding contract in Hong Kong for the first time in 2014.
Back in Australia, Hugh has become one of our most successful hoops with many Group 1 trophys in his cabinet including the 2015 Cox Plate.
CLARE LINDOP - starting her apprenticeship in country Victoria, Clare moved to South Australia to ride for top trainers such as David Balfour, Leon McDonald, Ken Sweeney and Byron Cozamanis. Clare doesn’t believe in glass ceilings and says there are no concessions for gender on the racetrack. She was the Adelaide Premiership Jockey in 2004/05. Won the Victoria Derby in 2008 on 100 to 1 shot Rebel Raider beating the highly fancied favourite Whobegotyou, while on a working holiday in U.K from two rides at Haydock Park won on One Way or Another and came second on Catalan Bay. Clare has been one of the top jockeys in S.A. for several years and with her undoubted talent and ability to ride at a light weight is in demand interstate for rides in many of the feature races.
MICHELLE PAYNE - Born in 1985, Michelle is the youngest of 11 children raised by her father, Paddy Payne (a racehorse trainer in Ballarat) as a single parent with the help of the older siblings after her mother was killed in a car accident while she was a toddler, she has also lost a sister. Eight of the children went on to be race riders and 2 of the boys, Paddy & Andrew, are now trainers. Michelle was apprenticed to her father and began riding when she was 15, winning her her first Group 1 in the 2009 Toorak Handicap on Allez Wonder, a mare trained by Bart Cummings at long odds of $41.00. She has had many serious injury time-outs, but in 2011 she partnered Yosei to their third Group 1 victory together in Brisbane. Successful collaborating with Victorian Trainer Darren Weir in the country and in town, local punters always took note when those horses were strapped by one of Darren's favourite strappers, Michelle's brother Stevie. However, not enough of them were paying attention when Steve sent her out on Weir's 100-1 chance Prince Of Penzance and she "beat the world" by winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup. Put it on your letterhead Michelle - get stuffed!
On the Punt:
Racing People & History:
BEN MELHAM - started his racing career as an apprentice with Darren Weir at Ballarat and showed a lot of promise as a youngster winning the Victorian Leading Apprentice title in 2005, transferring to Freedman to complete his apprenticeship. His highly competitive attitude to racing has kept him in the leading division as he has rarely been out of the top 10 riders in Victoria but it has also cost him a lot of time on the sidelines. As an independent jockey he continues to get plenty of rides for the prominent stables and rides regularly for Freedman, Moody, Hayes, Price &, Weir, booted home his 1st Group 1 in the 2010 Patinack Farm Classic aboard Black Caviar.
GLYN SCHOFIELD - came to Australia in late 2007 from South Africa moving his family to Sydney. With riding experience in eight different countries and many Group 1 wins to his credit, he is always among the top percentage of riders in the Jockey Premiership. Connected to a number of top horses including the awesome sprinter Haylist, on whom he would have recorded more wins in the 2010/11 season had they not kept running into the champion mare Black Caviar. In 2014 he won the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm just 20 minutes after his son, Chad, had won the Group 1 Newmarket Hcp at Flemington.
CHRIS SYMONS - originally from Victoria but began his apprenticeship in S. A. with trainer David Hall. He subsequently worked with Alan Williams and Tony Noonan as a leading junior rider. In 2005 he travelled to America to promote his weight loss riding vest and rode successfully at Emerald Downs (Washington) to notch up 32 winners in 6 months. Apart from his prowess on the race track he is also famous for the “menagerie” of animals he looks after and does great work promoting the horse racing industry visiting schools to talk about his life as a jockey. Not bad for a kid who left school at 14.5 yrs and started mucking out because trainers thought he would get too tall to be a jockey. Often in the top 10 of the Victorian Premiership table, Chris makes the most of his opportunities with a good winning strike rate.
DWAYNE DUNN - first came to prominence in South Australia where he was consistently in the top echelon of jockeys developing good relationships with all the local trainers including Mark Kavanagh and the powerful Hayes establishment. In 2004 he had a successful stint with Tony Millard as a retained rider in Hong Kong and also rode for David Hayes. He continued to ride in S.A. on his return in 2005. He successfully partnered Tawqeet to a nail biting win in the 2006 Caulfield Cup. For a time he was the stable rider for Lee Freedman but after an amicable loosening of the ties he now rides for all the top stables. He has built a good record in Melbourne achieving a top ten berth in the Victorian Premiership he is much in demand travelling to all the major carnivals round the country.
DEAN YENDALL - started his riding in Bordertown South Australia. A successful apprentice he went on to ride both sides of the S.A./Victoria border. He moved to Horsham in Victoria in 2008 partly to further his career and to be closer to partner Christine Puls (also a jockey). It is thought that he would have clinched the 2009/10 National Championship had it not been for a fall in February 2010 which left him with 2 broken wrists. To prove you can’t keep a good man down he was back riding again towards the end of the season and in July 2010 he rode 6 winners in a day at Mildura. In the 2010/11 season booted home 150 winners in Victoria alone. A natural lightweight, he needs to be watched very carefully when he comes to town because he is quite likely to win on any horse regardless of favouritism and he often represents good value in the Jockey Challenge.
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CHAD SCHOFIELD – As a teenager, Chad engineered a Group 1 boilover in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley winning the 2013 renewal on Shamus Award carrying just 49.5kgs. Despite still being an apprentice, he was the No. 1 stable rider for David Hayes until their split in early 2014, at which time Chad’s status was elevated to the rank of a senior jockey at the age of 20. With a strong determination to win that often sees him reporting to the stewards office after the race, Chad has an aggressive style which is bringing him well deserved success in Melbourne and Sydney.
TOMMY BERRY – at the age of 18 in 2009, Tommy Berry and his twin brother Nathan were top Sydney-based apprentices indentured to their father John and fighting out the top of the apprentice standings with success in Listed races early in their careers. Whilst they were always competitive, they were also each other’s biggest supporter. Nathan’s biggest win came in January 2014 in the Magic Millions Classic, a colt he was supposed to ride in the Golden Slipper. Tragically, Nathan passed away due to an epilepsy related illness whilst riding in Singapore shortly before the race. Tommy bravely continued to ride during the Sydney autumn racing carnival recording a Group 1 win in the Queen of the Turf, but what was more important to him was that he also shared the Nathan Berry Medal with James McDonald for the leading jockey during the Championships. With far reaching racing connections (Nathan married Glyn Schofield’s daughter Whitney) Tommy is a popular young jockey within the industry who is always a favourite with punters.
JAMES MCDONALD – before the age of 20, James collected 4 New Zealand apprentice titles and two full blown premierships. He also became the first Kiwi to ride 200 winners in one season. Recording his first Australian Group 1 win in the 2011 Queensland Oaks, in 2013 he realised a dream of riding at Royal Ascot and found success on It’s A Dundeel in Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival and again in Sydney in during the Championships. Now in the top echelon of jockeys in Australasia, James has quickly established himself as one of the best.
BLAKE SHINN – the son of the late Gerald Shinn, Blake grew up in Kilmore, Victoria and was indentured to his step father Lee Hope. His first Group 1 winner came in the 2005 Adelaide Cup and he lifted his profile considerably after winning the 2008 Melbourne Cup on the Bart Cummings trained Viewed. Blake left Victoria at the age of 19 to become a stable jockey for Gai Waterhouse but in November 2010 he was involved in a betting scandal which earned him a year on the sidelines. Upon his return he lost no time in returning to the winners stall with 3 wins from 4 rides in less than a week. Like many young Australian riders, his aggressive style often saw him in trouble with the stewards, but increasing maturity and a successful partnership with trainer Guy Walter saw Blake record over 1000 winners before the end of the 2014 season.
He carried on, riding for a short time in Hong Kong before restarting his career back in Sydney. He was premier jockey in 2001/02 and ranked amongst the top riders in Australia. On a flying visit to Melbourne November 2009 he won three of the four major Cup Carnival races - the Victoria Derby on Monaco Consul, the Melbourne Cup on Shocking and the Emirates Stakes on All American.
CRAIG NEWITT - Beginning his career in his home state Tasmania in 2001, he was the state’s premier jockey while still an apprentice. 2002 joined Freedman in Victoria and become leading apprentice for the ‘02/’03 season. Career suffered a setback in 2004 when he was suspended from riding for 18 months after lying to stewards about his relationship with a bookmaker following his defeat on favourite Leone Chiara. Worked very hard upon returning to the saddle and hit new highs in 2007 as the rider of Miss Andretti, winning many Group 1 races around Australia and at Royal Ascot, including the Kings Stand over 1000m in record time. March 2009 bravely partnered Light Fantastic to win the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield just 30 minutes after learning his father Guy had been killed in a road accident. A very consistent jockey who gives his horses every chance to win and often well supported in the Melbourne Jockeys Challenge.