Being an elite National Hunt jockey necessitates extreme standards of endurance, dedication, and core power, and it’s a much more engaging activity than merely perching on a horse as it thunders around the racetrack.
It’s a dangerous career, with equestrian sports consistently accounting for the highest number of sport-related injuries and deaths worldwide.
Jockeys prepare for most of their life in order to run in events as prestigious as The Epsom Derby, and even those who are fortunate enough to win will always need luck on their side during the race, regardless of how much hard work has gone into the jockey and horse’s preparation.
Epsom Derby 2021 Jockeys
Here are six of the jockeys that are expected to ride some of the race favourites at the next edition of The Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse after an impressive previous 12 months in flat racing:
In the last five flat racing seasons in Great Britain and Ireland, Emmet McNamara has only ridden as the jockey for 236 runners. However, the most notable of these runs was the win in The Derby in 2020 on his first attempt at the race on 25/1 priced outsider Serpentine.
Having finished just a head behind the race favourite Santiago in The Irish Derby just a week earlier, Emmet made up for it with an astounding upset in The Epsom Derby at the rescheduled Derby Festival in July.
Emmet McNamara has earned over half a million euros in his last five flat racing seasons with a win ratio of 5%.
With an incredible 25% win ratio over the last five British flat racing seasons, Frankie Dettori has earned an impressive £20,000,000 in prize money, with 235 wins in 950 runs. Alongside the 235 wins, Frankie has placed second 143 times, third 123 times and fourth 88 times.
There are not many races Frankie hasn’t won during his impressive flat racing career, having won The Derby twice with Authorised in 2007 and Golden Horn in 2015, as well as The Oaks five times between 1994 and 2019.
In the last five years of British flat racing, Norwegian jockey William Buick has won 367 of the 1,757 races he has ridden in with a 21% win ratio. This impressive number of wins, alongside many placement finishes, has earned over £12.2 million in prize money.
William Buick was the jockey of the 2018 Derby winner Masar, so already has one win under his belt, as well as a win in the Irish Derby too atop Jack Hobbs in 2015.
Oisin Murphy has earned over £15,000,000 in the last five years of British flat racing, having ridden in an unbelievable 4,103 races.
Of these 4,103 races, Oisin has won 724, finished second in 663, finished third in 567 and finished fourth in 454, achieving a race win ratio of 18%, which is very consistent when taking into account the sheer number of races involved.
Oisin has some commendable major wins in his portfolio but has yet to win a Derby or an Oaks Stakes at Epsom Downs Racecourse.
Having ridden in 2,258 British flat races over the past five seasons, Andrea Atzeni has earned just short of £10 million thanks to the 377 wins and 871 placements he has attained. In the last five years, Andrea has a 17% win ratio.
Andrea Atzeni has yet to win The Epsom Derby but does however boast victories in The Coronation Cup and The King George VI Chase amongst other prestigious races.
Tom Marquand is one of the younger jockeys on the scene, yet he has already made an excitable impression on British flat racing.
Having run over 4000 flat races in the last five British flat racing seasons, Tom Marquand has managed a 12% win ratio with 507 wins, 505 second-place finishes, 464 third-place finishes and 438 fourth-place finishes.
Tom does not yet have a victory in The Derby, but with such a long career ahead, things are looking promising. His two major wins so far have come in The Champion Stakes in 2020 and The St Leger Stakes the same year.
The previous three winners of The Epsom Derby Stakes Flat Race are listed below, along with their odds, nearest competitors, and race statistics:
A rescheduled Derby Festival with a smaller revamped itinerary took place at Epsom Downs Racecourse in July 2020. Serpentine, ridden by Emmet McNamara and trained by Aidan O’Brien, won this most recent edition of Derby Stakes at odds of 25/1.
50/1 priced longer outsider Khalifa Sat finished five and a half lengths behind Serpentine in second place, followed by 66/1 priced longer outsider Amhran Na Bhfiann in third place and 5/2 priced race favourite Kameko in fourth.
The Derby Stakes Flat Race was won by 13/2 priced Anthony Van Dyck, ridden by Seamie Heffernan and trained by Aidan O’Brien, at the Epsom Derby Festival 2019 at Epsom Downs Racecourse.
10/1 priced Madhmoon finished just half a length behind Anthony Van Dyck in second place, followed by 20/1 priced outsider Japan in third place and 4/1 priced second-favourite Broome in fourth.
Masar, a 16/1 outsider ridden by William Buick and trained by Charlie Appleby, won the Epsom Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse during the Epsom Derby Festival in 2018.
20/1 priced longer outsider Dee Ex Bee finished a length and a half behind Masar in second place, followed by 6/1 priced Roaring Lion in third place and 4/5 race favourite Saxon Warrior in fourth.