A Question Of Sport. Who Is The World’s Greatest Jockey ?

Ryan Moore The Grey Gatsby returns having won The Irish Champions Stakes

Ryan Moore returns on The Grey Gatsby having won The Irish Champions Stakes.             1 of 15 G1’s he’s won internationally so far this year.

The International Federation Of Horseracing Authorities will this Saturday award the title of the Longines Worlds Best Jockey. It is to be presented at a gala dinner in Hong Kong on Saturday to coincide with Hong Kong’s prestigious international meeting on Sunday.

In layout it’s remarkably similar to Pattern Racing.com’s World Jockey Championships 2013 conceived last year.

The scoring for the IFHA award is based upon performances in the 100 highest-rated Group 1 and Grade 1 races established for the year by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. The scoring incorporates races from 1 December of the previous year until 30 November of the current year. Jockeys accrue 12 points for a win, 6 points for placing second, and 4 points for placing third.

Pattern Racing.com’s scoring system, established last year, is 10 points for a win 7 points for second and 5 points for a third place over the calendar year.

We have decided to publish our jockey’s championship for 2014 to date (Click here) to contrast with the IHFA/Longines version.

As you can see from the following table there are differences between the Pattern Racing.com top 12 and the IFHA/Longines top 12. 

Pattern Racing.com IFHA/Longines
Rank Jockey Points Won   Rank Jockey Points Won
1 J. Rosario 217 1 R. Moore 94
2 R. Moore 210 2 C. Soumillon 88
3 J. Velazquez 201 3 J. O’Brien 72
4 J. Castellano 195 4 J. Doyle 70
5 J. O’Brien 173 5 Z. Purton 58
6 C. Soumillon 170 6 D. Oliver 48
7 M. Smith 131 7 R. Hughes 46
8 H. Bowman 125 7 J. Velazquez 46
9 V. Espinoza 118.5 9 W. Buick 42
10 D. Oliver 118 9 T. Berry 42
11 R. Hughes 113 9 M. Rodd 42
12 J. McDonald 109 9 J. Rosario 42

The purpose of the pattern racing system is to establish a hierarchy for races and to set a benchmark on which they are judged. If a pattern race has been award G1 status (decided by the IFHA) then the purpose of the exercise is to have it recognised as such. This produces an obvious question for the IFHA/Longines rankings committee.

Do the rest of the worlds G1’s not count?

Crucially what separates both championships is the number of races included in the calculation, in this case, of the Worlds Best Jockey. (this can be extended to trainers, horses and stallions as Pattern Racing.com has done).

On this site we try to include all international Group 1’s and Grade 1’s in England, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Canada and the USA to in order to recognise a champion. To date in these jurisdictions there have been 299 G1 races run with 11 still to be come. In contrast the IFHA/Longines choose to limited to 100.

The means the IFHA/Longines have chosen to ignore the other 210 which have been granted G1 status.

These include the likes of the Epsom Oaks, The Dewhurst, The Santa Anita Handicap, The Gold Cup, The Jean Prat, The Irish 2000 Guineas and the TVG Pacific Classic. All massive races in their own right.

The danger with this exclusion is not only does it diminish those races but it also leads to a skewed result in the title bid of worlds greatest jockey.

In the Pattern Racing Championships top 12 there are 5 American based jockeys, 4 European and 3 Australian.

The winner of the Pattern Racing Jockey’s Championship is not yet decided.

With 11 G1’s still to run, (4 are in Hong Kong, 3 are in Japan, 4 in USA), Joel Rosario is ahead by seven points from Ryan Moore in second with John Velazquez (the reigning Champion) back in third. JJ Castellano in fourth is also not out of the title bid.

Ryan Moore will be in action on Snow Sky in Hong Kong Vase this weekend and it will be his last opportunity to add to his tally while in America before year end, we still have the Starlet, the Los Alamitos Futurity, La Brea and Malibu Stakes to run. This gives all three American jockeys the chance to still top the poll.

In the IFHA/Longines table Europeans dominate with 6 of the top 12, Australians get 4 in while the Americans can only muster 2. Is there an anti-American bias?

It’s worth looking at where Joel Rosario sits in the IFHA/Longines list, joint 9th along with 4 others. He is accredited with recognition for his both his wins on Tonalist in the Belmont Stakes and in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes, a second and 2 third places whereas Pattern Racing.com recognises his 8 other victories, 10 other seconds places and 6 other third place finishes.

Joel notched up a hat trick on Close Hatches in the Ogden Phipps, Personal Ensign and Apple Blossom, plus he also won on Minorette in the Belmont Oaks, Imagining in the Man o’War, Lea in the Donn Handicap, Bobby’s Kitten in the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint and most recently La Tia in the Matriarch Stakes. These are all recognised the Pattern Racing.com standings.

Off course the Pattern Racing Jockey’s race isn’t finished and there are still chances for all to boost their tally.

A second place finish for Ryan Moore draws him level with Joel Rosario, and he may well better that however with 4 American G1’s still to run it looks like this is a race that will go down to the wire.

It might help our understanding if we look at which countries hold these G1 races. The tables below outline the number of races from each of the countries that make up the both the Pattern Racing.com list and the IFHA/Longines list and also their percentage of the overall total.

Pattern Racing.com IFHA/Longines
Country of Race Total Races % of Total    Country of Race Total Races % of Total 
USA 111 36% Australia 26 26%
AUS 72 23% USA 20 20%
ENG 33 11% England 17 17%
FR 27 9% France 11 11%
JPN 22 7% Japan 9 9%
IRE 12 4% Hong Kong 6 6%
GER 7 2% UAE 4 4%
UAE 7 2% Ireland 2 2%
HK 6 2% Germany 2 2%
ITY 6 2% South Africa 1 1%
CAN 4 1% Singapore 1 1%
SIN 2 1% Canada 1 1%
SA 1 0%
Total 310  Total   100

Not surprisingly in the Pattern Racing.com list the USA has the greatest number of G1’s however as you can see Australia with 26 races has the highest representation of any nation in the IFHA/Longines list. Again has this created bias in the overall outcome? This must be considered.

This piece is not an attack on either the IFHA or their sponsor Longines who both do a fantastic job in promoting racing. Neither is it an attack on Ryan Moore whom we have the utmost respect and admiration for. Ryan most definitely is a man of sport and he will consider the merits of the accolade he’s been awarded given the exploits of his American counterparts.

This is about opening debate on the inclusion of all G1’s to decide the title of the world’s best.

Whether its horse, sire, trainer, jockey and indeed owner then encompassing all G1’s is a fairer assessment of who is the greatest of them all.

It’s also worth noting in 2013 we also established a trainer championship, horse championship and stallion championship and we will have the same championships for 2014. We’ll return to this in the new year.

Pattern Racing.com calls on the IFHA and Longines to include all G1’s in the future. Better still, do with Pattern Racing.com, the most comprehensive pattern racing guide in the world.

As a fella said to me, they might even ask you to the gala dinner next year.

Have your say,vote now and don’t forget to follow Pattern Racing.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s