The jockeys play an important role in the context of a horse race as big as the Melbourne Cup.
There are many variables involved.
The three most important elements of the race are: the barrier draw, keeping your horse out of trouble during the running, and knowing when to make your move with 800 metres to go.
Most jockeys will operate to instruction from the trainer, but sometimes instructions don’t quite go to plan.
Sometimes the horse is affected by the sense of occasion, the weather, the track conditions, and one can tell as early as parading in the birdcage whether a horse is up for the task ahead.
From then on in, it’s all about synchronicity between horse and jockey.
Let’s profile some of the leading hoops who may or may not be present in the field of 24 lining up for the 2019 Melbourne Cup.
Australian based Jockeys
He is one of three jockeys currently riding that has won three Cups already.
Glen Boss and Kerrin McEvoy are the other two.
Due to his connections, the former Western Australian boy from Bunbury is sure to have a selection of top horses to ride weeks out from the Cup.
Sure to be prominent in this year’s running.
One of the big improvers on the Victorian scene, and picked up a stack of wins when attached to the now defunct Darren Weir stable.
Is another former Western Australian, who in recent times rode Japanese mare Lys Gracieux to win a Group 1 in Japan a few months back.
He might be in line to pick the ride up again.
A very capable rider on the Victorian circuit, but hasn’t found much success in the biggest race of them all.
His most successful effort so far has been a third on Mount Athos in the 2013 Cup won by Fiorente.
He could secure a ride on a European raider, as has been his tradition in past cups.
The rider of great mare Winx is likely to pick up the ride on pre-race favourite Marmelo for this year’s race.
Rode him last year into second place, and looks a good chance.
A couple of these big Victorian races and trophies would look good on the mantlepiece beside the four Cox Plates that he already has.
One wonders whether McEvoy will get the ride on last year’s winner Cross Counter.
Now that the horse is expected to carry significantly more weight, McEvoy’s ability to ride light won’t be a factor this time around, so James Doyle might get the ride, being Charlie Appleby’s top hoop.
Whatever the case, Kerrin is sure to have many good options to choose from.
The former Kiwi hoop is likely to secure a ride attached to the Chris Waller stable.
Horses like Verry Elleegant, Finche or Shraaoh could be up for grabs.
One of the premier Sydney jockeys these days, the Melbourne Cup would surely add prestige to an already glittering career.
Rode Fiorente into second in Green Moon’s 2012 Cup, and third on Hartnell in Almandin’s 2016 Cup.
Boss is famous for being the three time winning jockey on board Makybe Diva.
He’s been overseas in Singapore for a few years but returned to Australia and settled in the fishbowl that is Sydney racing.
Unsure whether he’ll get a ride in this years Cup, but no doubt he’ll be putting his hand up saying ‘pick me, pick me’.
Did ride Who Shot Thebarman into third in Protectionist’s 2014 Cup.
Another former Kiwi who knows how to ride the big races.
Has done a lot of work with Melbourne stables such as Mick Price, Maher/Eustace, Busuttin/Young and the Euroa operation of Lindsay Park.
The latter might be good indicator, as the Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig camp have some very good horses in tow.
Walker could pick up the ride on a top chance like Rostropovich or Constantinople for instance.
Or maybe even Prince Of Arran again for Charlie Fellowes, after finishing third on him last year.
Walker also rode Criterion into third in the 2015 Cup.
Zahra is an other well rated Victorian rider who (like Walker) does a lot of riding for established stables.
His name has not been sighted on the place getters list so far on the Melbourne Cup roll-call. One day soon hopefully.
The former Irishman and jumps jockey had a crazy successful spring last year, culminating in a VRC Derby win on Extra Brut.
When Darren Weir’s operation was forced to close down, some feared Allen might struggle to pick up rides, but he has re-imaged himself and is working with different stables.
He might not get into the cup, but keep an eye on his progress because he does have ability as an experienced horseman.
Sydney jockey famous for his association with the Grey Flash Chautauqua.
Like Zahra, is a capable and successful jockey within Australia, but hasn’t found much success on the Melbourne Cup roll-call.
Certain to feature somewhere on the first Tuesday in November.
Brown had ridden two winners of the Cup, 2009 on Shocking and 2017 on Rekindling.
Is still out with injury after a nasty fall in the Queensland Derby during the winter, and may not feature in this year’s edition.
Perhaps holds the title of world’s most successful elite class jockey during 2018/2019.
Having associations with two of the world’s best gallopers in Enable and Stradivarius always helps.
The likeable Italian has had 16 tries at winning the Melbourne Cup with no luck.
Was famously outed for his horrific ride on Max Dynamite in the 2015 Cup won by Prince Of Penzance which saw him take out a number of horses in the home straight, which resulted in a hefty suspension and fine.
Australian punters haven’t forgiven him for that ride.
Another of the elite group of jockeys who has won just about every major race there is.
Piloted Protectionist home in the 2014 Cup, as well three year old Adelaide in the WS Cox Plate two weeks prior.
Was on board ill-fated Cliffsofmoher in last years Cup, sure to be on one of Aidan O’Brien’s classy raiders on Cup Day.
Buick does a lot of riding for John Gosden’s Newmarket stable, as well as Saeed Bin Suroor’s Godolphin’s operation.
Must surely feature, though the Santa Anita Breeders Cup on the preceding Sunday might be a tight travel schedule to get to Melbourne on time.
Is the number one rider for Charlie Appleby’s Newmarket team and is sure to be on the wants list of many an aspiring chance coming down to Melbourne.
We’ll wait for the dust to settle first before seeing which galloper Doyle decides on.
At this stage, my money is on Cross Counter.
The talented Irishman does a lot of riding for Qatar Racing, and had an association with the ill-fated stallion and shuttle sire Roaring Lion who passed away just days ago in New Zealand of colic.
Sure to figure somewhere on one of the better contenders catching the plane down under to Australia.
Another of the Aidan O’Brien affiliated jockeys out of Ireland. Rode Rostropovich into fifth place last year, but will probably feature on another Irish visitor this year.
Maybe Kew Gardens if he lines up.
The Frenchman, jockey of 2011 Cup winner Dunaden is now based up in Japan and is the regular rider of top Japanese race mare Almond Eye.
There are a few Japanese horses nominated for Melbourne, maybe he picks up a ride somewhere along the way?
Hong Kong’s top jockey, and has an association with the world’s best miler Beauty Generation.
The HKJC has changed the rules somewhat for their jockeys to compete in races outside of the territory, and even the Melbourne Cup might not be on the list.
We’ll wait and see whether eessie champ is allowed to ride. Factor in popular Joao Moreira too.
Return to: Melbourne Cup 2019