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Top 10 Jockeys Heading Into The 2022/23 Season

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

Australia is the land of the best jockeys, which is no surprise so ranking them is no easy feat. I have done it anyway though. Here are the top 10 riders within the country and no surprise, they are all located within the main two states. Collett and Zahra both just miss with McNeil probably just behind them and Tim Clark just behind him.

10. Damien Oliver: Metro Stats

51 Winners, 11.8% Strike Rate, -32.83% ROI, 5 G1s

The GOAT kicks us off at 10. Not many jockeys I would rather in a big race but like a few of the older jockeys, is not as hungry in the lower grades. Still an unreal rider particularly with his ability to read tempo and find gaps in a safe manner as well.

9. Craig Williams: Metro Stats

61 Winners, 14.1% Strike Rate, -3.10% ROI, 3 G1s

One of the best blokes in the sport, comes in at 9. A terrific rider at his best, but prone to stinkers, particularly finding the backside of others. Since coming back from the Ukraine he has been riding like a man possessed.

8. William Pike: Metro Stats

97 Winners, 18.5% Strike Rate, -15.56% ROI, 4 G1s

The best from the west has taken the eastern seaboard by storm, proving he is a big fish in any pond. Could be the best rider from the back in the country but always prone to hitting backsides that way.

7. Brett Prebble: Metro Stats

44 Winners, 14.2% Strike Rate, +7.40% ROI, 5 G1s

A very underrated rider, who was not getting the chances he deserved once the big riders came back. Good at judging speed, and finds good spots for his horses. Hopefully, he is not forgotten and continues to get top rides on a consistent basis.

6. Hugh Bowman: Metro Stats

80 Winners, 14.8% Strike Rate, -20.00% ROI, 5 G1s* (counting the Golden Eagle)

A rider who when at his best, is one of, if not the best riders in Australia. However, I do believe he is at times, lacklustre outside of big races. He can be an unsafe and careless rider at times but when he is on, there may not be any better.

5. Nash Rawiller: Metro Stats

63 Winners, 18.4% Strike Rate, +6.20% ROI, 1 G1

One of the best on his day, exemplified by his ride on Think It Over, taking a risk that no one else was willing to do. However like Bowman, he can be careless and unsafe evidenced his ride on Kementari. A terrific front runner as well.

4. Jamie Kah: Metro Stats

66 Winners, 17.1% Strike Rate, -35.98% ROI, 1 G1* (counting the All-Star Mile)

Was arguably the best rider in Aus coming into the season but off-track troubles stopped a dominant spring. Best at getting horses to jump and settle. Terrific on leaders and timing is excellent in the finish. Could jump even higher but form was not overly strong after her return. I expect a bounce back. Has since overtaken William Pike as the most over-bet rider in the country (was under-bet for a long time).

3. Tommy Berry: Metro Stats

68 Winners, 14.4% Strike Rate, -16.41% ROI, 2 G1s

The second behind JMac in NSW. Terrific from behind and a good judge of pace. Rarely puts a foot wrong and has a high level of consistency of finding the right spot for horses.

2. Damian Lane: Metro Stats

48 Winners, 13.1% Strike Rate, -11.23% ROI, 1 G1

Very underrated, evidenced by his performances in Japan and receiving their trust. Performed very well and feel he is very much a JMac like rider in relation to his riding versatility, just not quite as good.

1. James McDonald: Metro Stats

130 Winners, 22.5% Strike Rate, -11.31 ROI, 12 G1s* (*Including an Everest)

The clear top rider within Australia. His year was nuts picking up many big races and a G1 abroad. He gets his horses to jump, performs from the front or back, can find gaps, judge tempo and rarely puts a foot wrong. Such a well rounded jockey and will eventually, battle Ollie for GOAT status.

There is the top 10, however I do believe about 20 to 25 jockeys can stake a claim for this list, so below is a larger ranking across a few states. I have ignored New Zealand but I believe only Opie Bosson would have any claims for the top 10 but is more likely 11-20.

Victoria 10. Daniel Moor (Ben Melham close 11th)

9. Blake Shinn

8. John Allen

7. Jye McNeil

6. Mark Zahra

5. Damien Oliver

4. Craig Williams

3. Brett Prebble

2. Jamie Kah

1. Damian Lane

New South Wales

10. Joshua Parr (Rachel King close 11th)

9. Kerrin McEvoy

8. Sam Clipperton

7. Tim Clark

6. Jason Collett

5. William Pike

4. Hugh Bowman

3. Nash Rawiller

2. Tommy Berry

1. James McDonald

I know less about the other three main racing states but I will give my takes on the top riders within each.


Ryan Maloney still comes in at number 1 IMO, closely followed by James Orman and Jim Byrne not far behind both. Clear top 3.

South Australia

Todd Pannell still number 1 with Vorster number 2. Crowther and Holder probably 3rd and 4th respectively.

Western Australia

CJP has done a great job replacing Pike, followed by Chris Parnham at number 2. Lucy Warwick could be the most underrated rider in the country coming in at 3.

There are the top riders within Australia and the top NZ rider. I believe the Vic NSW jockey standard gap is the biggest myth and the Vics bat deeper but NSW have slightly more on the top end.

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